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AUTHOR SNAPSHOT: KEITH ANTHONY BAIRD

Welcome to NightTide's Author Snapshot! Snapshots are quick, engaging, bite-sized interviews with writers that we love! This week, we chat with the wonderfully spooky Keith Anthony Baird!

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1. Give us your best elevator pitch on your work.

Dark and deep, ruinous and rich, Baird’s works are a passport to turbulent
nightmares.

2. What was your first published work?

I began as a self-published author, so that would be the post-apocalyptic horror novel The Jesus Man. A heavy, religious-themed work, it tops out at over 100k, so I dove straight into very deep waters in terms of where I started my fiction writing. If you mean published by a company
then that would be when, after five years, I decided to seek out homes for my titles with publishers and Brigids Gate Press released my dark fantasy novella, In the Grimdark Strands of the Spinneret: A Fairy Tale For Elders in 2022.

3. Is there a story inside that you have seeds of but can't seem to connect that's dying to get out? 

Not per se, but there is one idea which I’ve put on the back burner involving a rather timid university librarian which I’ll no doubt get to one day and commit to paper. Think along the lines of the movie Saint Maud and you’ll get a rough idea of the direction that will take.

4. How do you handle a rejected story?

Rejection is part of the game. I always think in terms of the 1%. By that I mean that’s about where your chances of acceptance lie. Actors face countless casting call rejections. Producers/directors have any number of projects green lit only to have funding or interest withdrawn at the eleventh hour, and have their works mothballed. Writers need to accept and understand it’s not unique to their circumstances. It’s not personal. What you must do is box
clever. Hustle. Foster relationships. That’s how more opportunities present themselves.

5. What does literary success look like to you?

Everything is subjective in this business. Ultimately, creating what you feel is your best work and having even just one person ‘get’ that is a triumph. I definitely think success, wealth, whatever you want to call it, is just just a byproduct of that.

 

6. Do you read your book reviews and if so, how do you deal with bad or good ones?

I used to. I don’t anymore. In truth, I’m at a point where I understand the space between the author and the reader. Once you release a work it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to everyone else. There will always be those who click with what you do and those who don’t. The trick is to detach yourself from the process. Once you’ve done that no amount of negativity can touch you. It’s very liberating because nothing has any power over you anymore.

7. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

II don’t feel there’s any difficulty in any of it, really. If anything, editing and rewrites feel like work at times but that’s about as close to difficult as it gets for me.

8. The truth is often stranger than fiction. What has been the hardest scene or chapter you've had to write if you were channeling personal experience?

To date there’s been no personal aspect to any of my works. Pure fiction. So that hasn’t been a stumbling block for me. There have been tough chapters, though, for other reasons. Such as: complexity - an open-ended approach to the narrative - figuring out all angles - outcomes, and so on.

9. What inspired your latest work? 

I had an idea: What if I wrote a story for adults but penned it like a child’s fairy tale of old?

There would be recurring themes. Recurring turns of phrase (as these were how the messages of fairy tales were learnt by children). Characters would have no names, only titles such as the woodcutter, the prince, etc. So then what if I made that like a fable - dark, gothic, heavy, and made it bloody and soaked through with revenge and betrayal? Thus, In the Grimdark Strands of the Spinneret was conceived, and published by BGP in November 2022.

10. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would ti be? 

I’d say start small. Don’t dive in at the deep end like I did. Also, network first. Build a potential readership before you release anything. And lastly, like I always knew from the beginning, other authors are your allies not your competition. We all lift each other up. Be kind, always.

11. What's the best advice you've received from a fellow writer?

It wasn’t specifically said to me, but I’ll quote Gabino Iglesias: Keep writing, even when no one cares.

12. What is your go-to comfort horror/Sci-Fi book? 

Funnily enough it’s not a book. It’s John Carpenter’s The Thing, 1982. It’s what inspired me from a young age and will forever be a watchable banquet of the dark and gruesome for me.

13. If you were to genre-hop, which genres would you most like to try writing? 

A lot of the titles I’ve written to date are actually genre mash-ups because I like so many different elements. If I could branch out in any direction then it would actually be non-fiction because that would be a different challenge altogether, and I do enjoy research.

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Order Keith Anthony Baird's Dark Biotech Anthology, Hex-Periments here.

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