L. K. Ingino is a speculative fiction and comic writer, poet (as Leanne Kathleen Ingino), and singer with a love for fairytales, myths, dark tales, the strange and bizarre, dark humor, and puns so bad they’re good. We talked to her about writing all the things, vampiric cats, humor and darkness, and her short comic, “The Creeping Madness,” appearing in the Becoming Anthology!
Tell our readers about yourself, L.K.! You do a lot of different kinds of writing…how did you get into comics?
I’ve always loved trying out new things, especially with writing. Before I got started in comics, I hadn’t really thought of writing them, though I enjoyed reading them, because I’m not an artist. I think it was Russell [Nohelty] who was talking about not letting that stop you from getting into comics, and I thought that so long as I could hire an artist it would be a fun medium to try. And then it was in Russell’s Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos anthology that I got my first start in comics.
Tell us about the inspiration behind “The Creeping Madness,” the short comic you created with Nizamt and Chuck Pinau for the Becoming Anthology.
I find with a lot of short comics they need to be more fast-paced due to their short nature. So I really wanted to challenge myself in writing what, to me, is more of a slow burn, but still done over a short number of pages. I really enjoy writing darker pieces with a bit of mystery, and when I originally thought of the word “Becoming,” I thought initially of a lot of happier ideas, which queued me into going the opposite direction!
“The Creeping Madness” is spooky and funny and relatable, all at once. How did you balance these themes in the script?
I love humor and I think it adds a little bit of reality and relatability to an otherwise dark story. I actually have a hard time leaving it out! Overall, I did want to keep the tone darker, but I think we’ve all had those moments where everything is going wrong and we just can’t seem to get it to stop, and sometimes we just have to laugh at the absolute absurdity of it all. I remember once I woke up at 5am to my fire alarm needing new batteries with no replacement in sight and my dogs barking at it (mind you I’m not an early morning person, so I’d gotten like 3 hours of sleep at this point.) So of course, in a story with a woman going mad (or being haunted—I’ll let the reader decide!) I had to include that detail.
Who are your writing heroes?
I haven’t read nearly enough Neil Gaiman, but I’ve loved everything I’ve read so far. I’m also a big fan of C. S. Friedman and Mickey Zucker Reichart.
My poetry-writing heroes are Margaret Atwood (I also love the fiction of hers that I’ve read) and Billy Collins.
What are you currently reading, listening to, and watching?
As I write this I’m watching the latest season of Flash!
Listening to, usually, my karaoke playlist! And if not that then typically metal of various sub-genres.
And I just finished reading a book on Bullet Journaling, which is rare that I read non-fiction. But I wanted to try the practice and see if it helps with my massive to-do list!
And of course I have a massive pile of comics that are next on my to-read list.
What’s important to you in a book or comic, as a reader? As a writer?
In a comic, I’m looking for a story that keeps my attention and has a strong hook at the ending. I’m not so concerned with every single page turn as long as the story overall is intriguing, but the ending definitely should have me wanting to read the next issue.
As a writer, I try to make sure all my stories are intriguing, entertaining, and have at least a bit of humor in them. I strive to create characters that readers will love to follow. And I love to create intriguing worlds, different from our own.
Can you share some advice with other prolific writers on how to straddle different writing styles effectively?
I think one thing I love about writing in a variety of mediums and genres is that if I’m stuck on one, I can move to another. But, I would caution not to have too many stories open at once, otherwise it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Most of my writing happens at the computer, but I will typically write poetry outside, I find in particular, being in nature helps facilitate more poetic writing. And for genre writing I’ll usually put on a related playlist.
Are you working on anything new that our readers can keep their eyes on?
Yes! I just put out Issue 0 of Fangs and Foul Play, a comic about a vampiric cat, puns, and one man’s attempts to stay just in an unjust world.
It centers around Richard, an army colonel deserting the war, who stumbles upon an empty house only to get enthralled by a vampiric cat. He just can’t get a break from being forced to perform atrocities no matter how hard he tries!
And Issue 1 is planned for a Kickstarter launch in November 2021.
Where can our readers find you online?
The space between origin and destination, as imagined by 37 diverse creators in 16 short comics.
A comics anthology by Oneshi Press, live now on Kickstarter.
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