Author Interview with K. Madill

Here is an interview with the author of “The Stolen Herd.”

Copyright © K. Madill
Copyright © K. Madill

1. What genre are your books?

Fantasy, adventure and unrequited (so far) love.

2. What draws you to this genre?

In fantasy you’re not limited to the norm. Anything can happen. Also, I have a huge amount of love for mythical creatures.

3. What project are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on the sequel to the Stolen Herd. One of my new characters is pretty difficult – a real jerk actually and he’s fun to write because I get to be super mean through him without being an actual villain which is quite enjoyable. I’m really quite happy with it.

4. What’s it about?

Well, for those of you who’ve read the first one, you’ll know that Mandamus and Luco were headed to Azure Caves to seek counsel with the Snowbreths before they journey to the Light Sands. When they arrive, they find that not all is peaceful within this tribe of abominable snowmen and they must deal with that as well as some not so nice situations and folks they encounter along the way.

5. Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?

Mandamus is an orphaned horse who is seeking his herd. He’s very clever but can be a little hot headed at times. All the process of growing up, I suppose. I will give him this: for all his youth and faults, he is a steadfast, loyal horse and would do anything to protect his friends.

6. Have you written anything else?

I have. I have an anthology of short stories that I’ve been putting together as well as several submissions for Canada’s CBC writing contests. I’ve also got an environmental series in the fire and a children’s book I’m looking to get published.

7. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

To not screw up too badly!

8. Which writers inspire you?

So, so, so many. Tolkien who (in my opinion) spawned the genre. Rowling for her pure excellence in storytelling. Fannie Flagg and Marion Keyes who make us all laugh so hard. Sherman Alexie who proves that anyone can do anything, it doesn’t matter where you come from.

9. When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?

I decided to tell stories at a really young age. It progressed to angst song writing and terrible guitar playing in my teens to horror writing with a final evolution to fantasy. I write because I just have so many stories clawing at my insides, dying to get out!

10. Do you have a special time or place to write?

I write whenever I can. I work, commute, live, it all eats up precious writing time. I’ll write anywhere. Ferry lineups. I sneak off to write during my lunch hour.

11. Where do you get your inspiration?

That’s a hard one. I think I initially was inspired to write the series I’m working on now because I had read an article about rounding up wild horses in the Brittany Triangle (here in British Columbia). I remember feeling terrible. Horses are such emotional creatures that form strong bonds with one another. When they are captured from the wild and separated, it’s got to be agonizing for them. I read a lot about animal capture, you know – elephants for zoos, killer whales for Sea World, etc. and I don’t understand why humans can’t consider that animals would have emotions such as love for their families or loyalty or heartache. A lot of the things that animals are going through because of man bother me. I feel like we’re not respectful enough to them as fellow citizens of this planet. I think that some people think they’re just here for exploitation.

12. Do you work on an outline or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?

Outline, outline, outline, plan, chapter outline. I’m a pretty specific planner. I find if I don’t create a structured skeleton, I go off into the random idea wilderness. You don’t want to get caught out there!

13. Do you ever get writer’s block?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh BIG TIME. Sometimes I ignore the work. Sometimes I edit. Sometimes I write character sketches. I’ve just emerged from a spectacular bout of block. It was pretty frustrating but seems to have passed, thankfully.

14. What is the hardest thing for you about writing?

Grammar, sentence structure…all of it. I don’t find writing easy, in fact, to write a comprehensive story is pretty damn hard at times. It’s a craft. You have to practice, practice and then just when you think you’ve got it…you have to practice some more.

15. How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?

I am pretty much a huge failure when it comes to marketing. I did a book tour. That’s about it.

16. How much research do you do?

An enormous amount. I only really knew about domestic horses. I was pretty involved in lore and mythology having that been one of my favorite subjects but I was culturally limited there. I did a lot of reading up.

17. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Longhand and computer.

18. What are some of your favorite books/authors?

Oh, so many! I love Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.  Atticus Finch is probably my all-time favorite fictional character. Of course J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter is first runner up. I love Tolkien and Peter S. Beagle. Lately I’ve been reading Mauve Binchy and Marion Keyes and finding them hilarious.  Fannie Flagg’s work is so endearingly sweet and Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole series is some of the funniest reading I’ve ever done. I also love Dorothy Allison, HP Lovecraft and Rudyard Kipling. I was addicted to Alexander McCall’s #1 Ladies Detective Agency series when I read it.  I walked around doing my best to have an African accent for days!  I’m extremely varied in my taste. I’ll pretty much read anything you put in front of me. Whether I like it or not…that’s another story.

19. Are you currently reading any books?

I am, right now I’m reading two books, Echoes by Mauve Binchy and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

20. How can readers discover more about you and your work?

They can visit my website or my Facebook Page.
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