By Merissa Tse
Posted January 31, 2013
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Todd Keisling is stopping by the 1889 Labs blog today as a part of The Liminal Man Blog Tour! We decided to pick his brain to see what goes on inside the mind of the man who dreams up creatures like the Yawning.
MT: Tell me more about yourself. Have you got any secret talents? Invisibility, maybe?
TK: I’m just an ordinary guy who happens to write fiction. I have a family, a day job, and a demon on my shoulder that tells me what to say. That demon, he’s the best in all the nine circles. What a great guy.
MT: You’ve been involved in the self and indie publishing community for quite some time. What began your interest in the non-traditional route of publishing of your work? How’s the journey been?
TK: In 2004, I interned for my university’s lit mag and worked with the staff on their annual publication. I got to experience the step-by-step process of taking words to print, and after seeing everything involved, I wanted to take a stab at it myself. I’ve been at it ever since.
The journey has been long and trying, but also rewarding. I have full creative control, and with a little work, I’ve managed to amass a following that continues to grow a little every day. Last year, my first novel peaked at #2 in Amazon’s Top 100 horror, and just a few weeks ago, I was named one of the top 10 new horror authors. These accomplishments were all based on completely independent efforts. I’m proud to say that.
MT: I’d love to know more about the Monochrome/Donovan Candle trilogy—how have things taken shape since the first edition of A Life Transparent back in 2007?
TK: When I wrote the first novel back in ’07, I never expected the story to grow beyond the bounds of one book. I left a lot of unanswered questions with that first novel that I didn’t think I’d ever have to answer, but once the idea of a sequel took shape, I realized I had to sit down and figure out the “how” and “why” of the Monochrome. The result is a significant expansion of the “mythos” in my second novel, THE LIMINAL MAN, while still leaving some questions unanswered for the third and final novel of the trilogy.
MT: What do you do when you’re not writing?
TK: I read, watch movies, play videogames. I daydream, and I waste time on Facebook and Reddit. I go to work at the day job. In print, my non-writing life sounds rather uneventful, but I’m comfortable with it.
MT: Is there anything you can’t write without? A certain workspace, coffee, or something else?
TK: Music. I always have to have music. I try to find something that fits the mood or atmosphere of the scene I happen to be writing, and then I put that track on repeat for as long as I’m working. A lot of TLM was written this way.
MT: If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
TK: I think I’d like to be Shadow from AMERICAN GODS just for the opportunity to live in Neil Gaiman’s vision of the world for a while.
MT: And finally, what kinds of projects have you got coming down the pipeline? Anything you’re really excited for?
TK: I’ve begun plotting the third novel of the Monochrome trilogy, although I don’t expect to start writing that story until 2014. After spending almost four years working on TLM, I need a break from Donovan Candle for a while, so I’ll be working on a lot of short fiction for a collection tentatively titled UGLY LITTLE THINGS. I hope to have that published digitally by the end of this year.
Following the unsettling events of A Life Transparent, Donovan Candle has struggled to redefine himself after escaping the Monochrome, a colorless reality mirroring our own. Nearly a year later, his efforts have finally paid off: his wife, Donna, is pregnant with their first child, and his novel is complete. Life for the Candle family is good-for now.
Working as a private investigator alongside his brother, Donovan has witnessed the startling number of Missing Persons cases occurring around the city, familiar signs that something more devious is at play. His fears are confirmed when the bodies of several young men and women are discovered, apparent victims of a brutal murderer.
At first he’s hesitant to act, but when Donna’s nephew is abducted by the suspected killer, Donovan finds he has no choice but to face his fears. This time there is more at stake than just his own happiness, and doing the right thing may come at a terrible price . . .
In The Liminal Man, Todd Keisling continues the terrifying fable of Donovan Candle, entwining him in the ominous plot of a sadistic new enemy, and keeping readers enthralled until the very end.
Todd Keisling is a two-time recipient of the Oswald Research and Creativity Prize for fiction. He is also the author of A LIFE TRANSPARENT and its forthcoming sequel, THE LIMINAL MAN. Born in Kentucky, he now lives and works with his wife and son somewhere near Reading, Pennsylvania. When he was a kid, he stuck a heart-shaped cinnamon candy up his left nostril. He hasn’t been the same since.
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