K. A. Magrowski is next up in our Reading Glasses Author Interview Series by “Steampunk Granny” Marie Gilbert. K. A. is the author of “The Highborn,” the story of a highborn priestess, whose faith is tested when she learns that even those she trusts the most can betray everything she believes in.
Reading Glasses will be released on September 24, 2014.
Marie Gilbert: I’m so very happy for you and I know everyone would like to know more about you. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
K.A. Magrowski: I guess I’ve always been making up stories, as I think many kids do. I didn’t really start writing anything down formally until I was about 14. I started with writing some bad teenage poetry and then a sci-fi novel that, thankfully, never saw the light of day. After high school I had a love/hate relationship with writing – I still made up stories in my head but rarely wrote anything down. But when I was in my late 20s, I joined a writing group in Philadelphia run by Alison Hicks (www.philawordshop.com). I learned so much about writing through our weekly meetings. It’s been a crazy ride since then as I’ve continued to learn, to improve, and “perfect” my craft.
MG: Tell us a little bit about your main character, and where did you get the inspiration for this story?
KM: The story was inspired as I lay on my bed by an image I received of a priestess with snake arm bands in a candle-lit temple. After a few false endings, the completed story came to me while writing up against the anthology deadline. Amazing how that works.
MG: Why do people seem to fear a powerful woman or Goddess?
KM: I don’t know exactly. I think there’s a deep-seated fear, especially in America, of powerful women because so much of our language is male-oriented. The Founding Fathers. The Men Who Built America. The constant qualifiers – woman coach, woman pastor, female lead, woman writer. Rarely do you see the converse. Male is understood as a default and everything else almost seems to come as a surprise. That kind of thing we see everyday in media. Strong, intelligent women, even today, are viewed so many times as bitches, or conniving temptresses, or whining hags that don’t know their place.
Religions especially can be infuriating in this regard. The Catholic Church would be a different place if more women held positions of power and decision making. We’re still going through growing pains when it comes to gender equality in many spheres.
MG: What type of stories are you more comfortable writing?
KM: I can’t say I write to any theme but most of my writing has an element of the supernatural or the strange or the unusual. It’s the way I see the world I guess. If the mundane world were all there was to the universe, and there were no mysteries or unexplained phenomena, then I would probably just fall over from boredom.
MG: As Vice-President of the South Jersey Writers’ Group, tell us what makes a writing group successful?
KM: Obviously, first and foremost, it’s the people. You need a group of people willing to work together, to listen, to learn, and to share. I think that’s what makes the South Jersey Writers’ Group so much fun to work with – there are so many people who are willing to share their time and expertise without ego getting in the way.
Also, I think having people willing to commit their time. We couldn’t do what we do, or offer the variety and scope we can, with our volunteers. There’s a lot of hard work and planning that go into making the group run smoothly.
MG: It was pleasure learning about you and your story featured in Reading Glasses! Thank you; looking forward to the release.
Read more about K.A. here. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Reading Glasses: Stories Through an Unpredictable Lens on September 24, 2014!
About the interviewer:
Marie Gilbert is a ghost-hunting, zombie-fighting, steampunk comic book superhero in disguise as a grandma from South Philadelphia. She blogs about television and film for Biff Bam Pop and Go Jane News, and served as co-editor of Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey. Her book Roof Oasis, the first in a series of apocalyptic tales with a twist, is now available. You can read more about her adventures at her not-so-top-secret online HQ, Gilbert Curiosities.