Tell us a little about yourself
Kit Falbo uses their neuro-diverse mind to spin fantastical tales inspired by the worlds they took shelter in during times of overstimulation. They enjoy both nature and technology in the Pacific northwest as they work on writing. They’ve written two books, a novella, and dabble in poetry.
I keep myself awake both thinking of characterization and hooks and the state of the world. When I dream, it is abstract and fantastical. If you were to pile labels into a blender you’d grind up, autistic, queer, polyamorous, non-binary, nerd, homemaker, caretaker, writer, dreamer and pour the slurry into a mold for baking. Not that any of us are labels, they’re merely words that help bring some level of context for those who wish to understand a portrait of us. I have a degree in psychology both to understand myself and others better, a degree I feel has helped me more than most of my writing classes in building writing skills. If you want to know me even better, I recommend reading my books. Or if you are brave, messaging me on any of my social media.
Why Do you write?
I write for the pay, the adulation, the welcoming support of the industry. That’s sarcasm if you haven’t picked that up. I could write a book on the trauma and costs of writing fiction. That is, of course, not why we write. We write because we have a story to tell. Either we read something and go, I want to do that better. Or there is a story that you can’t find and want to write yourself. None of that really encompasses why I want to write. Having social communication issues, I feel an intense desire to share myself and even more accurate than any face-to-face interaction that my writing shares a part of me with others. That need to share is why I write, even if only a few people pick it up.
What genre do you write and why did you pick this genre?
I write Science-Fantasy, that kind of pulp fiction most people think of when they think of non-serious fiction. But it is serious. Complex characters with wants, desires, pasts full of issues, and problems that they muddle forward through. I find that only the setting and potential resources for resolution change when you expand upon genre. It lets me explore a sense of otherness, and tools and tropes that I find restrictive if I based my works solely on reality. Many of us spend much of our time playing in fantasy worlds in video-games, books, TV, and movies, so it only makes sense to present worlds where these aspects of the culture people enjoy play pivotal roles in the stories I create. I picked this genre because it is what I loved when I first dived into reading and haven’t looked back, drowning myself in the likes of Diana Wynne Jones, Tamora Pierce, David Weber.
Tell us about your book
My first book is The Crafting of Chess. It is the story of a teenage chess hustler entering a fantasy VRMMO to give himself a better life. It is also the book that has done the best, publicly and has a sequel forthcoming titled The Rise of Chess, where Nate has to contend with a new situation in his life. I don’t like to spoil things. I have another book titled Intelligence Block that features a techno-wizard who lives under the motto of never break character as he performs feats of magic using high technology and the help of quirky assistant AI. There is a sci-fi heist novella where everything is not as it seems. Poetry books for those who like a rhyme and insight into how I work out my stress.
My books are heavy in characters who have focused interests they pursue while dealing with the problems life throws at them. Complicated relationships and moral gray areas that humanity likes to operate in on the daily. Not that they don’t have fun and fantasy. I hope some of you crack them open and see what I have to offer.
How much time do you dedicate to your author career?
Books take hundreds of hours to write the first draft, then editing, and promotion, and research. They also pay terribly with tons of costs that can lead to them being money pits worse than buying a lotto ticket. Still, I dedicate a couple of hours a week to make sure I can write and complete them, and I wish I was successful enough to make this a full-time job with a full Patreon of supporters that can allow me to live off my work. I have a family that I have to take care of that is more important than my writing. Life is hard, so we do what we must, and though I must write, I can only do it some.
How long on average does it take you to write your books?
I take roughly two years to write and complete a book because of my busy life. Ideally I’d be able to get it down to less. When a reader finishes the book and asks me, where is the sequel? I want to say soon, but that isn’t the case.
What is the best money you have ever spent on your author career?
I’ve yet to discover the best money I’ve spent on my writing career. Of all my options I would have to say college and the writing, and psychology education I received there. Which is rough because it took me almost twenty years after that date to complete my first novel. Library fees that let me keep on borrowing books? It is true that money is a resource used to make writing easier. Editors, marketing, book covers, but none of these things have made me in such a way that they are the best. I can’t advise others on what exactly they need to spend money on as an author because every author’s financial situation and needs are different. My only advice would be to spend only what they can afford to lose, but what they do spend can help their odds of being successful.
What is the toughest part of being an author?
The most hard part of being an author is that unless you have that audience, that success, at the very beginning of your career every avenue of support you can pay to help you makes more money than you do. An editor can charge you more than you’ll make on a book, or a narrator. Their skills are valuable, and you need to pay them for your work, but society doesn’t support most writers. Writing is not a meritocracy, and being good isn’t enough. Getting paid for your work as a writer is hard. Most first time writers who get big 5/4 contracts get 5-10k advances for their first books and never make a cent off royalties. Multi-billion dollar industries paying what often amounts to less than minimum wage for what they consider the cream of the crop. Now some genres have it better than science-fiction and fantasy, but I still see that machine that eats most writers. I’m sure if I was one of the few who has written and support themselves that way I would have a different answer. Marketing, as I’m an introvert. THe pain of forcing words down when I’m not in the mood. Work-life balance. Right now it is that daunting journey of getting lucky and finding success.
What is the best piece of advice you have for other authors?
My best piece of advice for writers is that what is key is to understand what works for readers in a way that allows you to evaluate the writing you do, like you are a stranger picking up the book and opening it for the first time. There is a blindness to writing where you can get too much of the story stuck in your head and you can’t see how it is revealed to the readers. Some writers need to shelve their books for months because of this, but it is key to learn how to read your work as though you are reading it for the first time. “Do I know this character, world, setting, based on what is laid bare on the page?” With that skill you will figure out if your writing works.
What is your favorite book?
My books! they’re all my babies that might look a little funny, but I love them anyway. I know what you’re getting at is what is my favorite book by another author. I have lots of series I love like The Vor Saga, The murderbot series, The System Apocalypse. I have authors I admire like Becky Chambers, Seanan Mcguire. I have books that have inspired my current work like Ready Player One, where I wanted to do some things my way. Mostly I hope my books can do the same for others what hundreds of books have done for me, provide a refuge, provide inspiration, and make people’s days a little better.