I'd like to give a warm welcome to author, publisher, and personal friend of mine, James Ward Kirk.
Interview with JAMES WARD KIRK
|James Ward Kirk|
You are currently publisher and editor of three anthologies. Let's start with the first of these anthologies; its origins and the first authors to be published within.
I’ve been publishing anthologies as far back as the 2011 edition of Indiana Horror. The 2012 edition of Indiana Horror was published recently. I also have a 2011 edition of Indiana Science Fiction and the recently published Indiana Science Fiction 2012. I also have a 2012 edition of Indiana Crime and Indiana Crime 2013 is in the submission process. My first endeavors involved providing a medium to publish and promote Indiana writers. This love and respect for Indiana writers continues. Contributors to Indiana Horror include James S. Dorr, A.J. French, Murphy Edwards and Lee Forsythe. Indiana Horror 2011 has some excellent content. As it was my very first venture in publishing, I had a lot to learn. I made mistakes. The best thing I learned is how important it is to connect with writers on a personal level. When I did Indiana Horror 2011, my only intention was to do one annual anthology. I discovered that I loved the process of putting together anthologies, from reading the stories to placing content in what would become the master document. But most of all, I enjoyed the contributors. I have made some excellent friends. I’ve watched them grow as writers, to publish their first novels. I am proud of my writer friends. My three current anthologies, Hell, Grave Robbers and Serial Killers Iterum, started out with Static Movement. They ran into some problems with their publisher. I asked for and received permission to publish the three anthologies under my logo. Their cover art didn’t migrate. I had to come with covers for the anthologies. I turned to William Cook, a fellow writer, and he created the most amazing covers I’ve seen to date. I was building the interior file for the anthologies as work was accepted. A fellow writer friend, Mike Jansen, added some final touches to the interior files with some special fonts he has access to. At the end, I had three beautiful anthologies filled with excellent poetry, flash fiction and short stories. But still I wasn’t satisfied. I called for and received some excellent art to decorate the interior of the anthologies. This art came from relationships I had built over the years with some wonderful people. Facebook has been invaluable in developing these relationships. I have four pages on Facebook other than my main account: James Ward Kirk Fiction, Indiana Horror, Indiana Science Fiction and Indiana Crime. The number of followers of these pages has helped me build and maintain relationships with my artist and writer friends.
What was your earliest inspiration to start a publication series for Indiana based authors? How long had you been a fan of horror novels beforehand? Name the authors whose work you most often read and why you preferred their work.
The inspiration for Indiana Horror 2011 resulted from meeting some local horror writers. They were arrogant, smug and condescending toward writers that had not reached their level of perceived success. Not all of them, but a lot of them. I thought, “Who made these assholes the guardians at the gate?” So I created Indiana Horror 2011 as a medium for new writers to earn publication credit and have their visions appear in print. I wanted to create a home for these good people, a home for their poetry and prose that they could be proud of. There’s nothing like being published to keep writers working on their craft. So JWK Fiction evolved. As time passed, I’ve added writers and artists from around the world.
The 2011 edition of Indiana Horror is your first published anthology. How well was it received by reviewers? What were the mistakes you learned from around the time this edition was compiled and published?
The contributors to Indiana Horror 2011 were quite pleased with the publication. At the time, that was enough for me. As time passed, I learned how better to promote the work of authors that are gracious enough to choose me as their editor and publisher. Indiana Horror 2011 is in the process of receiving a make-over, with new cover art and a fancy interior file. Mike Jansen is helping me with this. As my knowledge regarding promotion has improved, I expect Indiana Horror to be more well-known and better received. I’ll be able to promote the new version and attract a wider audience.
Explain how James S. Dorr, A.J. French, Murphy Edwards and Lee Forsythe heard you were seeking submissions for your Indiana Horror anthologies. Name the fictional pieces they submitted and describe the potential you saw in them?
I advertised on Ralan and Duotrope and Facebook. James S. Dorr’s “Ballet Of The Dolls” amazed me. He required no editing. At the time, I did not realize he was an established writer. Same for “The Dead Girls” by A.J. French. And Murphy Edwards. I think they may have been drawn to the idea of an “Indiana” anthology”. I was lucky to get them. A.J. French later put together a very well received anthology called Shadow of the Unknown. He included one of my short stories, and this led to an invitation to join the HWA.
How many working relationships have you gained since entering the publishing field? In what ways has connecting with authors on a personal basis helped your anthologies along?
I have developed dozens of excellent relationships through my publishing work. These people are excellent. I care about them. I do everything I can to promote them and their work. And not just in Indiana; I’ve made friends from Holland to New Zealand. The authors also help promote the anthologies. JWK Fiction really is a family. Developing friendships with such great writers as William Cook and Mike Jansen have led to more friendships with great people and writers. William lives in New Zealand and Mike lives in Holland. That makes for an interesting work day.
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Make sure to check out the vast range of James Ward Kirk publications here on Amazon.