Dreams, legend intertwine to write Headlee's short stories

Photo by Emily Coppola Short-stories, long-time dreams... Author Kim Iverson Headlee and Bluefield State College instructor Dr. Sudhakar Jamkhandi showcase some of Headlee’s short stories during her recent presentation as part of Jamkhandi’s Regional and Ethnic Literature class, during which the instructor has hosted a series of local authors to share insight on their writing styles, processes and inspiration this semester. Headlee says she has always been inspired by legends, particularly such as knights. She also believes strongly in dreaming and allowing her mind to wander and merge her stories with dreams.

BLUEFIELD — The legend of King Arthur has been shrouded in mystery for hundreds of years.  The legends of Camelot and the knights of the round table are ever relevant and real to many people across the globe.

One of those people, author Kim Iverson Headlee, has spent the majority of her writing career breathing life into the legends. With a list of novels and short stories alike, Headlee has invested her time and soul into the Arthurian legends. With a splash of her own interpretations, Headlee presents the legends to the world in a way that’s never been done.

Starting at the age of 9, Headlee’s passion for the Arthurian legends grows continually. Her writing started when she had a “particularly vivid dream.”

Dreams have continually played large roles in influencing her work throughout her life. When it comes to what is fantasy and what is historical fact, Headlee doesn’t separate the two in her writing but instead intertwines them and allows them to build upon each other.

Regarding historical fiction and the liberties writers can take, Headlee believes there’s no line that shouldn’t be crossed.

“At the end of the day, it’s all up to the author’s interpretations. When it comes to reimagining and dealing with legends, all bets are off,” she said. 

Her characters are much more than figures of her imagination but rather friends and enemies.

“They’re alive, and if I don’t view them this way, then my readers won’t either,” she said.

Dr. Sudhakar Jamkhandi’s Regional and Ethnic Literature class has been opening their time to authors of the region. These sessions have been graciously provided food from Portabella’s Italian restaurant, as they believe the region has much to offer. There are two more sessions: Nov. 15, Dr. Michael Smith will be speaking to the class, and Nov. 27, Denise Giardina will be speaking.

These sessions are open to the public and take place in Bluefield State College’s Basic Science building in room B111 at 9:30 a.m.

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