Martin Kee is the author of “Drained” in Dark Moon Digest 20.
1. Talk about how you came up with the idea for the story that appeared in DMD 20.
Is it fair to say I don’t remember? A lot of my stories just start with an opening sentence, a scene, or some small glimpse that I use to tease the rest of the story out with. This story is about a boy who is dealing with considerable change in his life—a massive downgrade, if you will. Trenton’s mom is divorced, he’s forced to move to a new neighborhood, into a rundown house. I wanted to sort of capture that sense of crisis when your world is taken apart at a young age, how even though you shouldn’t, it’s sometimes just too easy to only think about how it affects you, rather than how it might be affecting the people around you. Trenton is a selfish kid who doesn’t want to be thrust into the sort of change that adults sometimes inflict on them unintentionally. In this case, Trenton has limited resources to deal with this change. That and there’s something alive and hungry in the house that shouldn’t be.
2. What is your favorite book?
Right now, maybe Blindsight by Peter Watts. I’m telling everyone to read it. I’m also a huge fan of anything written by Paolo Bacigalupi. Pump Six is probably my favorite short story by him. He also wrote The Windup Girl which is still one of my favorite speculative fiction books.
3. Do you get a lot of outside help with your writing or do you prefer to work on it alone?
Beta readers are vital to the process, but my first drafts are always in solitude. Books especially. I usually don’t share my books with people until at least a dozen drafts in, because it takes me so long to feel okay about them. Even then, I’m still discovering new things about a story I hadn’t considered before, and beta readers really help to accelerate that discovery process. At the same time, I feel bad because my beta readers are my best readers, and I wish I could give them a perfect book to read every time.
4. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I bike ride a lot. We live in Idaho currently, and the countryside can be breathtaking. There’s a bike trail that runs through Moscow and connects it to the neighboring towns. It’s easy to forget there are other humans around at all when you’re on it.