Keith Basham has been writing in a closet since the nineties, publishing articles, a few illustrated shorts and cartoons, as well as piles of writings and illustrations no-one is likely to ever see, usally while trying to hold down a 'real job' and taking occasional gigs as a technical writer. One night in early 2014, a panic attack led to the e-book self publication of Letters From The Man In The Moon; an almost accidental book cobbled together from references to a background character in a still-in-the-works series of stories about the future of humanity, up to and beyond the inevitable end of the current human epoch. Those works are still underway, with another release expected before the end of 2014.
Keith and his wife Cris (the cover artist) are wandering amongst the vocanoes of the Pacific Northwest U.S. Just trying to keep cool.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design for me is easy. As I write, my wife paints. Somehow whatever she is doing seems to me to be very much connected, and applicable. I'm never lacking appropriate art. She also handles the design, adding the title and so forth. So far the designs remind me of the kind found on the pulp I grew up on. I'm not selling well (yet) so maybe the appeal isn't broad. The style matches. I love her work and Love where it takes me. The whole series associated with the cover for Attenuation reminds takes me into the world of bosons, of quarks, fermionic almost-nothings, of things we want to be perfectly ordered and understandable, but just aren't.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1:Slapstick, by Kurt Vonnegut. For its irreverance, his ability to speak plainly and candidly about things, and to present the rediculous with the same sincerity as the serious. 2:Cat's Cradle, for the exact same reasons. 3:Slaughterhouse Five. -and I'll add at this point that he manages to present horrific things in all his work, and still manage to be funny, and even kind, in the face of things. 4:Vineland (Thomas Pynchon) -again the ability to mix the bizzare with the mundane, the ability to mix the truth into fiction, being surreal even as he hits reality on the head. 5:VALIS (and in the same sentence, Radio Free Albemuth (P.K. Dick)) for the application of hard science fiction, religion, philosophy, and politics in equal portions, and with a straight face, even when being very witty, with a humour that shines through all of it even in the darkest moments.