Next Up from BOTD: Weston Kincade’s A Life of Death

Surprise!  Books of the Dead has done it again.  The next book up on BOTD’s publication schedule, Weston Kincade’s A Life of Death, is actually…well, a couple of books.  And it’s releasing them in serial format, 12 episodes that will come out between today, July 1st, and the end of the year.  That’s not all.  The first four episodes will be released free.  FREE.  And even that’s not all.  At the end of all this, Weston hopes to have the third volume in this series done, wrapped and ready to release.

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To get you acquainted with Weston, here’s a quick 10 Q&A where he talks about his books, his writing style and what’s next.

What made you write A Life of Death and the sequel, The Golden Bulls?

For A Life of Death, I was watching “Ghost Hunters” and “Medium” one night while visiting my parents’ place and the question came to mind about what it would be like to have such an ability evolve within you. Then the idea extended to more than just visions of the murder, but what if the person began getting the ability to relive the murder through the victim’s eyes, hearing, seeing, and feeling everything they felt. The idea stuck with me for a while as I was editing Invisible Dawn and shopping it to publishers and agents. Over that week, the concept nestled itself into a corner of my mind, tickling my thoughts every now and again. Scenes such as the main character encountering his father’s scrapped car after the murderous wreck played out in my mind. It was soon followed by the idea of what would happen to the boy if he stepped into a Civil War battlefield museum. At that point I was hooked and had to write the story. I couldn’t even continue with the sequel in the Altered Realities series, Salvation, at that point. I had to tell Alex’s story.  The Golden Bulls followed when people asked for more.

How would you describe your writing style?

Most people have described my writing style as fluid, yet descriptive without losing a step. I often hear readers comment that it wasn’t like they’d read a book, but sat through a thrilling movie they just couldn’t miss a second of. That gets me every time. I always hope my stories can do just that, make whatever seat you’ve found the most comfortable ever and one you never want to get up from, at least not until you’ve finished the book.

If you had to choose one of your books, which would you say is your favorite and why?

Each of my books is distinct and holds its own place in my heart, but the one that truly touched me while I wrote it has to be A Life of Death. As I wrote each word, Alex and his sisters went through the abuse and horrendous treatment in my mind as if they were vivid memories. I just came to know them that well, as people. The book deals with a genre and themes that most people can relate to, but is also a tear jerker.

What genre do you enjoy writing about most? Why?

I enjoy supernatural and dark fantasy stories, movies, books etc. This often includes elements of horror and other cross-genre subjects. I figure there probably is something beyond what we know and can see: ghosts, magic, aliens, etc. I really enjoy exploring the potential possibilities of the unknown and applying reason and logic to them.

Which authors would you say have been the biggest influence on your writing?

A few modern authors have helped me on the literary yellow brick road along with a few traditional authors. In the last few years, I’ve had the support of fellow authors and friends like Scott Rhine and Marshall J. Stephens, but also that of more established writers like Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and Scott Nicholson. I don’t know most of them personally, but watching their careers and reading their work has influenced mine. I have had the pleasure of meeting Nicholson a couple times, the first time back in the early days of college at a book signing. He signed my copy of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Collection, Volume XV with the words, “Don’t be afraid to test the waters. They’re quite warm!” He was speaking of writing after our conversation about my writing aspirations, and I never forgot them. Since then, his words have helped motivate me to take routes in my writing career that I never thought I’d travel down. Thus far, I’m happy with the outcome and hope readers are too.

Classic authors that have motivated me to write are Stephen Crane because of his Black Riders poetry, John Steinbeck and his difficult decisions and twist endings like in Of Mice and Men, and JRR Tolkien. Tolkien’s innovative fantasy and characters in The Lord of the Rings series are wonderful.

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What does a typical day of writing for you involve?  Do you have any rituals or must dos that you go through before sitting down to write?

Writing for me is varied. Because I am an editor with a full time business, finding the time to write is difficult. When others are curled up in front of a television after a long day of work, I’m working on one of my novels, short stories, or doing marketing. The mental ritual that goes on intermittently throughout the day is just prioritizing what needs to happen that night. Then, I might put on some acoustic guitar melodies or Zoe Keating to help focus my mind while sitting down to write.

How do you edit your own work, do you edit as you go along, or do you wait until the draft is completed?

Both. I edit for grammar and flow as I write, but I also wind up going over the completed project at least once more to refine it as best I can. Then, it goes off to my beta readers and alternate eyes to see what I might have missed. Finally, the book will make its way to my copy editor Katy Sozaeva for anything my eyes might have thought I wrote, but left out a word. Anyone that’s ever written anything knows how that goes, and in a three or four hundred page book, a few things slip through. A fresh set of eyes helps fix those before the book’s release.

Describe the room where you write. Music or no music?

It’s pretty simple. I have an L-shaped desk with a desktop and a laptop with a spare monitor for viewing my outline and the story itself I’m writing simultaneously. I have a dragon holding a giant sword for a letter opener, a desk lamp, and a window to look out. For music, I tend to go for things without words like Zoe Keating’s stuff or some acoustic guitars. I enjoy Bare Naked Ladies and a lot of classic and grunge rock from the 90s and earlier like Nirvana, The Eagles, Smashing Pumpkins, The Beatles, etc . . . but they aren’t conducive to writing for me. The words and stories distract my mind, so I listen to things that allow it to go where it needs.

So what does the future hold for you?

Lots and lots of writing and editing. With my own editing business, WAKE Editing, I normally spend my days working on other people’s novels and my nights working on my own. I never knew how much creative writing was a part of me until I began writing entire novels. Now, I can’t stop. Even a temporary hiatus for moving or a brief pause between books to spend time with my wife and family can be difficult. It’s like an addiction, but family comes first.

Go here to pick up the first episode of A Life of Death!  And here’s the schedule for the rest of the episodes:

The release schedule is as follows:
July 1, 15, 31
Aug 12, 26
Sept 9, 23
Oct 7, 21
Nov 4, 18
Dec 2

They’ll also be released in four-part bundles.
Episodes 1-4: Aug 19th
Episodes 5-8: Oct 14th
Episodes 9-12: Dec 9th

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About John F.D. Taff

John F.D. Taff is a writer, published author, raconteur and wrangler of angry stoats. He has more than 80 short stories and 7 novels published. He lives in the great, unspoiled vastness of the Midwest. He has a tremendous wife named Debbie, three pugs, Sadie, Tovah and Muriel, and three great kids--Harry, Sam and Molly. View all posts by John F.D. Taff

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