Hello, all! Welcome to my first installment of Creative KC! For those of you who’ve never been to the Kansas City metropolitan region, let me just tell ya’ll…there are exciting things going on in this city in the arts and makers’ fields. I’m crazy-lucky to know talented folks (who themselves know many more I’ve not yet met!), and I am excited to share their stories with the world. The series will be ongoing, and I plan to highlight local artists, writers, musicians, and other creative professionals and hobbyists in metro.
First up on the docket is Kansas City writer Sara Kincaid, who published her lyrical, absinthe-tinged historic mystery novel in August. Sara, I’m going to ask you the same question I’ll be asking everybody I interview—exactly what do you do that has landed you here in a column about Kansas City creative professionals? I wanted to know the how’s, the why’s—as a writer, I can’t help but be curious about what makes other creatives tick.
I am a writer and have been since I was seven years old. As long as I can remember, I have been inventing places and stories. I was a child who loved to play pretend and loved the escape aspect of reading and writing. I still do in many ways. I enjoy inventing new places and crafting beautiful sentences. I always used to say that the only thing better about being a writer over being a reader is that you get to control what happens to the characters.
Are there any influences or inspirations for your writing generally? I know you’ve talked a lot about your love for Poe, and that you have a pretty fantastic appreciate for and knowledge of Gothic literature–
My writing is definitely influenced by my education. I have a M.A in literature and am an expert in Gothic literature. I have read so many Gothic novels… I am inspired by Hawthorne (not a Gothic writer) for the way he describes an inanimate object to the point that it almost becomes a character. When I write, I aspire to write like Carlos Ruiz Zafon, one of my favorite living writers.
Being a writer and having a full-time Other Job sounds quite challenging—how do you personally manage to stay so creative in a busy work-a-day world?
A lot of times people say to me that they don’t know how I do it. How I write. And that my life makes them tired just hearing about it. I don’t know how to live and not create something. I think my life would be very boring if I wasn’t a writer. Even if I am being lazy and not writing, my mind is always tuned in. I get ideas driving down the highway or while listening to a song. They pop up everywhere. Maybe some day I will be lucky enough to be able to write full time. It’s the ultimate dream.
You had a book birthday in August—a big one, from the sounds of it (congratulations!). Are you currently working on any Projects Of Pure Win And/Or Awesome? What’s going on in the world of Writer Versus World? :D
I just published my first novel, The Green Lady. It is a historical fiction piece about a lawyer in 1890s Baltimore who is addicted to absinthe. He witnesses a murder and then is accused of committing that crime. He tries to prove that he didn’t do it. But, he’s just not very good at life so he kind of bumbles his way through it. This was a really fun piece to write, but also really tough.
My current work in progress is a completely different genre. It’s an urban fantasy story with a hint of dystopia in it titled Withered World. I hope to have it ready to publish by the end of 2016. One of my favorite things about the fantasy genre is the way different authors conceptualize the mechanism of magic. This plays into my story very heavily. I can’t wait to share this new story with the world but I have to keep it on the d/l for now :)
I also have a couple of other projects in the back of my mind. We’ll just have to see what develops next!
Since your interview is the first in a series I’m calling Creative KC, how would you say you engage with or rely upon others in the KC Community to do what you do? Do you have any causes or charities that you support, any active professional networks, or other ways that you interact with the Kansas City metro and its denizens?
The most significant way that I interact with the Kansas City community would be through my writers’ group. We have a fantastic group of women who are supportive of each other’s projects and triumphs. We beta read for one another and serve as a cheering squad for one another.
If I had more time, I would love to volunteer more frequently. I have done a couple of activities with Literacy Kansas City, an adult literacy program in KC MO. I adopted my pup Lilah from Great Plains SPCA. They’re a great organization. If you’re local, I would recommend supporting them!
Writing is a lot of hard work, at least in my experience–and adding day jobs, social lives, and other hobbies can be tough for any creative person. Are there any challenges that you face in wake of choosing writing as a vocation in addition to Other Life Stuff? If so, any pro-tips on how you personally deal with them?
For me, the hardest thing is balancing my career with my writing. I am also a writer by day so it’s really hard to force myself to sit down in front of the computer once again after I get home from the office even though the type of writing I am doing in each place is very different. The best way I have found to combat this is to meet up with my writer’s group. We may all be sitting together silently working on our own individual projects, but we are still together. This somehow satisfies my need for people, even though it’s quiet!
Now that I’ve asked you about what you do, and how and why, where can we find your work? I’d love to foist your words upon the world, and let people know where to go if they are looking for darkly lyrical fiction of the literary variety!
You can check out my website and blog at: https://writervsworld.com
You can find me on Facebook at: @sarakincaidauthor
My book is available via Amazon in both a print version and an ebook: https://www.amazon.com/Green-Lady-Novel-Sara-Kincaid-ebook/dp/B01ICK0LLW
I would love to end this interview with something I’ll call Non Sequitur Corner. Is there anything you want to share, Sara Kincaid, that may or may not at all be related to anything else you’ve said here? A quote, an image, wisdom of the ages, a really awful knock-knock joke?
Find people who build you up, respect your dreams and support your endeavors. This includes friends and significant others and anyone else who should rightfully embrace who you are because writing is a huge piece of what makes you who you are. Writing is a solitary endeavor in many ways. But in just as many ways, it doesn’t have to be. Those supporters are part of your writers’ arsenal as much as your favorite pen, notebook and chair. And be sure to give what you get. Be a support system to your fellow writers, not their competitor.
Be a support system indeed–what wonderful advice! And in light of that, I want to thank you, Sara, for answering my prying, nosy questions, and for letting the world know how one woman is doing her part to keep Kansas City creative.
That wraps up this first installment of Creative KC. To all who took the time to read Sara’s story, thank you sincerely, kindly, and perhaps a bit effusively and I can’t wait to roll out more posts featuring Kansas City creators!