The Questions with alex kimmell: #TeamOrange edition


I am a proud member of #TeamOrange, a group of writers who banded together to create the anthology Orange Karen: A Tribute to a Warrior, with all proceeds going to help fellow writer Karen DeLabar and her family pay for medical expenses associated with her bout with Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Our ninth – and final – guest for the #TeamOrange edition of The Questions is alex kimmell. He answered The Questions last September for the launch of his book the Key to everything, and entertained me so much I thought he should answer again. (Plus, he said yes when I put out a call for #TeamOrange to ramble with me.)

The #TeamOrange Questions

a. How/why are you a member of #TeamOrange?

I am fortunate to be a member of a writing group on Facebook with an amazing company of people. Some mentions of Karen’s struggles and putting together an anthology of stories that could raise money to help floated through in our conversations. I didn’t know Karen and still haven’t met her in person, but hearing her story I knew I had to help in any way that I could. No stranger to health issues in my family, I feel a strong connection to Karen’s situation. Especially since I’m an independent author and a parent of young children like she is.

I primarily write stories of a much darker tone than what the Anthology was looking for, so I didn’t send in my first few ideas. I had a couple friends read “Lower the Lid” and they seemed to like it, so I passed it on and voila!

b. What is the title of your story? Describe it in 25 words or less.

“Lower the Lid”. Will this group of willfully wicked women receive their just desserts?

(dSavannah note: My favorite line from his story: “…the moist edges of the entrance silently inhaled the scent of women’s perfume”…)

f. The superhero Aquaman wears orange and green, and The Thing has an orange, rocky complexion.
If you happened to be a superhero, what color would your costume be? What would be your powers?
Your superhero name?

My youngest son and I watch “The Last Airbender” series together. Since I have a shaved head, I thought it would be fun to put on some orange, Buddhist robes, draw a blue arrow on my head and arms, and be the Last Airbender for Halloween this year.

He looked at me, shook his head and said, “No dad. You are the Last Couch-bender!”

So that’s me. The Last Couch-bender!

(dSavannah note: I’m not sure… is that a compliment?)

The (Regular) Questions

5. What skill(s) do you wish you’d learned as a kid?

I wish I’d learned to play the piano. Through all of my time as a musician, it would have helped me so much. Plus, it would have been great at parties.

I was a Boy Scout but never learned to tie all those cool knots we were supposed to learn. That merit badge skills could come in handy from time to time for sure.

(dSavannah note: Funny. Six of my nine #TeamOrange guests answered this question, and four of them answered “piano”; the other two said “drums” and “guitar”. So, kids, don’t give up on learning an instrument! Also, I bet the cool Boy Scout knots would have been great at parties, too. ;))

7. What was the name of your first pet and what was it?

Oakie was our family dog when I was a little boy in Chicago. He was a mutt of no discernible breed with longish white, black and brown hair. I don’t remember too much about him other than he used to roll around on the floor with me and my Six Million Dollar Man action figures. My Mom tells his temperament was very sweet but he was really, really stupid. I do think he is the root cause of my fear of heights. I have flashing images of tripping over him and falling down the stairs. I’ll have to ask my sister what she remembers about him. She remembers everything.

8. Your favorite book growing up? Your favorite book now?

Once and Future KingThe Once and Future King by T.H. White was my favorite book growing up. It launched me into years and years of reading about Grail Mythology and sci-fi/fantasy geekdom. It’s an amazing book. Not just for kids but adults as well. It certainly has great influence on most of the popular work in that genre. I can’t recommend it enough.

I can’t single out one book as my “favorite” now. Too many writers impact me in too many different ways. John Ajvide Linqvist’s Let the Right One In is one of the most beautiful, terrifying, unique horror stories since the original Dracula. I read House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski at least once a year and find new inspiration each and every time. Cormac McCarthy creates imagery with his wordplay much like Bach or Beethoven did with their music. He is perhaps the greatest living American writer in my opinion. I recently finished a book called The Fighter by Craig Davidson that blew my mind. It is brutal, vicious and gorgeous all at the same time. Currently I am reading Wool by Hugh Howey. I’d read a lot of buzz about it on the interwebs and wanted to find out for myself if it deserves the attention. I can’t put it down. By the time these questions are posted, I will most likely be reading it for the second time.

(dSavannah note: Alex answered this question last time. You’ll be glad to know {or perhaps not} that he talked about The Once and Future King then too. And I loved that book as well. Wish I had a copy with that cover {above} on it ~ it’s the one I remember reading.)

9. What is a guilty pleasure?

I don’t feel guilty about anything that gives me pleasure. As long as nobody gets hurt or is forced into something against their will, what’s there to feel guilty about? Except Meatloaf. I know it’s not cool to listen to The Loaf, but I just can’t help myself. Wouldn’t you do anything for love? Even that?

(dSavannah note: I would totally listen to Meatloaf with you. And I’d likely sing along, very loudly.)

Oh. The TV. That damn TV.

15. What inspires you?

Walking through a library or bookstore inspires me. Great books, movies, music and most importantly my family inspires me. I want to give my kids the best launching pad for a happy life I possibly can. More than anything else, that inspires me to push forward and try new things to become better at being who I am.

30. What’s the most expensive crap you own that you can’t live without?

My music equipment. Even though I can’t play it much these days, I need it around to feel whole. My guitars and drums are extended parts of me. I spent so many years with them, it just wouldn’t feel right to not have them around.

Other than that I’d have to say the damn TV. It’s a hate/love relationship. Mostly a disquieting obsession built on years of cartoons and B-SciFi movies.

What Alex Creates:

I write down images from the bad dreams that beat me up at night. Abstracts of things that make my heart want to crack its way from between the lungs and hide under the bed. But there is love in there too. The beauty of connection and different ways we might step in front of jagged, hungry teeth for each other.

About Alex:

alex kimmellalex kimmell is a former session musician from Los Angeles with a uniquely skewed view on the dark side of the world. His short fiction appears in publications by Black Lantern Press, Front Row Lit, Canyon Voices and The Wordcount Podcast as well as contributing words of ill-wisdom to Dumb White Husband and other places on the www. His debut novel, the Key to everything, was released in 2012.

Find Alex:
(and more information about his writing and undiagnosed psychosis {his words, not mine}):


Learn more about the authors and Karen’s story:

Buy the Book:

The anthology is available in paperback for $14.95 and in ebook for $3.99.

  • CreateSpace – paperback (purchasing this version gives Karen and her family the most money)
  • Amazon – paperback
  • Amazon – kindle

Other ways to help:


About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
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2 Responses to The Questions with alex kimmell: #TeamOrange edition

  1. Betsy says:

    It was so nice to see The Last Couch-bender again. I am sorry to see that this is the last of the #TeamOrange interviews. I have really enjoyed them.

    I have my book, and I am looking forward to read these great stories that were so graciously written for helping Karen.

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