C.E. Kilgore is best known for her novels All These Pieces of Me and Ghost in the Machine. Her ability to write in many genres helps her to stand out. No matter what she writes next, it will keep her readers excited for more!
What made you interested in writing m/m fiction?
I’m interested in writing and reading about the human condition – all aspects, including all forms of relationships and love. I enjoy reading and writing various types of relationships, including those m/m in nature. M/M, in particular, is interesting because there is a complex dynamic, and often certain roadblocks to overcome, including self-acceptance and cultural taboos.
How did you begin your career as a writer? How did you grow your fan base to be so humongous?
I’ve been writing for a long time, starting first as simply a creative outlet. I even wrote fanfiction for a time (no shame 🙂 ). I seriously considered publishing my first book when I had grown tired of the daily work grind as a web developer and felt it was time to pursue a more creative career. I wouldn’t call my fanbase humongous, but I have a few dedicated readers for which I am grateful.
What is it like to write within different genres? It is a fun experience?
Not pegging myself into one genre allows my brain to go wherever it wants. I may be working on a science fiction story one day and a m/m romance the next. Sometimes, it can cause a bit of writer’s ADD, but I enjoy it.
Anyone you’d rather not find out what you write? If so, what do you think they’d say?
Nope. I’m open with everyone about the types of books I write, from science fiction to same-sex romance. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it.
Has moving to different places influenced your writing in any way?
Absolutely. I’ve been exposed to many different cultures and ideals. It’s affected both my author voice and the types of things I wish to convey through my books. I think it’s given me a broader view of the human experience – the many ways in which we are different and the many ways in which we are the same.
Why do you think so many women love to read m/m?
Personally, I like the relationship dynamics as I explained earlier. But, I’ll also admit that two men coming together can be pretty dang hot! Many of the female protags I read are a turn-off, and I think many female readers feel the same – the whiny, wishy-washy doormat or ‘broken girl’ is such an overused, grating character type. Growing tired of it, I gave m/m a try. The characters tend to be stronger, from what I’ve read. I try to write stronger female characters for that reason, almost as if I’m writing more of a m/m dynamic.
What was it like writing the relationship between Ian and Charlie?
Fun. While I loved Emma and Brandon, something about Ian’s OCD and him being a submissive made him a unique write for me. Making Charlie strong and dominant while still being vulnerable and soft was a challenge. I enjoy writing the most when it’s challenging. Book 3, when Saul, Austin and Victoria have to figure themselves out, was one of the most challenging things I’ve written so far. Saul’s sexuality along with Austin’s struggle for acceptance was complex, then to throw Victoria in the mix? Sometimes I wonder if my Muse likes giving me creative mountains just to see if I’ll attempt the climb.
Do you have any current projects?
Several; a side-effect of mutli-genre writing. Currently, I’m working on:
- Pierce The Heart (Book 4 of The Stables, dealing with addiction, PTSD, masochism and abuse; m/f ; Winter 2014)
- Violet Haze (a Side-Story from my space opera romance series dealing with Mecha (androids) and love; m/f ; Winter 2014)
- Promise The Stars (Book 5 in my space opera romance series; m/f ; Spring 2015)
- Welcome To Alvarado (a new m/m series based in Texas for 2015)
And a few short stories for anthologies
Tell me about your writing process. Do you write with no direction? Do you rewrite to death?
I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t make outlines or maps. I pick a direction and go, and if I end up someplace completely unexpected, I don’t worry about it too much. I don’t tend to rewrite. For me, writing is a piece of my soul on paper. My soul wanted the story to go that way, and I shouldn’t question it, even if it means I’m not writing ‘marketable’ fiction. I know All These Pieces Of Me caused some controversy because it is so different than normal contemporary fiction, and I’m okay with that. As an indie, I do second-guess myself sometimes, but in the end, I try to stand by why I wrote the first time, because I think my heart had a very good reason for writing it.
How long does it typically take you to complete a novel?
Two months is a typical turn around for me from idea to completion, but writing is a fickle art. I can go weeks where I’m averaging 5k words per day, then hit a slump where I barely type anything at all.
What inspired Preconceptions? What was it like writing it?
A really strange dream. Most of my ideas come to me as I’m waking up. With Preconceptions, I knew I wanted to do something sweet and funny, with geek-filled references and a twist that could make it stand out as a novella. I wanted readers to think about how they approach reading – how they infer things and make assumptions about characters in a book. It’s shorter than I typically write, but I feel like prolonging the story to meet some magical page-count would have bloated the story unnecessarily. So far, the feedback on it has been encouraging.
What advice do you have for those thinking about writing gay romance? Any advice do you have for those who are trying to build an audience from scratch?
Give it a try and don’t be ashamed. If you feel embarrassed about what you’re writing, I think you should write something else. Also, try to stay away from stereotypes and common tropes. Don’t be afraid to take chances with your writing, and understand that you will never be able to please every single reader. There are going to be people who love your book, but there are going to be people who hate it. You have to accept both types of readers if you want to build an audience.
Thanks for having me for the interview, Jamie! If anyone is interested in feedback on their books, getting into self-publishing or my own works, my email box is always open – or you can connect with me on Twitter or Facebook. Links can be found at cekilgore.com