Short, Sharp Interview: K A Laity

it's a cursePDB: Can you pitch your latest book in 25 words or less?

KAL: I have two or three: do I get more words? No?! IT’S A CURSE: Roman Dalton gets mixed up with a couple of dames and things go badly. “Carlos” in SHAPESHIFTERS: FOX POCKET ANTHOLOGY 2 is another shifter of a very different sort with some classic Hollywood riffs. A CUT-THROAT BUSINESS: CHASTITY FLAME 3 is a break-neck paced international thriller.

PDB: Which music, books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

I’m watching American Horror Story: Coven, which is taxing my patience though Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates keep luring me back. Does no one in television pay attention to creating serial narratives? The showrunner or producers should be fired and someone who understands character development brought in at once. Meanwhile we’re also going through Arrested Development, which my sweetie had not seen before, which is a delight. I’m getting review copies of a lot of Hard Case Crime, the best of which so far have been Christa Faust’s two novels and Elissa Ward’s The Secret Lives of Married Women, which I haven’t written up yet. And I liked the Alan Moore/Malcolm McLaren/Fecundio Percio Fashion Beast a lot more than I thought I was likely to do.

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

Nah, you’re always thinking, “Oh no, that doesn’t work!” and how they should have done whatever you think isn’t working, because of course your way is the only way. Or if it’s really good you just gush with adoration because it’s so rare.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

I love writing for theatre and it’s been a while, but in my massive to-do list is a play that’s not finished that I started for a conference and then got too busy to work on. If it doesn’t have a deadline and a publisher tapping her foot, the project goes to the end of the line, alas. I have a film script idea I’d like to work on but it has to wait until I finish something else.

k a laityPDB: How much research goes into each book?

Depends on the project: I’ve had to research the state of a body after being in the water for 12 hours as opposed to 24; the physical specifics of capybaras; working on a medieval thing that makes me look up a lot of details of material culture—although I’m a medievalist, most of my expertise is entirely in literature so I have to look up practical things like what underwear actually looked like.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

Essential! If it weren’t for social media I would spend all my time weeping in despair. Now I can see that most of my creative friends are likewise suffering from the world’s indifference to their genius, so I don’t feel quite as bad. Writing is such solitary work; I can go online and instantly get the 21st century equivalent of Hal’s St. Crispian’s Day speech from friends half way around the world and feel energized that we few, we happy few, are creating stories and getting them out there before they are crushed by the Godzilla foot of indifference. With the globe spread out before me, I can actually find people who laugh at my jokes.

PDB: What’s on the cards for 2014?

January brings the Fox Spirit noir novella by Graham Wynd with the sexy cover by Sarah Langton, Extricate. It’s vintage noir in the north, two guys who are the best friends until one of them gets a woman the other wants. Sex, death and betrayal—not necessarily in that order and sometimes, all at once.

Later in the spring will be my next novel, the slightly supernatural noir White Rabbit, also from Fox Spirit. I know S. L. Johnson is working on a cover and I can’t wait to see what it looks like. James Draygo is a disgraced former officer who makes a living as a fake psychic—until the tacky trophy wife of a media mogul gets gunned down in front of him. There’s a conspiracy, a secret drug cult and a persistent journalist—and just maybe some real spooks. Dashiell Hammet meets Blue Sunshine! Still working on that blurb, obviously >_< What I love about Fox Spirit: Adele sees the value of these weird books that are hard to shoehorn into traditional genres.

So I should mention the call for stories for Drag Noir, which I’ll be editing for FS: got an idea for gender-bending tale, where glamour meets grit? Read the guidelines and submit!

Find out more about K. A. LAITY here.