Our next Short Flights interview author is Kate MacLeod (whom I already love because I think we’re kindred spirits–half of her answers could have been written by me!). Kate lives in Minnesota and keeps a website at https://www.katemacleod.net/, where you can find her social media information and sign up for her newsletter.
SDR: Kate, tell us a little about the story you have in the Short Flights bundle.
KM: “Unsafe, Unsound” is a western weird tale of a family on the edge of civilization who catch a glimpse of the other layers beyond this world. It’s told in multiple points of view because each character has an entirely different experience. For a long time it was the darkest thing I ever wrote.
SDR: I love hearing about where other writers write, so could you describe your current writing workspace?
KM: I have a treadmill desk set in a bay window so it’s almost like walking outside while I type or dictate. I need lots of sun and fresh air when I make the words.
SDR: Do you remember what sparked the idea for “Unsafe, Unsound”? What was it?
KM: This was actually the rare instance where I used something from a dream. I had recently moved from a heavily populated neighborhood to one at the edge of the suburbs, surrounded by corn fields and dairy farms. In my dream I had the image of a man walking up my dirt road in the light of the full moon and I just knew that there was something wrong with him. I couldn’t get the image out of my head and had to know what his story was.
SDR: I’m always surprised when some people say they don’t enjoy short stories, so I’m asking writers, why do you write short fiction? Love, necessity, marketability, or something else?
KM: I love short fiction! My reading time is half fiction magazines and anthologies and half novels. As a writer I get story ideas that work best at some specific length and I don’t try to wrestle with that, I just let it be the length it is.
SDR: What’s the most perfect short story you’ve ever read?
KM: It’s either “The Dead” by James Joyce or “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. Don’t make me choose between the two!
SDR: All right, we’ll change the subject. :) Have you written any series characters? What’s their appeal for you?
KM: I’m writing my first series character now. I wrote her first book as a standalone but loved her character so much I had to go back and continue her story. The Scout Shannon books are young adult science fiction and I loved the idea of slowly expanding her awareness of her world, planetary system, and galaxy around her as she grows into it. Plus she has two dogs, who are thinly fictionalized versions of my dogs, and I love writing about them!
SDR: Do you prefer music, silence, or some other noise in the background when you write? If music, what kind?
KM: I like music but I get easily distracted by lyrics so when I’m writing it’s all instrumentals, and generally movie soundtracks. The last novel I wrote I had the soundtrack to “King Arthur” on repeat. Currently it’s “Blade Runner 2049”.
SDR: I also love movie soundtracks for writing music–and also video game soundtracks! You should give some of those a try, too (Assassin’s Creed 2 and Halo are great).
Now, to finish up, tell us about your other works, projects, publications, and what’s on the horizon next. This is the shameless self-promotion portion of the interview. :)
KM: I’m currently halfway through a young adult science fiction series called The Travels of Scout Shannon. Book 3 of 6, Among Treacherous Stars, just came out on Tuesday. In April I have short stories that will appear in both Analog and Mythic Delirium, which is huge for me!
SDR: Thanks for stopping by and chatting with us, Kate!
The Short Flights bundle from BundleRabbit is available now across many online platforms. Along with Kate’s story, you’ll find nine more single stories and five full collections in the bundle, enough short fiction to keep you reading for a while! At just $4.99, it’s a real steal, so don’t miss it.
We have more interviews coming soon, so stay tuned!