Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name’s Eric J. Kuhns, (I use the middle initial to distinguish me from the doctor that shows up under the same name on Google.) I live in Dallas, Texas and have been writing pretty much since I was a child. It all began either when I tried to write a sequel to James Cameron’s “Titanic” film or when I wrote my own Goosebumps story at around 9 years old. My first book was published through a vanity publisher in 2008 entitled, “A Misinterpreted World”, (don’t ever work with vanity publishers). Fast forward to 2012-2019, I’ve been working on several writing projects including my blog at Koonagi.com, short stories I’ll be revealing in a short stories book, a screenplay I’ve finished and am currently editing, and a finished novel called, “The Very Strange Universe of Doctor Natalia Zeal” that I published in March of this year, (2019).
What is/are the story(ies) behind your book(s)?
My stories are heavily influenced by the emotional state I’m in while writing them. I like to say that the characters write themselves, but how I feel influences their reality. The Very Strange Universe of Doctor Natalia Zeal went through several re-writes over the past 6 years as I struggled to do Natalia’s story justice. This book was shaped by people I met in the happiest of times and my depressive states, my adoration for science, and a women’s march I was apart of in Austin a couple of years ago.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
I’m often inspired by other creators and walks in nature. I’m inspirited by artists who have no need for the question, “why?” and instead just do because they have to.
How do you deal with creative block?
Not to sound egotistical, but like Bukowski, I don’t fully understand that question. Once I start writing, it flows. I do go through a million renditions of a narrative though, as the story controls the pen, (in a sense), not me.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
I’m not sure I can answer that as I’ve probably done them all, according to an English teacher. If it’s your writing and it’s how you want it, there’s no such thing as a mistake, (unless unintentionally grammatical).
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Make the title mean as much to you as the last paragraph of the novel. As for the cover, find a great artist, tell them your story and let them create as you’ve done.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
Not that I have an expertise in this quite yet, but as Conan O’Brien would say, don’t read reviews at all.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
As such a new author, I really don’t know my readers personalities or wants yet. When thinking of people reading my book I can’t let myself think of what others may like. When you do that you lose what could be. In my opinion, art is a journey and you never know the true ending until you get there and sometimes not even then. If people enjoy your work, they will hopefully understand that not everything you create will align with their tastes.
What are your plans for future books?
I’m working on a collection of short stories involving all genres, a screenplay, non-fiction about skateboarding in Dallas, a children’s science book, (looking for an illustrator for this project),
and a few novels still in their infancy.
Learn more about Eric J. Kuhns’ books at https://koonagi.com