An interview with Keith C Blackmore.

Q. Your latest book, White Sands, Red Steel, is Heroic fantasy, full of vivid imagery and fast paced action. What attracts you to this particular aspect of the fantasy genre

A. It’s just what I enjoy reading. I like reading Robert E Howard and David Gemmell stories, and they both have fast paced styles about them. It just rubbed off on me. I still have a lot of work to do with my characterizations, as I feel this is my weak area.

Q. You have quite a few novels under your belt now, what motivates such prolific writing?

A. Unemployment.

I took the year off once I realized I could write and publish in Ebook form. I had some money saved for emergencies and used this to fund myself for that time, while I camped out in my parent’s basement (thanks mom and dad). In that year I cranked out something like 500K worth of words. It’s my only source of revenue now, and while I’m making just under minimum wage, I’m making enough to pay rent and buy food, so I’ll keep at it.

Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

A. Wanted to be a film director, but I got looks from my guidance counselor when I told him that. And there wasn’t much information on hand for film schools. So… I went with the writing.

Q. What was the first thing you wrote?

A. A Star Wars knock off. When I was a kid. I think it was about four notebook pages long.

Q. Who are your favourite authors and why?

A. For Fantasy it’s Robert E Howard and David Gemmell. Howard for the scope of the world building and the imagery. Gemmell for much of the same reasons, but I think he had the more moving storytelling ability. Just my opinion.

For Horror, it’s Stephen King (he’s the king) just for sheer imagination, dialogue, characters, and horror.  Robert McCammon also does the same thing well.

Alan Dean Foster. I grew up in a small town without a movie theatre and most times, when a movie came out— “Clash of the Titans,” “Alien,” “The Thing,” and others, most often it was Alan who got the novelizations. I still have copies of his treatments of those movies.

Annie Proulx (did “The Shipping News”) is a writer who does things with the language that’s like surreal written art on the page. There are lines that paint pictures in your mind in just one sentence.

Q. At the moment you’re self-published. Would you ever consider going down the “traditional” publishing route?

A. Now? After chasing them for so long? Y’know I went online to DAW books the other day and I was stunned to see they still want manuscripts submitted to them in paper! PAPER! In this wonderful digital age! Anyway, no. Only if the “trads” approached me and offered a deal with a sum over seven figures, where I keep the majority of the ebook royalities, and only where I owed them one to three books. I imagine working for them (not “with”) would be a very frustrating experience after doing this all on my own. Frankly, I think they’ve all lost touch with what readers want to read.

Once I fulfilled my contract, I’d go back to being indie.

Q. Can you provide some of the links to your other self-published novels?

A. Right now, they are all on Just go there and visit the kindle section and type in my name.

Q. Do you have a website/blog, where readers can view samples of your work?


But all the samples are now removed—just because I signed an agreement with Amazon which has a clause that any books sold in their KDP select program isn’t supposed to be previewed anywhere else. I don’t think much of the clause, but it’s a minor thing.

Q. Do you have another book in the pipeline and if so, can you give us a brief outline of the story?

A. I’m working on book 3 now of my zombie series  “Mountain Man” which is very similar in premise to  Richard Matheson’s “I am Legend.”

And after that, I’ll get back to a sequel to “131 Days” which is my version of Spartacus—well, it’s a gladiator story anyway.

Q. Finally, what piece of advice would you offer aspiring writers?

A. Well, I’m still learning this myself, but read your favourites. Study how they do things. Even read genres outside of what you like if something catches your eye. Study them as well. And write. Write, write, write. Join a writer’s group. Take feedback (and take it well). Reflect on what you wrote. Write, write and write more. Rewrite if necessary. It’s just like anything—not many people can take up a tennis racket and be proficient at it. It all takes time, and I’m still working on things in my stories.

Oh, and keep a day job. I had mine for close to 15 years before I finally made the leap. It’s not easy, and I could be back to work within six months.


2 Responses to “An interview with Keith C Blackmore.”

  1. Kate, spot-on perfect interview as always. Keith, I found this interview to be very inspiring. I’m so happy you’re able to follow your dreams and support yourself as an author.


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