Interviews from The Psyche Supermarket: Kate McKim

Kate McKim is a Creative Writing student here at Brunel University.

What writer(s) influenced you most and why?

It’s hard to choose a mere couple of writers who have influenced me as I am influenced in one way or another by every writer whose work I’ve read, however I would say that the strongest influences for my writing at the moment are Ray Bradbury, John Green and David Handler. Ray Bradbury’s short story The Veldt will always be one of my favourite short stories. Bradbury’s ability to create an immersive world that is so technologically advanced interests me; the house in which the characters live is full of machines that can cook, clean, rock the children to sleep and look after their general needs. Upon reading The Veldt I was inspired to try and create thought provoking immersive stories that deeply affect the reader. After reading Handler’s illustrated novel Why We Broke Up, I was inspired to incorporate experimental aspects into my fiction such as photos and illustrative drawings. Additionally, I am interested in YA novels and consequently have been inspired by John Green to create a distinct voice for the protagonists that narrate my stories.

What’s your favourite genre and why?

Had I been asked this question a couple of years ago I would’ve said differently, but my favourite genre is science fiction. I am drawn to the genre because I am interested in fully immersive stories, which many science fiction novels and short stories are. Their capability to transport their readers across the galaxy, to different worlds and to imaginative futures will always fascinate me. I often like to read crossover science fiction novels that portray a dark depiction of the future.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading the YA dystopian novel Divergent by Veronica Roth for my dissertation. At the centre of the novel lie questions many teenagers ask themselves today: do I have to act a certain way, do I have to categorise myself based on one factor? The answer to this question is no of course, hence why the protagonist, Tris Prior, struggles to define herself purely through her faction’s value of selflessness.

Can you give a brief insight into your writing process?

My writing process differs for every short story, novel or poem that I write. When I am working on a writing project I keep detailed notes in a diary to record background information on my characters, plot points and dialogue. One of the usual questions people ask writers is whether they completely plan their work or whether they prefer to write and see where their stories lead. I do both, depending on the project I am working on. For my short story that will be published in this year’s anthology, I planned the key moments where a majority of the action takes place. As my story is experimental and includes illustrations, I also wrote a couple of the smaller scenes without planning as I wanted to respond to the implication of each picture.

You can read Kate’s short story, alongside many others, in The Psyche Supermarket released on the 11th of March.

You can also find her on Twitter at @katemckim_

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