I have author Alex Kimmell on. His new book the Key to Everything is available now.
Cracked and weathered binding, hiding mysteries on pages tied closed by a bloodstained string. A happy young family enchanted by dreams and possibilities. A barren, empty room. A boy with no friends obsessively drawing angles, edges and diagrams.
In his debut novel, Alex Kimmell captures a vivid and startling tale of fear. Auden’s journey begins when he discovers a curious leather-bound book whose contents will soon endanger his entire family. The pages of this book draw him into a prison that cannot be breached, a place that can only be unlocked with a very special key.
In The Key to Everything, fear is explored and heightened through jarring imagery and a terrifying, unique menace, ratcheting up the tension until the novel’s gripping climax.
Please tell me about yourself -
I like long walks on the beach at sunset, puppies and kittens. I enjoy a good cry. I love to play ball with my son and then take him down to the basement where the dark lord Cthulhu slumbers. Did I mention that we live in R’lyeh?
What is something about you that no one knows? –
If you’ll pardon the pun, I’m pretty much an open book. I don’t have a very good poker face at all. Just ask my wife.
Some favorite books and authors? –
One of the most frightening book I’ve ever read is “Deathbird Stories” by Harlan Ellison. It’s a collection of incredible short stories that when put together reveal a darkness hidden in the world that is not passively waiting for some special alignment of the stars to come and get us. It is alive and aggressive. The book, as well as many of his other works, is wonderfully written and intensely descriptive. Ellison is a true master.
“The Road” is one of my favorites from Cormac McCarthy. I love his beautiful use of language to describe the most horrifying and terrible things. “Blood Meridian” is another favorite of mine. I’m actually reading that one for the third time right now.
Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend” is one of the masterpieces of twentieth century fiction if you ask me. He reshaped the vampire mythos in more petrifying directions than ever before in history. Unfortunately Hollywood refuses to adapt the brilliance of this book the way it was written. If they would only just make the story as it is told, it could be the scariest movie ever made.
“The Straw Men” Trilogy is some of the most intense and suspenseful writing I’ve ever encountered. I found this book on a drug store end aisle one day and it is the greatest happen upon I can recall. I’ve subsequently read almost every word Marshall Smith’s written. From horror to fantasy to thriller, this guy does it all better than almost anybody else.
Without taking up too much more space, a few other writers who rock my world are Ray Bradbury, Dan Simmons, Mark Z. Danielewski, John Ajvide Linqvist ad Jonathan Lethem.
What are you reading now? -
Currently I’m reading a bunch of different things. I’m reading H.P. Lovecraft’s “Necronomicon” for the umpteenth time. The overwhelming sense of dread in his stories is so pervasive. Seeping between the letters in every word, dark clouds escape his pages blotting out the sun. It’s very easy to understand why his work is still so influential.
A new book of poems called “Dead Birds Fall From The Sky” by Stephan Cox. It’s very thought provoking and inspiring. I highly recommend it.
Of course I’m obligated like every horror writer these days to read a zombie book. My friend lent me a copy of “Day By Day Armageddon” by J. L.Bourne. It’s an interesting take on the drudging terror of the living dead.
I must mention the hysterical and wonderful “Joe Vampire” by Steven Luna”. Just as awesome the second time around.
“Blood Meridian” by the incredible Cormac McCarthy. He can do no wrong in my opinion.
I’m also in the middle of reviewing a manuscript for the incredible Heather L. Nelson. It’s a terrific mix of Desperate Housewives and Fight Club. Like nothing I’ve read before. Incredibly funny and oh so dark. It’s going to be huge!
Have you always been a writer or is this a recent endeavor? –
I grew up as a musician. I started playing drums when I was ten years old and ended up doing that professionally for years. I wrote poetry as a kid and that led into lyrics when I developed into a songwriter. Words were constantly a part of what I did. I always had a book to read during set breaks or at down time in the studio. I’d come up with a few story ideas here and there, but it never turned into something I thought I should pursue until a couple of years ago when I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
The M.S. pretty much knocked out my body’s ability to perform on my instruments anymore. So my wife suggested I continue with writing to expand on my creative outlets. That led to a few short stories, which then blossomed into my first novel. I really enjoy it. I love creating stories. Who would’ve thought that playing make believe as a grown up could be a career? So far it’s working out okay.
What was the inspiration behind The Key to Everything? –
When I first started the idea the story was going to be very different. There was this very basic concept about finding an old beat up diary filled with childish scribbles that made people change as they read it. Anyone who did would die in some outlandish way. It didn’t have any sense of originality to me. As I continued writing, the story took a sharp turn into weirdsville and thankfully I ended up in a much darker place.
The phrases “lost in a good book” and “I got sucked into this story” flashed on constantly in my head in bright neon colors. Having the experience of reading a book so fantastic that the entire outside world disappears and you become the words on the page. I started to think what if that really happened? And what if it really wasn’t such a good thing in the end?
It’s your debut book and has great reviews how does that inspire you when writing your next book? -
It’s certainly not giving me a big head if that’s what you mean. Excuse me while I thank some of the little people…
The positive reviews are certainly nice, but I;m sure there will be negative things said as well. It feels good to know that there are people out there reading my story. Writing is such a solitary endeavor. Sitting alone tapping on the keys trying to get the pictures in my head translated into words that hopefully will mean something to other people. I’d like to think that some of the folks that enjoy “the Key to everything” will be interested in reading what I’m working on next.
Why horror and do you plan on writing other genre? -
I grew up reading the science fiction books that my Dad gave me. Authors like Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert and Arthur C. Clarke filled up a tremendous amount of my youth. I eventually found Stephen King, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman. Their books really opened my eyes to a new type of dreaming.
When I come up with stories they always tend to lean toward the creepier side of things. I do love other genres and would love to put something together that might be considered a “romance” story. In fact, the story I’m working on now is a love story. It just so happens to be a creepy love story, so hopefully people who enjoy both types will ant to read it together!
Please tell me about The Key to Everything –
There’s an old adage that writer’s use: Write what you want to read. Well, “the Key to everything” is the kind of book that I enjoy reading. The book is at its core, a family story. They love each other a great deal and unfortunately are thrust into a side view of the world that does not treat them very kindly. Having to wrestle with an overwhelming malevolence that does not allow its self to be understood. Without giving away any more details, it’s a foray into the philosophical concept of normal every day life dissolving through doorways that lead into a different universe that should not exist. A nightmare, come to life.
What do readers have to look forward to next from you? -
I’m working on a couple of things right now. I have some shorter pieces that I’ll start looking to publish in the next few months as well as moving forward on my next novel. I have the basic concept in my head and most of the characters laid out. Mostly I’m spending time trying to get to know them and see how they’ll react in the situations I’m thrusting them into. The only other thing I’ll say is that it relies heavily on music and weather. I’ll let that thought simmer until there’s more I’m willing to tell.
For more information about me and my writing, please stop by my website at
My novel “the Key to everything” can be found at