UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Kim Wells

Philip HarrisAuthors, InterviewsLeave a Comment

Well, I’m still hungover from last night’s launch part for UnCommon Bodies but it’s not too late to join in the fun. I’m running three giveaways including one for 10 Kindle ebooks! You can find the event on Facebook here.

Now we’re continuing the series of interviews with my fellow UnCommon Bodies authors with an interview with Kim Wells, author of the immensely entertaining Undead Girl.


What attracted you to the UnCommon Bodies project?

Pavarti does such amazing things and when I saw she had this project going, I thought, “do I have a story for this?” It just seemed like a very new idea where we could explore unconventional stories and hang out with a different crowd. So I wracked my brain and then realized I actually had a perfect story for it.

Tell us about your lead character, what makes them UnCommon?

Undead Girl goes in for a cyborg-assassin upgrade and wakes up half dead. She has cyborg arms, an implant in her brain, and a core body temperature, heart rate, and life signs that mean she shouldn’t be alive. But she is. She also has very vague memories of her life “before” and needs to figure out how to exist in this new undead life. I think there is so much that’s uncommon about all of those categories it’s almost funny. But the main thing was that I wrote this story in response to a feminist essay from 1983 called “A Cyborg Manifesto” by an author named Donna Haraway. It was also a way to play with ideas in James Tiptree’s story “The Girl Who Was Plugged In.” I want to do a bunch of work on women’s body image, empowerment, and cyborg-ness. And just explore what makes up identity in a modern, post-tech dystopian society. Oh, and there will eventually be supernaturals, too.

What are you most proud of about the story?

I have this interaction between Undead Girl and a bitchy AI who is in charge of the Cyborg Assassin’s Union. That’s going to get bigger as the story grows, too. I envision the AI as a cross between C3-PO and that robot from the Hitchhiker’s Guide, Marvin. Depressed, sentient, robotic, and kind of passive aggressive about it. And in charge of everything.

If you could create a new genre, specifically for your story what would it be? 

Cyborg Feminist Fiction maybe? Call it Cyborgist?  That leaves out the femme part though. Femmeborgist?

Are there any authors that influenced your story or your writing in general?

I already mentioned Haraway & Tiptree. Also Heinlein’s work, and Philip K. Dick. I’m super fascinated with an essay by a writer named Kameron Hurley called “We Have Always Fought: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle, and Slaves’ Narrative” that won the Hugo last year.  I’m wanting to write sci-fi that is explicitly from the lens of people who have been considered the “other” but who are simply themselves, not tokens, not sidekicks.

Once readers have read your story, which of your books/stories should they read next?

ALL OF THEM!! Ha. No really. My first novel is called Mariposa, and it’s a pretty cool ghost story. It’s about to be out on audio (Audible, I-Tunes, etc). And the narrator for that, the amazing actress Renata Freidman, killed it. Like, I get chills and *holler* every time I hear her do parts of it. It’s gonna be amazeballs.

About Kim Wells

Kim Wells has a Ph.D. in Literature, with specialties in American Lit, Women Writers, Feminism, Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Film Studies but please don’t hold any of that against her. She used to teach academic writing and how to read literature at a university in her hometown and tried to convince college students that it really is cool to like poetry. She has written two full length novels, both Magic Southern Slipstream and several shorts which will find their way into longer stories eventually.

She lives in the South, has twin children (one girl, one boy) and a husband who is the model for all her best romantic heroes. She also has two cats–one black and sassy, one stripey and fat, and also kinda sassy. Check her out at http://www.kimwells.net/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kimwellswrites

You can find out more about my upcoming releases, and get four FREE books by signing up for my newsletter here.

[UnCommon Bodies Q&A: Kim Wells by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 25th November 2015]

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