I am so impressed by K.A. (Kate) Laity, whom I met via social media. Not only is she an accomplished author of various genres, (writing under three different names), she’s also an Associate Professor of English at the College of Saint Rose, where she teaches medieval literature, film, New Media and popular culture.
Kate is a world traveler, and she is now living in one of my favorite places—Galway, Ireland. Photos from Ireland Dublin, Dundee, and Rome can be found on K.A. Laity’s Google + page. Find out more about her and watch her fabulous video.
* * * *
Who is K.A. Laity?
K. A. Laity is the award-winning author of Pelzmantel and Other Medieval Tales of Magic and the forthcoming Owl Stretching, as well as Unikirja, a collection of short stories and a play based on the Kalevala, Kanteletar, and other Finnish myths and legend, for which she won the 2005 Eureka Short Story Fellowship as well as a 2006 Finlandia Foundation grant.
Her bibliography is chock full of short stories, humor pieces, plays and essays, both scholarly and popular. She currently resides in Galway, Ireland where she’s a Fulbright Fellow in digital humanities at NUIG.
Inside K.A. Laity’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Writing, my sweetie bringing me a cuppa and a kiss. I am happy lots of places: walking along the bay in Galway, sitting in a pub in London, enthralled by a wonderful play or just buried in a book.
What turns you on creatively? Unusual juxtapositions: I find collisions of the unexpected really fuel my imagination. I find a lot of inspiration from fairytales because these old tales are infinitely elastic. I’m also inspired by music and lyrics. Lots of stories lately spring from lyrics by The Fall.
What quality do you most admire in a man? Loyalty: I’ve always been attracted to intelligence and humour but I’ve discovered that those qualities don’t matter much if there isn’t some loyalty, too. I have no use for mind games and drama.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? Also loyalty: my friends are people I can depend upon and who know that I have their back. I support and encourage them the same as they do for me. There’s something so powerful in the loyalty of your friends.
What is your greatest regret? That I took so long to chase my dreams. You can pursue your dreams and fail, but that’s loads better than never finding the courage to go after them. I know people who nurse the resentment of dreams they never dared try; they’re usually bitter and resent the success of others. It’s a waste of your life.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would have a beautiful singing voice.
What is your greatest fear? Suffocation; both the literal sense (I have terrible claustrophobia) but also in the metaphorical sense. I always chafe at being contained by any kind of restraint that keeps me from flying.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I’d like to be a magnificent painter. Unfortunately, I have no talent for it.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? I would come back as a cat in a wealthy writer’s house.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? As an uberskiver, I suppose my greatest achievement has been getting paid to live in Ireland for a year. Only now I am spoiled so I must figure out how not to work at a regular job ever again.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Negativity: I despise people who are always down on themselves or others. For them nothing is possible, nothing will ever be achieved, everyone’s against them. I limit my time around people like that and refuse to accept their negativity.
What is your greatest extravagance? Travel: I don’t like to be confined to one place, I need to go new places and visit favourite places. It’s expensive and increasingly annoying, but I would never give it up.
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Go to India: the magic of that land and all its many faces has intrigued me for years. I want to experience it first hand.
[Eden: This is my wish as well.]
What is your favorite music (genre/artist/album/song)? I love lots of kinds of music, but The Fall are my obsession. They’ve been around for decades, fading in and out of popularity, but there’s just something about the irascible curmudgeon Mark E. Smith that fascinates me. Hypnotic music and surreal lyrics with a very northern sense of hmour. As John Peel said, always different, always the same.
What are some of your favorite curse words? You can’t get better than the good old Anglo-Saxon fuck.
What is your motto? Audaces fortuna iuvat! Fortune favours the bold!
Thank you Kate for such interesting answers, and I hope to see you in India one day ;)
Readers, if you’ve enjoyed this interview, please comment and connect with Kate at her many homes on the internet.