Kindra Sowder is a prolific author that runs her own printing press called Burning Willow Press. Like Lily Luchesi, I met Kindra through a release party and read her first book in the Permutation Archives, The Harvested. In a matter of chapters, I fell in love with Mila, but what impressed me about Kindra was how she used her degrees to write such a compelling story.
Needless to say, it’s amazing she’s still working her day job with all these books, but as writers, we don’t always write to make a paycheck.
Rather than continue on, meet Kindra Sowder!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a Los Angeles native that moved here to South Carolina at the age of 12 with my grandparents and sister. I graduated high school with full honors and then moved onto college, where I earned two degrees in Criminal Neuropsychology. In 2014, I marred my husband Edd Sowder, whom I run our small press Burning Willow Press, LLC. I have a few titles published through that house, but also through CHBB Publishing with one coming at the beginning of the year with Vamptasy.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would very much love to make NYT and USA Today bestseller lists. Film would be great too. I currently have a lot on the horizon so you never know.
Which writers inspire you?
Stephen King is a massive inspiration for my work as well as Anne Rice and James Patterson.
So, what have you written? What genre do you typically write?
I write in a wide array of genres.
The Permutation Archives is Dystopian fantasy/sci-fi.
The Executioner Trilogy is dark fantasy.
The Miss Hyde Novellas is erotic horror.
I currently have plenty of others in the works including a couple of thrillers and apocalyptic series.
My first zombie novel “Zombified Book 1: The Head Hunter” is on pre-order with Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook that I wrote with The Walking Dead actor Santiago Cirilo.
Where can we buy or see them?
All of my works are available on Amazon, which can be found easiest on my Amazon author page. They are also available for purchase in print through Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, etc.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Ahhh, well that would depend on which book you would like to speak about. All of my characters are special in their own way, but the two I find the most impressive over the last couple of years are Mila Hunter from The Permutation Archives and Caesar Meldano from “Zombified Book 1: The Head Hunter.” One is imbued with a genetic mutation giving her supernatural abilities and it is up to her to fight against the oppression of people like her in a Dystopian society. Caesar has survived the meteor shower that and becoming something else entirely that no one had seen before, battling and secluding himself to live out the rest of his life.
If you had to choose a favorite character that you’ve written, who would it be and why?
If given the opportunity to change either Mila or Caesar, I never would. They are perfectly flawed and rebateable, which makes it so much easier for the reader to become emotionally invested.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a number of projects. I am writing book 3 of the Permutation Archives The Scorned, Sick Like Me: A Miss Hyde Novellas Volume 4, and other more secret projects.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t really think I decided. More like I was called to be a writer. I had a story in my mind I couldn’t stop thinking about and just had to write it down. That’s how we got the Executioner Trilogy.
Why do you write?
Pure unadulterated passion for the written word. Also, because the stories harass me until I finally put them down.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
As said above, when I get a story in my head I can’t stop thinking about it until I write it.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time. I have a day job and run Burning Willow Press, LLC at the same time as well.
How do you structure your day, by word count, hours or by pages?
Purely by word count. I attempt to put down 1,000 words a day on each project I am working on.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I write everything on my computer with multiple backups in place. Can’t be too careful.
Where do your ideas come from?
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
It depends largely on the project. I am mostly a pantser, but with certain projects I will outline.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Over the years I have learned to be more concise, don’t elaborate so much on certain details. That there are certain things you can just glace over or omit altogether. I had a tendency very early on to drag a little, but I believe I have gotten much better about that over the last 13 years writing.
What are your greatest challenges in writing and how have you adapted to them?
The greatest challenge has been having the time. Since I’ve structured my days to have time specifically for it, I have tackled that hurdle.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I do a few passes myself and then have someone handle the final.
What process do you use to proofread or edit your books?
I use multiple tools. Grammarly is a great one, and I suggest paying for it to have all of the amazing features. I also to text to speech to catch anything that may be awkwardly structured or too long that I could have missed before.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
I have had multiple editors. Tracey Poist edited the Executioner Trilogy along with a couple of others. My publisher gave me the wonderful editor I have had for the Permutation Archives books. I chose Donna Marie West as the editor for Zombified because I felt that she was indeed the best choice to truly make this as perfect as possible.
Did anyone line proof your book separately? If so, how did you come to choose them?
My editors also line edited.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
Each cover for each of my works have come about beautifully and I wouldn’t change a thing. I believe I have become harder to please though working with certain artists.
Who designed your book cover/s?
Loraine Van Tonder, I’ve done a couple, and Aurelia Fray have created my book covers.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely. Aside from the blurb on the back, the cover is their first exposure to your work and it has to be able to draw the reader in.
How are you publishing this book and why?
I am a hybrid author. Certain projects I want more control over and some I really want a publisher to help me push the work to the next level.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
The cost is the main disadvantage of self-publishing as well as not having the reach a publisher does, but you do have the advantage of having control over the work. The disadvantage of tradition, of course, if not having the same control, but the advantage is the reach that you gain as well as not having to take the financial burden on your own.
How do you market your books?
I do different things. Posting in Facebook groups, Twitter, Instgram, as well as doing interviews like this one, etc.
Do you have any advice for those who want to do Indie publishing, such as social media, marketing, giveaways and promoting sales?
Read, read, read. And always write. At least once a day, even if it’s only five words. They may be crap, they may be the best you’ve ever written, but write every day. Anything that you can’t fix yourself can be fixed in editing.
How do you relax?
A glass of wine and almonds or dark chocolate curled up in the recliner in front of the TV watching my favorite shows.
What is your favorite book and why?
It’s a shame to say I don’t have a favorite book. I love too many to have one.
How do you get inspired to write?
Either the urge to write or music.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t write anything with that particular high school friend.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Same as in the above section.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
I only see it growing from here with the introduction of so many amazing stories and authors.
Readers can discover more about Kindra Sowder on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. Her work is also available on Amazon, Smashwords and Goodreads.