Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today, I’m chatting to the horror writer, K. C. Grifant. Kristina like myself, is one of the writers featured in the new Women of Horror Anthology Vol 3 The One that Got Away published by Kandisha Press
Welcome to the tearoom, Kristina. As always my first question to my guests is what would you like to drink?
Thank you for your invitation to the tearoom to chat about my writing. My favourite drink oatmeal latte, please.
Now our refreshments have arrived can I start by asking you when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
I’ve been interested in science and fantasy since I was a kid, so gravitating to sci-fi seemed inevitable. I always like imagining the “what ifs” and seeing how far that thought experiment could go. I’ve also had a deep love of horror from a young age, reading Goosebumps, Christopher Pike stories and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Eventually, stories like those seen on the Twilight Zone and sci-fi thrillers like Jurassic Park got me interested in darker science fiction.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
The pandemic has given me a chance to finally wrap up a novel I’ve been writing on and off for years. It’s a dark sci-fi tale where a woman with a prototype prosthetic finds herself at the center of a rising social movement and scientific coverup. This has crossover characters and takes place in the same world as my short story “Minor Malfunction,” to appear in The One that Got Away anthology.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
I’m afraid to look in the “drafts” folder. Easily a dozen or so fragments filed for later. The bins of notebooks are another story.
Choosing only five of your favourite authors. Can you list them in order 1 begin the top of your list and say how have they influenced your writing?
1-Margaret Atwood: her literary flair and voice is something I will forever aspire to.
2-Toni Morrison: another literary style that transcends typical writing and inspires me to push myself to the limits.
3-William Gibson: my first introduction to the gritty genre of cyberpunk, his books opened my eyes to a fresh, dark version of sci-fi beyond the classics.
4-Herman Hesse: I read him when I was a teenager and it sparked a lot of interest in various philosophies.
5-Shirley Jackson: I read “The Lottery” in grade school and it was my first encounter with an “unhappy” ending. Aside from being deeply disturbing, it prompted me to explore darker outcomes for characters. I’ve rediscovered her work recently and am in awe of her writing deftness.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
Not fully, but I try to incorporate small pieces here and there to infuse the characters with a breath of life – the way someone turns there head, or walks, or promotes themselves and occupies the space around them. Most of my characters are fragments of real people mixed together.
What did you learn when writing your book ? In writing it, how much research did you do?
I’m a nonfiction writer by trade so I’m very used to researching and interviewing scientific and industry experts and translating their findings and knowledge to lay audiences. When fiction writing, I try to focus on the story and the truth of the characters, filling in the research aspect later.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
Even though I write horror, I’m picky about horror movies and don’t generally enjoy most of them, especially ones that are super violent, gory or graphic. I do love cosmic or quirky horror that blends genres like Get Out, His Room or Spring, as well as underwater horror like Crawl, Underwater and Jaws.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I work a demanding full-time job in science communications and have a toddler, so having a set writing schedule is difficult. I do try to be consistent, writing a little bit when I first wake up, at lunch if work allows, and then before bed. When I have the occasional day off to myself, I try to get a few hours in.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
Occasionally but sometimes setting that expectation adds stress to already hectic days. I try to be forgiving toward myself and flexible while also staying disciplined and holding myself accountable. If I don’t write at least once every few days I start to feel restless and mentally sluggish.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I do, but only to distinguish from my nonfiction writing.
How long on average does it take you to write a book or story ?
I like to write flash fiction every so often, so I can sometimes write a short story within a day or two and feel that sense of accomplishment that helps fuel more writing. For books, I jump between projects so it’s hard to gauge, but I’m trying to get better about finishing at least one a year.
Thank you for joining me in the tearoom K.C. When you are ready to leave please let our driver know and he will run you home.
If you would like to find out more about K C writing or books please check out the links below:
Links: www.KCGrifant.com amazon.com/author/kcgrifant
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops, too.