Compassion, humour and an eye for detail brings these characters to life and binds their stories to your heart.
Open your heart with K.C. Knouse and I as we chat about ‘Twenty Miles West of Branch, Texas and other stories’. K.C., it’s great to see you back, what’s been going on since we talked earlier in the year?
I have been editing my most recent book, A Short Stack of Short Fiction, which was just released on May 8, 2019. My next project will be the completion of a novel I have had in the works. I continue to write and publish on Medium.com and Wattpad.com. Links to my works on these sites can be found at kcknouse.com under the Free Stories tab.
Tell us more about Short Stack of Short Fiction.
It is a collection of three character-driven short stories of self-discovery. I am currently revising a novel-length manuscript for publication.
What is it about writing that keeps drawing you back to write both online and for publication?
Writing continues to give me a creative outlet and much joy. Creating characters and telling their stories is challenging as is the craft of writing, but there is much satisfaction when a piece comes together.
How does your motivation and energy towards writing change as you continue along the process of bringing a piece together?
Writing a first draft is exhilarating and scary; I never know if I have a story until I have finished the first draft. Revising and proofing are exhausting but rewarding when I have improved a passage or deleted unnecessary writing.
What idea do you keep coming back to as you both produce new work by writing and refine your work by editing?
I want my writing to have a particular effect on the reader. I keep the desired effect in mind when I write.
Has your persistence to keep writing changed your writing style?
Yes, my writing voice has become more confident and subtle over the years.
We need to know more about that subtle art, so let’s get into the fun part, let’s delve into the depths of Twenty Miles West of Branch. How did it come together? What can you share about how this unfolded?
Short stories have an ephemeral existence when published in literary journals and in online publications. I wanted to publish some of my stories in book form so they would be available for years instead of days or weeks.
Were these stories and the characters in them inspired from your own life?
Yes, the characters and stories come from either my own experiences or the experiences of others as they have been related to me. However, I fictionalize the characters and experiences to fit the theme of the story by exaggerating some incident or a personality trait.
They are composites formed from people I have met and from my own self. Sometimes I start with a situation and develop the type of character I want to experience it. At other times, I start with a character and them come up with a situation to challenge the character.
What did you learn by taking on the challenge to develop such strong stories and characters with this novel?
I have become better at spotting and eliminating over-writing when it occurs and the overuse of some words and phrases.
Being able to self-correct and refine before you get too far into the writing process is a fantastic skill, it really does make the message of the writing so much easier to access. What central message did you craft this time around?
Dealing with challenges in life helps us discover our true selves.
And we all need to be true to ourselves. K.C. thanks for sharing a little of your truth with us today, and I can’t wait to hear about how your own truth changes with the release of your new book!
Excited to read the book we discussed today? Find it here on Amazon: ‘Twenty Miles West of Branch, Texas and other stories ( ASIN: B07CBSVXSS )‘.
Want to find out more about K.C. Knouse? Connect here!