Sunday, March 5, 2017

Author Ken Stark

Thank you Ken Stark for being a part of Echoic Magazine March Issue!

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

That's a tough question for an introvert to answer. I don't know if it's interesting or not, but few people know that I worked as a movie/TV extra back in the 90's.  If you happen to catch an old episode of MacGyver or 21 Jump Street or Wise Guy, you might just see a younger version of me wandering aimlessly through the scene.

What does “being creative” mean to you?

I take it literally. I don't think being creative necessarily has to involve thinking outside the box, or doing what has never been done before. I think it simply means using one's own talents to create something that didn't previously exist. Whether it's the Mona Lisa, a piece of furniture,  a sandcastle, or something as intangible as an idea, if it was created by a human then it it is absolutely unique.

What are your greatest sources of inspiration?

I grew up with comic books and sci-fi novels, and reruns of shows like Twilight Zone and Night Gallery. Later, I got into monster movies and  horror novels and classic old-time radio shows like Lights Out and the Inner Sanctum. I still like all of the above, but for real inspiration, I only have to look back to those great monster flicks from the 50's and 60's. Those were the days when a carnivorous Blob from outer space seemed perfectly reasonable, and giant mutated ants were considered a vague possibility. Those films reflected the zeitgeist of the day; namely, the space race and the unknowns of nuclear technology. Today, we are still frightened by 'monsters',  but there is a whole new set of societal fears from which a writer can draw.

Do you have any current or future projects?

I am actually just finishing book 2 of the Stage 3 story. I'll have it in my publisher's hands soon, and I hope for a release sometime this spring. After that, I will put the finishing touches on a YA horror novel I've been promising for a while, then I'll dig right into the next Stage 3 book.

If you could just feature one title, what would it be? 

Stage 3 is my only published book to date, so of course it's my baby. And with book 2 coming soon and more on the way, I would love everyone along for the ride.

What is the relationship between your speaking voice and your written voice?

What a great question! I've never really thought about it before, but I'd have to say that my writing voice is what I wish my speaking voice would be. Some people have a natural gift of gab, but I seldom finish a sentence without immediately wishing I could go back and do a rewrite.

What is the best advice you have for other authors?

The best advice I can give any author is to not take anyone else's advice to heart. If you have a story in your head, write it. First person, third person, literary, pulp fiction; just tell your story the way you want to.  By all means, listen to how others do it, listen to your worst critics and listen to your biggest fans, then discount them all and tell your damn story. Whatever you write, some people will love it, some people will hate it, and most won't care either way, so just write! Write what you want, the way you want. Maybe you'll be successful, and maybe you won't, but that's not why we write. We write because we have a story to tell. So tell it!

Why did you start blogging?

I only started blogging because I had a website with all sorts of free space, and every once in a while, something occurs to me that I think others might find amusing. I wish I could dedicate enough time for a daily blog, but that's never going to happen. But my blog does give me a chance to post reviews of other authors' works, and for that, I'm grateful. If I can help spread the word on a book I've liked or a writer I admire, that's a win-win.

Do you have any blogging tips?

I am the last person to ask for tips on blogging, but if forced, I would only echo the advice I gave on writing. Do to exactly the way you want to! Some blogs have a huge following because they offer support and universal love. Others have a huge following because they are filled with hate and speak to their readers' fears. There is no magic formula for success, so just blog what you feel. Be true to yourself. If you have an opinion, state it. If you love cats and want to share that love with the world, do it. If you loved or hated a movie, tell us. If you feel motivated to share a blueberry muffin recipe, have at it. It's your one chance to sound your barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world, so take full advantage. But you might want to consider updating your blog more often than once a month. Trust me. People complain.

Who is your favorite author? And why?

It's a close call, but I guess my all-time favourite has to be Arthur Conan Doyle. The Lost World is one of my favourite books, and I could probably recite most of the Sherlock Holmes stories by heart. 

Twitter: @PennilessScribe