I decided to ask author Jeffrey Kinsey a couple of questions about the creation of his latest novel, Areh. Here are his responses. You can also read my review of Areh here.
‘Areh’ will be a completely unique and new experience for many readers – how does it make you feel that your work will have this impact on readers?
If that is indeed the case, and in a positive way, of course it feels good. Amelia, Mia, and myself created Areh as an example of how beautiful a physical book could and should be…so it’s job-well-done I suppose.
Where did you get the inspiration to write ‘Areh’ from?
My late twenties included some intensely rough weirdness – enough to provide material for plenty of messed up novels. Areh was my way of processing my narrative into something beautiful…that combined of course with an awesome metaphor of strapping a corpse to yourself and taking a long stroll!
Do you have a favorite character?
I know it’s a pretty lame answer, but I honestly can’t pick one. I think they’re all equally cool and dynamic, funny and totally messed up in their own ways. Though, if under the gun, I would probably have to say ‘brad.’ Who doesn’t like a filthy-ass goat that only knows one word?
Were there any characters that didn’t make the cut?
Originally Areh was a much smaller cast, so if anything, there were more characters born with every draft. I can’t recall any that got axed.
There are many turning points for the characters in the book, where once a path was walked there could be no turning back. Were there any alternate endings that you considered?
Nope. I wrote the last paragraph, or at least something approximate to it, in the first draft, and it stuck. It’s probably the only thing that didn’t shift dramatically as the writing progressed.
There are a lot of situations that are thrust upon the reader throughout ‘Areh’ that force us to think about our own ethics and morals, would you say there is a moral to your story?
There isn’t one dominating moral, but many little pauses for thought throughout. I don’t like being so straight forward. It doesn’t feel fun.
How important were the illustrations to you for ‘Areh’?
The illustrations, elegance of the visual layout from page to page, and the quality of the print are what separate Areh from her peers even a glance. They were crucially important. They helped shaped the story itself. Without the artwork, Areh would be just another well-written story with cheap skin.
You clearly have great passion for ‘Areh’, did this make it easier or harder for you on your creative journey?
Total dedication, especially when taking on a project of this scale single-handedly, is utterly necessary. The level of frustration involved when trying to make all of this happen by yourself is maddening. Areh required every disposable bit of my being, and more, for many years. And the result is worth it.
Are you working on another story?
Of course. Any real artist is always working on the next project. Even if they aren’t putting pen paper, the idea is swimming and growing. But, yeah, I’m working daily on the next novel. It’s a brand new and super interesting take on the super hero story. And it will of course be illustrated.
Is there anything you’d like to say to readers and future readers?
Not a whole lot, that’s what the books are for. Just, Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!
You can find out more about Jeffrey and his work by visiting his website.