30 September 2020

Author Spotlight || Gene Kendall


What's your latest release? 


Love is Dead(ly)



Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 



Brad Burns has a big problem.

Not his crippling credit card debt.

Not his ex-wife, and current business partner, who still blames him for the messy break-up of their marriage.

Not his lovable but spiky personality, that keeps him alive, but alone.

No, Brad’s big issue is that he sees dead people. And those dead people are starting to fight back.

Brad is a paranormal investigator who uses his powers to shepherd the lost souls of the newly-departed to the light on the other side. In return for a fee. Naturally.

But when a case goes badly wrong, Brad finds himself the prisoner of those he’d usually be hunting. Can he use his unique talents to save not only his own skin, but all of humanity?

Because Brad Burns is the Paranormal Desperado. And he’ll be damned if he’ll let a bunch of pesky ghosts get in between him and those he loves.

Although maybe “damned” is tempting fate a bit too much...

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?


The earliest genesis of the story comes from the writing prompt where you write a conversation between two characters, with absolutely no forethought. You write no surrounding prose and work out no backstory beforehand—just write the conversation. The characters reveal themselves as you write their dialogue.

The opening conversation in the novel is, after many edits, that writing prompt. While writing the conversation, I had to decide if this Brad Burns really could talk to dead people or if he was running a con on this man. It seemed like a far more interesting story if Brad truly could do these things, so by default, he became a psychic and not a con artist.

I’d also watched something about the making of Ghostbusters around this time that revealed Dan Aykroyd demanded a scene featuring his character being, ah, “spectrally seduced” remain in the film, even though the rest of that sequence had been cut and it really makes no sense in the finished movie. Aykroyd’s firm in his view of ghosts as seductresses, so he refused to cut this. This was likely in my head when creating the corner of the afterlife Brad visits.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?


I discovered the characters while writing the story, then returned to earlier chapters to make necessary edits to make the cast consistent.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?


They're all my favorite and least favorite at certain times when writing. Sandra is probably the character I'd most like to spend time with in real life.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?


Always character.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?


I enjoy reading reviews. Bad reviews are fine, but reviews that outright state things that aren't true about the material are always bewildering.

What led you to start writing?


I was often bored as a kid, terrible at sports and likely perceived as slightly odd by my classmates. Reading was probably less of an “escape” and more of a way to kill the time. Summers were spent at the library, where I consumed Choose Your Own Adventure and Encyclopedia Brown books. My father also grew up reading compulsively, and made sure I was familiar with writers like Mark Twain. Comic books were an early obsession, once I realized many of the cartoons I watched also had comic versions.

At around the age of 9, I began to craft my own stories, sometimes just in my head and other times on lined notebook paper. Even from an early age, I was intrigued by ideas like story structure, studying when a novel paused for a chapter break, or those mini-cliffhangers on TV shows before the commercials. I would incorporate these concepts into my imaginary Transformers stories, always careful to obey the rules I’d set for myself.

What's one of your favorite words?


Rigmarole 

What are you currently reading?


I gave up today on a "Prime Reads" or whatever Amazon calls those free books you get with a Prime subscription. Allegedly a thriller, but the lead character spoke like she was live-Tweeting the events and I just couldn't take it any longer.

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?


Well, the title of my novel was inspired by a song. "(You're) So Deadly" from the band Self.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?


Fast food references. Can't explain it.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?


@NBX_Tweets on Twitter. And review copies are available here.

Thanks so much for participating in the Author Spotlight! Anything you'd like to add?


I hope everyone checks out Love is Dead(ly) and leaves a review. I'd love to read your thoughts!

Gene Kendall has lived many places, but is usually surrounded by more deer than people. His work explores drama, music, and pop culture with wit and no small amount of sympathy for the losers and also-rans. He’s drawn to protagonists that say the wrong thing, actively resist their character arc, and possibly save the day by accident.

Currently, Gene’s contributing to CBR.com’s “Comics Should Be Good” blog, and you can find him on some horrific website called Twitter.