Writing short stories, even mini-fiction, can’t always be worked into a writing schedule; so for those authors who may not be able to let their characters play in the sand, I’ve invited them to a nighttime beach bonfire to have a drink, listen to the crashing waves, and answer a few questions of my own.
Can you tell us a little about yourself, something readers may not have heard before?
Funny, I’m pretty sure all the interesting stuff I tell everyone! However, there was a time when I thought I might want to focus on forensic anthropology as a career. As part of the course work, I participated in a field search for a murder victim and I’ve done facial reconstruction (with plasticine and glued-on erasers – old school, not the computerized kind like you see on TV).
I’m an introvert who loves writing… there’s not a whole lot of deep dark secrets, LOL. I’ve never lived in one place longer than 5 years. Not once. My mother was nuts and loved moving – I lived in 11 different places before I was 18, and not one of them was a rental. So far, I’ve managed to make it to 5 years in two different places, but that’s it. In fact, we just moved again… made it 4.5 years.
What else? I’ve ridden a horse, a camel, and an elephant. Traveled to Egypt, Mexico, Greece, France, UK. I love board games and escape rooms.
Official Bio: KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own—getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.
Can you introduce us to the world(s) that you have created?
I have a few but a recent one is the town of Sandy Bottom Bay. It’s a fictional town in Florida, and its claim to fame is that it’s the second most haunted town in Florida. The economics of the town are based around that, and while many of the residents are skeptics, they all maintain the appropriate appearance. The town’s motto is Come for the haunts, stay for the beaches.
Another one I’ve had a lot of fun with is the Galactic Alliance. It’s set far in the future, where humans inhabit a number of planets in another solar system, which abuts an alien empire. Until recently, they’ve been at war, and they’re navigating an uneasy truce.
Will this be your first Coastal Magic or are you a veteran? What was it about Coastal Magic that drew you to it? Why have you continued to return?
I’m a veteran. There were a couple of things that drew me to it. First of all, it was location. When the conference first started, I was living in Orlando, and it was nice being able to attend a conference so close to home. Also, it was small and intimate. I’ve continued to return because I had such a great time that first year and every year I’ve attended since. I love the fact that authors who write in all different subgenres and levels of experience are put on panels together, and the panel topics aren’t your standard panel topics.
If you’ve been before, what is your favorite CMC memory? If you’ve never been, what are you looking forward to?
Probably the first time I saw Damon Suede head up Cinema Craptastique. If you don’t know what it’s about, just make sure you’re around Thursday evening, glued to your twitter, with your Netflix loaded and ready to follow along. We’ll be live tweeting as we watch a… less than stellar movie. Not sure what the hashtag will be, but keep your eyes open and I’m sure you’ll see it.
Which do you find is more central in your writing: the characters or world creation? Why?
The characters, hands down. Characters are the reason we read the stories, they’re why we want to find out how it all ends. World building is window dressing. It can certainly play into character development, but it’s not the primary purpose of writing, in my opinion. For example, most of my world building has grown from the needs of the characters. For instance, I had an idea about a character who was mistaken for a rent boy by a potential client. And because of the circumstances, the pseudo rent boy felt it would be more expedient to play along with the mistake rather than correct it. But if that were to happen in today’s world, that scenario would probably be super dark and possibly sordid, which is not the flavor of the scene in my head. I started thinking about how I could make that scene work the way I wanted it to. And I realized sci fi would work. And so, the Galactic Alliance was born.
Is there any character that didn’t make as big of an impact on the story that you thought they would? Is there a character who stayed on the page longer than you thought they would?
Related to the question above, as I was building the world of the Galactic Alliance, I added aliens, including one alien ambassador named R’kos. He was supposed to be a minor character. Unexpectedly, by the end of the book, though, I wanted to give him a story. What I should have done was change his name. Because as I started writing his book, I realized I hated how his name looked as a possessive (like, that book on the table is R’kos’s book). The double apostrophe drove me bonkers! So I managed to write the entire book without any R’kos’s. A challenge to be sure, and if I’d realized how important he’d be, I’d definitely have dealt with things differently.
How do you separate your imaginary world with real life? Do you often take something you see during your daily life and twist it a little to make it work elsewhere? Have you ever wondered what would happen if any part of your world were, in actually, a part of our reality?
I absolutely love the tiny twist on reality. Like everything is the same as real life except people can be telekinetic. Or ghosts are real. I have an overactive imagination, which is an asset as an author and a bit of a flaw when it comes to being totally rational in real life. I’m scared the sh*t out of myself more than once playing “what if” late at night. You know, “what if someone’s in the bathtub behind the shower curtain”, and “what if someone’s tapping my phones.” I also do it in public, with “what if this stadium seating collapsed” or “what if there was an explosion”. Sometimes this sparks ideas for contemporary stories, but just as often it sparks ideas for paranormal stories. Then there’s always the “what if aliens landed for real” or “what if there’s an alternate timeline or universe” which are always fun. I really spend a lot of time mentally what if-ing, just as a matter of how my brain works. It doesn’t always spark ideas, but it certainly is responsible for more ideas than I have time to write!
Don’t miss your chance to meet over 50 fabulous urban fantasy, paranormal, and romance authors at Coastal Magic next February! This super casual book-lover weekend happens on Daytona Beach, and gives everyone the chance to hang out with fellow readers and amazing storytellers.
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