Foolish Wishes, Fairy Kisses, fiction, Issue 21, December 1, 2012
Birthdate? A brutal January morning, during a blizzard. My father and grandfather had to shovel snow from the highway to get me to the hospital in time. There may or may not have been wolves involved too.
When did you start writing? I remember writing my first graphic novel in grade 5 or 6, with a friend.
When and what and where did you first get published? My first sales were to a couple online sites, that I don’t think exist anymore. My first print sale was to Not One of Us in 2006. I sold them my story, ‘End of the Road’, which is the last in a series of stories about my post apocalyptic hero, Wanderer. (Oddly, I didn’t sell the first story in that series until years later).
What themes do you like to write about? I’m all over the place, to be honest, but I think generally many of my stories deal with reality. What is real, who is real. Most often I explore the theme through science fiction, but occasionally I’ll write a mystery or horror or fantasy story instead. I suspect my fixation with reality stems from years of playing pen and paper games and then transitioning into video games (and later making video games during my time with the role playing game studio BioWare).
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? During my youth I was very much into adventure fiction, generally Star Wars or D&D related material but I wouldn’t say what I write resembles those all that much. Still I like to bring some adventure elements into my work, when possible.
A stronger influence I think is that during my early adulthood I started reading Stephen King’s novels. And not just one book here and another there. I read his entire collection all at once, when I purchased the books from a friend. I pretty much devoured everything King had written, in the span of a couple months.
I prefer stories with realistic characters experiencing upheaval in their lives and struggling, not just to survive, but to cope psychologically with the upheavals. I like this about King’s work and it is why I gravitate more towards science fiction like Robert J. Sawyer nowadays, where it is just as much about the characters and their response to the events as it is the events themselves.
Brent Knowles has been published in several magazines and anthologies including Shroud, Abyss and Apex, Neo-Opsis, On Spec and Writers of the Future. He can be found at www.brentknowles.com where he blogs sporadically about game design, writing and his kids.