Q&A With Kevin A. Davis
Kevin A. Davis is a prolific author with over a dozen novels under his belt and more on the way.
What do you think makes a good story?
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? My initial thoughts were rather extreme as I couldn’t decide between an accountant or an assassin. I’ve loved writing since grade school, but knew I didn’t have the time to devote to it until much later.
When did you write your first story and how old were you?
I can’t think of my first actual story, though I was writing detailed fantasy history (think Silmarillion) since middle school.
How long does it take you to write a short story?
I can vary on the time it takes to write a short, but normally two days for about five thousand words. The longer, ongoing process is collecting ideas that I tuck into a document. When the time come, I mash up two or three of those into a cohesive plot and setting.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When life and businesses permit, I’m up at 4 or 5 a.m. to deal with business issues (or writing answers to questions.) Around six I spend with my wife while she has coffee and we discuss our plans for the day or businesses. Most of my writing is focused between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. though I’ve been known to push until 3 or 4 p.m. if I’m falling behind. I handle marketing, reviews, critiques, or special projects until 6 p.m. when we normally watch a couple hours of television before I read in the bathtub. The only days off from this are vending or paneling at conventions, or a crucial task for one of my other businesses.
Is it different working on an anthology than writing on your own?
Yes. A conscious layer is added by the theme and the audience. In the case of Miscellany III, I wanted an Urban Fantasy setting which easily could encompass a romance, but took some consideration to find an available holiday.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I wear editors like a coat of armor.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your stories?
A meandering, curious mind and a devious personality. What if vampires weren’t of this world? Why do they call the rounded edge of tile Bullnose?
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read a lot. Movies or TV series only get about ten hours of my week. On occasion, I get to go camping, traipse about a fantasy convention in cosplay, play a couple hours of D&D, or take a drive in the mountains.
What does your family think of your writing?
That can vary. Sometimes my wife wonders why I didn’t get some task done, or gets annoyed that I’ve closed my door, other times she recognizes the work it takes and encourages me that this latest story is better than the last.
Do you have any advice on how to be a better short story writer?
Simply read and write. More and every chance you get. Take a look at what eats up your time and make a conscious decision about what you choose to do. Learn new things from people who actually publish stories.
How many stories/books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written dozens of short stories and over a dozen novels. The earlier ones only mentors and my wife have been subjected to.
Have you written any full length books or do you have plans to? If so, what are they?
I’ve written more books than I’ve published. The Urban Fantasy AngelSong series is published and available. The Khimmer Chronicles is the same genre and I’m waiting for editing to catch up before I begin releasing. I wrote a SciFi novel last month and have it out at a different editor.
What do you think makes a good story?
A character in a setting with a problem (emphasis on character). A promise made in the beginning that has a satisfying conclusion.