Kaine Andrews was born in San Diego, California, before being spirited away to Carson City, Nevada. There he has remained, with the exception of one memorable week in Bend, Oregon and one small tour in hell (AKA Chandler, Arizona.)
Raised among a family filled with NASCAR loving, mechanically minded folk who considered themselves witches, Kaine’s unique upbringing and early escape from the halls of education, along with the theft of his father’s typewriter, led him to the demented scribbling that he refers to as his “work.”
Through the course of his life, Kaine has been involved in television production, retail work, criminal psychology, newspaper writing, radio and criminology as well as earning trade-school degrees in private investigation, computer programming, freelance writing and motorcycle repair. This eclectic background has left him with a fractured worldview and a number of unique experiences to translate into his writing.
He currently remains in Carson City, while dreaming of the Oregon coast, wrestling with his pet coyote and hoping to one day elope with Katy Perry.
Now I want a pet coyote…but all the ones on my land are afraid of me 🙁 . Kaine was every so sweet to indulge in my 10 silly questions. But come on…He has a pet coyote…everyone should have a pet coyote for the zombie apocalypse. ~sage nod~ On with the questions, and man, are they great answers!!!
10 Questions, Zoe style…
1. What is your writing process?
I don’t know that I really have a process, at least not one that I could call that. It’s more channeled insanity; you know what they say, take your handicaps and make them work for you! Generally, though, almost all of my fiction writing starts with a character – human or not. Something trips in the brain and they’re there, nattering and chewing on my ear, and just won’t shut up. Eventually, I get sick of it, and start talking back, asking them what it is that has them in such a state; if they answer back, I start writing it down. “And then…?” I say, and they tell me what happened, and why, and to who.
This generally means I’m sitting there talking to myself – often out loud, and with outlandish accents so I can keep my characters straight – in my computer chair or the cab of my truck, while my dog looks at me as though I’ve gone insane. But it seems to work, so I’m not going to complain.
If I ever hit a point where the character in question just shrugs and gives me a “Hell if I know!” in response, I start interrogating the other characters that have come up, fishing for which one of them has the next thread in the story. Rinse and repeat until they all tell me “The story is done. I’ll go away, now.”
For something that’s more practical and useful, I think the most important aspect of the process is that you do it every day. It doesn’t matter what you write – or even how much, really – but it does matter that you do it. Scribble a sentence on a manuscript, do a blog post, respond to an e-mail, just make sure you write something.
2. What do you read for pleasure?
Anything! Well, almost. Sometimes things get filed under “research” rather than “pleasure,” but for the most part, I enjoy research. Except when I’m trying to figure out something that I don’t care for or really have no interest in, and am only digging to satisfy my natural curiosity about people and the things they adore. But if it’s my absolute 100% choice with nothing resembling “work” wrapped up in it, I usually end up rereading Stephen King or Clive Barker, or digging around in the horror/sci-fi section of a used bookstore, picking something based on just how atrocious or hokey the cover art is, and diving in.
I’ve actually found some amazing reads that way; probably the best was Mr. Hands by Gary A. Braunbeck, which is probably the most amazing book I’ve read in a very long time.
I also spend far too much time on Wikipedia. I’ll pick a random article, and just keep following links until I’m tired or something fixates in my head and turns it into actual work instead of just random knowledge digestion.
3. What is the greatest joy of writing/blogging for you?
Seeing how it all comes out. When I’m writing a story, I might have some idea of where it’s going and how it’ll all wash out, but more often than not, one of my characters will say “Uh, no. That’s not what happened,” and proceed to correct me. Often strenuously. With a ruler, in the manner of a Catholic school teacher. Typically the ending is as much of a surprise to me as it may be to any eventual readers. Watching it unfold and seeing the words spilling from my fingers – along with questioning “Am I really doing this?” – serves as my primary entertainment.
As noted, I may be insane, and merely trying to find ways to make that into a productive endeavor.
4. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Oh, what highlights to hit… hmm. Well, for the things that I am in no way responsible for but am bizarrely proud of department, I’m descended from Scottish royalty, have amazing hair that is resistant to all damage and often has people threatening to scalp me, and I have enough genetic and medical anomalies that somehow manage to coexist that I could probably safely provide for retirement by selling myself to science. So far as personal accomplishments, I finished high school when I was 13, almost had a psychology degree and was going to move to Virginia to be a criminal profiler with the FBI and worked in television and radio production for twelve years. I have a pet coyote, play far too much Diablo III, and enjoy ghost hunting. I used to paint and play piano and guitar, before arthritis crawled into my hands and said “Uh, no,” and I’m still trying to train my computer to understand my accent for the eventuality that I won’t be able to run a keyboard anymore.
Oh, and if I ever actually make it big – or at least medium – I’m moving to Romania. I hear Bran Castle is for sale; if I could swing it, I would. Just to say “Yeah. I’m a horror novelist who lives in Dracula’s Castle.” Because that would be entirely too awesome.
5. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes down to sitting down and writing?
I think my greatest strength in that department is being able to get lost in my own story. When the characters are really talking to me and everything is gelling the way I like, as long as the coffee keeps flowing I can dump 8,000 words on the page in a day. I love those days.
The greatest weakness is the churlish, “I’m tired and don’t feel good and I hurt and I’m going to act like Sam Winchester and whine and flip my hair” aspect of me that glares at the computer chair or the iPad, knowing that there’s some work to be done, and not wanting to do it. Forcing myself to do it – even if it’s only to write one sentence – proves difficult sometimes. I’m also easily derailed by emotional or financial instability, prone to panicking rather than sitting down, taking a deep breath, and commencing the daily scribbles. Which of course only leads to more anxiety, which turns into a feedback loop, which means I don’t do any work at all for three months until something forces me back to it.
6. Do you have any strange writing habits?
Aside from talking to myself? 😉 The only one I can think of – the one that seems most counter to every piece of advice I’ve ever heard on the subject – is break time. My workhorses, tablet and desktop both, have all kinds of websites, social media, and games installed on them, and so long as I’ve scribbled at least one sentence in between, I find no guilt in opening those things and poking at them for a bit before returning to the work.
Everyone I’ve heard says that’s death for the creative process, but I find it keeps me running; if I don’t “time out” to go hunt for a Legendary item or watch a cat video, I go insane and end up with nothing but nonsense or just a handful of words. If the day is otherwise relatively empty of activity, I can have one of those 8k days and still have logged three hours on non-work endeavors.
7. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing/blogging process?
Marketing. I’m kind of a self-loathing individual, and I’ve also been termed, among other things, a “high-functioning depressive,” so liking myself or my work enough to try to convince other people to come see it is about as fun as dental work. Actually, less so; I’ve sat through more than twenty root canals (genetically bad teeth and a small measure of vanity are a terrible combination) and would do that again rather than have to Tweet “Hey, my book is free this weekend.” Add in that I really have no idea of how to market and there are so many conflicting opinions on the subject that trying to form a good, solid base to start from seems practically impossible, and you end up in my own personal Purgatory.
8. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?
I try. I really do. But between a dog that can’t decide if he’s shedding or not, odd hours, insomnia, and health problems that mean moving a mattress three inches is going to create day-long wrist pain and shortness of breath or a full-on allergy attack from the dust and pet fur flying when you flounce the sheet, and it becomes something I just try to avoid.
9. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Only one? But I can’t decide! Okay. Fine. *flips coin* Romania. Scotland was a close second – supposedly I’m heir to a rock with a rock etched into it over there – but Two-Face’s method of solving all conflicts says Dracula’s Castle wins. Sneaking in a third option, the Vatican. I want to break into the secret library. Even if it’s not real. I just wanna see… just a peek? No?
10. Choose: Vampires, Werewolves, Demons or Zombies?
Going to have to go with demons on this one, because from a “pure” standpoint, they’re probably the most intellectual and devious of the bunch. Zombies are pretty straightforward. Werewolves, too (the furry guys are just better at hide and seek). They want to eat you. Vampires may occasionally be sexy or brainy, but they come back to “I want to eat you” in the end. For the long term mental harassment, can’t beat a devil or succubus. Plus I think they’re more interesting, if coming at them from an angle other than straight antagonist.
Vampires, werewolves, zombies; they were all human – or something close, depending on your viewpoint – at some point. They’re us, with bonus features. Demons as heroes or antiheroes or remorseful and potentially redeemable villains have an inhumanity to them; they were here before us, are separate from us, probably don’t think about things the way us silly Earth people do, and I think that opens a door for all sorts of interesting characterization that’s lacking in creatures that, even if they are technically inhuman, are still very grounded in human understanding of the way things work, and live and work and play with us every day.
Also, it’s somewhat of a cheat. Depending on how broad your definition of the word “demon” is, you can probably smuggle in elements of the others without the bellhop noticing. Bonus carry-on luggage!
Bonus Question: How prepared are you for the Zombie Apocalypse I’ve ordered?
Realistically, not at all. I am a fairly decent shot with a crossbow, a .22 rifle and a shotgun, and I do own and know how to use more than one heavy bladed object, but my physical handicaps are more than likely going to result in a fatal situation. Hard to get away from the horde while you’re wheezing more than Darth Vader and limping along like Frankenstein’s monster right after his radial electroshock therapy. I do have a backup plan, though; the neighbors are elderly and have walkers. Like the bumper stickers say, “I don’t have to be the fastest… just faster than you.”
Yes, I am a terrible person. 😉
I might just have to find this man, abduct him, and keep him in…well…I dont have a basement…How do you feel about chains, Kaine? I’ll protect you from the zombies!!! 😀
Okay, back to all the serious stuff. Kaine has written many things. Click on the pics to the direct buy links! Kaine’s works include the following…
Michael Drakanis has lived as a shadow since the murder of his family three years ago. He’s given up his career as a homicide detective, cut himself off from his friends, burying himself in his grief. When his former partner Vincent Parker turns up on his doorstep bearing news of a new killing with disturbing similarities to the deaths of his family, Drakanis will discover there are forces at work far beyond anything he once knew… and those forces are hungry for something only Drakanis can provide. Drakanis must harness his unknown birthright and confront his family’s murderer before those forces break free and bring forth untold chaos.
Meet L. Cipher. Or Bob, as his father named him. He’s also known to go by Luke, Nero or Rufus. Having been watching the internet for some time, he’s decided it’s time to set the record straight with an off-color running commentary about the true history of life, the universe and everything. Collected from his ramblings and including the commentary of such folks as JbarJ, SweetMaryM and Alpha2Omega, Blogs from the Basement covers such topics as the creation of the universe, what Adam and Eve really looked like, and reasons why Bob wants to torch his neighbor’s house. Did we mention Bob is the devil?
Anthony West has lost everything. He would give anything to see her once more, to hold her, to hear his voice in his ear. He should be careful what he wishes for.
Ashriel, fallen from the grace of Eden, has spent long centuries avoiding the judgement of his former superior. Humanity’s time is drawing to a close however, and Ashriel finds himself as the fulcrum on which fate turns. His rebellion and personal crusades may be the only hope left. Ashriel must delve into his own forgotten past, hold discourse with angels and demons and discover the truth behind his own existence if he is to have any chance of survival, but the Seraph of Purity has other plans… and will stop at nothing to see them come to fruition.
Ophelia Roberts sleepwalks through a shadow of life, as she has since the tragic death of her sister five years ago. Roger Hathaway spends his time daydreaming of penance that will never be complete. Andrew Weiss, the unknown tie between them, sleeps dreamlessly in a comatose state. Soon, all three will wake… and blood will be spilled. The power of dreams and imagination may be supreme… but what happens when dreams become nightmares and imagination is soured by hatred and rejection? (Currently out of print; set for republication Spring 2015)
A cop looking for his sister’s killer. A retired lawyer with an unhealthy obsession over a mysterious book. A young man on the Tokaido Road. An old woman under a streetlight. Judas Iscariot. All these individuals and more have gathered here to share their stories… and their terrors. Featuring twelve short stories, Insomniac Nightmares shows that everyone is afraid of something. (Set for release May 2015)
It is two days before Christmas and retired detective Michael Drakanis is whistling as he drives home. He is looking forward to spending the holiday with the two people he loves most in the world-his wife, Gina, and their son, Joey. But just as he crests the hill by his house, a dark premonition overwhelms him. A handful of cops await him with horrifying news. His beloved family has just been murdered in cold blood. Drakanis is now a widower for reasons he cannot fathom. Three years later, Drakanis is still helplessly stuck in the depths of the darkness that accompanies grief; he is content to simply survive from day to day. But when his former partner, Vince Parker, notifies him of another murder-with a crime scene eerily similar to Gina and Joey’s-Drakanis is unwillingly dragged into a murder investigation with little evidence except a dead body and a missing artwork. As Drakanis’s future hangs in the balance, those close to him must make a valiant attempt to save him-before his soul is stained forever.
Thank you so much Kaine, for giving us a little insight into your world, your wonderful collection of hard work, and of course, your plan for the zombie apocalypse!
Check Kaine and his work out, my lovelies!