AUTHOR INTERVIEW – Kim Savage
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INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR
What initially got you interested in writing? As a former journalist, I was always a writer, but the long form scared me. Then I realized: short stories are harder. Writing good ones, anyway. So I dove in.
What genres do you write in? Contemporary Realistic Fiction; more specifically, psychological suspense. I have a work of historical fiction in me that needs to be written soon.
What drew you to writing these specific genres? In both cases, they’re what I love as a reader.
How did you break into the field? I queried agents, signed with my dream one, Sara Crowe, and she sold it fast to Janine O’Malley at FSG. I wish I started earlier, but I doubt my work would have been ready, either. I ought to have a better story. How about: i was spotted at the Mall of America and an agent pressed her card into my hand.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works? That it’s okay for teenage female characters to be brave in nontraditional ways. More than okay: it can make for a great story. In After the Woods, both Julia and Liv have to muster unthinkable bravery. Julia faces terror in the woods, and when her physicality fails her, when she gets hurt and weak, she relies on mental strength to outwit and survive Donald. The reader soon learns that Liv is also being terrorized, and she seeks freedom in a permanent solution. Are they both moral ways to their ends? Maybe not, but you can disagree and still enjoy the ride.
What do you find most rewarding about writing? All of it. The process is heaven for me. I mean that.
What do you find most challenging about writing? If you take a few days off, you get deconditioned SO fast.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field? I would say what Cindy Lord said in a keynote speech at an SCBWI meeting: Do it, or stop wanting it. There’s no in between. And, never write to a trend, or to teach a lesson. That kind of writing has an audience, but I’m not in it. Write the story that’s in your heart.
What type of books do you enjoy reading? I’m partial to psychological suspense (shocking!), but not too commercial, please. I love historical fiction, Southern Gothic, and pioneer stories. Lately, I’m re-reading Shirley Jackson, for the claustrophobic small towns and complex female relationships. Also, Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas, for book three research. Next up: The Vegetarian by Han Kan.
I eat books like candy. I know every writer says that, but lately, I scare myself. I’m not 100% sure I sleep anymore. Of course, I am supposed to be writing book three, so let’s be honest: a lot of this is probably procrasti-reading.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you? I am super-nearsighted, and newly farsighted. An occupational hazard: see above.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work? My website is kimsavage.me, and of course I’m on Twitter and Instagram. I LOVE when readers reach out. I would die for some fan art: it’s not just for Fantasy! For events, my Macmillan publicist, Morgan Dubin, is a kind of a goddess, and the one that you want.
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Hardcover copy of AFTER THE WOODS, 1 winner, US & CAN