Well it is Friday and I have decided what better way to spend it than to share a little love with all the Beautiful minds out there and pay tribute to the amazing story tellers that keep our imaginations reaching for the stars.
This is the first and hopefully not the last of a weekly event, where I bring to all of you a glimpse of some of the most incredible people I have met since joining the world of writing.
This week Inside a Beautiful Mind with Kent Wayne
KADE: Good Morning Kent, I am so get this chance to talk to you. Would you mind telling me about your upcoming book?
KENT: My upcoming book is Echo, Vol. 3: The Dialectic of Agony. While so far I have focused on the sci-fi, doom and gloom aspects of my dystopian world, Vol. 3 is the beginning of a positive direction for my protagonist—with a much heavier focus on the magical element.
KADE: Oh wow, that sounds so exciting and a lot of fun to write. What inspired you to write your first book?
KENT: I was inspired by the scene in Die Hard With a Vengeance where John Mclean goes into Harlem with a racist sign on him: “I hate…” (not gonna finish that sentence by the way, haha!) I ask myself a lot of “What if” questions, and one day I started asking myself, “What if this was a sci-fi setting? And instead of escaping, John were to have a prolonged, Black Hawk Down type of battle where he’s fighting for his life and he’s cut off from any outside help?” I added all the socio-economic religious commentary as an outgrowth of my time in the military, studying philosophy/mysticism, and just plain being interested in the world!
KADE: Ha ha, my heart is pounding just thinking about how intense this would be. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
KENT: Well I definitely have no real life experience piloting a weaponized robot, haha! Most of the sci-fi and magical elements are inspired by comics and cartoons I read or watched when I was younger. The thematic stuff is basically from me being an overthinker, watching the news, reading about various spiritual disciplines, and trying to make sense of the world.
KADE: Sounds like you really took note as a child about all the creative things that stood out. That is wonderful that you can use it in your books now that you are an adult. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
KENT: Hmm…hard question. When I started writing I only wanted to write action and provide the bare-bones emotional investment that got my reader to that point. However, as I began to really get into it, I realized that EVERYTHING should have the best flow and thematic significance that I could come up with. I’m a big fan of Miyamoto Musashi and his philosophy that truth lies in everything. So—long story short—I can’t answer the question; some mornings I flow better than others. My favorite parts to write are where I’m just immersed in the pure flow of writing. As of now, I’ve forgotten which chapters or parts those were. Sorry! 😉
KADE: Oh no worries, Kent. It is so interesting to hear how you go through the process of writing and how passionate you are when you are in the moment. Probably something most writers can relate to at some point or another. How did you come up with the title?
The titles are pieces of dialogue or narration that I toy with as I develop the story. One of the great things about comics is they rely on these awesome still shots and one-liners to convey emotions, and I want each title to not only thematically illustrate the scope of the story, but—hopefully—be something that is directly mentioned within the manuscript. Approaching Shatter was just something that came to me after I spent a lot of time (mentally, haha!) living in Echo.
KADE: Yes, that totally makes sense. The title should definitely reflect an important or interesting aspect of the book(s) innards, especially in the eye of its creator. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
KENT: All of the criticisms are tough! I was humbled by how writing fiction is waaaaay different than essay writing; when I write stories, I inhabit the characters and pour my soul into them. The common complaint with Echo Vol.1 seems to be that it is too short. To address this, I reduced its price from $2.99 to $0.99.
The best compliments I’ve received mention how immersive my stories feel. And those are what matter to me; I don’t care about grammar so much as sending my reader to another dimension. When I really dig into my favorite authors (S. King and Marcus Sakey) I see that their sentences are technically atrocious. The key to me is not to flaunt my disregard for authority and bray, “IDGAF about grammar” but to tell the best damn story possible. And if in certain places I end up breaking the Rules of Grammar, then so be it.
KADE: Yes, I can really see your point. If you can pull your readers in and make them feel what you feel in that particular moment, I implore you to continue with what works for all parties involved. ha ha. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
KENT: I sometimes act out the motion or expression of my characters to see what it would feel like. I probably look like a crazy dude in front of his computer, mumbling to himself, twisting his face up, and waving his arms and fingers distractedly through the air.
KADE: Ha ha, no… I think as a writer that is a pretty ‘normal’ thing to do. At least for me, I can’t speak for everyone though. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
KENT: Hmm…I like to look around theoretical physics for a lot of cool, unused terminology but that’s not really “strange.” I know that I google the hell out of stupid minutiae, like how to cut a cigar or stuff like that (which happens in my book), but I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that is bizarrely entertaining, haha!
KADE: It is fun to think that you didn’t have to change your normal browsing habits to find something out. Having a curious mind just for the heck of it is very cool. Give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
KENT: Every set piece and thematic arc in Echo is based off Eastern philosophy. I picked the setting to be twelve hundred years in the future because Hindu mythology declares 1200 years as the length of the Kali Yuga, or dark age. The name “Echo” reflects that theme as well.
KADE: Oh that is wicked, I love books that are based on some ‘real’ facts. In my opinion, it makes them so much more intense. Very nice. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
KENT: I tried working with an outline at first, then it became a bunch of notes in a notebook, then I realized that—this may sound weird—if I just believed that the material would be there, it was. Writer’s block was really only a problem for me when I was uptight about writing everything down and concerned about “losing” ideas.
KADE: I can see that. Being uptight about things is definitely a problem when you want to create. Trying to push out information, instead of letting it flow naturally could be a huge culprit with writer’s block. You are quite lucky to have a mind that will hold on to all of that information. Can you tell us about your experiences in getting your first book published?
KENT: Horrendous. Formatting is a huge pain. I think I spent hours every day for about a week making sure I had the correct font as well as poring over the Kindle previewer. It was worthwhile though. The subsequent books have been published without all that drama.
KADE: That doesn’t sound like much fun at all for you but I am glad to hear that things are running much more smoothly for you now. It helps. J When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
KENT: I started writing late 2014. My first book is still available as an ugly memento/monument to my freshman effort. It’s called the Filthy 108: Mystical Teachings of the Buddha-Bro. I finished it in March of 2015.
KADE: Oh cool, it is refreshing to see that you haven’t pulled your first work. It is fun to read early works of wonderful authors to see how much they have grown over the years. How did you choose the genre you write in?
KENT: It was an evolution of asking myself “Why NOT?” So my first book was supposed to only be a 108 page coffee table book. I thought, “Hell, I can spit philosophy and reference a lot of esoteric Eastern stuff, why not put a profane twist on it that I learned from being an aggressive military guy?” Then I said to myself: “Maybe I can make this longer.” It ended up being close to 400 pages. Then I said to myself, “I wish I could write fiction.” And I thought, “Why NOT?” So Echo Vol. 1 came about. A bunch of Why Nots later, I’m on Echo Vol. 3
KADE: Ha ha, nicely done. What a fun journey to your evolutionary state of being. It looks like you are exactly where you were meant to be. Where do you get your ideas?
KENT: Meditation, contemplation, and dissecting other creative works (film/literature/comics) as best I can down to the bone.
KADE: Yes, allowing your mind its freedom, can do wonders. Great answer. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
KENT: Stephen King’s the Dark Tower series. To this day, I firmly believe in the phrase, “There are other worlds than these.” And given the possibility of an infinitely fractalized universe, I am of the opinion that all our stories happen somewhere out there in the material sense; our privilege as authors is to encode them into text and touch our audience’s hearts with them.
KADE: Oh I like that! Great way to decipher Mr. King’s words… He has a pretty spectacular Beautiful Mind himself. One that I am learning to appreciate more so now that I am an adult. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
KENT: Yes and it’s not mine: Amateurs wait for inspiration. Professionals get to work. If you have writer’s block, look deep into the thematic and stylistic construction of your favorite authors until you see how everything fits and why it works. Nobody really comes up with anything original (aside from how they iterate it stylistically). Also: There’s a cliché out there that you have to have lived life to write, but unless you’re Ernest Hemingway, you’re going to run out of personal life to write about. Now that doesn’t mean you have to go do stupid stuff to garner experience; there’s that kid who wrote Eragon at 15 years old. I advise others to look as deep into themselves as possible until they find the fundamental things that connect them with others. That imparts the knowlege of having “lived life” without the time, cost, or risk. You don’t need to go crazy-old-man like Hemingway.
KADE: Very wise words Kent, deep and meaningful. Wonderful advice for anyone, not just writers, to heed. What is your favorite quote or saying?
KENT: Miyamoto Musashi: “If you know the way broadly, you will see it in all things.
KADE: Oh nice, I have never heard that one. And now for a couple of silly but fun questions. Tea or coffee?
KENT: Black coffee. I suspect that creativity is somehow packed into this miraculous elixir.
KADE: I agree… coffee holds many mystical qualities that I will attest to. Sweet or salty?
KENT: Both! Cheat days are heavenly! (If I had to choose, I’d say salty; I tire of steaks less quickly than desserts).
KADE: He he, too funny. Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?
KENT: Here’s a line from the eighth chapter of Echo Vol. 1: “[He} responded with a level stare. It communicated more than a willingness to stand his ground. It conveyed that he saw the shades of grey, and wasn’t buying the black-and-white sell.”
KADE: Oh that is so powerful and easily conveyed… very nicely done.
Would you mind sharing with us the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books?
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KentWayne2
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2488646.Kent_Wayne
Smashwords: (Currently down due to a temporary stint on Kindle Unlimited; they don’t let you publish on other platforms but I’ll republish in about six months on Smashwords and others).
KADE: Just want to say a big thank you to Kent Wayne for sharing with me today. And a big thank you to all of you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors. If any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and place Author Interview in the topic space.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace Out!