IRDA Winner Kergan Edwards-Stout on his Motivation: “I am an activist at heart, so trying to change hearts and minds fuels all I write.”

Never Turn Your Back on the Tide (Or, How I Married a Lying, Psychopathic Wannabe Murdered and Kinda Lived to Tell) was the winner in the LGBTQ+/non-fiction category of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Kergan Edwards-Stout.

What is the name of the book and when was it published? 

Never Turn Your Back on the Tide (Or, How I Married a Lying, Psychopathic Wannabe Murdered and Kinda Lived to Tell)

What’s the book’s first line? 

If truth be told, and it always should, I was taken in by the view, as countless others, before and since.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

Imagine thinking you had the ideal life. The perfect partner, on whom you relied and trusted.  An infant child, newly adopted. Then one day, you wake up, and the life you’ve been living has suddenly turned upside down. Everything thought true becomes suspect. And you learn, quite quickly, that you can never again trust the person sleeping beside you.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

My fictional memoir was prompted by my desire to leave record, for my son, of all that we went through–of emerging as survivors.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

The lead character is myself, a novelist, charting several horrific experiences which actually occurred and fully shaped the person I’ve become.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

It is an entertaining and enlightening look at the world of entertainment, the passing of a lover to AIDS, the ultimate marriage betrayal, and the learnings that come from age and experience.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

John Cusack.

When did you first decide to become an author?

Twenty plus years ago, but my first novel took me 12 years to write.

Is this the first you’ve written?

No, I have a novel, Songs for the New Depression, and a collection of short stories out, Gifts Not Yet Given.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I am a full time writer, handling a variety of copywriting and social media marketing for a variety of clients.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I’m writing 40 hours a week, though only a portion of that is for my pleasure and the books I’ve crafted.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?  

I love the freedom and control I have over my material. The hardest aspect is not having marketing or editorial support. Indie writing is truly a “one man show.”

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why? 

It all depends on the offer and the support they might give.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I am an activist at heart, so trying to change hearts and minds fuels all I write.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Armistead Maupin, for his ease of intricate storytelling.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City. The entire series is one I reread every few years.