Author Interview: Alice E Keyes

Hi Alice,

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I grew up in Montana and consider myself a Westerner though I have a lot of fond memories of summers in New England. My dad was a great storyteller and loved to watch westerns. He was born the same year as Clint Eastwood and even looked a bit like him. Both of us struggled with writing and grammar. He only got a couple of his adventures written down before he passed. My writing is in fiction and I like to think that my attempts at telling a good story come from watching westerns and listening to my dad’s stories.

What have you written?

I’ve completed one novella which right now is only available in paperback.  I’ve written a lot of flash fiction which appears mostly on my blog and I have stories in a couple of anthologies. I have several novels in the works.

Where can we buy or see them?

Miss Winsome and the Scientific Society is available on Amazon and Createspace.

Den of Antiquity is available at Amazon and Createspace.

Free flash fiction on my blog aliceekeyes.blogspot.com

Smashwords has a free anthology – Denizens of Steam

Where do your ideas come from?

Like this story, a lot of my ideas start with fairytales and a what if. I’m still working on a full length steampunk novel about what happens after the prince proposes. It was the first 50,000 word story I created which propelled me into writing as a creative outlet. It is a bit precious to me as I can’t tear it down to polish it into something I want to publish.

 

What are you working on at the moment? What’s it about?

I’ve decided to sell out, I mean, I’m exploring the world of contemporary romance writing with a young adult novel about a girl finding her success at a Montana lake resort and falling in love/lust with a man who owns a brewery. Surprisingly, I can’t seem to not add a bit of something fairytale-like and magical. The male character has a super sense of smell as does his resort owning sister who also has a perfume line.

What genre are your books, mainly? Are you new to the dreadpunk or steampunk genre, or have you written in the genre before?

Most of the novel length stories I’ve written are steampunk fantasy fairytale. My stories aren’t heavy on gadgets. The world in which the characters play is steampunk infused magical realism. The flash fiction on my website is all over the place though you’ll probably find a bit of magical realism even in the contemporary pieces. Delving into dreadpunk for this story was great because it brought back a lot of memories of reading Poe and being a little goth/punk in my younger years.

What compelled you to write or submit a story to this particular anthology?

The idea of writing a vampire steampunk story intrigued me. At first, I was going to expand and change a vampire flash fiction story into a dreadpunk short story but then, the idea of writing a gothic steampunk version of the fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs overtook that idea. I was glad that it was accepted into the anthology and I get to be a part of Bryce’s vision.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors? Do you enjoy reading the classics or do you tend to read more contemporary writers?

I do read and a variety of genres and authors, though now, I’m more likely to read a book because it might help my writing and here’s why. In my youth, I was fascinated by animation. I wanted to create it. I took a class in animation and drew several simple animations. Once I did it and knew the process, the mathematical calculations, and the tediousness to create just a minute of animation, the joy of watching it left me. Every animation I watched, I analyzed. I have done this with learning to play the drums and listening to music, making sushi and eating it, and now writing novels. When I read a novel, I’m constantly analyzing how the person wrote a certain scene and how they are getting me to feel. Instead of reading and escaping, I’m asking myself is this paragraph a telling or showing paragraph, does this dialogue feel real, how is this part of the story pushing the overall narrative. The magic of watching animation, eating sushi, and drumming has returned. I’m ok with this loss of escapism when reading because now I’m creating worlds that I get to decide all the details and outcomes.

 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I really like to work on a general idea of a story and then have it form along the way. At some point, it takes shape and I know how it will proceed. Though in many stories that I’ve written, there have been surprises that reformulate the entire thing. This can be frustrating but also it is the magical part of creating.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I want to be a traditionalist as it is my esthetic but the practical environmental side tends to win over esthetic. Print books are heavy. They add a lot of weight and therefore expense to my lifestyle of moving every two to three years. Mostly, I read ebooks.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I tend to read a chunk from one author or genre. I’m reading three different Neil Gaiman stories and have delved into thrillers. I’ve just completed The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne which is a thriller that takes place in Montana.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Blog: aliceekeyes.blogspot.com

Facebook: Alice E Keyes

Twitter: @aliceEkeyes

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/aliceekeyes/

Amazon Author Page: Alice E Keyes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14417812.Alice_E_Keyes

Wattpad: @aliceEkeyes

 

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