TQ: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
j.a.: I’m not sure I have a quirk per say. But I do like to write loaded up on cough syrup. I’m kidding. Mostly. However, I do insist on writing on a computer, never, ever, ever, long hand. It’s not because I’m a computer snob, but due to the fact that I cannot read my own writing and without spell check, people often mistake me as an ESL student.
TQ: Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?
j.a.: Hands down, Christopher Moore is the biggest influence on my writing style. I love how he weaves wit and humor into a tale. I also love Tim Dorsey, Max Berry, and Lisa Lutz for the same reasons. I am a sucker for crime fiction greats like Robert Crais and Harlan Coben too. I love urban fantasy authors like Patricia Briggs, Mario Acevedo, and Jeanne C. Stein. Romance authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Crusie are excellent as well. These are the people to blame for my writing habit.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
j.a.: Pantser all the way. I start at word one and write straight through to the words, The End. Sometimes that means that I write myself into a corner, and those are the days I dream of being a plotter, but half the fun of writing a book is working myself out of those corners.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
j.a.: Sad to say, but writing itself is the worst part of writing. I HATE it. I hate spelling. I hate grammar. Punctuation and I are barely on speaking terms. Although I am a fan of the apostrophe, but sometimes it can be much too possessive.
TQ: Describe CURSES! (A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale 1) in 140 characters or less.
Cinderella is murdered. Ugly stepsister hires an evilly impotent villain to solve the crime. Mayhem ensues.
TQ: What inspired you to write CURSES!?
j.a.: Curses! started with the question, what happens after a villain gets off work? Is he still a villain? Does he spend his nights dreaming up new ways to steal candy from babies or crush the occasional princess under a bus? What’s his life like? From that question came a story devoted to telling the villain’s side of the story.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for CURSES!?
j.a.: I looked stuff up on Wikipedia. And when that didn’t work out, I spent days trying to lure a princess into a busy street using various means. Ultimately, the best way to murder a princess is by bluebird. Who knew? I also read plenty of fairy tales, the brothers Grimm’s being my favorites. I also searched high and low for fitting nursery rhymes. You can see why I lead such a hard life, right?
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?
j.a.: Prince Charming was the easiest since so much is already known about him. When people think Charming, they have an instant vision of what he looks like, and how he acts. I just tweaked those characteristics to suit my needs. The hardest character to write was RJ, the villain/protagonist. I had to step into a villain’s skin, to see the fairy tale world through the eyes of someone who hates woodland creatures, singing birds, and good deeds.
TQ: Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in CURSES!?
j.a.: I have two favorite scenes, the first one comes in the beginning of the book, when someone’s smashed Cinderella under a bus and her not-so-ugly stepsister comes to hire RJ to solve the crime. The ugly stepsister is a wee bit hungry, so she grabs a brick and scrambles the nearest egg sitting on a wall.
My other favorite scene is when RJ comes across the second ugly stepsister, who is sitting next to a pond kissing toads. RJ asked her what she’s doing:
Dru carefully placed the toad on the ground and wiped her lips. “I’m searching for a prince.”TQ: What's next?
“I see,” RJ said, but really didn’t. Hell, I was searching for a princess killer, but I wasn’t sexually harassing every pigeon in town.
j.a.: Next up is an urban fantasy novel coming out on April 2, 2012 titled, Holy Socks and Dirtier Demons. It’s about an ex-soldier, a vain angel, and a demonic feminist who must join forces in order to save the kidnapped Baby Jesus. Also, in 2013, the second book in the F***ed Up Fairy Tale series, FROGGY-STYLE, will be released.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
j.a.: Thank you so much for having me.
About F***ed-Up Fairy Tales
CURSES!A F**cked Up Fairly Tale 1
Kensington, February 28, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 308 pages
I’m no hero. In fact, up until a couple of days ago, I was the villain. Kidnapped maidens, scared kids, stole magic tchotchkes—until I got into a little scrape with the union. Now I’m cursed with the worst fate in New Never City—no matter what I do, I gotta be nice.
So when a head-case princess named Asia barges into my apartment and asks me to find out who whacked her stepsister, Cinderella, I have no choice but to help her. And I’m more than willing to head back to her parents’ castle and do some investigating if it means I can get into her black leather cat suit. Except this twisted sister has a family nutty enough to send the Biggest Baddest Wolf running for the hills—and a freaky little curse of her own...
j.a. kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. With a Master’s degree in forensic psychology, j.a. has worked as a private investigator, bartender, and at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Books include The Junkie Tales (2010), The Body Dwellers (2011), CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale (2012), and Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons (2012). The next book in the F***ed Up Fairy Tale series, Froggy-Style, is forthcoming from Kensington in 2013. For more information, visit j.a. kazimer’s website at http://www.jakazimer.com.
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