Please welcome author A.K. Meek to THE KATY blog today!
Bio: A mild-mannered management engineer by day, a mild-mannered writer by night, Anthony writes speculative, slipstream science fiction and fantasy. He has penned alternate realities where robots are treated as gods fallen to earth, built cities filled to the brim with artificial animals, and crafted stories of alien invaders that can see human thought. He has also dipped his hand in “Jericho” style post-apocalyptic fiction and birthed a fantastic world where truth and lie can occupy the same space. He lives in the Deep South, among the mosquitoes and magnolias, with his wonderful wife and menagerie of dogs and cats, and a wild rabbit that occasionally strays into the back yard for a visit.
How did you decide to become an author? Any books, movie, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?
I didn’t grow up a voracious reader. There isn’t a lifelong dream that I’ve carried to pen a novel. I think this whole thing started when I was overseas and wanted something to do to pass the time. One day I wondered if I could write a story. I did. I’ll never publish that story.
Now I do it because it keeps me off the streets, out of trouble. I absolutely cave to peer pressure.
Are you self-published or traditionally published? Why did you choose to go that route?
Self. The way I see it is I can submit for traditional and get rejected, or throw the dice and try self. Either way is a crap shoot, but self-publishing is more immediate in results. Plus, I like the term “indie.” I feel global when I refer to myself this way.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
The terms aren’t mutually exclusive, thankfully. I plot larger, thematic concepts in a novel. When I’m in the weeds of writing, many times I’m cutting the path as I’m moving forward. That last sentence had two grass analogies.
How did you get involved with Future Chronicles anthologies?
Divine Providence put me in the right place at the right time. I was a part of an author’s group, and Samuel Peralta (overlord of the Future Chronicles) was kicking the idea around. So yeah, that’s my claim to fame, that I got to see the Future Chronicles get birthed, shudder and give its first breath.
I was part of the first anthology, The Robot Chronicles, and have appeared in two more. I’ve met some great people during this stint, many that are so overwhelmingly talented in telling stories that it makes me sick to my stomach. Absolutely sick.
Do you prefer writing short stories or full-length novels? Why?
My preference is completely mood-driven. I’ve found having several ongoing stories works for me. Typically a novel and a few shorts. I’ll get stuck on one story and move on to another. Having many in work allows latitude.
What scientific advancement do you feel is right around the corner?
I predict that in my lifetime engineers will be able to create a Cap’n Crunch cereal that doesn’t rip the top of your mouth off. We flew to the moon decades ago, but we can’t make a cereal that isn’t torturous to eat? Seriously? Come on, people!
Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?
Both, any and all. Character emotions are crafted as intricate ballerinas of glass. Delicate, supple, prone to break at the slightest jarring. They’re the best of me, the worst of me, and every thought in between.
At least this is what I try to make my characters be. They’re probably more like a box of dumb rocks.
Are there any genres of literature or movies that you won’t read or watch? What’s your favorite genre to read/watch?
For a sci-fi writer I’m pretty narrow on what I watch and read. I don’t do zombie stuff at all. I know this may get me kicked out of sci-fi circles, but I’ve never watched the Walking Dead.
Then there’s that whole post-apocalyptic clown genre that’s gaining momentum. Clowns are frightening in their own right, but to think of a world that will end because of orange afros and red rubber noses is absolutely terrifying.
Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?
I have a couple of things: One, never trust a clown. Two, there’s no such thing as aspiring writers. There are those who write, those who don’t. If you want to write, then write. Someone will like it, not everyone, but someone will.
Okay, I lied. There’s a third I just thought of as I was thinking of interview filler, and it’s this: listen to those who are writing. They’ve experienced everything you have, maybe more so. There’s a great indie community that is willing to take the time to help you through the rough spots and to cheer you on through the high points.
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
I have a short story making an appearance in an excellent series an awesome writer has put together. Daniel Smith (who is one of those talents that makes me sick to my stomach) has created Tales from the Canyons of the Damned, a series of short horror/thriller fiction. My featured story is “Thoughts as Water.” It’s about telepathic aliens, first and last contact, and the fall of humanity. A fun read, if you’re hating on mankind, that is. Plus, you should read anything Daniel Smith writes.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yeah, I made up the post-apocalyptic clown thing. But it is a terrifying thought. Also, thanks to Katy for allowing my stupid answers to litter her awesome blog site. And be sure to do whatever you need to do to get a print copy of “Acme’s Menagerie.” I guarantee you’ll love the story, unless you don’t. Then I can’t guarantee anything.