Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Interview with Author Gus Kenney

Gus Kenney
Western New York

Good morning, Gus, and welcome to Vision and Verse, the place for Art and Authors. What have you written?
I have written a series called the Complications of Being Lucy which contains (in order) The Changeling and the Cupboard, The Changeling and the Borrowed Family, and Traitor's Niece. It is a YA fantasy about a young girl named Lucy Bison who starts her story at the age of 9 learning her entire life is a lie and spends the rest of her life surviving many attempts on it.

What is your favorite genre to write?
Fantasy. I've attempted to dabble at other fictions as well, but will and always have loved fantasy first. Nothing helps escape the problems of this world like running off to an imaginary one. This is as true for reading as it is for writing.

Favorite food.
BBQ Pulled pork. And damn, it better have the coleslaw on it.

Tea or coffee?
Tea. Earl Grey with a spoonful of honey. Mmm.

Pizza or ice cream?
First one then the other. Nah, just kidding. Not a big dessert fan. We didn't do a lot of them growing up. We did do pizza though. Way too much. Church pizza is still the best.

Wine or beer?
Neither. Not much for drinking. Most of it tastes horrible but if it tastes too good then I have too many and steal things. Safer to stick to the energy drinks. They will still kill me but I can get the house clean under their influence.

Where would you like to visit?
Ireland or Scotland. Always been drawn to the beauty of those lands and their connection to other worlds. Plus I'm part one or the other (depends on which family member you talk to) so I guess there is that connection. And I don't look half bad in a kilt.

Favorite musical artist.  Do you listen to music when you write?
Hardest question ever! To pick a favorite artist is tough as I enjoy so many and I also listen to specific genres with certain characters. But I guess what never fails is a woman with sultry voice and a piano, like Jill Tracy or Melody Gardot. I can't actually do any writing if I don't have music. And I listen to all kinds (except Christian rock!).

What makes you laugh?
Old school comedians like Red Skelton, Danny Kaye, Victor Borge, Abbott and Costello, Harvey Korman, I could go on. My dad started me out watching a lot of them and then my wife added a bunch. There is something timeless about their comedy that always makes me laugh.

This is an Art and Author blog, so I am obliged to ask, what is your favorite work of art or sculpture.
I don't have a favorite work of art. Like music, what a piece of art says to me or makes me feel changes often. The closest I can say to a favorite is a piece my wife painted and that I made her hang next to the computer. She hates seeing it as, like many artists, she doesn't feel it is as good as it could be, but I love it and won't let her change it. Not again.

How old were you when you started writing?
Very young. I remember having my grandmother read one of my stories as a kid. It was one and a half pages and I actually had it marked as chapter one. It was horrible but what can be expected from one so young.

Do you plan out your book with outlines and note cards? Or just write?
Both. I do the note card thing (thanks to my sister-in-law) and come up with a vague outline, then I just go at it typing. Sometimes I follow the plan but more often than not the ideas just flow to me and I follow where they go. This is good until I don't reread what I wrote and find out later it conflicts with some earlier part of the story. Then I spend way too much time editing and making the grueling decisions of which scenario or scene works better.

Describe your perfect evening.
Any night that I can spend time with my wife and my dogs, and not end up in bed before ten o'clock is about as perfect as it gets. Toss in some laughs and a delicious but bad for me meal and it doesn't get better than that.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Boredom at my nine-to-five allows me time to daydream and usually that is centered on whatever interesting thing I engaged with the night before. Most of my ideas come from the books I read as a kid and the adventures my best friend and I would play out over the course of many years and the entire backwoods we lived around. Sometimes it comes from a simple phrase I catch in a passing conversation or a flicker of a picture as I'm scrolling online. That's half the fun of being inspired: you don't know where it comes from, you just have to be ready to receive it.

What do you do when you get a writer's block?
Switch to a different story. I have too many ideas (see above question) and if I can't move forward on one story, I just go to another. You can't be blocked unless you stop writing all together.

Who is your favorite author?
Terry Pratchett always has and always will hold the top spot. And he will forever be missed.

Best book you ever read.
This is another tough one as no single book stands out. If it's the best fantasy book it would be Guards! Guards! By Terry Pratchett. Best romance- Reckless Angel by Maggie Shayne. Best quasi-biography it would be The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn. Each of these books are great on their own but they don't really compare with each other to say one is the best. Maybe it is like a parent saying they can't pick their favorite kid. They all shine in their own way.

Last book you read.
I won't go with the last book I read as it was complete and utter crap and doesn't deserve to be mentioned by another soul. Instead I will go with the last good book I read and that would be Beyond the Veil by Vanessa Yorba. It was a beautiful story with an simple artistry to the words and the world will be blessed to have it when the author finishes it and shares it.

What would you do for a living if you werent a writer?
Working at Warehouse 13. There are no other options. I would either be writer or an agent of the Warehouse and since the warehouse is fictional (unless it's not then someone please send me and application), a writer is what I shall be.

Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My wife. She makes me a better person and makes me want to be a better person. She has opened my life to knew experiences and ideas and I can never repay or thank her enough for that.

If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Nikola Tesla. My second favorite genre to enjoy is Sci-fi and the man pretty much invented real life versions of everything you read in a good sci-fi book. He was a humble genius, eccentric, and a heck of a card player. Should be interesting.

What advice would you give someone who aspired to be a writer?

Write the story you want to write. Don't cater it or change it to make it fit some idea of what will sell or be received best. Make it your story, your world.

Do you have some links for us to follow you?
Facebook is and instagram is

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Gus, for taking the time to interview with us. We at Vision and Verse wish you continued success in all your writing endeavors. Come back and see us again.