I adore Paul Goblirsch of Thunderstorm Books, and I’m honored that he continues to believe in my writing and publishes my works. As a special treat for his members a couple months ago, he did an interview with me. Now that they’ve all seen therapists and dealt with the trauma, we’re releasing it on the rest of you… Enjoy! (And go buy some of his books!!)
10 Questions for Kelli Owen
- 1. Exactly how many times have you recommended to your publisher to add masturbation to make your story better?
Just that one time. But he was slightly crazy. He questioned motivation for something. The masturbation was originally there and I had removed it. When I told *cough* him *cough* that, he responded with “Ohhhhh, put it back!”
2. White Picket Prisons vs Six Days. Who wins and is it by knockout or decision?
Ouch. Um. Six Days is like your first true love. You never really stop caring about it. But White Picket Prisons… Hey, wait a minute. How come I have to answer this? I asked YOU this question and you refused to answer because it was too difficult a decision. So why? Ohhh, I see. You’re just evil. Okay. Fine. Where was I? Oh yeah, first love vs your college boyfriend.
White Picket Prisons. By decision. While my favorite will always be “whatever I’m working on” because I feel you had better be in love with it to do it justice, in this instance and given these options, WPP wins. I’m stronger now—in both voice and style. I have more time and knowledge under my belt. There are more levels to the story. It’s richer, and well… there’s masturbation.
3. What are the best and worse things about working in the small press?
It’s like being one of the kids in those “special” classes. You get treated very well by your teachers, lots of one-on-one time, but the “normal” kids don’t always want to play with you. In other words, the involvement is awesome. I love being asked my opinion on art and layout and sig sheets and all the fun fancy stuff. The distribution (and some would argue cost of books, but they’re collectibles) is really the only downfall, but ebooks change everything about that.
4. What is your favorite Thunderstorm line, especially now that you have had work in nearly all of them?
This smells like a trick question! Define “favorite.”
I love the small, easy to carry Elementals. Not a lot of people are doing collection lines, so it was awesome to be invited to put together Black Bubbles for White Lightning. I was thrilled to be the maiden voyage of Maelstrom—and the box edition is sexy as hell. Set’s Quartet was really fun and unexpected. WPP is coming out in both Black Voltage and Hard Rain series, and I’m very intrigued to see how that works out. I love them all… If I have to pick, then I’ve got to go with Black Voltage or Elementals. Love both formats, and both series have lots to choose from.
Now then, how exactly do I get into Supercell?
5. Tell us what it was like to receive a dead bird in the mail. Where you excited?
LOL! That was Keene. I got the teddy bears left on my picnic table. A dirty, beat-up momma bear holding two cubs and a separate boy bear. Garage sale toys at best. Creeeeeepppy. Yeah, I was REAL excited. I was so excited, after I dusted for fingerprints, I shut down my facebook page to the general public.
6. Answer one, and only one, of the following questions:
- Where do you get your ideas?
- Since you are a writer, you must be rich, can I borrow some money?
- I have a great idea, if I share it and you write the story, can we submit it together and split the profits?
Har har har… Although by ‘c’ I’m guessing you’ve met my sister. You know darn well how much money I make so ‘b’ is a moot point. We’ll go with ‘a’.
I get my ideas from EVERYWHERE.
I’m weird. I admit it. I blame my mom (who brings a 6 year-old to see Jaws on the big screen?!). I don’t see things like normal people. You may see two people having coffee—I see two people plotting to murder their boss. You hear someone say something as they intended—I hear what an evil antagonist would be hiding between the lines. A lot of writers I know have a brain that plays “what if” all the time. I used to think that’s what I was doing. Then I realized no, I’m just strange and imagine the worst when I see things.
I also pull from my messed up dreams. Bob (Ford) says it’s not natural to have nightmares as often as I do, but I can use 80% of them, so I figure it’s okay that my muse is a sadist.
7. Do you ever think you will revisit The Neighborhood? Do you think this is the fan favorite of your work so far?
You know, when I wrote it, I didn’t think I’d ever go back there. But several writers have said I should and a lot of readers have requested it. We’ll see. I don’t have anything for it right now, but who knows, I might see someone having coffee tomorrow and be hit with an idea (which will be put on the backburner for at least two years… I have a backlog!)
Favorite? No. Actually, I’d honestly guess that’s their least favorite. Waiting Out Winter seems to be everyone’s go-to choice.
8. What is it like living with another writer? How does it affect your work? When is Bob (Ford) going to finish The Compound?
I live with a writer? Hmmm… Wait, I live with another person? I thought I just lived with that open laptop and the strange shadow wearing its writing hat that sits behind it… because all he does lately is write—on break, during work, after work, all night, while driving, in the shower—to finish The Compound for you. And every time you bring it up I giggle myself silly at his reactions. Thank you for that.
But seriously, it’s nice. We have different writing methods, but it’s all good. It’s awesome to have someone who understands when your eyes glaze over it’s because the muse has grabbed you. We recognize and respect it—we’ll both just stop talking if we see the other doing that because we get it. And we both understand writing is not always done at the keyboard. He never gives me shit when I need to play Guitar Hero while I’m working through something.
Affect the work? Maybe in the sense that if one of us is writing the other feels compelled to do so, or jealous if they can’t for whatever reason at that moment. So as long as one of us has a deadline, we’re both writing and that’s good (and no, I don’t need more from you… you’re getting a novella and two more books in the next two years, but feel free to give him another deadline after The Compound—just don’t tell him I said that!)
9. Ebook question…what the fuck is up with those things?
HAHAHAHAHA… those are the strange little files that aren’t really physical but people can still enjoy them. You know, those things I conned you into expanding into =)
Once upon a time I was hesitant regarding eBooks, or defiant—it depends how well you know me which word you’d choose. But times change, technology advances, and I guess I don’t care what format they prefer, so long as people are still reading. EBooks were once the “adventurous” route, or “experimental,” now they’re pretty much a standard simultaneous release for new material. They’re going to become stronger, not weaker, as a market and viable format. Though I still hate to think they may be the way of the future and regular books could become nothing but a token collectible only the shelves of only the rich or elderly. I like the smell of books, the feel in your hands, the way they don’t argue with you or make you sleep on the couch.
10. Finish this joke: A writer, an accountant, and a gypsy all walk into a bar…
And order a shot of tequila, a coffee, and a bottle of water? Yeah, I know I’m a weird combination, but I never let my personalities play together… those drinks would taste really gross mixed together!
What a fun interview! It really captured Kelli’s personality, something which interviews in general rarely seem to accomplish with their subjects. Thank you for posting this! :D