by Connie Ward
What made you decide to become a fiction writer?
I have been writing since forever. My grandmother actually has little notebooks I filled up with strange tales of killer ants and Vikings. Later I got into fan-fiction and sorta worked from there, got braver, better, and bolder until I felt I was able to write a story in, for me, a foreign language, that had substance and that I believed in.
What type of stories do you write? And why?
Originally I wrote mostly depressing stories and horror. I guess I still write depressing stories to some extent, and I also don’t think I will ever rid myself completely of the horror or suspense parts, nor would I really want to. But overall, I write gay romance and simply do not have an answer as to why. I wish I did. I guess the muse that whispers in my ear is gay? I might even start out with the character plotted as straight, but somewhere along the road it changes, and my muses always win in the end.
I vary in range. I have written anything from medieval romance, to sci-fi, to supernatural crime stories. So in that aspect I don’t think I am a one-track author, even if I might repeat myself from time to time.
What do your family/friends think about your writing?
They support me, but they don’t really understand my writing. For starters I am not gay, or a man, so for me to write gay fiction seems strange to them. And then there is the part about me writing in English, so most of them can’t read it even if they wanted to, which probably alienates them quite a lot. My partner has been a trooper throughout me writing my first book, supporting me when I got frustrated and listening to me try to explain the plot. He helps out where he can, and so do my close friends, both in real life and on the Internet. All in all I think everyone has been super supportive, even if they think it’s a bit silly that I would even attempt to get something published.
Where do you get your ideas?
Oh man, I get ideas everywhere. I have a scenario bank in my head, where I store stuff that might make sense in another context. It goes from the way the air smells, to how a jogger runs, or the pattern that rain makes on a window. Characters in movies could spark the muse because of a specific line, or maybe how they look, or maybe the theme of the movie. Also I watch a lot of documentaries, which I use for inspiration about things I’d never know any other way. Then when I go to bed I sort of draw all the pearls onto a string, and it creates a whole. I also find that something I can’t use and it goes back in for later use. The next morning I usually write my thoughts down in a simplified manner so I won’t forget.
In short I get inspired by everything and nothing. It’s like putting on a special tinted pair of glasses so I perceive everything in a specific way for a while. Once I start a story or a character I will not put it down completely until I finish.
How do you write; do you plan everything out or just write?
I usually make a plan, and usually Heather is the practical one who keeps track of the brainstorming. I think we are good at keeping to highlights and then making everything else up as we go along. Usually that works best and keeps the muses whispering.
What makes Kryos special to you?
Apart from it being my first major accomplishment as an author? Then the fact that it originally took us so long to write it and that I grew quite fond of the characters. And I really hope we get around to revisiting them and write a sequel, because I miss the universe and the characters.
How much of yourself and the people you know are in your characters?
In some, quite a lot, and then at the same time, nothing. I guess different characters have parts of different character traits of mine, both the good and the bad. Writing is great therapy, that’s for sure.
Which gay/lesbian authors inspired you the most? Do you have a favorite of this author(s)?
I would say that Billy Martin (formerly known as Poppy Brite) has been a major inspiration from some of the early works.
I am not sure if Clive Barker counts, because he doesn’t exactly write gay-themed stories, but he remains one of my all-time inspirations both as an author and a person.
Of the authors mentioned, I would say that Exquisite Corpse is my favorite, and a major inspiration for me. It blends erotica and horror in equal measurement, just like I always wished someone would. Also it showed me that it can be done and gave me a whole new sandbox to play in.
Do you have any suggestions for new writers?
Write what inspires you, write what your muse tells you to. It doesn’t matter if you think there might not be a market for it. Write it with intensity and care, because forcing your inspiration never leads to good things. Love what you write, for no other reason than you cannot resist telling the story.
You are never too silly, never too corny or too much. You should tell your story like the story wants to be told.
When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?
I play computer games, and lots of them. I rarely watch telly; usually I write, read, or play when I have time to myself. Some might say that I have become a social recluse over the years, but once the partying dries up, you have to entertain yourself with something else.