Kim once performed on Maui with Jamie Foxx. Those were the days she rubbed shoulders with George Harrison and Alice Cooper at parties. She now lives in the Seattle area where she pens stories in the rainy months and edits in the sunshiny months. A wife, mother, dog owner and adventurer, Kim loves to hike, waterski and avoid housework.
What inspires you to write?
I get an idea and I have to write about it. Just looking at my computer is inspiration but I don’t let myself write as often as I want to. I think about it, sometimes for days, and then reward myself with a big block of writing time and the words just spill out by that time because I’ve organised them in my mind for days.
I do not listen to music while I write because I was a singer in my former career and it’s too distracting. And contrary to what my family thinks, having dogs playing on my feet and chewing on my computer chair, having kids running through the house asking for lunch, and having the phone constantly ringing does not help the writing process.
A perfectly quiet room helps inspire me and if I happen to be facing the ocean, that doesn’t hurt either. Note: I wrote some of The Dream Jumper’s Promise on my friend’s lanai on Maui, facing the Pacific Ocean.
Tell us about your writing process.
As I said, I think about a story idea first. Sometimes for months, while I’m writing something else. I’ll come back to this idea, formulate some workable characters, figure out goals for them, conflict etc. Then I write character descriptions in longhand. After I have my main characters and a very good idea of what they will achieve over the course of the book, I plot on a graph. My critique group and I have a detailed chart we use sometimes if we are getting stuck. I am very visual and even draw pictures of their house. That’s why Pinterest is so incredible for me.
When I write the first few chapters, I often go back to eliminate most of it, section it off to add in the information later, seeing I’m a horrible fiend at backstory and try to start the book at a pivotal moment, layering in later.
I write a 40,000 word book in terrible style, no narrative, childish dialogue etc and then go back to really write it, chapter by chapter. When I think it’s done, I dissect it again to layer in more info, substitute stronger verbs, better adjectives and then I give it to my critique group who have me pretty much rewrite the whole thing again. 🙂
Note: this is a first draft and pretty basic right? See?
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I feel my characters. They are me and I am them. I used to be an award winning actress and this is what I draw on to understand what they’re going through. I become all of my characters. Simple as that. Then I start dreaming about them and I tell you, that is really fun!
What advice would you give other writers?
Take classes, listen carefully, go to conferences, write daily at the beginning. Get a critique group you trust. Listen to them. Work really hard at your craft and maybe in ten years you’ll have a book. Exercise patience.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My critique partners and I had been submitting partials and fulls for years to agents who really loved our writing but our submissions just weren’t right for their list etc. Or they already had a romantic suspense author or they weren’t taking on new clients etc. I submitted 82 times for The Need for Something Sweet. (Coming out summer 2013 with Top Ten Press). That was discouraging. I had the full read 5 times.
Then I quickly wrote a romance and after submitting to 20 agents, I gave up and wrote a third book The Dream Jumper’s Promise in the Cherry Adair Finish the Damn Book Contest. I finished in one year and then spent the next year cleaning it, submitting it to agents and after two of my critique partners self pubbed, I finally decided to self publish. I haven’t given up on getting an agent some day and having movie deals for my books, but self pubbing TDJP was a great move at that point in my writing career. While I worked on getting it ready for that process and decided on a cover photo (about as much fun as bamboo shoots under finger nails!) I happened to see a call for a book like my second one, Necessary Detour. I sent it out to the publisher and then decided to try another publisher while I was at it. Both publishers read the full and the second one wanted it. Really wanted it. I was thrilled, tried to get an agent again while I had two publishing houses interested but no go. Necessary Detour was given to The Wild Rose Press and after edits to make it more romance formulaic, I was given a publication date of April 5th 2013. I published The Dream Jumper’s Promise in December 2012 and The Wild Rose Press decided to kindle publish ND early so now I have two books on Amazon Kindle, doing very well, thank you very much!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I know it’s changing drastically and the agents jobs are changing and morphing. Editors too. With so many self pubs out there, it’s hard to sift through what is really well written but I applaud the person who decided to take a chance on letting authors publish themselves. And Kindle Free.
I’m excited to see what will happen in the publishing industry and it hurts my brain to think too much about it. I have strong opinions on many things but not this area. (Spay your dog!)
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Commercial Women’s Fiction/Beach Reads
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print