Reviewer Spotlight: Kat Kiddles

Anatomy of an Uncustomary Writer

Reviewer Spotlight - Kat Kiddles

What’s the oddest thing you own?

A ceramic figure of a winged angel kneeling in prayer, chipped and scuffed from over a hundred battered earthly years. She came to me from a tiny chapel atop a hill on the side of a volcano in the Mediterranean. She’s currently guarding my basil from evil; somehow, the weeds are getting by her, though.

Any writing rituals?

I used to be quite dependent upon the right lighting, the silence, even the correct pen. At this point, I just write when I’m moved to write, whether it be hunched over my knee at the train station or surrounded by the whole grains at the grocery store. On the other hand, when I’m not moved to write, what often helps is a cup of steaming herbs, a freshly polished monitor, or a brand new page in my notebook.

What substance (prescribed, illegal or from the freezer section) most inspires your writing?

Espresso grounds, brewed to a frothy state of bliss; candied ginger; the briny crunch of dried nori.

What’s the biggest advantage of your greatest disadvantage?

Suburbia can be quite devoid of distraction.

Which language do you wish you could speak to ask what question to whom?

I wish I could travel back in time and speak fluent 18th century Italian, so that I could spend lazy afternoons listening to il Prete Rosso describe what it was like putting music to the seasons.

Describe your relationship with inspiration.

We argue at times – she refuses to accommodate my schedule and I resent her insistence. We’ve also come to understand that one without the other couldn’t exist. Without her, I would blend, muted and translucent, into the backdrop of ennui; and she would have no voice through which to send the messages that only my tune can transmit.

The formula for the perfect day is:

An early start – so early that I manage to sneak a few hours of time for myself before the world awakens.
The vents from the bakery downstairs pump warm air filled with cornetti and rum baba’ into my room.

A productive middle – I finish a book that has succeeded to ingrain the image of its world into my mind’s eye, and tinted the color of my glasses a very special shade of rose.
A call from a loved on timed perfectly, the first ring following the last printed word.

A delicious end – dinner with friends where we share stories of wishes come true and dream of more to come.
Confirming travel plans and making reservations before settling into sleep.

Anatomy of the Book

Do you prefer…

…chapter titles or chapter numbers? Most definitely titles.
…short stories, a series, or a collection of poems? A short story, but a very long one.
…footnotes, maps or indices? Indices.
…hardcover, softcover or digital cover? Used to love hardcover but they got too heavy to hold with one hand. Was partial to softcovers until I discovered that turning the pages awoke my nursing baby. Now, I’ll even read on my iPhone.

Anatomy of the Reading List

What does your reading list look like? Is it a pile of books, a list of titles or a mental medley of thoughts?

An intricate four-part structure composed of the short stacks of books on my dining room table commanding my most immediate attention, the tall towers of tomes on the lonely desk in my bedroom, followed by the untended shelves in my study to which I’ll eventually get. The fourth component lies in the dark caverns of my iPhone’s inner walls, where titles trickle onto a master wish list like the sweat streaming down the walls of a musty cave.

Which book do you feel obligated to read next?

There are too many for me to count. I seem to have been born with an innate sense of responsibility: ‘pleasure after the work is done.’

Which do you actually wish you were reading right now?

A book about shopping I purchased while shopping in Rome.

Uncustomary Book Reviews Written by Kat Kiddles: Here’s the list.

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