Interview with Kester James Finley

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I believe the first story I ever wrote was a short story where I redid the classic "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" giving it an alternative flair with alcohol, murder, and thievery a plenty. The second one was a fantasy piece involving a group of people who were ported to another realm in the hopes of fulfilling quests to save that world. I never finished it, but I do have fond memories of sitting around my room and banging out words on my old typewriter when I should have been playing outside.
How do you approach cover design?
I usually think about the cover as I write the material. I have a theme in mind and I send it off to a cover design studio who works with me to create what I had envisioned. Sometimes, what they come up with is far better to the hot mess I had planned on, so I run with that design. I and thankful for all the hard work, creative processes, and tech savvy that they bring to the table to give my work life, in the most artful way.
What do you read for pleasure?
When I do finally settle down to read I enjoy supernatural, fantasy, horror, and anything not relating to daily life, for the most part. I want to get away from life for awhile and invest in magic, fearsome monsters, and dragons, and sometimes dragons with swords. I tend to reread King's earlier works, anything by Koontz, and even the full line of Sookie Stackhouse works from Charlaine Harris, not to mention the Last Apprentice series from Joseph Delaney. I have found since publishing my first novel, an increasing love for all Ebooks and the authors just starting out. There is some really good reading nestled in our giant ocean of available books.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the south, namely Zephyrhills, Florida. It's an old town with a huge retirement population mixed in with the country living crowd. It's slow, it's laid back, it's comfortable. I think it influenced my writing because growing up you hear how people talk, you form friendships with the strangest lot, and you experience a life many people don't fully understand. Examples, sweet sun tea on the back porch, skinny dipping in a cow pond with all your friends, playing baseball in the pasture next to your house with oranges, dirt roads, and lazy summers. The influences were many, and Truddie Mae Watts is a perfect example of southern living, well minus the whole sharing the body of an 11-year-old girl with an injured demon, being nearly immortal, and a spell slinging blood mage gimmick.
Published 2017-08-10.
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