Interview with Brian Kunde

When did you first start writing?
I first started writing fiction at the age of eleven. I have been seriously writing poetry since 1992.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My earliest published poems were directed to an audience of library employees and users. A number of these were subsequently included in chapbooks addressed to a more general audience, but I had never compiled a collection composed solely of pieces from this early body of work. It seemed time to do so. But I also wanted to make my first ebook a unique publication, the content of which would not overlap that of an earlier print publication. To this end I focused on those of my early poems not previously gathered into any of my existing chapbooks. Once I identified a suitable number of pieces I felt had sufficient merit or potential, I revised them with an eye to bringing them up to my present standards and addressing a broader audience than they had originally been written for. The result is a collection both new in itself and fully representative of my early work.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It's a status inherent in being a poet, if one wants to share one's work beyond the circle of a limited circle of acquaintance. Mainstream publishers aren't particularly interested in unknown poets, or poetry in general.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
How do you define success. If you mean, has it allowed me to make my work available to anyone who might like to sample it, then yes, it has. If you mean, has it made my work better appreciated or more widely known, well, the jury's still out on that one.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That would be producing something new out of my own imagination. The joys of finding the right word or phrase to express my meaning, and in mastering the technical challenges inherent in the process, are also a major factor contributing to my satisfaction. That said, these joys are real but insufficient. I have a need to write, and while I enjoy the creative process and the work created, I also want to share it with others who might appreciate it. The joy of the first two aspects is incomplete without the third.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans? The definition of "fan" is "fanatic" -- someone who is completely obsessed with something. I'm not certain I would be comfortable with that sort of reader. It's not a situation I've had to face, though. My readers to date consist of family, friends, a small circle of other writers, and professional colleagues. I'm happy when they tell me they find something to appreciate, contemplate or learn from in my work. I would also be happy to hear such things from a wider readership. I'm not sure a fan base is what I'm looking for, or could reasonably expect. An appreciated readership, on the other hand, would definitely be, well, appreciated.
What are you working on next?
I generally have a number of writing projects going. There are a couple of novels in various states of completion, and at some point I would like to issue a collection of my shorter fiction. My factual writing has been received reasonably well among those to whom it has been directed, and I expect to continue with that as well. But in the more immediate future, I'll likely be coming out with more poems. The brevity of the form makes it ideal for expressing a thing elegantly, concisely and incisively. So my short term plan is to issue a few more ebook poetry collections, including e-versions of previously issued chapbooks and a thematic remix or two of material presently available only in more general collections, as well as some completelynew material.
Who are your favorite authors?
My earliest favorites were authors of speculative and adventure fiction, including Edgar Rice Burroughs, Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain and the like. Later my interests settled more on literary fantasy and authors of historical fiction and nonfiction. Mainstream literature was an acquired taste, more likely retarded than facilitated by high school English courses with their enforced reading lists. Writers such as Hemingway, Steinbeck, Melville and Milton thus became chores to work through rather than artists to enjoy in their own right. But my education did at least expose me to authors and poets I would not likely have encountered on my own, and instil in me a budding fascination with Shakespeare. Later, on my own, I came to appreciate Nathaniel Hawthorne and Jane Austen. Shakespeare and Austen would certainly rank high among my favorites. Others would include C. S. Forester, Rafael Sabatini, Dorothy L. Sayers, L. Sprague de Camp and Mary Tappan Wright.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I have a family to feed and work that interests me, but the two are not of equal strength in their pull. Should the latter fail, the former never fails to make up the slack.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Working! My professional life in a major university library keeps me fully occupied, and when I'm home the demands of my family and household do the same. I have much less time in maturity for reading, the graphic arts, and cultural and outdoor activities than I experienced in my youth. I do enjoy an occasional movie.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Usually by word of mouth or serendipity. One member of my old writing circle is a fairly prolific Romance author who has branched out from print to e-publishing in the course of her career, but her writing, while excellent, is less to my taste than other genres. I must confess that I personally still prefer a good hardcover or paperback book to their electronic equivalents.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Sure, but I was a kid and never finished it, though it grew mightily over the years before I realized it wasn't really coming to fruition. The earliest finished piece I recall was a sort of folk-type tale based on a play of words; I felt good enough about it as an adult to rewrite it in a more considered, mature fashion. Otherwise the first fiction I consider passable tends to date to my junior college days.
Published 2013-11-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bibliotechnica
Price: Free! Words: 3,740. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Bibliotechnica consists of twenty-five poems on libraries in a world of increasing change and automation, not always for the better, as observed by a bemused and not altogether unbiased participant. Read warily, or you might find them amusing — and read straight through. The effect is cumulative.