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!
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
Lana Kane – Because how could I not?
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.
Twitter – @KBaileyWriter
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kendallbaileywriter