Twilight Times Feature
with Kim Bundy
Interviewer: Lida Quillen
1. Does your creativity express itself in ways other than writing?
Oh yes. I see symbolism in everything from movies and stories to art and music. One of my hobbies is costuming and so creativity often shows up there.
2. Do you feel you were creative, even as a child?
I think so. My dad has a screen play I wrote around age eight which stars our dog. It's very embarassing and funny. Many people fed my creativity as a child. My mother and I learned macrame, decopage and tie-dying, my neighbor taught me to sew and most of the counselors I had for Girl Scouts taught us protest songs while they taught us to make jewelry.
I began keeping a daily journal in the seventh grade at the suggestion of an English teacher. She told me to keep a notebook by my bed to record my dreams. I still journal every day. Then I started writing poetry in High School. I have a love for things unusual because I find uniqueness is creative.
3. Could you share with the story behind the story? In other words, how did your writing lead you to your first novel?
The Death of Jabari is actually my third novel. The first two will never again see the light of day. They are my learning experiments. As you read through them, you can see where I read a book on how to write description or dialog.
As for this story, I set out to write a fantasy novel. Fantasy is my first love [though I'm discovering horror is easier to write]. In the process of creating the world and religious system, I realized the real story lay before me. The Death of Jabari is actually two tales which merge near the end: the scientist/gods' efforts to save their dying project and the quest of a group of Ryung's inhabitants to fulfill a prophesy. The fate of the planet depends upon their success.
I love the whole idea of magic and technology working hand in hand. It just makes sense to my mind.
4. How did you prepare for the creation of your first novel? How much research was necessary?
I researched before and during the writing of this book. The one thing it taught me is how much I don't know. I made maps. I web surfed for information on everything from gravitational effects on planet surfaces and volcanoes to ships and poisonous gasses. The most interesting research I did involved touring a replica of the Santa Maria, a Spanish Caravel similar to the ship in my novel, which is docked on the Ohio River in Columbus, Ohio. Many of Tulaan's characteristics are those of my nineteen year old cat.
5. What kind of reaction do people have to your writing?
So far, I'm receiving positive comments. My style has been compared to Robert Jordan, though I've never thought so. Many people have asked for a prequel telling the gods' story or a sequel of what happens next to Elingor and Ciro. Right now, I'm working on a series of short stories about Tulaan and Katja. I'm open to the idea of more novels set in the world of Ryung. I feel like I've lived there and would love to stay longer.
I'm still growing as a writer so I have this hunger for honest comments about my work. One of my sweetest moments came in an email from a man I consider my mentor, in which he laid out my mistakes and his suggestions about a short story I had published. I want to know so I can write better the next time. If all I need are pats on the back, I'd show my work to my husband and no one else.
6. Do you find anything difficult in the writing process, and if so what?
I hate revision. It's boring and just plain not fun but I buckle down and make myself do it. Being involved in a good critique group helps. If I get lazy about revising or editing my work, they're quick to let me know it.
After thinking about this a moment, I have to say the absolute hardest part of writing is getting the world to see it's my job. I've dealt with inlaws who want me to get their idea of a 'real job,' schools who think I have all this free time to donate to their projects and parents of my son's friends who send their kids to my house during school holidays because they assume I'll babysit. I spend almost as much time defending my right to write as I do writing. [Perhaps I exaggerate a little.]
7. Do you currently have any writing projects?
I have ten horror and fantasy short stories submitted to both print and online magazines, a few more in the works. I'm currently writing two books. The first is a horror tale about a female serial killer operating in a metro park. The second is a fantasy story about a convent-- involving each cleric's individual tale of how they came to be at the convent and ending with some intense action. It's a story about women. I'm immitating the layout used by Doug Clegg in his novel, Nightmare House.
I also write book reviews and regularly tune in to the television show Roswell because I'm the show's reviewer for Cinescape.com. They gave me the job because I'm a real-life Roswellite: born on Walker AFB and graduated from the real Roswell High.
8. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I'm proud to mention The Death of Jabari has been accepted into the Jack Williamson Collection of the Golden Library at Eastern NM University. It's one of the largest collections of science fiction in the world so I'm excited and a bit humbled about it.
I'd also like to thank Debbie Hughes, the artist who created the gorgeous cover art for The Death of Jabari. She is truly a talented woman.
Kim Bundy, born and raised in Roswell New Mexico, currently resides in central Ohio with her husband, two sons and nineteen year old cat. Her most recent publishing credits include a science fantasy novel, The Death of Jabari; a children’s fantasy book, Aiko, with Sprite Press and an inspiration piece coming out with an anthology in December 2001.
Her short fiction includes poetry, fantasy and horror fiction at Sinister Element, The Gallows and Sabledrake Magazine. She writes book and television reviews for Cinescape Online and Fearsmag.com plus regularly reviews episodes of the television show, Roswell, for Cinescape. Her nonfiction piece on book promotion is posted at the Net Writers website.
Review of Kim's books: