Interview with Brian Kindall

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was eleven. It was spring break and pouring rain and I was stuck indoors with nothing to do. As an escape from the dreariness of my situation, I decided to write a novel. How hard could it be? I liked adventurous stories about boys and animals, so I took those basic elements and set to to work. I wrote longhand, day after day, for hours at a time. I remember getting so lost in the process that I forgot to eat. It was focused, undistracted work - what every writer dreams of. At the end of that rainy week, I had about eighty pages of crimped, nearly unintelligible script telling the plotless story of a boy named Billy who lived alone in the mountains with a bear. I'm sure it was a terrible book, and probably pretty great, too.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Fame. Wealth. Glory. the usual stuff of one's wildest dreams. But besides that - I've always had my own ideas about writing, and I've always preferred to choose my own path. After all the mistakes have been made and endured along the way, it just means that much more when success finally arrives and you're the one who made it happen. So when independent publishing came along, I thought - Aha! I've been born into the right era! It's important for a person to embrace the opportunities they're given to work with. All the greats were fearless forward movers and thinkers. Sure, it's good to draw from the past. There are timeless lessons to be learned on the dusty byways. But if a writer isn't willing to venture into the brave new world of their own era - independent publishing, in this case - is he or she a writer you really want to be reading anyway? Where's the thrill in a writer who isn't willing to take a chance?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When a person sits down to write, and they have learned to let go of the things that are holding them back - their ego and inhibitions - something stirs in the soul. Something clicks. A profound and heartfelt honesty moves into place. And then the writer hooks up with the cosmos. It's nearly subliminal, happening on a deep level, as if the act of writing has taken the writer into another state of being. When all of that comes together, it magically spills out onto the page. A force speaks through you. You become a medium for something much bigger that yourself. Sometimes it's no more than a single phrase, or maybe a great metaphor. But at other times it just keeps pouring out - page after page, chapter after chapter, all the way to the end of a book. That's what I live for in writing. That rush and tumble. That's what I'm shooting for every time I sit down at my dest.
What do your fans mean to you?
Writing can be a very lonely occupation. You spend hours locked away with yourself and your thoughts. You wrestle with your doubts. You speak out loud in rooms with the shades drawn, hyped up on coffee, trying to find the troubled voices of your characters. It can verge on unhealthy. So when you finally finish a book, and then put it out in the world, and it is discovered and valued by someone - that's wonderful. You've connected. The effort was worth it. You've offered them this gift, and they, in turn have given back by accepting. You're not merely a schizophrenic after all. But more than that, it's just exhilarating to hear from people who have read your work and liked it. I especially like the reader reviews. They offer insights that I might not have thought of on my own. Some readers are so sincere and appreciative for your stuff. You can tell they've really been moved by how they express themselves. It's human interaction in a personal way, and it's what we all crave. I appreciate fans because they give me so much by way of that connection.
What's the story behind your latest book?
BLUE SKY is a middle-grade novel set in the high mountains - a world made up of stone and ice and sky. The setting is severe and elemental and incredibly beautiful. The great French alpinist, Gaston Rebuffat called the mountains "a world apart." I wanted to hang out in that otherworld for a while, to get inside of it and endure its harsh winters and enjoy its crisp starry nights. It's exciting for me to string words together that explore such vivid settings. It's also a place that lends itself to certain qualities in a person, qualities that aren't as available to someone moving through a more banal setting. Sky, a young girl born of unusual circumstance - the novel's main character - explores those heroic traits that are in every person who has ever dreamed adventurous dreams. She's somewhat of a dream herself. Like the mountains where she lives, she's a mysterious part of our world and our grandest dreams. I wrote BLUE SKY because I wanted to explore those adventurous dreams.
Describe your desk
My desk is black and bare. The wall against which it is pushed is blank and white. A lamp sits on one corner. It is a modernist thing, silver and thin, and it bends at a right angle over my computer, giving off just enough light to illuminate the keys. My computer itself is a Mac laptop - silver, like the lamp. And that's it. I don't like to clutter things up with clippings and books and photos. Each morning I sit down at my desk, switch on my lamp, and open my Mac. Typing in my password is like jumping out of an airplane. Writing a book is like falling to the earth. My computer is my parachute.
What are you working on next?
I'm between novels right now, and am pouring a lot of energy into getting a recently finished book in shape for publication. It's a wild romp of a picaresque novel set in the frontier days, dealing with the main character's struggle between the sacred and the profane. In the meantime, I've taken up working on a weekly blog in which I write concise, sometimes poetic, sometimes nostalgic little essays that tell a bit about who I am and where I'm coming from as a writer. Once I feel I've said enough, I plan to gather the best of these essays into a collection that will be available on my website for free. But beyond that, stewing in the depths of my mind, is my next novel. It will be for adults, and deals with a man who is living a big lie that was handed to him by his father. It gets messy, verging on a thriller, but with big spiritual questions along the way. That's all I'm going to say because, as Hemingway warned - it's easier to talk about a book than to actually write it. So I guess I just need to get to work.
Published 2015-06-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sideshow: A Novelette
Price: Free! Words: 13,960. Language: English. Published: May 3, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
Meet Didier Rain – that antihero with noble aspirations, that poet with the fickle pen, that eager paramour ever in search of someone to love. This novelette gives us the rogue at his finest as a flawed human being. Prepare yourself to be amused!
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,880. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
Pearl can’t move. She’s never wanted to, until now. Life above the waves beckons to her as she watches the boats moving along the surface of the water above her. Pearl is a statue carved of milk-white stone that has stood on the floor of an ancient sea for a thousand years, but she’s waking up, and she wants more.
Delivering Virtue: A Dark Comedy Adventure of the West, Didier Rain Epic Book 1
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 82,410. Language: English. Published: November 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
It's 1854 in the American West and Didier Rain - scalawag, poet, and would-be entrepreneur - is hired by an upstart church to deliver a child bride to the sect's prophet across a frontier fraught with perils. Editor's Choice at Historical Novel Society and Finalist for Literary Fiction Book of the Year at Foreword Reviews.
Blue Sky
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 45,270. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables
Wind, snow, rock, and ice are all Blue Sky has ever known. Raised in the highest crags of the Alps by a herd of ibex, her life is mysterious and surreal. From this magical beginning, Sky is gifted in other-worldly ways. But she wants something else. When she rescues a young climber from a stormy peak, she learns of the world of humans, and longs to become a part of it.