Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keith C. Blackmore Interview - The Missing Boatman $2.99

1. What are your influences and sources of inspiration?

I was an avid reader of comic books and later got into trade paperbacks. I
read a lot of different stuff, from action adventure to horror, SF to
fantasy. The first novel I read was Conan by Robert E Howard, and a few
other pulp writers whose names I can’t recall right now (sorry). At some
point later I remember picking up a copy of Terry Brook’s The Elfstones of
Shannara. I also remember reading Dracula at around twelve or thirteen,
and that lead to me picking up the Nightshift collection of short stories
by Stephen King. Movies were hard to come by in my hometown, so I would
read a lot of movie adaptations, and a lot of them were written by Alan
Dean Foster, who quickly became a favourite of mine. Anything that was in
comics, print, or on the screen was a source of inspiration. I also played
Dungeons and Dragons (yes, yes) quite a bit and the idea of creating my
own adventures was something I wanted to do, just like the movies Those
were good times with good friends as well, but I realized that sometimes,
the characters controlled by the players didn’t always do things I
envisioned in gameplay, so, the next big step was writing my own adventure
with characters of my own creation. In university, I majored in English
literature but the course selections (the classics) were mostly pretty
boring (there were some exceptions--Shakespeare was great, as was Charles
Dickens). Classic mythology was a course I loved but didn’t do well on
as, during the final exam, the professor insisted on making me answer
questions I had no interest in. I also studied the classics in SF &
Fantasy during university, as well as a little military history.

2. What genres do you read and why?

Mostly SF and Fantasy but I will go outside of that. I’ve read westerns
(Larry McMurty’s Lonesome Dove) Annie Proulx (The Shipping News) as well
as a bunch of others. Some nonfiction as well if it’s anything weird or
different. I want to get a new book called The Decent which is about this
group of people that explore the deepest known caves on Earth, and they go
down in the earth for kilometres. Anything outside of SF & Fantasy is
essentially research for me as I study how other authors do things.

3. Who are your favourite authors and why?

Robert E Howard, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Alan Dean Foster, Larry
McMurty, Annie Proulx, John Steakley, and bunch of others. Steakley
particular has a writing style that hooks me right from the get-go. I read
most of these authors because they are or were the best at what they do,
so studying them is important, and they tell great stories.

4. Have you met any famous writers and did they live up to your expectations?

Met Chris Clairemont at an SF Convention in Nova Scotia, Canada. Also met
Guy Gavriel Kay. Both guys were very friendly although I do remember Chris
and his wife just getting back from Australia and being jet-lagged. He did
sign my limited series Wolverines though.
Kay awarded me first prize in a short story contest, and told me that I
was good at capturing and developing “a voice.” It was a year before I
knew what he meant.

5. Aside from writing, what other interests do you have?

Avid movie watcher--some great stories out there--although I don’t do
musicals (unless it’s a Disney animation). Still a big PC gamer, and I’m
currently enjoy playing Fallout 3. I enjoy exercising, mountain biking,
and walking. The biking and walking in particular are great ways to work
out writer’s block, and to just think.

6. Have you had anything traditionally published or adapted into a film?

Came close to traditionally publishing a long time ago with my first
fantasy novel Not a Bard’s Song, which is probably as close to mainstream
fantasy as I’ll get. The publisher (a small press) “loved” the book but
went bankrupt. None of the big publishers wanted it. So, while still
peddling it around, I wrote the sequel, a few more fantasy novels, and a
horror book. I’ve had a few articles published in Korean newspapers (my
first paid work!). Nowadays, I’ve all but given up on the traditional
publishing industry as ebooks and ereaders are becoming more and more

7. Can any of your work be viewed, if so where?

My website is, where you can find news and reading
samples. There are a couple of free horror stories there--Taste and Ye
Olde Fishing Hole. There will be some short fantasy fiction there as well,
which will be the lead in to a series of short stories under the title of
131 Days. Also, links, where whatever ebooks I have are
currently selling. Reviews are coming in, and I’m pleased with them. I
hope they continue.

8. What’s your current book about?

The Missing Boatman is a horror tale about the week where a lot of people
start surviving terrible accidents and disasters all over the globe. It’s
a modern day story about “what if” none of us could die anymore, and what
might happen once the world populace discovered their newly found
immortality. It’s fantasy, Death is a character in the book, and there are
a lot of powers, both good and bad, that want to find him… or kept him

I was a student of classical mythology in university, and came across one
story which I found exceptionally interesting. It was about this man who
had wished for immortality and got it, but later realized the gods had
played a trick on him. They made him immortal, but they did not grant him
eternal youth. As a result, he continued to age, until he was an
incredibly old man. The Missing Boatman takes that myth a few steps
further, and I hope people enjoy the story.

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