Interview with Kelson Hargis

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I had a different sort of childhood in Cincinnati, OH. My parents were divorced. Mom was disabled. We lived on social security and child support. My dad was rarely around because he was an over-the-road truck driver. Both my parents were alcoholics. We would always run out of money by the end of the second week of the month. I was often hungry and homeless periodically. I was pawned off to family and "friends" occasionally which also lead to abuse. I left home at 15 and did a lot of things that I am not proud of to survive. My writing is replete with those experiences and my struggle to forgive myself, overcome addiction, and ensure that my children never experience that.
When did you first start writing?
I have always written in some capacity as long as I can remember. I wrote short stories at a very early age, say, around 8 or 9 years old. The first one I remember was called, "Today's Blessed Angel" (dumb, I know) about a guy that discovers that he is really a fallen angel. I then graduated to writing comic books. I actually studied how they were written professionally. Comics are written in very descriptive compact paragraphs much like the copy that you see in them only with description for the art panels. I also wrote role playing games. I eventually wrote movies for a while and got a manager and a lot of meetings but it didn't work out.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I genuinely have no idea. I just write whatever comes to mind from the seat of my pants. If it works out I write it to completion without trying to impose any idea of length, etc. If it doesn't then I put it down a while. I usually come back to them. Some stories get completed, others not. The first one I am publishing on Smashwords is a horror short, "Festival of Ghosts" that just popped into my head. I wrote almost the entire thing (5500 words) in one sitting.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I said before that I wrote movies. Like I said I got a manager. I had meetings with producers at Sony Tri-Star, Paramount, Giant Robot. I got read a lot. But everyone just kept passing on everything. Then someone hired me to write a movie with another guy. I never got paid. That left a bad taste in my mouth and I just... quit. My manager said that I had to move to California and network but I was a newlywed with two little kids and said, "Naw..." I never lost the bug. So one day I just decided that I would write for myself. If the money and 15 minutes of fame come so be it. But I will be writing anyway.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I don't know yet. I am just starting out. I will say that there is far more support and resources than I have found anywhere else. And I have been on the indy-author web scene for a while now.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I get completely lost. I actually have missing time when I write. This sounds like an exaggeration but, I swear it isn't, I have started at, like, 1:00 PM, then looked up and it was 3:00 AM the next morning and I remembered very little about what I had just written. Athletes and people with other talents like painting call it, "Flow," or being in flow. I have heard Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and even Salvadore Dali speak about it. I just really lose myself.
What do your fans mean to you?
Okay now we're getting personal. I really don't have any friends. No. Really. I have family. So when someone tells me that I have made them cry, I have "Written a masterpiece of human emotion," or even that they just, "Didn't get it" it is so like a friendship. No. Actually it is much more than a friendship. These are people that I have made a psychic connection with. Let's think about that a moment. (If I've done my job well enough) they have stepped into my subconscious. And, more often than not, I have stepped into theirs (by reading their works). That is the deepest connection possible without being lovers. They mean everything to my whole world other than family.
What are you working on next?
Another paranormal, horror, thriller novella called "Separate Ways." Law enforcement descend on a recluse telling him his son is a terrorist and in danger. Only, he didn't even know that he had a son. As we unpeel the onion you find out things about his dark, dark past involving a witch coven he and the mother were in--the coven that is after him now. It doesn't end well for anyone once the coven arrives.
Who are your favorite authors?
Alice Walker, Denis Johnson, Dan Chaon, John Irving, William Goldman, and Stephen King in that order though there are a million other tertiary authors I also love like Roger Zelazny.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I actively search out new ebooks on the internet. I scour the web for authors with similar tastes. I have made a lot of friends and fans that way. I really enjoy it; it's like a scavenger hunt. There are a lot of great unknown authors out there.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read a lot of Issac Asimov growing up along with other pulp sci-fi authors so I don't really remember the very first. The first book to leave a real impression on me was one I stole from my mom, "The World According to Garp," by John Irving. I was only in 6th grade. I was in English honors class and a teacher discovered it. She was aware of the themes and called my parents.My dad had to actually go to the school and discuss it with my English teacher to get it back. I have since read it 3 more times.
Published 2014-01-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Price: Free! Words: 2,410. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
15 harrowing minutes in the life of con-man amnesiac with a wife and opulent lifestyle totally alien to him for some reason, killers chasing him, and an aversion to alcohol, he doesn't quite understand.
Price: Free! Words: 1,340. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2017. Categories: Essay » Political
This essay about personal heroes by Kelson Hargis touches on the legacy of the U.S. government's atomic testing on marines in the 1950's before anyone understood the consequences for them and their families.
Junky Requiem
Price: Free! Words: 1,090. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2017. Categories: Essay » Sociology
A flash fiction depiction of a day in the life, and observations of, a Miami, FL junky on her trek from scoring to fixing, and riding the result on the sun-drenched beach. Her fogged musings reveal more about blindly accepting the futility of societal norms and true happiness than most of us care to face ourselves.
Shadows And Teeth, Volume 2
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 78,690. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2017 by Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Horror, Fiction » Horror » General
Volume of two this award-winning series emerges from the shadows with a fresh crop of extreme horror. Take care as you reach into these dark places, for the things here bite, and you may withdraw a hand short of a few fingers.
Acta Somnium (The Dream Journal)
Price: Free! Words: 3,550. Language: English. Published: January 27, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
Stephen's generous donation to a panhandler nets him a tattered, old journal from the homeless man and an ominous warning, "...All your dreams will come true."
Quarry Lake
Price: Free! Words: 9,730. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost
What if the dead desperately needed something other than just communion with the living? What if there were consequences for ignoring them? Deadly consequences...
Festival of Ghosts
Price: Free! Words: 5,810. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Ghost, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
On July 15th of every year in Asia the gates of hell open allowing the dead to roam free and curse the living. Vietnamese children make burnt offerings of valuables from cash to whole homes to appease the dead and ensure, they're not afflicted by the itinerant spirits during The Festival of Ghosts. This year so will Matthew Powell whose father made burnt offerings of his own during the Vietnam war