Kee Brenner’s mind never stops asking Why? and What if…? When that mind starts to reel, it spins tales of wonder. Sometimes sad. Sometimes scary. Sometimes offering threads of hope, or maybe a chuckle or two.
What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
Be humble and brave enough to learn from more skilled writers, but don’t let anyone distract you from writing what you love. That is where your superpower lies.
If you could go back and find yourself five years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
Don’t let the struggles of life snuff your passion. Be flexible enough to let them steer you in new directions, and courageous enough to explore those. It’s our struggle, not our ease, that connects us with humanity and makes us better writers.
What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
I love speculative fiction. I love anything that asks big questions and makes me think. As a child, some of my favourite authors were Madeleine L’Engle and Jules Verne. More recently I’ve enjoyed Robert J. Sawyer, Margaret Atwood, Orson Scott Card, and the short stories of Ken Liu.
How do you measure success when it comes to your writing?
I’m working on gaining confidence in myself and my work. Success for me is completing a project to the point that I am prepared to risk sharing it.
Do you favor the traditional route or self-publishing?
I think it’s a huge shame that traditional publishing is so absorbed in marketing. It’s also a shame that self-publishing has released a flood of variable quality. I favour self-publishing. As far as I can see, it offers the kind of flexibility and opportunity in which good work should thrive.
Are you an outliner or discovery writer? Or somewhere in between?
Generally I start with an idea or a question, and let the story flow from there. Usually I have at least a vague understanding of where it may end. In between, it’s like connecting dots. But those dots are far flung and flexible, so I’m much closer to a discovery writer–which includes the fun of surprising myself.
Do you ever get criticism from family or friends who don’t understand your passion?
Actual criticism is rare, but so is real encouragement. Ultimately, a writer needs to write because if they don’t, they’ll go mad. Then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. In fact, those around you may shoo you off to do your thing–even if they don’t understand–just so you don’t explode on them. That’s a win-win.
Do you participate in any online or in-person critique or writing groups?
No–but being a part of a closely-knit group of writers is a fantasy of mine.
What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I’m nearly finished a novella called Humans and Other Imaginary Beasts. My short story collection is coming along as well. Over the next year I hope to self-publish these.
Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
If you are curious for more, check out my website: www.keebrenner.com.