Interview with Andrew Kirschner

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a father of three, and a social studies teacher in New York City. I'm subbing right now, looking for a permanent job. When I'm not subbing, a work in my family's paintbrush factory. That should be enough to keep anyone busy!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Professionally or ever? I remember writing stories at home when I was a kid. I even remember binding one with staples. This is the first time I really wrote a novel. However I have written numerous little unpublished stories.
How do you approach cover design?
Since I can draw, I drew some original art for the cover. I think there is an advantage there. Everything about the cover has a direct relationship with the book's contents.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember reading a lot of Hardy Boys when I was a kid. A particular favorite was "The Missing Chums," (the fourth installment, or at least it was at the time.) I remember reading "The Phantom Tollbooth" when I was about 11, and I loved the fantasy in that book. When I think about it now, the structure of "Ms. Infinity" has a certain similarity to that book. It's about having an adventure in a mysterious "elsewhere" for what seems like a long time, then returning and finding out it has only been a couple of hours.

When I was a teen, I loved The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I still do.
What is your writing process?
Like I said, I'm a father of three. That means I do a very little bit at a time. Reality dictates that approach! Every time I sit down to write, there is some kind of emergency that demands my attention. In a way, it's been surprisingly good for several reasons. For a superhero fantasy, this has been surprisingly grounded. I think that constant reality in front of me has helped. It has also given me time to consider my plotting decisions. I often find that I write something, then change them later when I have time to consider the consequences.
Describe your desk
There is a computer, and it's in front of a window. There's a family picture. Not much else to tell. It's pretty organized, but that's largely thanks to my wife. She would never tolerate a mess here.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I am a lifelong New Yorker. Though I grew up on Long Island, I've lived in Queens for years now. The book takes place in Queens (at least those sections that are not in outer space.) There are numerous Queens landmarks, and places such as Roosevelt Avenue are described in detail. There is a great deal of pride in the city's diversity and it's energy.
When did you first start writing?
I've always loved to write. I actually started writing stories when I started teaching. My first professional teaching job was a creative writing class in a homeless shelter. I wrote stories together with the participants.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've always been a fan of Wonder Woman. I had this idea for the character for years, just hanging around in my head. I've had a number of retail jobs over the years, and I loved the idea of an extremely powerful superheroine with a really lousy retail job. The name Bonnie Boring came to me years ago, one day in a flash of inspiration. I didn't think of the name Ms. Infinity until I was nearly half finished with the book.
About a year ago I decided it was finally time to write my ideas down. I didn't really expect to write a novel. I just figured I would take a fan fiction approach, with the caveat that this was an original character. I didn't take it seriously at all. I was kind of making a joke of the whole thing. I figured this would be maybe twenty pages, thirty tops. But then I just kept writing.
As I wrote, my writing got better.I started to replace the silly stuff with better ideas. Before I knew it, I was sixty pages into this thing, and not even that far into the story! I couldn't believe it. I was writing a novel!
In a sense, the character started as sort of a "geek out." As time went on, I started to see her as something much more. I took the idea to the next level. Once you have the conceit that this fantasy character exists, the next step was empathize with her. Clearly she leads an unusual life. What is it like living with all these powers? How does the dual identity impact her personal relationships?
A major turning point was the decision to include Betty Boring, Bonnie's mother. It was important to show that Bonnie was someone's baby. I had Lisa Lin from the beginning, but the more I used her, the more she helped to add depth to Bonnie.
Another major turning point came in the sequence after Ms. Infinity exposes Misery's plan, and she and Hal start arguing. I wrote this right after a little tiff with my wife, and it proved a major inspiration. After I read it back, I came to realize just how much I cared about this story. It became important to me that the whole book be as good as that section.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Very simply, I wrote a book that I never expected to write. I don't know any publishers, and I felt that my book was good enough that I wanted to get it out there somehow.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
You know what? I think it's just doing it! There is a major thrill in creating.
What do your fans mean to you?
I'll let you know when I get some!
What are you working on next?
I'm starting a short prequel of sorts, a little story about Ms. Infinity's first adventure that will serve as an intro.
Who are your favorite authors?
Tolkein! Yup. Big Tolkein geek.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family! My wife and my three kids are what keep me going.
Published 2015-12-29.
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Books by This Author

Ms. Infinity
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 99,000. Language: English. Published: December 12, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
From a distant world, she uses her awesome powers to protect the Earth and the innocent. But as Bonnie Boring, she's just a 26-year old underachiever.