Kim Despins is a writer of urban fantasy and horror based in Colorado. Her first novel, The Keeper, was recently published through Angelic Knight Press. She's been also been published in a number of anthologies and markets, including OnSpec magazine and Shocklines: Fresh Voices in Terror, which is forthcoming from horror giant Cemetery Dance.
DM: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Tell us a little more about your writing style and your novel The Keeper.
Thanks so much for inviting me! I’ve always been drawn to horror. Started reading it when I was 10, so that’s what I’ve always written. The Keeper began as a horror novel written for NaNoWriMo. I was never all that happy with it until I finally took the whole thing apart for a major revision. During that revision, I lost not only a character or two, but also the horror aspect. I followed the characters, and they took me someplace quite different than I’d originally planned. After the revision, the novel felt so much better to me, as if I’d finally gotten the story right. While still dark, I’d say The Keeper falls more into urban fantasy than horror. Maybe my style is changing. Although, based on some of my recent short fiction, I’d say not permanently.
DM: What was it like landing a spot in Cemetery Dance's Shocklines: Fresh Voices in Terror anthology?
Getting a story in a Cemetery Dance anthology is definitely a major highlight for me. I’m so excited to have a story published alongside writers I really look up to – Norman Prentiss, Lisa Morton, John Little – just to name a few. Wow! I get a little fan girl geek just thinking about it! My Shocklines story – "Momma’s Grave" – is one of my favorites too. I was playing with structure a bit and came up with three stories that come together to tell a fourth. It was a lot of fun to write.
DM: What's some advice you can give to writers just starting out?
That’s a tough one. I feel like I’m just starting out myself. Advice-wise, however, I’d say to keep learning and keep writing. I went to the Borderlands Boot Camp, which was great. I learned a lot there from some well-established writers. I also found an excellent writing group with talented and motivated writers (and now good friends). Together we sharpened our skills and eventually published TALES FROM THE YELLOW ROSE, an anthology that centers around six lost souls, a diner, and some vile acts. These things have helped me form a thick skin, accept the value in a harsh critique, and improve my writing skills. However, I don’t think a writer is ever done learning and improving. At least I’m not!
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