Kindra Sowder was born and raised in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA until the age of 12, when her family moved to Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from high school in 2006 with full honors and as a member of her high school Literary Club and the Spanish Honor Society. In January 2014, she graduated with her second degree in Criminal NeuroPsychology. She married her husband Edd Sowder in May 2014 and still lives in Spartanburg, SC where their company Burning Willow Press is based. She is the author of the Miss Hyde Novellas that are coming to television, and the ground-breaking series The Permutation Archives. She has earned a number of award nominations and wins for her literary works. She is currently penning more works and is earning her Masters Degree in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction from South New Hampshire University.
Kindra, thank you for agreeing to this interview. A few years ago, you graduated with your second degree in Criminal Neuropsychology. I admit that I find this extremely interesting, considering much of my own education/training is in neuroscience. How has this additional knowledge helped you in your writing career?
This additional knowledge has helped me quite a lot when it comes to writing. I have been told, quite a lot, that my character’s reactions, etc. are some of the most realistic when it comes to their particular situations. I feel that this knowledge has helped me a lot in that. Not only that, but in the Miss Hyde Novellas, I write killers that have a particular affliction. Not dissociative personality disorder (or most commonly known as multiple personalities), but something else. I feel that my knowledge of how the brain works when it comes to certain issues like this has helped me write this quite well…especially when it comes to more criminal aspects of how these entire series works. I use my degrees every day in my writing, and I know I would not be the same type of writer without it.
You have written in multiple genres over the years, which has undoubtedly attracted a selection of different book lovers. What common elements do you include in your novels that you think attract readers?
Since every genre is so different, I don’t really think I work hard to make sure all of them have common elements to attract my readers from one of my explored genres to the other. One could say that my writing of strong women leads is a draw, and the common element, but I’ve just always been drawn to the stronger (or darker depending on who you ask) side of my own sex, so it wasn’t difficult to make the decision to continue to write them no matter the genre.
Your latest release was Unbreakable Mind, a sequel in The John Baker Chronicles which you co-wrote with Bryan Tann. What sparked the two of you to combine your talent for this series? What is it about?
The series is about a man named John Baker who was created using Nano-technology by President Emerson King to bring in or kill the fugitive Mila Hunter, who has been causing some trouble for him. It is a spin-off of my series The Permutation Archives. As far as what sparked us working together on this, Bryan loves to tell this story and does quite often. He was halfway through “The Harvested” and an idea he had started years back came to mind. He messaged me on Facebook and we talked about it at great length. After he came to me with it, I told him he had no choice but to do this now, and the rest is history. I don’t know what I’d do without Bryan in my life. He is amazing, and we have other projects coming that we are working on together.
Admittedly, your novel Animus catches my eye every time—the cover is amazing!—but you have written several other great stories, including those included in The Permutation Archives and the Miss Hyde Novellas. Do you have a favorite book child among your published works?
I love all of my book children, and if I said equally that would be a lie. Just like with all other writers out there. Animus is one of my favorites, but my absolute favorite is The Permutation Archives. It was my first dive into science fiction, especially dystopia. And, well, it has what others would call superheroes, so how is that not a winner?! Of course, I do love all my book babies, but this one still holds a very special place in my heart because I put more of myself into the main character than any other.
Many authors report that they read their readers’ reviews to gain insight into what is most liked about their style and where they might improve in future works. Have you discovered any misunderstandings that readers have about your stories? What advice would you offer to beginning authors in professionally addressing readers misconceptions?
I wouldn’t say that this is really a misunderstanding, but I have been told that Blythe in the Miss Hyde Novellas is not a likable character. And you know what? I am perfectly fine with that. It’s not my goal for all my characters to be completely likable, if at all. If anything, my goal is to explore the multi-faceted duality of human beings. Of course, I try not to read reviews, especially the bad ones because I get like most authors. Frustrated and angry that someone date insult my babies, but sometimes you can find the constructive in there. I have actually learned more by speaking face-to-face with my readers about what they love and don’t more than anything, really.
What can we expect from you in 2019?
As of right now, I don’t have a super lot going on since I am trying to actually finish some projects. Unbreakable Mind is out, and I am super excited since audio for the first book and this should be coming this year narrated by Bryan himself *fingers crossed*. Also, the 5th Miss Hyde Novella After Midnight releases. Then I have an origin story for Miss Hyde coming for Women of Horror Month called Miscreant, which comes in the anthology Another Beautiful Nightmare coming from Vamptasy Publishing.
It has been a pleasure, Kindra! Please tell us where fans can find you online or in the upcoming year at events.
While I am working to get events scheduled (there aren’t any as of right now), I can be found pretty much everywhere! Here are the links below.