Yesterday, I introduced you to Jack Wallen, one of the writers for this month’s StoryBundle (a horror collection which my book TUNNEL VISION is also a part of). Today, meet Martin Kee, writer and also curator of this bundle.
Meet Martin Kee
1) Your book is included in StoryBundle’s horror collection. What draws you to horror?
I don't typically outline what I write, so as the book progresses, it seems that things just tend to gravitate in that direction. There's a sort of inexorable truth to horror, that idea that we all, at some point in time, will end. It's a universal constant. Things decay. So I guess the more I write on a certain subject, whether it be about dark matter or parasitic fungus, or robots, or graphene, there's always a deeper horror there at the bottom, a deeper truth that a lot of people don't like to think about. That truth usually lies in bad things happening to people you care about.
2) Tell me a little bit about the book in the collection.
BLOOM is essentially two stories, taking place in two very different places, in very different times. One story tells the tale of a young man whose childhood friend suffers from a brain tumor. Every time she meets him, she doesn't remember who he is, so Tennyson has to essentially reintroduce himself. But as bloom, a parasitic fungus, begins to overtake the coasts and sweep inland, he loses touch with her. Determined to find her, Tennyson sets out to delve into what the world has become in order to be reunited with his best friend.
The second story, one that shares the same space as Tennyson's, is that of Lil'it. She isn't entirely human. She's smaller, with odd tumors on her back in the shape of wings. She's referred to as feh which is just one sound short of spitting. In her world, she is essentially vermin, handled like a poisonous serpent. This is due largely to the fact that she is able to secrete custom prions and viruses in her salivary glands. When she is sold off to a wealthy land owner, she makes a play at freedom and finds that it's much more complicated than simply running away.
The two stories are related to one another in spite of how different they seem, and it's up to the reader to find that connection.
3) Do you have anything else published?
I do! My first novel, A LATENT DARK, was in a horror bundle back in 2012, and I've just released a short science fiction novella on Amazon called GLEAN, which is the beginning of a series.
Both books can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Kee
I also write short stories and content for video games.
4) What really scares you?
Shame, I think. Disappointment. I don't like to disappoint people, so I often sink into some dark places worrying that I might screw things up for folks I care about. I suppose that's an odd thing to be scared of, but there it is. Now, of course, disappointment comes in many forms. It could be not winning the lottery, or having your spouse cheat on you. I think I could probably survive those things pretty well. But knowing that I might have lost the trust and faith of the people I love... well, it would be hard to live with that, especially looking at the long road ahead to regaining that trust.
Death, surprisingly, doesn't really scare me much aside from the physical desire to survive. I mean, everyone does it eventually, right? And there are far worse things to worry about. I think worse than death, would simply being erased and forgotten, to look back from my death bed and realize nothing mattered and nobody would remember me. That seems much more terrifying, not so much the void, as in the wasted time. I mean, I'm 42 years old. If I died tomorrow, I hope I'll have more to show for it than a level 70 druid in WoW.
5) What’s your writing process like?
I'm one of those "gardeners" you hear about. I start with some very vague plot points and sort of explore as much as I can. It's a much more enjoyable process to me than outlining first, but it's messy. I do a lot of rewrites, and sometimes don't even really know what the book is about until the 8th draft or so. It's time consuming as well.
That's not to say that I don't outline though. I do, just afterwards. Thats' where I chop the book up and put all the pieces back together in the right order, then go through and pick apart every chapter, then every paragraph, then every sentence. Usually the rewriting process is more fun and more involved than writing the original draft.
6) Where can people find out more about you or see more of your work?
Well there's my author page: http://www.amazon.com/Martin-Kee
And I also have a poorly maintained blog: http://marlanesque.com/ where I sometimes go to vent or ramble. There's a lot of flash fiction up there as well, along with links to anything new I might have published. I don't live in any delusions that I am a blogger by any means. Most of my ideas end up in my books instead of on the site.
Then there's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/martinkeeauthor which is, you know, Facebook. I post updates there maybe more than I do on the blog, because it gets the most traffic. You can follow any of these with Likes if you want to see what I'm up to as I shuffle around in my comfy pants, making things up.
Check out the bundle by clicking on the above picture, and/or leave a comment below to be entered into a drawing to win the entire bundle. Winner chosen August 1st.