T. Hello Kevin, welcome to Pinnacle Writing. Tell us a bit about yourself.
K. I’m a longtime fan of fantasy, science fiction, and comic books. I work a “day job” as a Manager of I.T. for a small company. For the most part, this involves doing all of the systems programming, database work, web development, etc. By night, I put on a mask and write. So far, my focus has been on an extensive superhero novel series (the longest in the last decade), but soon I’ll begin work on a fantasy series, and then go back and forth between them with novels. Note that these are written novels, not graphic novels or comic books.
T. When did you start writing?
K. I began at the beginning of 2009, after thousands of hours in front of computers had irradiated me to the point of being tired of games. I gained the power of free thought, and began implementing my evil scheme to take over the world, or at least to write novels.
T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor? Tell us about him/her.
K. Not truly a mentor, but some inspiration came from Laurell K. Hamilton. I loved the concept of her two long (ongoing) series, as individual books (and even trilogies) quickly ran out of story for me, and I wanted to see what happened to the characters next. My H.E.R.O. series, and the forthcoming fantasy series, are a combination of that idea, as well as the decades of collecting comics, and the ongoing stories they provide.
T. Please tell us about your current book. What is the genre? Give us a thumbnail sketch.
K. My H.E.R.O. novels fit best into either Contemporary Fantasy or Contemporary Sci-Fi, depending on if you classify superpowers as fantasy or Sci-fi. The series kicks off with H.E.R.O. – Metamorphosis, where three of the main characters in the series first gain their powers. The first two books generally focus on those three characters, and their power development and problems with them. In books 3-7, and the two short stories after those, the series grows with additional superheroes, until at the current time, Metrocity is a very fleshed out city of superheroes, many villains, and other factions.
T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?
K. As mentioned, the series currently has 6 novels, 2 short stories, plus an Illustrated Guide with pictures of many of the characters. I’m working on the seventh novel now, and anticipate it being released late in July 2012, or early August. After that, I will likely do perhaps 1-2 more novels in the series before I begin flipping back and forth between series.
T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write “by the seat of your pants?
K. I begin with a “core plot” list that controls the overall story. From there, I expand it out into an outline, at least of the first 6-12 chapters. Then, I go “seat of the pants” and let the characters run the madhouse, occasionally making another outline of forthcoming chapters if need be.
T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?
K. I expect that digital is going to take over. Most of us (who are 40+) are still “used to” paper books. That will soon change, and won’t go back. Now, some paper books will remain. I see hardcovers sticking around, because some people like to have a shelf full of them. The younger people are getting so that tablets and smartphones are second nature for them, like books used to be for us. Why would they pick up a paper book when they can tap a few buttons and put it on a device they already use all the time?
T. Anything else to share?
K. I had problems finding an artist for my first novel, so I used some tools I had for making computer games, years ago, to design my superheroes in 3D, and have made quite a few of my superheroes and villains. I have hundreds of pictures rendered on my web page at http://www.kevinrau.com as well as at http://www.facebook.com/herobooks . I use those characters to make my covers.
T. Thank you for visiting with us.
K. Tom, I appreciate the interview, thank you for having me. I wish you good fortune!