What genres do you write? Read?
I typically write with a specific eye towards comedy. Life always feels a little lighter when you’re laughing, so I like it when people are smiling and having fun while reading my writing. Plus to be honest, I think being serious all the time just isn’t realistic. Humor’s a big part of life no matter the circumstances, so humor tends to become a part of most of my stories.
Rather than straight sit-coms though, I love putting comedy in different, more fantastical genres. Real life is great, but there’s something about the fantastical I can’t get enough of. Urban fantasy and sci-fi are particular favorites of mine. Those genres are full of sandboxes I could play forever in.
Plotter or pantster?
I would definitely say I’m a plotter. I used to be a pantser, but I did a heist comic called Heavenly Blues that really required me at the start to know how the heist would play out so I could set it up properly. Since then, been much more of a plotter.
My process tends to start with a wide range outline, then a chapter to chapter outline. And then once I’m in the thick of it, it’s usually in the dialogue where the characters and plot come to life for real.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
I’m big on having a good elevator pitch. Give me three paragraphs, and I’ll get tounge-tied and trip over myself trying to include everything. But if I can hook someone with one sentence, I know I’ve got a story worth telling.
I’ll tell you though, I’ll take writing a synopsis over an author bio any day. When I’m explaining a story, I’m talking about something I’m excited and passionate about. I could talk about my stories all day. Talk about myself? Well now I’m just a shy hermit. And you have to write about yourself in the third person! So awkward.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
Sometimes I have a vision board to help the artist with what I’m imagining. Actors that resemble characters, clothing styles, architecture, landscapes, things that capture the mood and scope of the story.
But I am all about having a writing playlist. But it’s not just one playlist for all writing, each story ends up having its own little soundtrack. One story could have me listening to electro-swing and jazz, another story is LA punk girl bands from the 2000s. It’s always fun discovering what a story’s specific sound is.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Sugarless iced green tea and peach snapple respectively. I like my teas.
Day or Night writer?
I am a ‘when the time exists!’ writer. I work a day job with a long train commute, so I’m usually writing first thing in the morning, then on the ride home, and then into the night after that. Weekends when I can get my day’s worth of writing done in the morning and then relax are my mini-vacations.
Twitter or Instagram? Or Facebook? Where can we find you?
Best place to find me is on twitter @BenTheKahn, and then when I remember to update my instagram, I’m @ben_the_kahn, and check out www.benkahncomics.com.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?
I want to talk to Herman Melville, so I can get more of them sweet, sweet whale facts.