1. Tell us a bit about yourself. I hail from Atlanta, GA. I have a B.A. in English Lit from the University of Georgia. I’m self-published and have been since 2013. I’ve written a total of nine books so far, in two separate series. My debut series is The Black Parade series, which is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance series starring an Afro-Latina woman named Jordan Amador rubbing elbows with ghosts, angels, and demons. My newest series is a science fiction/contemporary fantasy series, Of Cinder and Bone, which is about two MIT scientists who clone a dragon into modern day times. The Black Parade has been positively reviewed by Publishers Weekly and by New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Ilona Andrews. I’m also a contributor for Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda, which is an upcoming 2021 anthology by Marvel Comics featuring stories from the Black Panther comics. As for me, I’m just a dorky author and fangirl. I’ve been a guest or moderator for panels at various cons like DragonCon, Momocon, Geek Girl Con, Con-Tinual, Jordancon, Multiverse Con, and Blacktasticon over the years.
2. What’s your favorite cyberpunk book/movie/anime? I’d say the closest candidate for me is I, Robot (2004). I absolutely adore it. I think Will Smith’s done better movies, but this is my personal favorite performance just because Detective Del Spooner is an outstanding character. He’s sarcastic and difficult and wounded, but vulnerable and caring and dedicated at the same time. I also love the setting in the Not Too Distant Future in Chicago and how there are elements of our present blended with elements of the future, especially regarding artificial intelligence and robotics. It’s also all of my favorite things smashed into one—science fiction, action, mystery, and all blended with an excellent script, great performances, and gorgeous visuals. It actually partially inspired my short story in the anthology, “Comfort.” I imagine Will Smith in Andrew Emerson’s role, personally.
3. What do you like most about Cyberpunk? I enjoy the blending of science and fiction in this genre. It’s taking things that already exist and building on them, so using realism to seek out the fantastic elements that could almost exist in the real world.
4. For you, what’s the difference between Cyberpunk and Cyberfunk? Cyberfunk has that element of extra content that cyberpunk doesn’t always address. One big misconception is that people of color—particularly black people—don’t like science fiction. That’s a big fat lie. Black people have roots in science fiction and have always enjoyed it, whether reading or writing it, so cyberfunk is an excellent genre to share those stories.
5. What’s the title of your Cyberfunk story? “Comfort.”
6. Give a brief synopsis. “Comfort” is set in Neo Atlanta, where robotics has seen a huge boom and we have not only cyborgs but androids among us. We pick up our story with Andrew Emerson, an android who wakes up with his memory wiped and his body badly broken, and he’s being cared for by a friendly mechanic named Akachi who found him and is trying to put him back together.
7. What do you like/hate about your main character? I like Andrew’s sense of humor, personally, as he’s able to take what’s happening to him in stride, all things considered. If I had to hate anything about him, it’s that his instinct is to run rather than fight, which can be troublesome for someone who cares about him the way Akachi does.
8. Are we heading for a Cyberfunk/Cyberpunk future? Possibly. I mean, have you seen those dancing robots? Skynet can’t be far behind.
9. Would you become a cyborg? Maybe. If I kept my human brain, yes. If I had to have my mind altered, then no. Free will and choice are everything, and I wouldn’t want that compromised.
10. Could you love an A.I.? Oh, easily. I’ve been joking for years that we need to reach the future from Futurama where you could download famous people and celebrities into your own personal robot boyfriend/girlfriend. I think that idea is hilariously genius.
11. How do we keep with all things Kyoko M? The best way is my website: http://www.shewhowritesmonsters.com. It connects all my work with my blog and any other social media links. My other site is http://www.misskyokom.com, which has the same stuff but with a fancier aesthetic.