Would you like to get to know more about how the inner book brain of an Indie Author works?
This is the place!
Periodically, we'll invite an Indie Author to open up their brain, and show us inside. We'll have a conversation that deals a little bit with writing craft, reading influences, and some other fun stuff.
Today, we thumb through the pages of
Indie Author Cyrus Keith's grey matter...
Discover More About Cyrus Keith HERE!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I have actually visited several critical sites from my series and taken pictures for photo tours of my books.
What is the first book that made you cry?
I got choked up in Black Beauty when Beauty sees Ginger being carted off on a wagon.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
That’s a pretty broad term. Closest I can come to, is this one: The word “just” sneaks in way too much, and I have to choke it off manually in edits. It’s verbal kudzu.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I actually hate writing series. But I found myself roped into it by my characters. I firmly believe each book should stand on its own as a complete story, whether it’s part of a series or a strict standalone.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It made me more conscious of my bad habits, through the lessons learned from my editing team. I pay more attention to those pitfalls and bad writing habits, and do my best to avoid them.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
Dragon, of course. I like dragons, mainly the Western European variety of quadrupedal, winged creatures. No direct connection to my writing. But if I had a mascot it would be a dragon.
What did you edit out of your books? (keep it family-friendly, please)
Duplication of recurring, redundant repetition.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Forty pounds. And if you think that’s a pat answer, think about it for a while. I would give up forty pounds to become a better writer.
What is your favorite childhood book?
I have two: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, and Have Spacesuit:Will Travel by R.A. Heinlein. They are both so vivid in their descriptions and dialogue, they sucked me in and kept me locked inside their worlds for the duration of the read. They are also the first two books I finished in one day each.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Generating a usable first draft.
What is the easiest part of your writing process?
Seeing the story in my head.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Too long. I want to get it down to one year, but I have a long way to go.
A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, how true is that?
*Mumbles incoherently, avoids first contact at all costs, fights panic attacks at all social events, sits against the wall hoping not to be noticed* I have no idea what you’re talking about.
When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be an author?
When I was seven years old, I wrote comic strips using my pet gerbils as heroes. So the writing bug has pretty much been with me all along. But it didn’t bite hard until I was forty-three.
Who are your biggest literary influences?
Andre Norton, Robert A. Heinlein, and Louis L’Amour. Their worlds are alive, the characters deep and honest, and they are escape artists par excellence.
What’s your favorite movie which was based on a book? Why?
Yeah, it has to be The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson style. At the risk of being seen as going with the crowd, it came across to me as very true to the books without just being a direct quote.
How did it feel when your first book got published? How did you celebrate?
Hopeful and enthusiastic. Little did I know there’s a huge difference between writing a book, and selling books.
What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about authors?
How blastedly hard it is to write a book, and how critical it is when one is in the groove. The immense amount of concentration it requires to get a thought in coherent form on a page.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
My current WIP is called Hush Little Baby. The title came as a study of taking innocent phrases and twisting the concept. So my main character is a schizophrenic homeless woman who has to keep a very special baby safe from an army of skinwalkers who are hunting him for a dark purpose.
Are you attending any conventions/festivals where readers can meet you and/or buy your books? Please provide all the “find it” information.
With all the cancellations in 2020, we’re pretty empty this year, save for the Mendon Farmer’s Market on September 7th in Reeds Riverside Park in Mendon, Michigan. After that, I’ll be at the Southwest Michigan Fandom Fest on April 17th, 2021: https://www.facebook.com/swmfandomfest/
Please provide links and/or instructions about how readers can purchase signed copies of your books.
Thank you. You can download an order form at the following link (Instructions are on the form) https://cyruskeith.wordpress.com/book-orders/
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?
Don’t quit, and don’t let any naysayers have the final word. You’re not everyone’s cup of tea, so don’t let someone else’s disapproval dictate who and what you are. Be that maverick, that rogue, that scoundrel that proves them wrong. And don’t you DARE quit!
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