Why I Write What I Write, Post #2: Kendall Bailey #StoryPeople

Today we’re super stoked to hear from Kendall Bailey, friend of Write Bitches and all-around mensch.  Take it away, Kendall!

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I hear a lot of talk about how some writers feel compelled to write story. I hear about how it nags at them and won’t quit until they get it all out. I am not one of these writers.

I wrote The Bad because I’ve been a horror movie fan since I was 6 or 7 years old. (Special thanks to my older cousins to giving me access to horror movies!) I didn’t have the story locked away in my mind trying to chew its way out. I knew I wanted to write a novel, a couple years earlier I’d been to this very cool hotel that used to be a school for the blind, and I grew up hearing ghost stories– I drew on these three things and came up with a story.

The Dead Don’t Speak (6/2/15) came about much in the same way. I have a fascination with Social Engineering and non-violent crime in general. Writing this novel was fun for me because I got to work the criminal mastermind part of my brain. Doing so was an experience I intend to repeat. Maybe with a mob story. The whole mafia thing has always been interesting to me.

Originally, The Dead Don’t Speak was supposed to be a, “What if a phony psychic crossed paths with a real one,” type story. Pretty cool right? But as I wrote the novel it became more about crime and revenge than supernatural powers. So I rewrote my psychic character to be a brilliant little boy who has a natural ability to read people. I’m glad I made the change; it added more depth to the story.

Once in awhile I get a quirky idea that won’t work as a novel, or even in a novel, and I turn it into a short story or flash fiction piece. The best example I am of this is the sentient penis story. Yeah, you read that right. A dick that thinks. It doesn’t just think, it communicates psychically with its… owner?… keeper?… the guy it’s attached to! I follow a lit agent named Laura Zats on Twitter and she’d posted about a book she’d rejected about a sentient penis. I was like, “I have to write that!” That’s probably the closest I’ve been to the, “I’ve got to get this story out of me,” mindset. If I ever release a short story collection, The Thinker (yep, that’s the title!), will be in it.

I am in a quandary about what my next book should be. Since completing the first draft of The Dead Don’t Speak I have started a publishing company (KBMedia), published a fellow writer’s poetry collection, started the Venture Prose project, and brought in a few contractors to help me promote KBMedia’s releases and maintain my website http://www.kendallbailey.net. I’ve been a little busy!

There are two options I see for my third book. One is the Venture Prose book. It will be my first attempt at non-fiction. The Venture Prose book will take aim at helping authors, specifically self publishing authors, think more like entrepreneurs. All that really means is innovating new ways to fund/publish/market/distribute our work. And, of course, there will be some basic business info in there as well. Check out the content onwww.ventureprose.com to get an idea of the focus of the book. My other option is a 3rd novel, probably in the crime genre again.

Decisions, decisions…

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Kendall Bailey was born and raised in Northern Vermont. He now resides in Southwestern Minnesota with his wife and son. Kendall is an entrepreneur, blogger, and social media addict. The Dead Don’t Speak is his 2nd novel.

Website: www.kendallbailey.net

Twitter: @KBaileyWriter

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Want In On This?

Are you a writer?  Whether you’re just starting out or an old hat; unpublished, indie published, or traditionally published- we want to hear from you!

To participate in our guest series, simply write us a blog post that answers the question “Why I Write What I Write”. It can be as long or as short as you want- we’re playing it pretty fast and loose.

Please send your posts to lauraolivabooks@gmail.com, with “Why I Write What I Write” in the subject heading (please include any author links/pics you would like in the post). The posts will be scheduled as they come in, with one post going up each Monday, and we’ll all publicize the hell out of them on FB and Twitter.

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Iditarod Blog Tour: Sled Dogs

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Today, is the third tour stop in Kendall Bailey’s Iditarod Blog tour, and since we’re smack dab in the middle of it all, it’s only right that we pause and take some time to pick Kendall’s brain a little (in a non-zombie like manner, of course).

Kendall’s newest work is a piece of short fiction, Sled Dogs. It’s a gruesome, bloody read (find it HERE) that may have you looking at the Iditarod in a totally different light.

 

Now, let’s get to the questions!

 

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The Write Bitches: How would you describe Sled Dogs to those who haven’t read it yet?

Kendall Bailey: It’s a guilty pleasure story for people who like 80’s horror movies. It addresses no serious issues and is 100% plot driven. Sled Dogs is a gory good time.

 

TWB: How did the idea for Sled Dogs come about?

My wife and I took a cruise to Alaska for our honeymoon a few years ago and we visited a musher camp like the one in the story. While we were there I kept thinking, “What if these dogs went crazy and started eating people? We wouldn’t stand a chance!” It was the first story idea I ever had that I had to complete before I could concentrate on anything else. I actually wrote the story a few years ago but never published it, until now.

 

TWB: What surprised you most as you were writing Sled Dogs?

How long it took to finish the first draft. I think it was because I was brand new to writing, connecting the whole story together was a real challenge. I knew some of the high points I wanted to hit, but stringing those together was tough.

Second surprise was, when I went back to edit, how awful the first draft was. This story has been through four or five revisions over the last three years. There are still things I’d like to tweak, but there comes a time to walk away.

 

TWB: When did you first realize that writing was something you wanted to do?

After high school. It’s difficult to pin the year. I hated writing in school because it was nothing but assignments and I didn’t want to write things that HAD to be done.

It was a combination of things that got me interested in writing. One of my friends from high school was into screen writing, and we were roommates for awhile — so that’s part of it. I really liked the movie Orange County when it came out. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a kid who wants to be a writer. And then I discovered Hunter S. Thompson and Chuck Palahniuk. They taught me about style and showed me that there are no rules when it comes to what can be a story.

 

TWB: What’s your usual writer’s schedule like? Are you an Outliner, or do you let the characters lead you where they may?

My schedule is chaotic at best. We have a two year old so he dictates when, how often, and for how long I am able to write.

I like to plot a little and let the story run from there. I usually have an idea of certain things that need to happen but I don’t always know from the start how I’m going to get there. (As I mentioned above with writing Sled Dogs.) I’ve tried to be a plotter, but I usually come up with a better idea once I learn more about my characters and have to scrap a lot of planning. To counter that, I quit planning. The only times I seriously plot a story is right at the beginning and if I get stuck somewhere.

I do have a ritual for figuring out where to go. It comes from Aaron Sorkin’s show Sports Night. Near the end of the series there’s this company that’s going to purchase the cable sports network the show revolves around. The name of the company is Quo Vadimus, which is Latin for “Where are we going?” I am a huge Aaron Sorkin fan, so I will say that to myself, almost like a mantra. “Quo vadimus, quo vadimus, quo vadimus–” slowly, over and over until something comes to me.

 

TWB: Name some of your favorite novels and why.

Ender’s Game – One of the best books I’ve ever read. I bought the paperback and loved it. I downloaded the audiobook on my iPod and have listened to that more times than I can count. This novel is what sparked my interest in military history, which lead me to Robert Greene, which lead me to the 48 Laws of Power, which plays heavily in my next novel.

Dune – The best sci-fi book EVER!

Less Than Zero – Brett Easton Ellis’s debut novel was one of the first I read out of high school and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I reread it every once in awhile. I think because it was one of my first it has held a place in my heart.

The Sun Also Rises – Yes, I have a thing for debut novels. But the debut novel of a writer as good as Hemingway, forget about it! Another book I’ve read multiple times. I am pretty sure this novel is a substitute for food, it’s that satisfying.

 

TWB: Contribute to our Wall of Flame, share with us some of your favorite Sexy Bastards, and Bitches!

I’ll give you one of each.

Khal Drogo – the Genghis Kahn of Game of Thrones

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Lana Kane – Because how could I not?

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TWB: Lastly, the dogs are after you, the object to your right is your only weapon. How do you fare?

Oh shit…

I’ve got a water bottle, remote control, and an end table. I will use the end table like a lion tamer uses a stool…

I will then be eaten by the dogs.

 

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Blog – http://kendallbaileywriter.blogspot.com

Twitter – @KBaileyWriter

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kendallbaileywriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8420968.Kendall_Bailey