Interview with KT Belt, Author of Monster Of The Dark

15 Jun 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, Monster Of The Dark?

“Monster of the Dark” is the first in a planned five-book space opera that takes place in the far future. It follows Carmen Grey from age six to nineteen as she is trained to be a Clairvoyant—humans who have the abilities of telepathy, telekinesis, and pyrokinesis. The intention of the training is to turn her into a living weapon. Everything is taken from her, her family, her name, and potentially her future.

The reader follows her as she matures, seeing what she was, seeing what she becomes, and every step along the way. The six-year-old girl can still be dimly perceived, buried under the traumatic experiences of the nineteen-year-old woman. The story is actually quite inspirational as the essential conflict is Carmen keeping her humanity.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

Like most authors, I can’t think of a time when I didn’t tell stories. My oldest son, who is still a child, is much the same why. I think it’s something you’re born with, an urge that has to be expressed. I didn’t originally start with writing books, though. My first forays into written stories were comic books. …Unfortunately, I am much better at storytelling than drawing, so the pictures were dropped and books it was.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I like nonfiction as much as fiction. Reality is often more incredible than anything anyone can think up. So, in no particular order.

  • A Throne of Bones by Vox Day
  • Clashes by Marshall Michel
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Shattered Sword by Parshall and Tully
  • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Don’t think I’d make a very good talk show host. I’d probably invite a horse so I could get fired and go back to doing…anything else. But if I HAD to invite an author guest and if it had to be well, human. I think I’d invite Michael Crichton, if he were still alive. I’ve done some study of Human Factors. It would be interesting to hear his opinion on that as it relates to complicated systems.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I must admit that I’m envious of composers. They can accomplish all the emotion a writer needs thousands of words to generate in a matter of minutes. What they can’t do, however, is transport a reader to an entire imaginary world powered by their own subconscious. They can’t make the reader connect on an almost spiritual level with a character who may be a different gender than them, age, race, or even species. And they can’t travel through time, completely changing the reader’s perspective on past events by a well-placed piece of dialogue or narrative.

It is a very demanding art that requires continual improvement and a fair bit of courage from the author. If we write a beloved character dangling for their life on the edge of a cliff, we have to imagine what it’s like to dangle on the edge of a cliff and then express that in a way the reader can digest. Done well it is quite rewarding for both the writer and the reader on almost all levels.\

Lastly, I am very appreciative of anyone that takes the time to read my work. It’s a busy, tough world out there. I’m happy if I can take even one person’s mind off it, if just for a moment, and entertain.

What is a typical day like for you?

Well, I awake to the sounds of trumpets deep within my Mountain of Power. There, I sit upon my ruby throne all the while the slaves whisper, “You shall rule all that is above, just as you rule all that is below.”

In reality I doubt my average day to day is little different from anyone reading this. I work my day job, and when I get home, I help my wife take care of our two boys and any domestic chores that need to be taken care of. When the house is quiet, and everyone has gone to bed, I write until well in the evening. It’s not all the grandeur of a Mountain of Power, but it is vastly more satisfying.

What scene from Monster Of The Dark was your favorite to write?

Writing the entire book was a joy. I certainly have several favorite scenes, but here’s one I can talk about without giving anything away.

When conceptualizing the work, I thought very hard on what it would be like to actually have telekinesis. What ways would it be convenient? What ways would it be inconvenient? Would I still use my hands for anything, and so on?

With that in mind, there is a scene, very early in “Monster of the Dark,” where Carmen has to levitate sand that fills a room as a test. It sounds simple, but it is not. We psychologically consider sand as I wrote here, a single entity that is called…sand. In actuality, sand is composed of millions of individual objects. No one, not even a Clairvoyant, can focus on millions of individual objects at the same time. It was a fun exercise in cognitive psychology.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I have several, but since I’m a storyteller, I’ll reiterate a story I heard:

A businessman on vacation sees a fisherman pull his boat out of the water.

The businessman asked, “How long did it take you to catch that many fish?”

“About half the day,” the fisherman replied.

“Well, if you spent the entire day catching fish, you’d catch more,” the businessman pointed out.

“And then what?” the fisherman asked.

“Then you can sell the fish and make more money.”

“And then what?”

“Then you can use the money to hire other fishermen to fish with you.”

“And then what?”

“Then you can franchise your company and even go international!”

“And then what?”

“Then you do that for thirty or forty years.”

“And then what?”

“Then you sell the company and retire.”

“And then what?”

“Then you spend your remaining time with your wife and kids.”

The fisherman considered what the businessman said. “I don’t think I want to do that.” He then turned to leave.

“Hey, where are you going?” the businessman asked.

“To spend time with my wife and kids,” the fisherman replied.

KT Belt is the author of the new book Monster Of The Dark

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