Wednesday, 15 January 2014

An Interview with Kit Power

In the lead-up to the release of the ebook, “The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife”, Black Beacon Books interviews Kit Power and gains some insight into the life and mind of the writer.


1. Kit Power. You have a name that would suit a superhero. So, tell us, what real-world powers do you possess and what superpower would you like to wield?

Ha! My real world powers include, but are not limited to, epic procrastination, the uncanny ability to forget where I've put something down within ten seconds of doing so, an almost total failure to successfully remember people's names, and the ability to make my four-year-old daughter laugh uncontrollably (I'm pretty proud of that last one). I think ideally my superpower would be to write at a million words per second. Also, to think at a million words per second.


2. The main characters in "The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife" and "The Debt" find themselves in a spot of bother. Can you share (without incriminating yourself) the nastiest situation you've stumbled into?
 
Funnily enough, I think the most dangerous situation I've ever been in happened outside the pub that inspired the opening scene of 'The Debt'. I worked there for almost a year, and the clientele was, erm, colourful, I guess is the polite way of putting it. A few days prior, a young man who was a nephew of one of the regulars had come in. He'd been averagely obnoxious, but I hadn't had any confrontation with him, and though he'd made me uncomfortable, I thought we'd parted on amicable terms. Once he'd left, I was given some quite lurid stories about this young man's history of violence and drug use, and repeatedly told the was 'a wrong'un', but again, there had been no issue between us that I could tell.

Anyway, come this particular evening. It's winter, cold enough to see my breath. I've ordered a cab at the end of the shift, but the bar manager has shut and locked the bar, so I have to wait outside. It's likely to be at least another half an hour, but that's OK, I have a nice warm coat and it's good to be outside.

That's when our young man turns up, lady friend in tow, and proceeds to berate me for trying to get him in trouble with his uncle. Apparently, he'd called me 'a poof' at some point during his visit (a fact that entirely passed me by) and his uncle (the regular) had told him off for doing so. I tried to point out that I didn't know he'd said such a thing, and could therefore hardly have complained to his uncle about it, but that apparently meant I was 'calling him a liar', which did not improve his mood. He then proceeded to call me 'a poof' (and then had an amusing aside with his lady friend, vis: SHE: He ain't a poof, though! you can tell, he don't look like one. HE: I know he ain't, I'm just sayin' he is - ME, internally: Where the fuck is my cab?).

It's funny now.

Long story not quite as long, he left, came back five minutes later without her, and proceeded to try and talk me into fighting him for the next twenty minutes (or seventeen hours, depending on how you measure time). I knew I couldn't fight him effectively (his pupils gave away that he was high on something, he was an amateur boxer, clearly a reasonably experienced street fighter, and incredibly fast), and all I could do was run out the clock by refusing to give him any excuse at all to start hitting me. I offered him a cigarette, stayed calm, and talked round in ever-decreasing circles. One thing I remember clearly was a feeling that I was starting to disengage from what was happening (which actually became dangerous - I began to show disinterest, which he tried to construe as disrespect, which escalated his mood). Like the rabbits in Watership Down. I'd positioned my foot so I could get one solid knee to his groin, but I knew there was little to no chance that would get it done, so my mind prepared me for taking a beating by withdrawing. I've never forgotten the feeling, or the relief when the cab did arrive, just after he'd starting hitting my arm and insisting he didn't need nuffin from me, that he'd break my skull open.

Pretty fucking scary. I have no doubt that he was a genuinely disturbed individual, someone that actually got pleasure from violence. In retrospect, it's pretty clear that he also inspired my first Novella 'Lifeline' (still unpublished at the time of writing).


3. Your stories are bound to make people think. What would you like the reader to get out of them?

Well, to paraphrase Stephen King - Feel first, think second. Primarily I want to hold your attention, and captivate you for the duration of your journey through my story. That's my main and most important job, I think, and if I fail at that, little else matters. My favorite stories are the ones that cause me to break out in a cold sweat, that make me scared or angry, or both. I want to be moved. So I want to move you, too. My fondest hope is that my stories stay with you past the point of reading, that you find your mind returning to them.

I guess I could have just said 'pleasure'.  *laughs*
 

4. Describe your writing environment to us. Where do you write? What do you wear? What do you drink? What are your rituals?

Mainly I write in my kitchen, after I've put my four-year-old to bed, and try and get a solid hour to 90 minutes then. I just wear my house clothes. I've been known to crack a brew or pour a single malt or bourbon, as the mood takes me, though not anything like every night. Rituals are procrastination - check emails, check Facebook, check blog views, get a drink, go for a pee, all that nonsense. I'm getting better at spotting that behaviour and weeding it out though. Lately I've also found listening to the song 'Dopesmoker' by Sleep to be really good for shutting the world out and letting the story take off. For the novel D1, I listened to Rage Against The Machine's debut and 'The Battle Of Los Angeles ' on a loop. For three months.

It was awesome.

5. Where does your inspiration come from?

Life, and in particular non-fiction and documentaries. That's true for my song writing also. Though sometimes it starts as an exercise or writing challenge. That's where 'The Loving Husband...' came from, actually. In the case of 'The Debt', I came up with the closing image first, then had to reverse engineer the story from there, which was a lot of fun and I think worked out really well.
 

6. Tell us about where you come from, Milton Keynes?

I don't come from Milton Keynes. I just live here. I come from London. On that subject, I have nothing to add to Samuel Johnson's observation. :)
 

7.  Finally, what are you working on at the moment?

I'm actually sweating blood over a story that I love the idea of, but just cannot get a handle on at all, which has not happened before and is incredibly frustrating. That said, once my house move is out of the way at the end of the month, I'll be tackling the first edit on my first novel, which I was dreading but am actually now looking forward to.

 

Kit Power’s ebook “The Loving Husband and the Faithful Wife” (which also includes the short story, “The Debt”) will be released on Saturday the 25th of January for just $1.99 AUD. Pre-orders are available now for the discounted price of $1.10. Visit the shop for more details. You can find out more about Kit Power at   https://www.facebook.com/Kitpowerwriter

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