Welcome to the latest installment of Breaking In, where I interview authors about their experiences breaking in as writers — how they did it, what it felt like to get there, and how it differed from what they were expecting.
Today I’m delighted to have the opportunity to interview science fiction and fantasy novelist K. C. Alexander.
As she notes on her website, K. C. is the mostly human, occasional Outer God, and debut author of Necrotech, a transhumanist sci-fi called “a violent thrillride” by award-nominated noir urban fantasy author Stephen Blackmoore. Previous writing credits include a critically acclaimed stint as Karina Cooper, where she won an RT Award for her steampunk urban fantasy series and contributed to well-received collections such as Fireside Fiction, Protectors 2: Heroes, and Last Night, a Superhero Saved My Life.
Necrotech (Angry Robot Books) was released on September 6,2016 and is available now from your preferred online or bricks-and-mortar retailer.
Street thug Riko has some serious issues—memories wiped, reputation tanked, girlfriend turned into a tech-fueled zombie. And the only people who can help are the mercenaries who think she screwed them over.
In an apathetic society devoid of ethics or regulation, where fusing tech and flesh can mean a killing edge or a killer conversion, a massive conspiracy is unfolding that will alter the course of the human condition forever. With corporate meatheads on her ass and a necrotech blight between her and salvation, Riko is going to have to fight meaner, work smarter, and push harder than she’s ever had to. And that’s just to make it through the day.
You can learn more about K. C., her books, and how to find them here.
[SGM] Welcome to the blog, K. C.! To begin, when did you feel like you’d broken in as a writer?
[KCA] Thanks for the welcome! And way to start hard. Have I broken in as a writer? What does that even mean? To some, it’s “when you finish your first book”, for others it’s “when you sell your first book”. Or is it when you sell your second? Third? You third contract? When you make a list? When people recognize your name?
I don’t know. I don’t view myself as having broken in. I think I’m still trying to break in—the authorial version of the Kool-Aid man busting down the wall of writing.
But then, I’m a writer. I’ll throw down with anyone who says otherwise. So…I guess I’ve broken into writing?
What was your path to breaking in? Did you have a strategy? Did it work, or did you end up getting there another way?
My “strategy”, all things considered, took a meandering path. Many paths, really. I had help—author friends who were kind enough to lay down advice when I needed it, who answered my questions, and when timely, offered a blurb or a boost of word of mouth. I did the work—wrote and wrote and wrote until my voice honed and my practice sharpened my stories.
Honestly, every little bit helps. I got the work done, I worked hard, and as I did, I refined my process. As I learned more from authors on the web and friends and my own trial and error, I started to figure out what worked for me and what didn’t.
And following up on that, knowing what you do now, what would you do differently?
You know? I don’t usually entertain these sorts of questions. I believe that doing what I did turned me into the writer I am today, and that is where I want to be—myself. So, nothing. I did what I had to do.
Now that you’ve broken in, is it like or unlike what you expected? How?
Oh, things are never quite as one expects. I try not to expect things—I prefer to just roll with whatever happens. I find it a lot easier to do this in the ever-rocky publishing industry, to say nothing of life itself. I’ve gotten pretty good at rolling with the punches!
The nice thing about not expecting anything is that it’s a lot easier to be pleasantly surprised. And so far, my ride with NECROTECH has definitely been full of good stuff!
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a Secret Project with NYT bestseller author Jason M. Hough (stay tuned for that awesome announcement!). I’ve also got the sequel to NECROTECH lined up, since that’s due for release in 2017. Busy, buy! After those, I have plenty of stories to tell.
How can people keep up with you online?
Twitter’s a decent resource @kacealexander, but I’m not super fond of its policies. I’m also trying to help Imzy launch, so you can find me at www.imzy.com/kcalexander, where I treat it as sort of a FB page/Twitter hybrid. I have fun there!
You can also keep an eye on my website at kcalexander.com, where all my social media and extras are listed at the bottom.
Thanks again to K. C. for taking the time for the interview. I’m excited to read NECROTECH. I mean, that summary alone! It tells me everything I need to know while giving absolutely nothing away.
Coming up next on the blog: A State of the Me post? No, I really mean it this time!.