Kelsey Garmendia, 24, is an alumnus of the State University of New York at New Paltz. She obtained a Bachelors Degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Garmendia is featured in Midnight Screaming, Poydras Review, My Unfinished Novel, The Stonesthrow Review, Penduline Press and Embodied Effigies. She also has three self-published novels: Burn Our Houses Down and If I Lose are part of a book series with the next installment to be published early in 2015 and her newest, Disenchanted is a standalone.
She resides in Southern Illinois with her husband, two dogs and two cats.
Here’s my interview with fellow author Kelsey Garmendia.
- Why did you choose to write a dystopian novel?
I never really consciously sat down and said, “I’m gonna write a dystopian novel” actually. Burn Our Houses Down (BOHD) was inspired by one question: what would happen if all the food went missing tomorrow? The world of BOHD then turned into a mad dash of survival very quickly for my two main characters
2. Do you have any favorite dystopian literature? Authors
My all-time favorite dystopian work is 1984 by George Orwell. Even though the book was written years ago, I still get chills when I read it. I don’t particularly have a favorite dystopian author, however I do enjoy Rick Yancy and Emily Goodwin.
3. Do you foresee any part of your book becoming reality? If so expla
I absolutely do. BOHD revolves around a highly organized food removal that leaves all areas of the United States with only wild game to hunt and whatever the land has to offer. If the food should ever go missing, I think my story is exactly what would happen.
4. Was there a particular event or idea in the real world that inspired your writing?
Not specifically. I vaguely recalled an incident where a ship wrecked and the crew ended up eating each other to survive.
5. When writing your book, did you seek to only tell a good story or to get across a specific message?
I usually start my novels by just telling a story. I don’t intend to have larger messages, but sometimes one comes out of nowhere and I’m like, “Oh hey! That was awesome.” Haha
6. What was the inspiration for your book?
BOHD was inspired by “Let The Flames Begin” by Paramore. The chorus is my favorite part of the song and is what was on repeat while I was writing:
“This is how we’ll dance whenWhen they try to take us downThis is how we’ll sing ohThis is how we’ll stand whenWhen they burn our houses downThis is what we’ll be, oh glory”
7. What other genres do you read?
I read a little bit of everything. I’m super heavy into supernatural type books as well as DC comics. I’m an enormous Batman fan.
8. Have you or would you like to write in another genre? Which one?
I currently just finished my third novel which is a stand alone and separate from the Burn Our Houses Down Series. It is titled Disenchanted and falls into the supernatural realism genre.
9. Are you particularly fond of any one of you characters?
Ooo this is a tough one. I love and care about all my characters, but I think my favorite right now is Doctor Stevenson from Disenchanted. He’s sort of a modern Doctor Frankenstein but much more evil and sadistic.
10. Is there one book, in any genre, that has had a lasting impact on your life? Title. How did it affect you?
One of my favorite novels is Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. It was about a girl who recorded the 13 reasons why she killed herself. It really made me rethink my own life and how much of an impact I could have on certain people. It’s what relit my fire to write about my own life and my own experiences. You never know how much you can help someone by doing so.
Burn Our Houses Down Series Facebook:
Twitter and Instagram Handles:
Burn Our Houses Down (Book One): http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00AL2UY0S/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?btkr=1&redirect=true
If I Lose (Book Two): http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00N7Y304Y/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?btkr=1&redirect=true
Look for soon-to-be-released books:
Painted Red (Book Three): Release date TBA
Disenchanted: Release date 10/31/14