The editors of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective know that our strength is our writers. We hope that you enjoy getting to know them through our new Writer Interview Series.
What name do you write under?
Kindra M. Austin. Previously, I wrote under Pammy Pamtastico! I think of Pammy often. She was a real Class F lady. I feel her sometimes, trying to peel back the skin on my fingertips.
In what part of the world do you live?
I live in the village of Chesaning, a fading tourist town in mid-Michigan, situated on the Shiawassee River. Chesaning was formally known as Showboat City, and fuck tons of people from all over would visit during the weeklong Showboat Festival held in July. Or August. I can’t remember. After 76 years, the Showboat Festival met its demise in 2013, and the Shiawassee River Queen was retired. Probably made into firewood. It’s a bummer. Showboat was pretty cool. I saw Weird Al perform at the park, and he was excellent.
I despise winter, but Michigan is stunning in the summer and fall, especially the Upper Peninsula. I recommend visiting the Mackinac Bridge; Tahquamenon Falls State Park; Painted Rocks in Alger County; and Canyon Falls on the Sturgeon River. The Up-North landscape truly does sing to the soul—it’s a place you can sit utterly alone, and feel full. What a stunning sensation, inhaling the breath of nature so rich. But, my absolute favorite Michigan destination is Lake Huron, specifically Tawas City, located on the east coast of the Lower Peninsula. Because sentimental reasons.
Tell us about yourself.
My favorite color is green, all hues, excluding neon. Is neon considered a hue?
Soy sauce makes me so ill that just the sight of it causes nausea. When I go to a Chinese restaurant, I have to cover the Kikkoman bottle with a napkin. Funny, as a toddler, my mother always caught me drinking soy sauce like it was soda. I also ate butter.
I love animals. I feed stray cats, and build them box houses. I can’t bring any animals inside because my cat would fuck their shit right up. Melvin is not charitable. I wonder where I went wrong with him.
My top five favorite music artists will always be The Beatles; Pink Floyd; Led Zeppelin; Bob Dylan; and Fleetwood Mac.
If a Dawson’s Creek marathon is on television, goddamn it, I’m going to stop whatever it is I’m doing, and waste my whole day watching this horseshit.
I’m often misjudged as an extrovert. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to have a good fucking time. I’m a loud talker who laughs often, but what I love most is discussing philosophies, and life experiences. I really dig people who are into ploughing deep, and I’m happy to stay awake until stupid ‘o clock in the morning with the right person. Unfortunately, I’m a cold lover. I require ridiculous stretches of seclusion following any type of social affair—unless I spat you from my womb, don’t bother phoning me before a minimum of 120 hours have expired.
Where do you publish your writing?
When did you begin your blog and what motivated you start it?
I began Poems & Paragraphs in April, 2016, after a seven year hiatus from blogging. I’d made some people dangerously angry, so I stepped out for a nap. When I woke up, I said, “Fuck this. I’m done hiding.” I started a new blog under my own name that very day.
What inspires/motivates you to keep blogging on your site?
My emotions. I have to write them out. I have to know that I am not alone. And I have to let others know that they are not alone. Human connection, it’s a beautiful thing.
I don’t often sit at my computer and write about rainbows. No, I’d rather tap out the shit that follows rainbows. Not that I’m perpetually miserable. I’m actually naturally cheerful. I just feel that my calling is to write about trauma, and to expose the darkness that exists alongside my happiness.
When did you join the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective?
My debut Sudden Denouement piece, The Archer and the Scorpion, was published on July 24, 2017.
How did you find your way to Sudden Denouement?
I was a follower of SD early on, and I entered the March Madness contest in 2017; I submitted a piece called, A Moment of Dying, and made the top ten. I was freaking celebrating. For realz, what a boost to my self-esteem on the heels of returning from a long hiatus! When I was formally invited to join Sudden Denouement, I accepted, knowing this was a place that would help me grow as a writer, and human being. The writers who make up the collective are a bunch of elite bananas.
What does “Divergent Literature” mean to you?
Divergent Literature is Punk Rock truth—unfettered and brazen. Divergent Literature screams “Individual.” Fuck the mainstream rules.
Sudden Denouement Founder Jasper Kerkau frequently talks about Sudden Denouement writers using the ‘secret language’. What is it?
I don’t know that the ‘secret language’ can be defined. For me, it’s like trying to delimit a feeling. Maybe that’s the answer—the ‘secret language’ is as simple and as complicated as a feeling. You know it when you know it, you know? Does that even make sense? Or did I just take a politician’s way out of answering this question?
Ugh. Sometimes I’m the worst.
Tell us about your literary influences?
- Sylvia Plath. She’s the realest, most gorgeous of confessional poets. Plath wrote her absolute truths, ugly as they were, and her employment of language is a marvel. The Bell Jar is my favorite literary novel. “To the person in the bell jar, blank and stopped as a dead baby, the world itself is a bad dream.”
- John Steinbeck. His modest and straightforward style cannot be copied. To me, Steinbeck is a king of unpretention, among the sincerest of voices in literary history.
- Charles Bukowski. Duh.
- Edgar Allan Poe. My favorite short story of his is William Wilson. The attack is subtle, which makes the conclusion fucking brilliant. William Wilson is a character I relate to—my Pammy Pamtastico!
- Ray Bradbury. Hello! Anyone who says they don’t like Bradbury can take a long walk off a short pier.
- The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. I’ve read Salinger’s other works, but that man-child, Holden Caulfield, is one my very favorite literary characters. “It’s funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they’ll do practically anything you want them to.”
Has any of your work been published in print? How did that happen?
In April, 2017, I self-published my debut novel, Magpie in August. My book of poems and prose, Constant Muses, followed in December. Both are available at Amazon.
I began writing Magpie as a form of therapy—a fictionalized diary inspired by my relationship with my mother. I spent nearly two years shaping the narrative, and editing. Upon completion, I began sending queries to agents. Though I did gain some interest, nothing panned out with the big guys, so I decided to self-publish. I admit my patience is lacking; however, I don’t regret my decision. Magpie was published on my own terms, with cover art designed by the artist of my choice, Allane Sinclair.
My mother died unexpectedly in October, 2017, so I decided to dedicate my untitled poetry and prose project to her, and add content regarding the initial impact of her death. I came up with the title Constant Muses, and again, I trusted Allane to design the cover. Allane is a brilliant artist, who turned a tarnished photograph of my mother into a stunning tribute. I released Constant Muses on December 5, 2017.
What are your writing goals?
I’m presently working on another book of poems and prose—a year of my life minus my mother. I’m also finishing up a novella, which will be available by mid-summer, if all goes according to my plan.
Also, I want to be a rap lyric composer. But not like, gangsta. Like Eminem; he’s a brilliant poet.
Which pieces of your own writing are your favorites?
- Being the Way You Are: a brief memoir for my daughter, written April 16, 2016;
- Affliction, published on Sudden Denouement on October 25, 2017;
- Siren, published on Blood Into Ink on August 1, 2017;
- The Color of Beach Sand, published on Sudden Denouement on January 17, 2018;
What else would like to share about your writing, Sudden Denouement, or yourself?
What I’d like to add here is a bit of advice and encouragement to the blooming writer.
- Don’t sell yourself to trends that are uncomfortable, and buck propriety whenever it suits you.
- But be bold. Do challenge yourself to try new styles if you find yourself dissatisfied. You’ll find your strongest voice.
- Please, don’t be driven by accolades alone. You’ll only lose touch with yourself. Don’t be a phony.
- Respect the craft, and have patience with yourself.
- Find a writing community and build genuine relationships.
- Remember that writing is an art form, and poetry is often subject to individual interpretation.
- Read a lot. A good writer is a person who reads.
I’m sending you all good vibes. 🙂