Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to welcome Kimberley Long-Ewing to our spotlight blog! Kim will be one of our featured authors during our Worcester Needs Diverse Books Event on Saturday, July 25, from 2:00PM to 5:00PM. Kimberley Long-Ewing was raised in Indiana where ze learned to see the laws of thermodynamics in cornfields. Kimberley then moved to New Mexico for graduate school and adventuring where ze met the love of zir life, explored ancient pueblo ruins, and climbed mountains. Kimberley now lives in Wisconsin where explores the bluffs and lakes in search of unusual images to pin down in photographs. When not homeschooling one child, ze collaborates with the other, Rhea Ewing, on graphic novels and with zir partner on educational projects.
Welcome, Kim! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
I write speculative fiction – fantasy, horror, and science fiction (sometimes mixed up all together). My work features diverse characters. I explore race, class, sexuality, and gender identity within larger themes of community and politics. I currently live in Wisconsin where my partner and I are raising a child and a puppy who is a future seeing-eye dog. Our other child is grown and an accomplished artist. My partner is a physician who teaches coping mechanisms to people struggling with addiction.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from [newest release/spotlighted release]?
On the surface, my writing seems to span a wide variety of genres. I’ve written comics, speculative fiction stories for general audiences, and fantasy stories for mid-grade readers. I write fantasy, horror, and science fiction. I blur the lines between the three. I think of these diverse types of work as stages for my stories. I pick the best environment to explore an idea and let it go where it will. All my work focuses on complexity. How do we relate to one another, to society, and to ourselves? I’m fascinated by motivation. My characters rarely fit into the role of hero or villain.
Take Bioluminescent Lisp as an example. In the far futures world of New Charleston, Snapper and Alli struggle as outsiders in the local community. Advances in gene therapy have shaped a society that must come to grips with what it means to be human and a member of a specific culture. The ability to enhance, augment, and change genes allows for greater individual expression. It also creates new ways for cultures to impose standard normalcy. Snapper and Alli fall in love and find their place in their community. The story is about how they go about accomplishing all of that.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
Snapper is the linchpin of Bioluminescent Lisp. In my mind, Snapper is the shaman of zir community. Ze doesn’t lead it but ze impacts their lives and provides a perspective on their situations that is quirky, insightful, and unexpected. Ze lives in the spaces between social groups and between genders. Zir fluidity, adaptability, and resilience makes zir special. Ze is the common point for all the other characters and ze ties their lives to one another. Besides, anyone who is adopted by a raccoon has to be awesome.
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
Speculative fiction is a great way to explore social themes. It allows us to examine “what if” questions and perform thought experiments. I love being able to set up a virtual simulation to examine a contemporary problem and explore solutions to it.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
Aside from more issues of Bioluminescent Lisp, my alter-ego (KK Alowin) has a middle grade novel entitled Curse of the Goblin Travelers coming out in 2016.
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
We have had dogs forever. Our current puppy is being raised to become a service dog – most likely he’ll be a guide dog for the visually impaired. Our other dogs have all been pets. They have helped by being good companions as well as entertaining monsters. My dogs are the only “people” in my life that can be easily identified in my writing. Two of them make appearances as flying bunnies in Goblin Travelers. They have also served as models for tricksters in my other stories.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
My website includes a list of my published work with links to publishers and with ISBN info so you can order any of it from your favorite bookseller.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
My website is at kim.mysticsheepstudios.com, my twitter and tmblr are @kimlongewing
My alter-ego for middle grade work (KK Alowin) is at flitterbuns.com