We spoke with Kendra L. Saunders about art, muses, and her novel Inanimate Objects.
What inspired Inanimate Objects‘ storyline?
I actually had a dream where a man (in the dream it was Chris Martin from Coldplay!) stood in a graveyard at a funeral for someone he didn’t know, and he was disappointed. It was such a curious image that I just had to find out who he was and who he wanted to get revenge on!
Why did you choose London as the setting?
Almost since I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with England. London seems to me to be this magical and gritty place with endless possibilities. Plus, anything that involves magicians should probably take place in England, at least in my opinion.
What was your favorite part of writing or publishing Inanimate Objects?
Finishing the book was definitely the most satisfying part, because it took so long to write. There were so many rewarding moments though and none more than the long periods of time I spent learning about Leo and Elisha. My favorite moment after finishing it, though, has been hearing strangers talk about it. That’s an astonishing feeling!
Do you have any new projects?
Yes! I’m hard at work on a novel called Death and Mr. Right, which is a dark comedy about the agent of nightmares finding himself exiled in modern-day Boston and doing everything he can to try to get his job back.
What made you start writing?
I remember being about 5 or 6 and realizing one evening that everyone else was having their own life. It was such a powerful moment because before that I’d never thought about those things. I was sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car, and I stared out the window at people in their cars and thought, “They all have their own life, their own story!” and then that night I laid awake in bed until the early morning because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I wanted to write because I wanted to know more stories than just my own. Writing has been the only career I’ve ever dreamed of.
Who is your favorite author?
Neil Gaiman is my favorite author. He’s just got this wonderful mix of humor and horror and childhood curiosity about life, and it always astounds me. He’s a rock star and a nerd at the same time. And Neverwhere is one of my favorite books.
Inanimate Objects takes us into London’s underground art scene. Which type of art is your favorite?
Black and white photography is my favorite art. It just feels very melancholy and it adds something to life that I think can be missed in color. My father is a realism painter and my sister is a comic artist, so I’ve grown up around and with artists. I do love paintings, especially surrealism and Impressionism and I love Jazz Age illustrations so much!
Do you have a favorite artist and/or time period?
Erte is my favorite artist, I would have to say. And that ties into my favorite time period, which is the 1920s and everything that went with it… art deco, the lush clothes, the costume jewelry and the drama. My characters Matilda August and Leonidas Bondi live like they’re in the Jazz Age, really.
Leonidas has a dangerous muse in Inanimate Objects. Do you have one?
I have many muses most of the time, but one in particular that seems to inspire me again and again is the English musician Chris Corner. Something about his music and his fashion sense and his strange hybrid English-German accent and intense eyes has inspired me repeatedly. I’ve never met him but I hope to one day!
And right now I’m working on a book that was inspired by my friends Ricky and Luna (Death and Mr. Right). They’ve been muses to me in several recent projects.
And music always plays a huge role in my inspiration (including the band Muse!) so I tend to draw from that a lot.
About Inanimate Objects
Muses can be dangerous to have! Especially an ancient muse with expensive taste in champagne and a particular joy in ruining the lives of her young artists as soon as she’s finished with them. Matilda August is one such muse, taking interest in the flamboyant, offbeat artist Leonidas Bondi and intending to use him for everything he has. But is she using him? Or is he using her…?
Inanimate Objects is a dark and glittering urban fantasy of artists and magicians, muses and immortals, and the decadent world of the London underground art scene.
Praise for Inanimate Objects: “Inanimate Objects is quite possibly the most unique story line I have ever read. Everyone and everything is filled with mystery and enchantment. However, it’s all on a much different level than anything I have come across.” – Pure Textuality
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About Kendra L. Saunders
Kendra L. Saunders is a 25 year old novelist, freelancer, poet, interviewer, short story writer, tea enthusiast, lover of all things English, record-shop-haunter, and marketing coordinator for Spencer Hill Press. She’s won Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest Book Awards and is currently promoting her magic realism novel, Inanimate Objects, as well as traveling the known universes with her steampunk friends and a hot cup of tea.
Find Kendra L. Saunders
Win a pdf copy of Inanimate Objects by filling out this Rafflecopter widget. One commenter tour-wide will win a pretty sweet swag bag with a necklace, original art, bookmarks, and more. This giveaway ends on August 31, 2012.
*Please note that while the giveaway for the pdf copy is open internationally, the winner of the gift bag must live in either the US or Canada.