Interview with Kirk James Folk

Describe your desk
A beach after a hurricane.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Arizona, but my family moved to Greece for five years when I was six. There was no television in Greece at the time. Books became my best friends. When you begin reading voraciously at a young age, it's a huge influence on how you think and look at the world. Plus, my surroundings at the time weren't too historically shabby.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing and illustrating my own stories at about five. With crayon. I'd like to think they've developed since then, but I'm not so sure.
What's the story behind your latest book?
"In the Seam" was written for my son. Many of the characters are inspired by him and things that he either said or did when he was younger. To share the love, I inserted my own doppelganger and began skewering. There are sprinkles of both of our lives dispensed higgledy-piggledy throughout. Everything else is just pure balderdash and piffle.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Publishers are more interested in query letters than fresh ideas. How much social media you have is now paramount to a good story. Bah Humbug!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
If something makes me smile when I reread it, I'm pretty stoked.
What are you working on next?
"Zeus Zachary Zest": a children's picture book written in rhyme.
Who are your favorite authors?
Kurt Vonnegut, Elmore Leonard, Chuck Palahniuk, David Sedaris and of course Harper Lee.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Insomnia.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a professional musician and a movie geek. If I'm not gigging I'm hopefully watching a good movie. After I get done cooking dinner for my masters, that is.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
No, but I remember that I wrote and illustrated a bunch of stories about a baby who was a secret agent/superhero clad only in a diaper and cape. His name was Double-O Diaper. I was going to give him a cameo in "In the Seam" until "Captain Underpants" arrived on the scene and stole my mojo! Curse you Dav Pilkey!! (Dear Mr. Pilkey: With all of that Captain Underpants money you should be able to afford to buy another vowel for your first name! Sheesh!!)
What is your writing process?
Stare at the computer screen until the fingers move to the keyboard. There is usually a long period of heavy sighing and pacing about the room before this transformation begins. Luckily, I've been an "idea hoarder" for decades. I scratch down any thought or cluster of words that seems faintly worthy on whatever's handy (often napkins, especially bar napkins or scraps of paper) when it hits me, and save these in a box. Sometimes I will spring out of sleep and jot down whatever was goosing me. When no idea comes, I go fish. This has resulted in a ton of songs as well as many of the sections of "In the Seam".
How do you approach cover design?
Warily.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
"To Kill a Mockingbird" is my favorite book. It's a masterpiece that I return to often and weep like a little girl. I'm not big on favorite lists, but that one I volunteer without hesitation. Period.
How do you feel about the imminent publication of your first novel "In the Seam"?
Trembling with excitement, fear, trepidation, fear, elation, fear and relief.
Published 2015-08-04.
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