Saturday, January 28, 2012

Episode 8: Southern cooking with a dash of blood

Asshole: Hi and welcome to episode eight of the Smart Weiters Blog Number 2, the one place on the web that isn’t smart enough to spam you or ask for money. We do everything that we do for the sheer love and adoration of all the simple fucks who don’t give two shits to subscribe to us, not that we need subscribers. Why would we want some abstract amount of people following us? Who needs fake friends? In fact, I ask that you don’t subscribe to us. Go to the corner and put your head out the window and look at the sun again. That’s what I want you to do. If you go blind, it’s for the best. So, we are on to our eighth episode, which is quite the achievement, quite the honor, as you can imagine.  I actually made us a statue to commemorate this day out of blue cheese and hair spray.

Brim: Why?

A: I don’t know Brim, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

B: I’m surprised your brain gets that far.

A: Some would say I’m underachieving.

B: And you should listen to them, honestly.

A: I sense some bullshit in your fat voice. You do realize I strapped a bomb to your shoes, right? Or did i? shit, now I can’t fucking remember.

Ben: You two want to get on with the show?

A: No, I don’t. Obviously if I’m wasting time, it means I haven’t read the book but I never read the book so why should I waste my own time? In fact, this whole blog and interview is a complete waste of time and anyone stupid enough to watch it is wasting their time. So fuck this, fuck you and fuck this blog. I’m going home and eating a pizza.

Ben: You do realize this isn’t a visual medium, right?

A: It isn’t? Then why the fuck do you have a camera? And why didn’t anyone tell me this? I would’ve stopped putting makeup on after the first fucking interview.

B: I thought you were just being a tranny.

A: …fucking assholes.

B: So, enough of this. This episode we interview Kim Karter from Alabama about her book Small Town Unwound. Could you introduce yourself Kim and give a brief pitch of your book?

Kim: Thank you for having me. I have to say, I think our makeup looks fantastic! I'm Kim Karter. I live in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, just like the Lynyrd Skynyrd song. Small Town Unwound focuses on main character, vigilante Delta Grayson's move back to her hometown of Leighton, Alabama. It turns out someone just as dangerous is calling Leighton home. It's a Southern Mystery with just a hint of suspense.

B: Where did the idea of turning a sweet southern woman into a secret killer come from?

A: Just look in her eyes man. She wants you dead right now. It's okay. I can prescribe him some extra strength sleeping pills.

K: We might have to test that out after the interview. I need that first hand experience for some details in the next book! Actually, the idea was so natural to me. We all see things on the news that devastate us, and we get furious at these people that commit these unthinkable crimes. I wanted a character that basically cared too much. When she heard about these things, she took matters into her own hands. Of course, normal people don't act that way, so the supernatural element really helped cement Delta into that mindset.

A: Yeah, sometimes I wanna cut the breaks on my coworker’s car. He's such a bitch. Always trying to make me look stupid. 

B: Which coworker?

A: Ben…yeah he's a bitch too.

B: Well now that I fear for my life, I’m interested to know how much research you did for this book. I'm going to assume you’re not really a doctor but you seemed to know your stuff.
K: Oh no, I'm not a doctor, but the research was never-ending! I worked in a doctor's office for a long time, so I knew some aspects to start with. I also come from a medical family, so I could ask my father questions if I need to. The hardest part of the research was actually finding out exactly what the Coroner did. I'm glad I went through with getting the real facts. I can honestly say that the scenes in Small Town Unwound are how medical professionals would handle the situations. To get them that way, I had to have a whole lot of help. I'm thankful I had people that didn't mind me calling them during the middle of the night!

A: Me too. I don't know what I'd do without my booty-calls.

B: I don't think that's what she was talking about.

A: Who are we interviewing again?

B: I didn't grow up in the south but the way you described it in the book, you did so in layers of character and points of interest that are hard to not love. A small town like that has so much history that's it’s a writers best friend. It provides them with little strokes on the canvas of our book that color your world so much better.

A: Haha, you said strokes.

B: Do you think that growing up in the south has helped develop you as a writer better than someone who grew up in the suburbs where the town is twenty years old and everything is bright and new?

K: I'm so glad to hear you say that. I wanted readers to feel the town, to know it like it was its own character. Honestly, yes, I think the way I grew up shaped me as a writer from the very beginning. In the South, we don't give up on something because it's old. We keep those old buildings and renovate them instead of tearing them down. A truck or a car isn't going to be retired until there is no possible way to fix it. No matter where you are or what you point to, there's a story behind whatever it is.  Leighton, Alabama has an amazing history, and that helped me pick it as the setting from the very beginning.

A: I want to know, and this is a very serious question, why was there no sex scene in the book between Saddie and her new gf?

B: You always have to smut up the show, don't you?

A: I have a reputation to protect! This isn't a form interview. This is groundbreaking stuff!

K: And I am so happy it isn't a form interview! Now we're getting to the really good stuff. How do I put this without giving anything away... In Small Town Unwound, Saddie is Delta's first cousin, but since both of them are only children, they are more like sisters. Saddie goes through some rough situations, and the reason I didn't put a sex scene in had to do with my love for Saddie as a character. It was hard for me to trust Tracey when she came into the picture. Even as the writer of the book, I didn't know exactly what Tracey's deal was. I didn't want to put it on paper if I wasn't sure this relationship was a good thing for Saddie. With that being said, in the second installment of the series we discover a lot more about Tracey.

A: A lot more as in good stuff or bad stuff? Is she really a serial killer too?! You can say it here. I think I've made it clear no one fucking reads this thing.

K: Asshole, you know I can't give it away! The one thing I can say is that she behaves doubtfully, and Delta notices it right off the bat.

B: Speaking of the sequel in the book, how are you approaching the writing process when it comes to mapping out a whole new story while trying to keep a sense of continuity within the character's lives?

A: ...what?

B: I'm not talking to you. I'm talking to someone smart.

K: I had a strong idea of what I wanted to happen in the character's personal lives. That helped tremendously! As far as the new story and plot, it developed on its own. I did notice that when I was writing the sequel, it was easier when it came to the characters, but harder when it came to the actual suspense and ending. I can honestly say that Main Street Misfire is just as strong as Small Town Unwound, or to me it is. The writing was harder, but I think it made the book even better.

A: What I want to know, and it's important because I don't pretend I'm some bullshit wiseman, is where can I get some of that southern food up here in the north?

B: What does that have anything to do with her book?

A: Everything.

K: Whheww, you have to come down to Alabama if you want it cooked right! One time I was at a restaurant in Chicago. The waitress asked me what I wanted to drink. Well, of course I wanted sweet tea. I ordered it and she looked at me funny, but then it was over. She brought me a tea pot with ten packets of sugar. The thing had steam coming out of it, and all I could do was look at it thinking, 'what in the hell is this damn thing?' I was so green, I had no idea food was so different in other parts of the country. I just dumped some ice water in the pot, and poured the tea in a water glass. I'm sure I embarrassed quite a few people that day.  

A: Chicago? Brim that was probably you!

B: I like how you act like you don’t have a shitty job too.

A: I do. It's called the Smart Weiters Blog.

B: I think I read on your bio that you started getting serious with your writing when your grandmother passed. Was her death a slap in the face to get to work on your dreams or was writing something you turned to in the grieving process?

K: The first time I was published, it was in Folly magazine. 'Not In My Kitchen' was a fictional story revolved around my Grandmother, Thelma. I had wanted to write something about her for a long time. She was a character, let me tell ya. I put it off for a long time, and when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, it killed me. She was sick for over a year. During that time, I didn't put a single word on a page. When she died, I forced myself to sit down and write the story. I never planned on sending it out. I didn't want rejections on a story so close to me, but my Grandfather wanted me to try. He wanted it published for her, and I swear I'm telling you the truth. I sent 'Not In My Kitchen' to twenty literary magazines, and I never got a rejection. Folly sent me an acceptance e-mail two days later. It was the most bitter sweet thing that's ever happened to me. From then on, I started really focusing on a writing career.

B: Was Small Town Unwound your first stab at a novel?

K: No, I started a similar novel with all the same characters. It was actually Delta, Dusty, and Saddie, but they were in their teenage years. I wrote a good third of the novel, but it wasn't right. I knew I had good characters, and I refused to give up on them. I put the first manuscript aside and wrote some short stories. By the time I came back, I skipped ahead in their lives, and everything clicked together. I haven't decided, but I may release the first manuscript as a novella. I think it would be interesting for readers to see them as teenagers.

A: So Delta was first killing off teachers and cheerleading captains? I know where this is going.

B: How would you describe your style of writing to a perspective reader? In other words, what do you think are your strengths and weaknesses? What can someone expect from a book by you?

A: Or you can answer my question and tell me what kind of people paint a lion into a tiger? Your choice but I think my question is better.

K: The answer to that would be southerners who enjoy football a little too much! I would say my style of writing is descriptive but not overly so. In any of my works, there is going to be character development, and a strong sense of setting. I like world building, maybe even too much. My weakness would certainly be drifting within the writing. I like to tell a story, and if I like an idea, I will find a way to add that little insight to the work. Some people love it, and say it adds to background, but some just want the facts and for me to get on with it!

B: Well it’s been a pleasure having you on the show-

A: Cut the shit, when's the sequel coming out?

B: I was getting to that.

A: Some of us have home brewed moonshine waiting for us. I got the idea from your book.

K: It's been my pleasure. Thank you for having me. Main Street Misfire should actually be available in the next day or so. All I have to do is wait on Amazon to do their thing and publish the file. Hey, if you've got moonshine, count me in!

B: Do you have a website or facebook people can get a hold of you at?

K: I sure do.

A: And so that’s our interview with Kim Karter. Like I said in the beginning of the interview, fuck everyone who doesn’t subscribe. I don’t want your approval or your love. I…I just…
B: Are you really crying?

A: Turn the camera off! I’m leaving.

B: There’s no camera…hope you enjoyed the interview and come back in two weeks for our next one.