Free Book Friday April 1 (No Foolin’!): In Conversation with R.K. King

Leon Stevens
6 min readApr 1, 2022

First things first:

To celebrate National Poetry Month, my latest collection will be free (Kindle) until April 3.

A collision of ideas and a wonder of words.
Remember when you first learned that a grouping of owls was a parliament?

In his second poetry collection, Leon Stevens explores familiar themes such as human nature, the environment, and personal observations, many with a touch of humor. Also included are the poems from the 30 Poems in 30 Days Challenge and a short story inspired by one of them. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09VY2P8LP

Second things second:

I wrote this poem exactly one year ago:

April Fools

OK, Self-promo over. Let’s continue!

R.K. King began writing alone with his action figures. He’d create ongoing narratives starring those little plastic superheroes, mutant turtles and force-wielding space wizards. It eventually became apparent that the stories in his head weren’t going to write themselves.

He is the writer of The Storm Cycle, a post-apocalyptic adventure series. He writes primarily in the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres.

King lives in beautiful British Columbia with his wonderful wife and crazy cat (who keeps trying to type her own stories on his keyboard)

Leon Stevens In Conversation With: RK King

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author R.K. King. Thanks for dropping by. Can I offer you a beverage?

Well, thanks for having me! If you’ve got some Jameson hidden somewhere around here that’d be fantastic.

Just so happens you are in luck.
I try to do some research on my guests. Your website states you are an “Uncanny Fiction Writer”. Can you elaborate?

I’ve dabbled in a number of genres over the years, and I always keep coming back to a similar feel in all my works; worlds that may be similar to our own, but changed in some way. Something is always a bit… off. The fearsome future of my Storm books. The dark fantasy western I’m working on, full of monsters and dark magic. The various short fiction I’ve done with real life mysteries, but adapted for fiction. The world is usually somewhat grounded, but then there is that added ingredient. That ingredient is ‘the uncanny’. A changing of reality, enough to suit the story, and to put the reader in a space of suspense or foreboding. It definitely stems from a childhood spent in a small prairie town, always dreaming of something… more.

Has anyone ever confused you with that other somewhat famous author with the same last name?

Surprisingly, no. Not for the actual writing yet, at least. That may change with some of my future dark fantasy/horror works, we’ll see. But I have, on numerous occasions, been asked if we’re related. (We are not.)

What was the first book/story you wrote, published or not?

I began writing with my action figures. I’d play out some grand adventure with them, then write down what I’d just come up with, creating an ongoing narrative. I can’t at all recall the actual stories, but I do remember speaking out loud “To Be Continued” at the end of each session. The earliest story I actually remember the plot of would be some Warhammer 40k fan fiction! I wrote about a squad of space marines, casting all the characters as my group of high school friends. That included one guy who was only a brain remaining within a dreadnought, defending a citadel against some invading army.

Putting “Book 1” and “”Book 2” on the cover is pretty much showing all your cards. Did you plan on writing a series?

Yes and no. Book 1 was originally written as a stand alone, but with a completely open ending. Beta readers got very curious as to when the next would be released, and I realized that yes, indeed, there needed to be a further journey. I planned for a trilogy. The third book is drafted, but the timing needs to be right, so in the meantime my other books are getting the attention.

Sometimes a trilogy makes sense. My novella ended in much the same way, but I decided the characters needed to explore some more, so it will become a trilogy as well.
Who does your cover art?

The Storm books covers are by J Caleb Design. He does excellent genre covers. I highly recommend him if you’re doing sci-fi, no question.

Always welcome a shout out.
Would you survive in a post-apocalyptic world?

I doubt it. I’d probably end up trusting the wrong person and pay the price. I’d give myself maybe two weeks. Ha!

I would just go to my dad’s. He’s the resourceful one.
What authors influenced you?

Richard Matheson. If I could cut and paste a writer’s career into my own, it’d be his. Speaking of uncanny fiction, he’s a great example, and his works span novels, short fiction & screenplays, which is my motivation.

I’ll have to look him up. Do you have a favorite book?

That’s a bit of a tie between Matheson’s I Am Legend —

Oh, that Matheson. Sorry, continue.

Frank Herbert’s Dune, and Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. Three-way-tie.

Lovecraft was a brilliant writer. He is the only horror writer who can give me chills. He does that without the gore and disturbing content.

Yeah he really figured out how to put the imagery into the reader’s mind. It’s on you, the reader, to visualize the things he dreamed up. It’s also pretty cool he outright invented new sub-genres of horror. Before him it was all gothic and ghosts. Most works of fiction today wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for him.

What do you do when you are not writing?

Reading, video games, movies, TV shows. In that order. I really feel that absorbing stories is the only sure fire way to grow yourself as a story teller. I also paint miniatures as a de-stresser.

What was your last binged series, or favorite?

Midnight Mass. Holy moly did I love that show. I’m a Mike Flanagan fan for life.

I do a feature on my blog introducing some of my favorite bands. Are you a music aficionado? What are some of your favorites?

I have a very wide range of music tastes. My go-to is epic movie soundtracks, the likes of Hans Zimmer or Klaus Badelt. I’m also into highly theatrical rock, like Alice Cooper or Meat Loaf. And Metal when the need arises.

Ah, Meat Loaf. A sad day when we lost him. I’m sure there will be a Broadway show about him.

I can picture it. Paradise By The Dashboard Light.

Are you ready for the lightning round?

Hit me.

Are you a nerd?
Oh yes.
Does R.K stand for anything?
Just initials of my first and middle names. To set apart search results from my child acting days.
Woah . . . Hold it there. Do we need to talk about that?
I dabbled in my youth. A few bit parts. But my true love has always been writing.
Ever met a famous person?
A few: Arnold. Tom Welling. Ian Mckellan. Patrick Stewart. Halle Berry hugged me once.
I don’t know if I’m more impressed with you meeting Patrick or Halle. It’s Patr — no, Halle — aw, hell.
Moving on. Favorite city?
Providence, RI. I really love the area around Brown.
Android or iOS?
iOS
Scariest animal you have encountered?
Childhood; an angry, mauling turkey. Adulthood; an equally angry, though thankfully lazy, alligator
Main streets or off the beaten paths?
Off the beaten path, especially when travelling.

Well, we are out of time. This has been a pleasure. Thanks for chatting. Any links you want to share?

https://www.rkkingwrites.com, and thank you! Cheers!

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of four books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures, Journeys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar, The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories, and The View from Here, his first science fiction novella.

Originally published at http://linesbyleon.com on April 1, 2022.

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Leon Stevens

Leon Stevens is a writer, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. www.linesbyleon.com