Word on the Street Issue 19, February 2021
April Kuper is an artist and author who is getting ready to publish her second book, Shadow Side. Kuper is a mom, a cancer survivor, and a wife. “I’m a little bit of everything. I’m trying to be my own boss. I’m about to have my own business. I’m just trying to keep up with my spirits, with being displaced,” she said.
Kuper and her family are guests at Interfaith Sanctuary. She doesn’t like to refer to her situation as homelessness and feels the term “displacement” removes the stigma associated with not having a place to live. “As my dad used to say, home is where you hang your hat. Technically this isn’t a home, so I call it home base. Someday I’m going to have another place; I’m going to be in a better place. I just have to get there,” she said.
Shadow Side, the adult sci-fi fantasy novel she finished last year, is in the final editing stages. The story follows Virgil, who wants to become a paladin (a warrior who fights for justice and against evil) like the rest of his family. The story takes place in the middle of a war with the shadow elves, beastly creatures that seek to annihilate anyone who crosses their path. Virgil aims to help his family push the monsters back to their dark territory.
“Twisted events happen which impede his training and force him to question himself and the paladin life he so desires,” Kuper said.
The book is 400 pages long and results from Kuper’s persistence and adaptability. She has dyslexia and writes her books piece by piece, whenever she has time, using her cell phone. Later, she stitches the fragments into a complete narrative and illustrates the cover and pages.
“When I was a kid, every time I would pick up a pencil to write, I’d get the great wall of writer’s block, so I gave that up and became more of an artist,” she said. “When I found out that I could text, I was like if I can text, I can write – so I belted my first book out within a year.”
Kuper’s first novel, A Nightmare’s Point of View, follows a nightmarish monster trying to change his species’ eating habits. “The monsters go from planet to planet eating people. This monster is trying to save his species so they can be more than just monsters,” she said.
You can order Kuper’s work at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and just about anywhere you can buy books. Rediscovered Books is her favorite local shop. Find her art through her social media tag, @Winterblade1980.