Kim Cooper is the creator of 1947project, the crime-a-day time travel blog that spawned Esotouric’s popular crime bus tours, including Pasadena Confidential, the Real Black Dahlia and Weird West Adams. Her collaborative L.A. history blogs include On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land. With husband Richard Schave, Kim curates the Salons of LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association. When the third generation Angeleno isn’t combing old newspapers for forgotten scandals, she is a passionate advocate for historic preservation of signage, vernacular architecture and writer’s homes. Kim was for many years the editrix of Scram, a journal of unpopular culture. Her books include Fall in Love For Life: Inspiration from a 73-Year Marriage, Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth, Lost in the Grooves and an oral history of the cult band Neutral Milk Hotel. The Kept Girl is her first novel.
What inspires you to write?
I have a passion for lost histories and the fascinating characters that lived them. Through my non-fiction writing, and now in mysteries, I seek to bring the past to life.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve always done my best writing late at night, but when I began working on “The Kept Girl,” I became a morning writer. I think other parts of the brain get used in fiction than in non-fiction, and that the proximity to the dream world helped when it came to conjuring up the lost Los Angeles that is the setting of the book.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I came up with much of the dialogue for “The Kept Girl” in the sauna at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which is Raymond Chandler’s old club. The slightly hallucinogenic experience of getting really hot in the dark proved the perfect environment for letting the novel’s characters come alive. I listened, but didn’t talk back.
What advice would you give other writers?
Listen to your own internal clock. Everyone has a time when they are at their most creative and focused. Once you find it, clear your schedule, eliminate distractions and use that time to the utmost. You will be rewarded.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve published books with small, medium and large presses, and self-published a successful music magazine, Scram, for many years. For “The Kept Girl,” my husband and I decided to launch a press, Esotouric Ink, to publish this and other books celebrating lost lore of Los Angeles.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It is a challenging, but very interesting time. I think more writers will choose to become publishers, and that traditional publishers will need to find new ways of keeping their authors happy.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Mystery, Historical Fiction, Music Criticism, History, True Crime
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print