WHO ARE THE KINDLE ALL-STARS?
A series of 20+ short interviews with the team behind the Kindle All-Stars short story anthology ‘Resistance Front’ posted daily in the run up to its publication.
Please be sure to check any relevant images and links for each individual at the end of their interview.
Today we chat with David Hulegaard
WHO ARE THE KINDLE ALL-STARS?
Short conversations throughout November with the stellar talent behind the revolutionary short-story anthology THE KINDLE ALL-STARS PRESENT: RESISTANCE FRONT
FS: How did you come to hear about the Kindle All-Stars project?
David: I’d been in contact with its creator, Bernard Schaffer, for several months prior. He sent out a mass email to the authors he knew and asked for feedback about an idea he had. He wanted to know if anyone would be interested in participating, at which point I couldn’t respond fast enough to tell him “yes.”
FS: What’s your contribution called?
FS: And without giving too much away, what’s it about?
David: It’s about a relationship on the rocks, but with a supernatural twist. Think of it as a ghost story scored by either Morrissey or The Cure.
FS: What was the main inspiration behind it?
David: When a relationship begins to sour, couples try many different things to bring the spark back. I’m not a romance writer, so I wondered how I could take such a basic life experience that everyone can relate to and put a fresh spin on it. In my story, Annie has grown bored of her life with Andrew. Their relationship has become a daily routine. To add some excitement, Annie decides to bring a Ouija board out in substitution of their regular game night. Mabel explores how that might play out.
FS: Did you write it specifically for the Kindle All-Stars, or was it written prior?
David: The concept was a part of my rainy day “project pile,” but I hadn’t started any work on it other than a basic outline. The Kindle All-Stars project seemed like a perfect excuse to move it to the top of the pile.
FS: Obviously the primary goal behind this anthology is to make some money for disadvantaged and abused children. But secondary to that, it is to promote fresh, new writing talent – the punk rock of literature – and show that Indie writers are out there, dedicated and working hard to produce Class-A work.
If people take notice of what you’ve written for this anthology, what do you hope the outcome is of that attention?
David: I think I want what most indie authors want, which is just to be read and have my books hopefully enjoyed by readers everywhere. Going the independent route is a lot more work and getting discovered takes a disproportioned combination of luck and skill. Any vehicle that can shine a spotlight on your work is a welcomed opportunity. With thousands upon thousands of authors publishing books every month, readers need to see a reason why you’re the one worth investing time and money into. My hope is that my story provides a good sample of what to expect with my work, and maybe come away with some new fans.
FS: How do you write? Are you a plotter? Do you fly by the seat of your pants? When do you write, and where? I write at night, at the dining table, when the kids are in bed and the place is finally peaceful and quiet. And I work everything out on paper before I sit down to write. What have you found works best for you?
David: Most of my writing occurs during the early morning. I write in stages: When an idea pops into my head, I write a very raw description. I’m talking so raw that no one other than me would be able to translate it. Then I take that description and craft an outline by hand in my notebook based on my initial ideas, leaving space in-between to plug in connecting plot points. After that, it’s time to name characters, locations, and come up with basic development of the key players and places. Finally, the actual story creation begins on my computer. As I’m sure every writer can relate to, I may start with an outline, but by the time I reach the end, it’s not even close to my original plot.
FS: How did you find the editing process with Bernard? I found it to be like a smack in the mouth and a pat on the head at the same time, saying “I like this” at one point, to a specific sentence, and then “You need to stay in Active Voice!” the next. I learned a lot, and I think I have a much stronger piece of writing now than I did when I submitted it. What was your personal experience?
David: Working with Bernard was intimidating for me. I’ve been such a big fan of his work that he’s the last person in the world I ever wanted to read mine. As an editor, he’s a beast. He’s a no-nonsense, brutally honest person, which is good. A writer needs that. Mabel took over ten drafts before Bernard was content, and the final version that wound up in the book retained less than 5% of my original story. That’s not an exaggeration.
I feel very lucky that Bernard dedicated so much time and energy in mentoring to me, even when I probably didn’t deserve it. I owe him a huge debt of gratitude that can only be paid back by becoming a better writer. I grow as he grows. As he becomes a better writer, so do I.
FS: Is there anyone in particular who’s contributed to the anthology that you’re excited to be included alongside?
David: Take your pick! I am honored to even have my name mentioned in the same breath as these talented folks. Through this project, I’ve discovered new reads and made friendships that I hope will last throughout my writing career. I don’t know about you, but I kinda like this Fringe Scientist fella.
FS: We know that there will be a KAS 2 at some point. Plans are already afoot. Is there a dream name you’d like to see involved in it the next time around? Me personally, getting published in a book that includes a story by Alan Dean Foster is one of those “Wouldn’t it be great if one day…” things that I can now tick off of the list.
David: That’s a tough question. What I like about the Kindle All-Stars project is that it gives many talented “unknowns” a chance to strut their stuff and get some much deserved attention. On the other hand, you need to have at least a couple of established names to sweeten the deal for readers. My pie-in-the-sky choice would be Stephen King for obvious reasons, but more realistically, I would love to share a space one day with Michael R. Hicks. I know he’d do it in a heartbeat.
FS: So when you’re not helping to fight evil, what do you get up to in real life?
David: Mostly I write and conduct paranormal investigations, but between you and me, I have a horrible video game addiction. I know, I know, don’t judge me. Say what you will about video games rotting your brain, but I think the stories being created for games now rival anything you’d see on TV or in a movie.
FS: Are you working on anything now? Anything you’d like everyone to know about?
David: I’ve got a couple of projects on the horizon. First up is a re-release of my debut novel, Noble. When I published it, I was so green, and there was much about writing that I didn’t know yet. What I know today is light years above that, and I whole-heartedly believe in the potential of my series, so I went back with a scalpel and fixed it. I want readers to experience my ultimate vision of the story, and now they’re about to. It should be out by the end of the month. After that, the sequel is on deck and will be out in early 2012. It’s called Noble: Bloodlines.
FS: And to your readers – both potential and existing – is there anything you would like to say? They might be reading this months after Resistance Front has landed, wanting to know more about you. What would you like to say to them?
David: Dear readers—both potential and existing—My writing style lives by the code of the three S’s: Science-Fiction, the Supernatural, and Secret Societies. If you like any or all of those things, you’re going to feel right at home with my books. That said, I go where my brain takes me and sometimes my ideas are… *gulp*… normal. The bottom line is that I just want you to have a good experience when you read my stories. I don’t do this for millions of dollars. I do this to entertain you. I don’t hide on the Internet, so if you’ve got comments about my work, good or bad, I’ll always welcome the opportunity to chat about them with you. At the end of the day, I thank you for your time and for allowing me the opportunity to do this.
That’s goes double for you, Tony. Thank you for lending me this space to talk about books. It’s been a pleasure!
FS: Thats it! Time’s up! Hopefully we’ll the chance for a much more in-depth chat at some point in the near future when KAS is out on sale!
“Noble” for Kindle, with 8 5-star ratings!