Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart. Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying. With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself. Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.
Today we get to welcome Kimberly to the blog for an interview! So excited to have her here with us! Let's see what she had to say!
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I got bit by the writing bug when I was kid. I adored books and thought they were pretty magical and I started dreaming of trying to create some of that magic myself.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months depending on the book. If it’s more complicated and I get stuck trying to create plot or character or fill in holes, it can take longer—and a brainstorming session with my writing partner.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I never start out with theme. The themes always manifest themselves later—after the story and the characters have come together. Epiphanies about my *themes* crop up after I’ve finished the book and I hear from readers who tell me what the book(s) means to them.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I’m always trying “desperately” to get a regular schedule! Something new pops up every day; some marketing task, emails that need to be taken care of from my agent or editor, a presentation or school visit to prepare or take care of, but when I’m in the middle of fast drafting a new book I really try to set aside 2-4 hours a day to focus on that. But my whole day is spent on writing-related things—whether it’s writing/revising/marketing/presentations/email/social media/fan mail/planning book launch parties/creating book trailers, designing bookmarks, etc.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
This fall while I was preparing for a 16 day book tour for FORBIDDEN on the East Coast I was working every day and long into the evening prepping a thousand details , while simultaneously doing revisions and copyedits. I do take time out to make dinner and eat with my family every night though. And I hug my kids and talk to them when they need it. I have become a very *interruptible* Mom/Writer! Reading, which is such a pleasure, often gets put aside. And I don’t have time to watch much TV.
What elements do you think make a great story line?
Great characters, suspense, cliffhangers, an intriguing plot—and a delicious romance. :-)
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Revisions are the hardest for me. I love fast drafting because it’s like *living* the story with my characters and it’s a heady feeling as thoughts and ideas and characters come alive while I type the words as fast as I can.
Revision—re-imagining—the story with better scenes, tighter and elevated prose, is tough and a lot of deep brain work. I usually only get 1-3 pages revised per hour. Sometimes longer if there’s new material to be written.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
FORBIDDEN is my 9th published book. I have 7 MG novels (the last 4 with Scholastic) and it’s like choosing a favorite child! I love them all for different reasons, but I *am* partial to FORBIDDEN just because I was in labor for 10 years . . .
Do you have a favorite character?
Livie, my angsty 12-year-old in THE HEALING SPELL is probably the character most like me. She is a tender girl who is easily hurt, feels like an outsider in her own family, and is hiding a guilty secret.
Where do you write?
For most of my life I’ve written at a desk in my kitchen or bedroom. When I sold Forbidden in a significant deal to Harpercollins my brother built me a writing cottage in the backyard (we live on an acre of land so plenty of room.) I am very lucky and it’s all decorated in Victorian so I love it!
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
Since I was a kid I wanted to see my books on the library shelf and in bookstores so I beat my head against the wall until I had a deal with a Big 5 publisher. It has been a long, hard road, but definitely worth it in the end.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
I think I’ve finally impressed my mother! LOL.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love to read, of course! Bake goodies, play the piano, belly dance, have lunch with writing friends, cuddle my kiddos, and take walks along the Rio Grande.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Get a good support group of crit partners and cheerleading friends to help you during the rough patches of rejection, the craziness of the publishing world, or when the writing is tough and you need a shove to get you over the finish line.
Try not to get discouraged. Anything worthwhile takes time and patience and TLC.
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?
I’ve relied on my long time critique partner and friend, Carolee Dean. We brainstorm together, critique together, and buoy each other up during the long dry spells of trying to get published.
Are you working on anything now?
I'm currently revising book two of the Forbidden trilogy with my editor. We have a title! Banished. The cliffhanger will be resolved from Forbidden, major new twists and turns and characters, plus a brewing, epic war. I'm also having fun revising a Victorian Gothic steampunk plus noodling around with a new epic book idea . . .
Thank you so much for having me!!
Thanks so much for being here.
Now let's check out the awesome trailer for Kimberly's book!
Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.