Author Spotlight
K.M. Vanderbilt

Author Interview Questions:

1: Hi, and thanks for joining today. In your own words tell us about yourself, not you the author, but just


A: I am classified as a sentient meat suit. I like cheese.


2: Why did you decide to become an author and what’s the best part? Yeah, it’s a double-whammy of a

question. So unexpected!


A: I didn’t really DECIDE it, I guess. I just wanted it so bad I would have died if I didn’t do it. See…what

had happened was…I was living in this small town in the butt crack of AR, just on the edge of a black

hole of squalor and oh-god- please-don’t- throw-that- beer-bottle. I hopped a metaphorical midnight train

going anywhere. And then I just started writing, and editing, and writing some more, and editing EVEN

MORE. And then…there was this friggin’ book. It was epic.

As for the best part, anything fan-related. I have a dedicated little cult, and they are the bee’s knees. I’m

not even sure if bees have knees, but my cult members do. I had a point when I started this…


3: So, tell us about your work. Sell us on it! Why should we read it and why it will capture us?


A: *cracks knuckles* OKAY! If you like trope-flipping in dark fantasy; a thick dollop of gray morality; and

a sprinkle of blood, guts, and gore, Errant Tides is definitely for you! Did I mention drow pirates? That

seems to be the real selling point, to be honest.


4: Why did you choose the genre you write in over others to start your publishing career? Did others

appeal to you more and you chose this? Was there a bit of choice weighing or was it rather simple?


A: I’ve always written fantasy in some form, but this particular series has been banging around in my

brain for a while. After letting it beat me up for a decade, I just…word vomited. I didn’t choose this; it

chose me.


5: So far, what would you say has been the hardest part of being an author?


A: Toss up: time to write or time to market. There’s rarely a moment where I can do one without

ignoring the other. So I mostly just write. Figure production is more important at this point.


6: Now for the ever-so- shocking follow-up question. What’s the best/easiest part, if there is one?


A: The fight scenes. I throw on some Paranormal Attack and bathe in the blood of my

enemies—figuratively, of course. I DID mention in the acknowledgements portion of Errant Tides I

haven’t graduated to real murder. Yet.


7: Tell us about what your experiences in the author life have been like. I don’t mean the writing

aspects. I mean the daily human life. Tell us what it’s like to live the day life you do and be an author at

the same time. What’s it like when people in your life and, the people you come across, find out you’re

an author?


A: It’s pretty lowkey most of the time, to be perfectly honest. I only mention it if people ask about

something related…or what I do. Mostly I get the condescending nod and, “Oh. A writer.” Sometimes,

though, I meet really cool people that are into it. ANECDOTE TIME! I went to the post office a few weeks

ago to mail out some swag (letters, bookmarks, couple of signed books), and a woman asked if I was a

teacher. I laughed…because…NO. But when I told her what I was mailing and why (I DO IT FOR THE

FANS, I TELL YOU!), she was just wowed. We ended up talking for about 10 minutes about the ins and

outs of the writer life, and she looked me up on Amazon while I was standing there. It was a nice



8: Writing is a hard craft and a harder career. What are the things that keep you going, both in

improving the craft and enduring the downs/lows of the career?


A: Well, I mentioned the fans. My alpha reader has been a diehard Vanderbilt fan for like…12 years now.

Before I was even publishing, right? This woman makes me unload the finger gun when I want to

discharge it into my eyeballs. When I want to quit, think I’m a hack or absolute shit, there she is with

some pompoms and words of wisdom—or just a kick to the ass; that also works.

On my own, though, I just have this absolute fear of sucking. I try VERY hard not to put out subpar

material. I know it won’t be for everyone just the same, but I want to know and believe I’ve done the

best job possible when I put my work out there for other people to read.


9: What do you love about the genre/s you write and what others appeal to you?

A: Dark fantasy is fun because it doesn’t present itself in black and white lines. You can explore so much

through the societies you build, the races you craft, and the way all of that comes together…with a big

red magic cherry on top. I dunno. I grew up reading high fantasy and always hated the cop out happy

ending. I didn’t discover GRRM until I was almost 30, and I realized this was the type of story—not style,

but genre and no-holds- barred mayhem—I had been trying to put together.

Otherwise, I’m a fan of punk genres and sci-fi. And don’t even get me started on genre benders. I live for

something weird and new.


10: Tell us about the plans for your series and body of work.


A: Uhhh…hmm. Well, I don’t have a definite plan for a NUMBER in The Breadth Key Cycle. I thought it

would be around six originally, but it looks like it’s closer to ten. Heh. Tends to happen when you’re

working with nine separate worlds. Otherwise, though, I have some other one-offs and anthology pieces

in the works. The plan is to write until I die.


11: The writing and publishing world has changed a lot. Self-publishing, small to medium presses

popping up, and things like becoming a hybrid between indie pubbing and traditional. What are your

thoughts on that? Any predictions on what the future might hold? What would you like to see, both as

an author yourself, and, as a consumer/reader?


A: The publishing world blows my mind. I’m still trying to make sense of all of it. Anymore, it doesn’t

make sense to go for a full, trad pub contract. Newcomers don’t have the full backing of a publishing

house unless they have something marketable—and that doesn’t even translate to a GOOD body of

work. Indies CAN make it big, but it’s not the norm. I see a lot of hybrids, and I think that’s the future of

the market for people seeking a career. I reckon we’ll see a lot more of the hybrid published writers. As

for what I want to see? Diversity, good writing, new stories that settle themselves outside the beaten



12: The always done and asked question. Who are your favorite authors? What are you favorite books?

What are you reading now? Tell us. Tell us!


A: Favorite authors stays pretty static, but David Farland, Melanie Rawn, and Kate Elliott. There are

more, but this is what I grew up on and come back to every year. Right now, I’m between reading

material. I’m editing for two authors, but those projects are hush hush.


13: I’ve got to know…what’s your favorite word to use. Every author has one. What’s the word you catch

yourself using a lot? We’ve all got those as well. What’s your favorite word just to say? Something

where you like the way it sounds. What’s your favorite curse worse, if you’ve got one and or use them?


A: I like the word onomatopoeia. I never use it in writing, though. It’s just fun to say. My favorite curse

word is “dick whiffle.” Just let that sink in. Erm…no pun intended. It gets more ridiculous the longer you

think about it.


14: Tell us about your latest release. Or, when can we expect your next one? What are we in store for?!

A: My latest Release is Errant Tides. It’s the first book in The Breadth Key Cycle. Deals mostly with a

drow cast—pirates, priestesses, and gods. Lots of pew pew and clang clang, little bit of love, and lots of

backstabbing and fuckery. Can I say fuckery? Well, I did.


15: Lastly, where can we find you? Facebook? Twitter? Website? Links to your material. Go on, don’t be

shy. Share!


A: I can be found on






Click cover to be taken to book:

Bio: The author known as Vanderbilt is an avid smoker and a lover of words. She draws inspiration from beer bongs, empty toilet paper rolls, and the almighty chicken wing, using her experiences to pen stories infused with all the bits and pieces that make life interesting.K. M. Vanderbilt

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