27 September 2014

Proust Your Protagonist with K. W. Taylor

RedEye-2014
Meet Sam Brody, the protagonist of K. W. Taylor's
hit urban fantasy The Red Eye.

Presenting

Sam Brody

Today's interview is with someone who is no stranger to interviews--radio talkshow host Sam Brody of the hit late-night series The Red Eye. I'm turning the tables on Sam by asking him the questions, especially since I keep hearing this weird rumor about him being a dragon-slayer, which sounds like something he'd debunk on his own show. Maybe he'll give us the scoop; maybe not. 

Kristina: It's great to have you here, Sam.

Sam: Thanks for having me.  Listen, I've got quite a bit on my plate at the moment, so I hope you don't mind if I just blitz through these.

Kristina: No problem, I understand. Just so you know, though, some of these are of a personal nature--

Sam: It's all right. I don't avoid the tough questions on my own show; I'm fair game for yours.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
The lowest depth of misery is knowing something is irrevocably screwed up and you’re totally unable to do a damn thing about it. Misery is seeing my ex with another guy, seeing the face of unfathomable horror and knowing it could slice me to ribbons in two seconds flat, or having somebody I care about be in danger. Can I do something about some of that stuff? Yeah, a little. Maybe even a lot. The danger stuff, I’m getting better at. The emotional stuff…not so much.

Where would you like to live?
I’d like to live in a safe world free from monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. Silly me, I thought I did live in a world like that, but apparently not. Barring that, I guess I see myself retiring somewhere sunny with a beach…unless people like me don’t get to retire, that is.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
I’ve seen glimpses, but only just that—glimpses. Brief. Fleeting. The smile on my producer Heather’s face when I’ve done something good. The first-morning drag on a cigarette (I know, I know, I’m trying). The point where coffee cools off just enough that you can drink long and deep without burning your tongue. Simple pleasures. God knows my life is more distinct-lack-of-pleasure these days.

The quality you most admire in a man?
All the stuff I’m not, basically. Hard-working, teetotaling, clean-living, and easy to get along with. So basically my boss, Jon, but so help me, I will go to my grave denying I admire him.

Concordia-2014
If you can't get enough of Sam, check him out
in The Red Eye's prequel, The House on Concordia Drive.
The quality you most admire in a woman?
A woman can earn my eternal admiration by telling me when I’m being an ass. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop, but I’ll admire her honesty.

Your favorite virtue?
Not being a homicidal demon-type thing helps. Humanity helps. These days, as long as you’re not a ghost, a dragon, or a shapeshifter, everything else really is a virtue.

Your favorite occupation?
Of all the hats I wear right now, I still like my radio gig best, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It gets me out of the house without making me get up early, and it provides a nice cover for my recently-acquired side gig. I must admit the whole “podcasting” fad has me a little worried, but so long as the radio station keeps me employed and doesn’t ask too many questions about my all-too-frequent injuries, I’m good.

Your most marked characteristic?
I get a lot of eyerolls whenever I say something I think is especially hilarious. Apparently not everyone agrees that I am, in fact, the funniest man alive.

What do you most value in your friends?
Anybody who’s known me longer than about five minutes is going to have to be really excellent at forgiveness.

What is your principle defect?
For most of my life, I had no idea about a lot of the darker parts of the universe almost solely because while I have my problems, getting riled up and angry isn’t one of them. Apparently certain gifts don’t really present themselves if you can’t be bothered to summon up some righteous anger. So, unlike a lot of people I know—my father, for example—I actually need to work on increasing my anger.

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?
The greatest misfortune would be to die trying to save someone and still fail. I don’t care so much if the universe decides to off me, but if it takes me out with someone I care about, that’d be the worst.

What would you like to be?
Right more often than I’m wrong. I’ll let you know if that ever happens.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My buddy Steve is pretty chill. He’s a good friend and a decent guy, and those are few and far between in this world. Lot of heroism in grilling a good hamburger and never screwing anybody over.

Who are your favorite heroines?
My producer Heather is a true heroine, and I love her for it. So is a really brave lady named Jenny Chan. Only had the pleasure once, but she showed me what it means to stand tall in the face of real adversity, the kind that lives in your house with you and can scar you for life if you let it.

What is it you most dislike?
Mornings. Sunrise. Alarm clocks. Being at the airport while it’s still dark out. Basically anything that has me anywhere before noon.

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
Tact. Tact would be really useful a lot of the time. Really, anything related to not just blurting out exactly what I’m thinking. Might still be married if I had that gift.

How would you like to die?
At this point, it would be pretty satisfying in the heat of battle. If I have to go out, might as well be with my boots on.

What is your present state of mind?
Is “irrevocably damaged” a thing in the DSM? It’s probably called something fancier there, but yeah. That.

What is your motto?
Live and let live. Unless the other thing wanting to do the living is a sixty-foot-long flying and fire-breathing dragon. Then live and let die really painfully.

~*~

Image (c) K .W. Taylor
K.W. Taylor’s debut novel The Red Eye marks her fiftieth publication credit (Alliteration Ink, 2014).

She has short stories in the anthologies The Grotesquerie (Mocha Memoirs Press, 2014), 100 Worlds (Dreamscape Press, 2013), Sidekicks! (Alliteration Ink, 2013), Touched by Darkness (Etopia Press, 2012), and Once Bitten, Never Die (Wicked East Press, 2011), as well as many print and electronic magazines. Taylor’s two short novellas, The House on Concordia Drive (Alliteration Ink) and We Shadows Have Offended (Etopia Press), were released in 2014 and 2011 respectively. 

Taylor serves on several panels for local, regional and international literary grant awards and writing contests, and she is a student in the innovative Writing Popular Fiction MFA program at Seton Hill University. Taylor teaches college English and Women’s Studies in Dayton, Ohio, where she lives in a restored nineteenth-century home with her husband and the world's most rambunctious kitten. When not writing, Taylor enjoys yoga, doing crafts badly, and collecting board games. She blogs at kwtaylorwriter.com.


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