Kevin Kauffmann (1987-)was one of those kids that would make up stories every day, creating worlds and adventures for action figures, old Transformers and even lucky stuffed animals. Then the real world came knocking and he forgot he loved to tell stories.
Kauffmann went to UNC-Chapel Hill for a degree in Peace, War and Defense with a minor in Arabic Studies, determined to get into government work. Then, as soon as he graduated in 2009, he realized that he couldn't stand a desk job or working in the traditional world. That's when he rediscovered writing and started to create his own worlds once more.
The Icarus Trilogy is Kauffmann's first professional project, but he got his real start during National Novel Writing Month in November, 2009, when he wrote a book that he'll never let anyone see again. It really was that bad. On the other hand, it made Kauffmann realize that he was meant to be a storyteller, so he started on Murder of Crows back in April, 2010.
While Murder of Crows was originally supposed to be a graphic novel, Kauffmann began writing it as a short story due to his lack of artistic talent. Then he got attached to the characters and got lost inside their struggles, which caused the story to get more and more intricate
In July of that year, Kauffmann was told that his grandmother had been diagnosed with cancer, which caused Murder of Crows to become an entirely different project. In order to cope with his grief, Kauffmann's writing became focused on how his characters dealt with loss, both in the form of personal identity and actually losing the people closest to them.
Kauffmann had made a promise to himself that he would try to finish his first professional book before his grandmother passed, which became quite the struggle. There wasn't much time and it seemed like she would go before he could finish, but he kept writing, sometimes through the night, in order to get it done. One morning at the beginning of October, Kevin Kauffmann finished the first draft of Murder of Crows, but he didn't get to tell his grandmother. She passed later that day.
As painful as it was for Kauffmann, writing Murder of Crows in this fashion was an effective way of dealing with his loss. And by leaving a bit of an inheritance, his grandmother was able to help him promote his series and push him on to further success. That's why the first book is dedicated to her:
"For Grandma E. She wouldn't have liked it, but she would have been proud."
Kauffmann has continued the series in this emotional arc, realizing the power that comes with experiencing true feelings and making a connection to the people who are closest to you. Kauffmann's characters became his friends and family throughout this series, sometimes with unfortunate consequences. For him, there is something beautiful in even the most tragic moments.
Swan Song, the final chapter in Kauffmann's Icarus Trilogy, was released in November 2012, just six months after the first book. He is currently working on his next trilogy, which should be ready for the next year.