Q&A With Keith Anthony Baird
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Q&A With Keith Anthony Baird
Today’s Q&A is with author Keith Anthony Baird. Keith is the author of The Jesus Man: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Horror (Novel), Nexilexicon (Novel), And a Dark Horse Dreamt of Nightmares (Book of Shorts), This Will Break Every Bone In Your Heart (Novelette) and Snake Charmer Blues (Short) A Seed in a Soil of Sorrow (Short) and the anthology Diabolica Britannica. Keith’s books can be found on Amazon and Audible and he’s currently writing a post-apocalyptic novel titled Wind Rust.
Q: Keith, would you like to tell the readers of the blog and I about your upcoming book Wind Rust, and how you came up with the idea for the book?
A: I’ve been sitting on the idea of writing another post-apocalyptic novel for years now. My very first book was a post-apocalyptic horror story, and having explored other areas of dark fiction since then, I decided it would be nice to return to that genre and pen something new. Whereas The Jesus Man was a heavily religious piece, Wind Rust will be a more straightforward survival saga. Without giving too much away the human race is sent back to the Stone Age by the arrival of an alien species equipped with an artifact which strips away our technology, armaments, etc, leaving us defenseless against their overthrow.
With barely any means to fight back, we are decimated by ground forces which land and deploy on search and destroy missions. The initial onslaught kills billions, and as the years go by, there are only pockets of resistance left around the globe. The story centers on one such colony based underground in Alaska. With numbers dwindling, they have no option but to strike out and try to locate a weapons cache rumored to be stored below ground at a coast guard base north of their location.
The mission volunteers, led by strong female lead Elizabeth Coverdale, traverse the Stephens Passage in winter in search of the munitions which will give the colony a means to fight back, and bring a chance of survival. Evading drones and hunting parties, they risk their lives to try and secure the weaponry and stave off imminent annihilation. But will it be enough to turn the tide, or will the enemy’s superior number and technology ultimately prove overwhelming?
As with all genres, it’s pretty difficult to come up with something entirely new. I think the best you can do is try to put a different spin on something. There are countless alien invasion post-apocalyptic scenarios out there so I tried to think of a different angle for Wind Rust. The use of their global destructive device which cripples our infrastructure is the key element to the story, and I simply thought having humans having to adapt to life without all the components we’ve come to use, and rely on so heavily, would be an interesting concept to explore. Plus, putting the human race at a colossal disadvantage will see the story delve into the complexities of the human spirit, and how we cope in the face of extinction.
Q: What drew you into writing apocalyptic and dystopian fiction?
A: Well in truth I write works under the broad banner of dark fiction. I don’t focus on any specific genre. I enjoy having the freedom to switch between them all, and even creating genre mash-ups. To date I’ve written tales which are straight horror, psychological thrillers, dystopian, apocalyptic, science fiction, and stories even involving black ops.
Last year Kansas-based publisher Brigids Gate Press put out my dark fantasy novella, which was written in the style of a fable involving necromancy in a fairy tale setting: a clear example of me not wanting to be pigeon-holed when it comes to being an author.
I have two titles coming out next year via a publisher (no official announcements yet so I can’t name them!) The books are completely different from one another. Both are novellas, but the first will be a dystopian/cyberpunk story called SIN:THETICA and the second is a collaboration piece I did with fellow Brit author Beverley Lee. That’s titled A Light of Little Radiance and involves a travelling troupe of Romany gypsy vampires.
For the remainder of 2023 I’m penning Wind Rust and hope to secure an agent beyond that.
Q: Who in your family and friends were the biggest supporters of your writing goal and talent? How did you know writing was your calling?
A: Initially, when I was a lot younger, it was my mother who first saw my leanings towards the whole idea of being a writer. She bought me an electric typewriter (we’re talking the early 90s here!) but having started back then I never continued with it and my life went in a different direction. When I finally decided at the age of forty-five to write my first novel it was my then partner Ann who encouraged and supported me. When I completed it and put it out via Amazon my oldest friend Michael was very supportive, but sadly a number of friends weren’t so helpful. There was literally silence in a few camps. I guess you learn who your true friends are in moments like this.
As for writing as a calling, definitely when I decided I’d done everything else I’d wanted to do in life. At that point I felt old enough and experienced enough to hopefully deliver interesting works.
Q: Where is your favorite spot where you sit and write, plot and edit your work?
A: There really is only one spot and that’s at my desk. I live in a rural area and it’s quite inspiring. I don’t think I’d do well in a busy town or city, just for the wellbeing of my soul more than anything else!
Q: Where do you get your ideas to write your books?
A: That’s the sixty-four thousand dollar question! If I knew I’d bottle it and make a fortune. I guess having a creative mind is the answer, but the process can be very much a subconscious thing, in that you never really know how or where that inspiration comes from. Thinking things through is key for me before I even write the first word or sentence, but sometimes I literally get a title for a story and it’s the thing which sparks off an exploration of what that means.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? The entertainment industry needs more original content again?
A: In short, no. However, I’m in the process of trying to secure an agent so if I’m lucky enough to get that representation then who knows! It would be fantastic if something I’d written was adapted for the screen. All a creative person can do is try to set realistic, achievable goals and work towards them. It takes time, dedication, patience, and hard work but the journey is rewarding too. Right now, I’m simply enjoying connecting with the public and focusing on my goals.