Welcome Leighgendaries to the third edition of 10 Questions With…
Today, our guest is:
Kevin G. Summers
Kevin G. Summers is the author of the critically acclaimed short story ISOLATION WARD 4, as well as several other stories set in the Star Trek universe. His short story THE BELL CURSE was the very first tale published in The World of Kurt Vonnegut under the Kindle Worlds imprint. He is the co-author of LEGENDARIUM with Michael Bunker, and, most recently, APOCALYPSE WEIRD: THE BLEAK DECEMBER. Kevin raises heritage hogs on his family farm and teaches writing a various colleges and libraries in Northern Virginia. He lives in an 100-year old farmhouse in Amissville, Virginia with his beautiful wife Rachel and their three children.
Let’s get to it. It is time for:
10 Questions With Kevin G. Summers
1.) What is something that many people might now know about you?
I live on a working farm where we raise almost all of our own food. My office is located in the hay loft of our barn, and often I can hear lambs or chickens down below while I’m trying to work.
2.) What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. When I was kid, my mother was taking graduate level writing classes at George Mason University. John Gardener and John Irving were just two of her professors! Anyway, somehow she ended up taking me to class at least once a week, and I would sit in and listen to these college students and literary luminaries talk about literature. I loved it. I was an only child. Afterward, we would go out to this bar and they would drink beer and eat pizza and I just thought they were the coolest people in the world.
I had been tinkering around with writing for several years when I learned that Pocket Books had this contest called Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Basically, if you had less than 3 professional sales you could submit a Star Trek short story and they would pay you cash money and publish it in an anthology. I love Star Trek, and I wrote a story called Isolation Ward 4 that won 3rd place in Strange New Worlds IV and was on the preliminary ballot for the Nebula Awards in 2001 or 2002.
3.) Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Kurt Vonnegut. This is a hard question because there are several authors hovering around the #1 spot, but Vonnegut is probably my favorite. Today. I think the thing I like best about his work is his unusual voice. He was simple and direct, like Hemingway or Steinbeck, but he was also playful and somber at the same time. He described his work as gaily mournful, and I can’t think of a better term to describe him. He was an extremely sad person, but he was trying to find joy in life.
4.) If you could have dinner with any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Since I just raved about Kurt Vonnegut, I’m going to choose another favorite for dinner… Thornton Wilder. He wrote the play Our Town, which everybody read in high school before they were mature enough to relate to it. Our Town is my absolute favorite play… it’s brilliant. I was in it twice, playing George Gibbs, a dopey baseball player who falls in love with the girl next door. Why Thornton as opposed to Steinbeck, Stephen King or Alex Haley? Because I’d like to know what he was thinking about when he wrote this play that was so different from everything else on stage at the time. What was his process? Was he scared that it was going to fail?
5.) What book are you reading now?
I just finished The Province of Fire by Brian Staveley. It’s a fantasy novel, the second in his Unhewn Throne series. Quite good.
6.) Are there any new authors that have captured your interest?
Well, Staveley is a new author, but since your blog focuses on indie books, I’ll mention Bob Williams. Here’s the thing about writers… they’re a dime a dozen. We’re all vain and insecure and needy. I understand that. Bob has been talking to me a fair amount online about the ups and downs of his first year in publishing, and the thing I like about him is that he’s acting like a pro. Stuff happens. It sucks. And afterwards you can either take your ball and go home or decide to be a pro. That’s what I see in Bob… a guy who has decided to pay his dues and not let the bad stuff drag him down.
7.) If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
I would not have serialized The Man Who Shot John Wilkes Booth. I’m slow, and I think the book would have had more impact if I released it as one novel rather than three episodes. But live and learn, I’m not going to do another serial.
8.) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I spent an hour yesterday working out the details for Legendarium II: The Wrath of Bob. I’m going to be co-writing this with Michael Bunker and we’re hoping to have it out before Thanksgiving. I haven’t written a word yet, except the title, but I can promise you that Bombo and Alistair are going to be visiting at least one very famous book written by a female author. As a matter of fact, I’m going to spill the bean right now and tell you that the book was written by Charlotte Bronte.
9.) If you were to get rid of one state in the US, which would it be and why?
The people’s state of Maryland. Because their state song is set to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree and is all about wanting to join the Confederacy.
10.) A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
He does a dead on impression of Clint Eastwood from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: “I’ve never seen so many men wasted so badly.” And then he trips over Michael Bunker and falls flat on his face. Beak. Whatever.
Go ahead, pimp whatever book you want:
My latest book, The Man Who Shot John Wilkes Booth Part III is available now. It’s a weird western, the story of one man’s struggle to uncover the truth about the secret society that ordered the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (by a Marylander).
GIVEAWAY: Kevin G. Summers is giving away an autographed set of The Man Who Shot John Wilkes Booth, that is all three parts autographed by the man himself. All you need to do is answer the following question in the comments below:
What is your favorite western? It can be a movie, tv show, book, old time radio show or comic.
Due to shipping cost, this giveaway is only available to people who live in the United States. I will take answers until Sunday, 7/26/15 at 8:00 pm (EST) and I will announce the winners shortly after. I will announce the winners here and also on The Leighgendarium Facebook Page.
I would like to thank Kevin G. Summers for being our guest today. Please go check out The Man Who Shot John Wilkes Booth Part I, II, and III. This is such an amazing series. I had the privileged of being a beta reader for this series and I loved every minute of it. I will post the links below.
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