Today we welcome Kimberly to the blog for an interview!
Welcome Kimberly, so great to have you here!
When I was growing up, there was a show on TV called BJ AND THE BEAR about a trucker who travelled with a chimpanzee. Of course, this made me want to be a trucker, and because it was the 70s, I wanted to be a “foxy lady trucker.” My plan was to have a boyfriend in every city, a faithful German Shepard companion, and a tricked-out sleeper compartment (you know, for all the boyfriends). Fortunately, I took Journalism in the 7th grade and fell in love with writing instead.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It usually takes me about 4 months to write the first draft, and another two to three months of revising with my editor before it’s polished and ready. For me, the biggest obstacle is always time. I have a husband and three kids, so carving out time to just sit down and write can be challenging although we all work together to make it happen. And fortunately, my office has a lock on the door!
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I generally work all day, from the time my daughter leaves for school (which is ridiculously early!) until around 6:30 in the evening—later if I have a deadline. I don’t necessarily set a word count goal because if I meet it, I feel like I’m done for the day, even if I’m on a roll. And if I don’t meet if, I feel like I’ve failed. For me, it’s better just to work until I can’t work a second longer.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
THE OFFERING will be my seventh published novel, which completely blows my mind! But asking me to choose a favorite is like asking me which of my kids I like best ;)
Do you have a favorite character?
I’ve always had a soft spot for Angelina, Charlie’s little sister, from THE PLEDGE trilogy. There’s something very sweet about the bond she and Charlie have, and the entire time I was writing THE PLEDGE I kept imagining how my oldest daughter (who is 14 years older than my youngest daughter) would react if she were forced to save her sister’s life.
Where do you write?
We have a really nice office off our bedroom, which my husband has offered to trade me several times, but I still prefer our spare-bedroom-turned-writer-cave. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve developed a bond with my daughter’s hamster, Carmel, who shares it with me.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
I think it goes without saying that if you want to write, you should read everything you can get your hands on, even if it’s not in the genre you want to write in. You can often learn more in the pages of a book than you can in a classroom. But most importantly, if you really want to get published, my advice is: Don’t give up! Ever! This is a tough industry and rejection comes with the territory. You have to learn to take “no” and move on.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
Some of my favorite YA authors are Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (BEAUTIFUL CREATURES), Holly Black (WHITE CAT), Carrie Ryan (THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH), Melissa Marr (WICKED LOVELY), Richelle Mead (VAMPIRE ACADEMY), Lauren Oliver (BEFORE I FALL), Veronica Roth (DIVERGENT), and about a zillion others!
My all-time favorite book will always be TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, and my all-time favorite author is Stephen King. To this day, THE SHINING (by King) is one of the scariest books I’ve ever read!
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
The only person I talk to about my story while I’m writing is my husband, and even then, only in the broadest sense. I generally have a very strong notion of where I want the story to go, although sometimes it veers dramatically off-course while I’m working. I like to write my first draft with little or no outside influence, though—I won’t even read books in the same genre, for fear they might bleed into what I’m writing. Once I’m finished with that first draft, however, I will generally let my husband and my agent read through it, and give me their thoughts.
Are you working on anything now?
The first book of my new series, THE TAKING, comes out April 29th, 2014. It’s about a girl who wakes up after what she thinks is one night, only to realize that five years have passed and everyone she loves has moved on without her...yet she hasn’t aged a day.
I’m working on the second book in that series now!
Thanks so much for stopping by today! It was great having you here. Good luck on your new series!