Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! From the Vampires of the World bundle! Where we get to the origins of the legend, Transylvania itself! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Kari Kilgore!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in my native Appalachian Mountains in Virginia, though I grew up and have lived all over the place. Our house is at the end of a long dirt road on 250 forested acres, with dogs, cats, and wildlife my husband Jason Adams and I are better off not knowing too much about.

Why do you write?

The truest answer is so I can find out what happens. Once a what if… takes root in my mind, some part of me can’t rest until I know how it turns out. It really is a turbocharged form of reading.

When did you start writing?

I remember telling myself elaborate stories when I was bored as a kid, even before grade school, and directing the other neighborhood kids in dramatic story adventures when we played outside. I first remember using written words for stories pretty much as soon as I learned how. After years of life and other distractions, I focused on storytelling around 2014.

What genre(s) do you write?

All over the place! The best way I’ve found to describe it is genre agnostic speculative fiction. I rarely write anything that stays here and now in the normal world. I’ve ranged from science fiction to steampunk to ghost stories. A whole lot of what I write fits into magic realism, often called contemporary fantasy.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My main goal is to have fun and tell myself the story. After that, I love to share it with others. Right now, that means continuing to build up my catalog and practice as much as I possibly can. I’m definitely an indie when it comes to novels, but I submit short stories and novellas to traditional magazines regularly.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Write the next thing. I heard Hugh Howey say that ages ago, and I’ve returned to it frequently ever since.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser for sure. Outlines grind me to a halt, every time. Once I get into a story and the characters are in charge, I can write very fast. Several thousand words a day, straight through to the end. I’d like to do that more consistently.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

Until Death started out during a horror writers workshop in Transylvania back in 2015. One of the first writing prompts was to focus on our setting and write for twenty minutes or so. I started with the stray dogs barking outside our mountain inn, and the character Leo showed up right away. That turned out to be the opening of the novel, almost word for word.

I submitted Until Death for the Bram Stoker Awards for First Novel, and much to my surprise and delight, it was one of the ten included on the preliminary ballot after the first round of voting. Since as an indie I have a publicity department of ME, I was thrilled! The whole experience was great fun, and I made a bunch of friends along the way.

Rather than accidentally giving spoilers, here’s the blurb:

Leo Sabov never imagined a day without his beloved wife Maria. Now he faces the rest of his life alone.

After bringing Maria to rest in her native Transylvania, Leo only wants to escape the rumors and superstitions taking over the tiny mountain village.

A former Communist Party boss, a string of unexplainable deaths, and an ancient mama dog force him into mysteries he can’t understand or explain.

Will Leo survive a test even greater than the heartbreaking death of his wife, one with life or death consequences?

Tell us about your latest book

The latest book I published was an Appalachian ghost story called Songs in the Mountain. It’s inspired by and based on the coal mining region where I live. I combined a few towns, conjured a mystery, and set about finding out what happened next. It’s also the closest thing I’ve written to a romance so far, despite the body count.

Hartstown, Virginia, holds stunning natural beauty
and a close-knit mountain community. Deep in the heart of Appalachian coal country, Hartstown also suffers more than its fair share of tragedy. 

Beth Azen discovers a strange ability that leads her deep into the ancient mysteries of the mountains around her. Mark Hersch finds more than he 
ever imagined on his lifelong quest to heal the damage left by decades of mining. 

Together, they discover the deadly nature of true loneliness.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Absolutely! There will be a sequel to Until Death someday, and as usual, I’m looking forward to finding out how that goes. I’ll be publishing another novella this year, a contemporary fantasy set in Manhattan called Legacy of the Land. I’m wrapping up a post-apocalyptic series set here in Appalachia. And as always, more novels and short stories in progress. Folks can sign up to find out more at or Hope to see you there!

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  1. Reblogged this on Amaranthine by Joleene Naylor and commented:
    A fellow bundle author! Check it out!


  2. Great interview!


  3. Jean Kilgore

     /  18/10/2017

    Excellent interview! I have been a big fan of this writer and her imagination for as long as I have known her!


    • I “discovered” her when l put together this bundle and look forward to reading more from her! 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


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