Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Behind The Words // Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick

As a writer, Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick is as prolific as he thinks I am, if not more so. The author of four novels, plus the purveyor of an author-centric and review blog, Joel also devotes time to marketing, self-publishing and is the newly anointed Acquisitions Director for Journalstone Publishing.

Joel and I met late last year and soon, I was honored to be included as a guest at his blog. He was a gracious host and I aim to return the favor --
despite the sale of my tractor falling through. I don't hold Joel accountable for the tractor, of course. It was old and I was apparently unaware that I owned it.

So, how does Joel work? Where does he work? For those answers and more, let's look to the man himself, as it appears, he too is perpetually looking for something (over there --->)

So. Who the heck are ya? 
Miles and Colin’s Dad.

What have you written that we would know?
Harmony’s Passing, Caraliza, Breathing into Stone, Shared

Describe your writing space. 
It's a comfy chair. Sometimes my desk upstairs, but that's only very late at night.

Do you eat while you write? 
Lots of candy.

Listen to music? 
Constantly. Music drives my creative muse – keeps me focused.

Talk radio? 
No. Conversations not allowed. I can tune out lyrics/singing; not speaking voices.

Is there a sheep grazing outside your window? 
Elk. Seriously.

What are you working on these days?
A super secret fifth novel. But it is waiting on me at the moment, only the very first chapter has been completed. I’m presently involved in reading rather than writing. The horror contest for JournalStone has a deadline looming, and we are very busy trying to get all the entries scored for the first round selections. After the contest concludes I should be able to begin the research for my own next piece.

How is it different/similar to your current book or story? 
Similar in voice to ‘Shared’ or ‘Breathing into Stone’; it is a period piece. Different from them in that we all know the characters.

Intriguing -- are they historic figures, Joel? Or characters that we literally all know? 
I’ve wanted to try an Alternative History, and that is what this will be. I take one very real moment in time, and let one of the players do something vile and unthinkable. The result is astounding. But, this book won’t be released in eBook at all: only hardbounds. It won’t be my last novel. I just want to have written one thing that lives and breathes the way my favorite books do, in true physical book form

So, do Darcia Helle and Maria Savva travel back in time to the Elizabethan era in olde England? Or will you and I do some farming in the 18th century?
Ha! Right in the middle of our little tractor-chase my younger brother gave me one of his own stories to read. It was supposed to be a very serious piece, with a horrific accident in the opening – a tractor accident. I offended my brother terribly by laughing with glee while reading it. 

To answer you: my next novel will take real people we all know, and pit them against an event which is both a simple human action, and also a history changing event. I remake the world in the span of a morning, and I’m not giving any clues about what period of time. The research will kill me, because up to my event every person involved has a verifiable place in history. I can’t get any of it wrong. There is some inspiration though, in the suggestion that DeeCee and Maria Elena travel back in time. I can imagine them haranguing Henry VIII for his very bad manners, and his taste in women, or shoving Cleopatra aside to give advice to Caesar. “Julius! Hon, those sandals are SO last year!” Can you imagine the hilarity of trying to convince Henry to go vegetarian?

When can we see first samples?
I’ve shown it to one other living soul and she gasped. It will remain locked away until about two weeks before publication.

Barring a meteorite hitting your roof, when will it be out?
I only know sometime in 2012.

Any writing techniques/topics/approaches that make you a unique writer in today's world of 'everyone and their dog' publishing books? 
I have no genre yet. Most Indie authors are making an effort to find a writing theme. I don’t think I know how.

Use a computer? 
Laptop. A hot one.

Quill and cow's blood on parchment? 
Those are both food.

Almost never; until my story reaches a point where it needs to reference itself. Then I only timeline stuff. I work out plot in my head.

Always for location. I want to visualize the setting. I was all over star charts and virtual planetariums for my first novel.

How much do you write in a day/week/month? 
196,000 words in about 35 days for novel # 3. I won’t be more detailed than that. Its important to have people think this is work.

What's your editing style? 
No rewrites. I shuffled a novel for an agent, and can live with the results. Hell, I published the results; but, I have no need to adjust plot or characters. They are typed fully formed. It all happens in my head before I touch the keyboard. (Well, that’s not even true now. I just reissued my fourth book – because of a single sentence. I couldn’t live with that one sentence.)

What does your wife think of you being a writer?
My wife actually pays it no mind. She admits jealousy at my female characters though.

Does she understand your process? 
There hasn’t been enough interaction for that yet. I’m really doing it without any fanfare here at home.

Do you get the space you need to do the writing you crave? 
I really have as much time as I desire, but I also really need to get back to real-life work. My sabbatical is played out. Now guilt is keeping me away from a new story.

Does she bring you chocolate cake to keep you out of her hair?
This is so funny it is cruel. My wife bakes. She’s on the cusp of starting a bakery business here. She bakes about thirty pies a week, lots of other stuff, and several coffee shops and restaurants sell her goods. I get none of it. None. Not one bite. She says I have to drive into town and buy it.

Lastly, your website address?

Joel, my friend, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing a bit about what you do and how you do it. Readers are enjoying this peek into the worlds behind their favourite writers' words and your visit today has been a big part of the fun. Your upcoming novel sounds very out-there. But then, so do you!


  1. Greetings Joel,

    In this digital era where authors are working feverishly to get their names known and their work seen in every conceivable format available, I found special appreciation for this comment about your upcoming novel, "I just want to have written one thing that lives and breathes the way my favorite books do, in true physical book form."

    I enjoyed learning more about the enjoyable, engaging and always enigmatic Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick!

  2. As always, Ann, you have a way of pinpointing things -- and here you've shot a laser beam into Joel's guest post.

    Thanks for coming by to read about the man, the myth, Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick.

  3. A great interview, Joel and Jason; very entertaining!! I love the idea of appearing as a character in your new book, Joel, and would be flattered... as long as you don't get Henry VIII to chop off my head :)

    In fact, it has become a habit for me to turn up in literature... I appear in Marty Beaudet's Losing Addison and my surname was the inspiration for Michael Radcliffe's magical stone in 'Forsaken'! Who knows where I'll turn up next LOL.

    Like Ann, I noticed that comment about only publishing in hardback. Good for you! Nice idea. I'm sure it will be worth every penny.

    You know how much I love your writing, Joel. Am looking forward to the next book!!

  4. Thanks for your sweet words, Ladies. This fifth book is really burning my heart to get started. Just too many important real-world things need to come first, before I dive into all the work of it. But, since I'm only able to work on one book at a time, it will be sometime in 2013 before I have a new eBook hit the net. That almost sets me crying into my cereal.

  5. Pardon me for double-commenting Jason. Thank you so much, for sharing a bit of space on your blog. I do appreciate it.

    I would like to clarify one point about my next work: there will be PDF proofs sent out before release. Every BsB author who desires one, will receive a copy. But, those will be the only electronic versions I ever make. The project, in reality, an experiment and homage to my great love of bound pages.

  6. Wonderful idea, Joel! I'm putting in my order of the pdf copy now :)
    By the way, I forgot to mention how jealous I am that you don't ever have to edit your books... I wish I could write like that, I end up editing at least 10 times!!!

  7. Maria, you're quite the character on your own -- Even the finest writers in the world might find it a challenge to truly capture you, no matter what time period your are in.

  8. Holy mother of god, Joel! I'm sorry... but you cannot, and I mean, CANNOT tell me you wrote 196000 words in 35 days and then not elaborate farther. The rest of your interview was informative and entertaining, (as of course it would be given Jason's crazy prompts), however, this point really struck me, being an ex-banker and numbers girl and all. Did you sleep during this time..take any uppers, downers, some kind of stimulant to pull more words out of your mind onto paper?

    Yes, yes, I know it's work, but it's work for me to get 2000 words out each day. Now, I feel like I've been slacking off all this time, and I need to move my ass faster, harder, ...damn damn damn....this is depressing.

    Thanks a lot guys.


  9. Eden, you must know by now that Joel is an unusual and outrageous person. I don't for a second question his 196K in 35 days.

    Would you believe I wrote the first draft of THALO BLUE (originally at 175K) in 31 days?

  10. Jason, I stepped into that one.

    I have no time to socialize, gotta ramp up to writing 5500 words/day.


  11. Jason McIntyre: calling lovely ladies on it when they step right into one, since 1991.

  12. Hi guys :) Eden, that burst of writing was only possible because I cheated. I took a year long sabbatical from my regular career. (We were facing a slump anyway.) I had the freedom to write 14 hours a day if I wished.

    I wished.

    Well, I wrote three novels that year, so I WAS busy. ;)

  13. Joel, thanks for that response, but it doesn't make me feel much better. You are a better man than me, well...I'm not a man so I guess that statement doesn't make much sense, but you know what I mean. I write full time, so I think I just have to work harder. I now have something to aspire to.

    Maybe one day, I'll be as prolific as you and Jason are. ;)


  14. Can't speak for Joel, but you must remember that I now have kiddos, Eden. I'm lucky I see 2000 decent words a week now.

    As long as you are writing to the quality level you want to be at, I don't think you should ever beat yourself up about quantity.

  15. Jason, I love you man.
    *wiping tears off my cheeks*


  16. I feel the love, Eden!

    ( I also nailed 600 decent words tonight )


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...