I've been following Kim's journey, sage advice and Disney-Princess-esque bubbly infectious personality since Mid-2016. To be honest in her first video I assumed she was already a famously published author because of her quality content, and down to earth attitude.
I've loved getting to know her through her social media and connecting with her in the wildly successful and incredibly fun #Chance2Connect. These writerly Twitter chats happen on the 2nd Tuesday of every month.
If you want to be a writer and take a leap into the writing "pool", her Youtube videos will work as a much needed floatation device.
I think anyone that follows Kim on any social media knows she's truly a #Keeper.
So, let's dive in, take a chance and get to know her a little better before we fall in love with her debut novel, Keeper (Releasing January, 2018)
1. What inspired you to write your debut novel, “Keeper”?
To be honest, I have no idea! When I first started drafting, my idea centered around elemental magic. I saw a modernized version of Captain Planet in my head, but with more fantasy elements. I went through several really terrible drafts before realizing the story just wasn’t working. Then one day, I got an idea for a plot point that I just completely fell in love with. It’s actually one of the big twists in KEEPER. I’d tell you what it is, but ya know…spoilers! I started thinking about that plot element and the story surrounding it. I ended up dumping everything I had from previous drafts and starting from scratch. From there, KEEPER was born!
2. Why did you choose the path of Traditional Publishing?
I did a lot of research on both traditional and self-publishing before I made a decision. I think it’s important for writers to do that, to know exactly what you can expect from each route. I decided on the traditional route because I believed it was the best path for me and my book. With traditional publishing, there are a lot of people with a whole lot more knowledge than me working to help make the book a success. I really liked knowing that I’d be working with people who are in the know, who have experience and could help me take my novels as far as possible. I also really wanted to see my books on the same shelf as the authors I’ve come to love and admire. That was the biggest factor—being able to walk into a bookstore and purchase my own book. There are definitely pros and cons to each route, and like I said, make sure you do your research! For me, when it came down to long-term goals, traditional publishing was the way to go.
3. Do you have any advice for other writers looking to pursue Traditional Publishing?
Don’t expect anything to happen quickly. The traditional publishing world moves incredibly slowly, and if you expect things to move fast, you’ll be sorely disappointed. As challenging as it can be at times, you have to have both persistence and patience to go traditional.
4. What inspired you to become an author & has it always been your dream?
Honestly, I never saw myself as an author until I was in my twenties. I’ve always loved to write and it’s always been how I process the world around me, but it never occurred to me that I could actually take what I love and turn it into a career. I did a lot of theater in middle school and high school and I love to sing, so I was determined to be a Broadway actress for a long time. It wasn’t until I graduated that I realized that dream probably wouldn’t happen. In college, I ended up majoring in Journalism. It was then that I began to see writing as something more than a hobby. After I graduated, I got married and moved to a new town. My husband was deployed at the time and I was alone with a lot of free time on my hands. I got an idea in my head and began to toy with the idea of writing a novel. It sounded crazy to me, this notion that I could actually write a book, but I didn’t have anything to lose so I just started writing. It was then I realized how at home I felt when I was writing fiction. It didn’t take long for my new hobby to become my greatest dream.
5. Where’s your favorite space to write?
My favorite place to write is anywhere that is quiet! I don’t need complete silence, but I do need a space that is limited in terms of distractions. With two five-year-olds running around, that can often be difficult to find. I usually write in my office after the twins are asleep. I feel like I write better during the day, but again, it’s all about minimizing distractions. I love my children, but they are so loud! Honestly, I think I need to invest in a really good pair of sound-cancelling headphones! Then my problem would be solved! Ha!
6. What are your top 5 must haves for a writing space?
1. No kids. (See previous answer. Lol)
2. A comfy chair. I’m getting old and I need that lumbar and bum support! ☺
3. An excellent supply of post-its, jolly ranchers, and caramel apple suckers.
4. Music. I prefer instrumental scores though; I find lyrics to be distracting.
5. My Muse Puppy, Dawson. I write a whole lot better if he is in the room. ☺
7. How many hours a day do you write?
I’m not a writer who writes every day. I wish I were, but my life and schedule just don’t allow for it. I aim for 2-3 days a week, usually for at least 2 hours. Sometimes I’m able to squeeze in more time, but often not. I typically write at night after my family is asleep—I lose a lot of sleep myself but it’s worth it. Dreams don’t work unless you do, right?
8. Are you a Plotter, a Pantser or a Plantser?
I’m definitely a plotter! My writing time is limited so I like to be as organized as possible. I’m also a type-A personality so I always need to feel like my ducks are in a row before I can truly be productive. I personally think it’s easier to write with some kind of direction in mind. That’s not to say that I don’t let things work organically at times, but I always have a goal in mind for each scene. I do a thorough outline before I start drafting and I really try to stick with my outline. Doing so, helps make sure my story goes where I want it to. Being organized also helps me keep track of all my characters, subplots, and everything else that needs to line up for the story to work. I wish I was more of pantser, but it just doesn’t work for me!
9. Because I have a pretty Type-A personality, I’m always curious about other peoples scheduling methods. Do you use a schedule to plan out your life / writing & if so, do you use paper or electronic planning?
You’re a Type-A too? HA! That’s awesome! *fist bump of solidarity* I definitely have to schedule my life and my writing time. I currently have a full time job, two young children at home, and a plethora of other duties and responsibilities to manage in addition to writing. If I don’t plan and schedule time for something, it just doesn’t get done. That being said, I prefer the good ole pen and paper method. I have a planner that I carry around with me and I couldn’t live without it. I’ve tried electronic planners and apps and such, but honestly, they aren’t that convenient for me. Call me old school I guess, but I’m much more efficient with my planner, post-its, and color-coding system.
10. What is your favorite part about the writing process?
I really enjoy the revising and editing process. Taking a scene or a chapter that’s super rough around the edges and making it shiny is such a fun and organic process for me. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I really have to fight that during the drafting process. With R&E, I can really focus on making each line and each scene exactly how I want it. I love that freedom!
11. What is your least favorite part about the writing process?
I’m not a huge fan of beginnings. I feel like they have to be just right and I tend to overthink things. Plus, in the beginning, I’m still getting a feel for the main character and his/her voice. I always end up writing a dozen or say different first chapters before I feel like I have one I can work with.
12. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
A ridiculously long time! It took me about 3 and ½ years to write KEEPER. During that time I was working on my Masters degree and I had my twins, so I wasn’t able to write consistently. Life is pretty busy outside of writing, so I can’t always devote the time I’d like to. I’m hoping to cut that down a bit with future books, but we’ll see!
13. What’s your biggest internal obstacle in getting your writing done?
My biggest insecurity is that I’m not good enough for people. This pretty much applies to all areas of my life, especially my writing. I often get crippled with self doubt and really have to fight that little voice that tells me my words are no good. I also struggle with anxiety which is often exacerbated when I’m stressed or worried. I get too lost in my own head at times and I can definitely be my own worst enemy. I’ve learned some coping mechanisms over the years and I have a great support system, but I still struggle with feeling inadequate. This often cause writer’s block and hinders my productivity.
14. What’s your biggest external obstacle in getting your writing done?
My life outside of writing. I have so many hats that I wear and it can be really challenging juggling them all. I literally have to schedule my life down to the hour sometimes and it gets exhausting. Next year, I’m taking a break from teaching so that I can devote more time to my family. I’m hoping this will also open up more time for writing.
15. Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how do you overcome it?
YES. It’s a constant companion of mine! Well, I did a vlog on this! You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgjGd6CPcIA&feature=share
16. Does writing energize you or exhaust you?
BOTH! I love who I am when I’m writing and I love it when the words in my head come to life on the screen. At the same time, I’m an incredibly sensitive person and I get way too wrapped up in my characters. I’m often emotionally drained after writing.
17. Best piece of advice for other writers?
Don’t compare your writing journey to anyone else’s journey. Every writer’s path is different and focusing on someone else’s success will only harm your own. Your time will come. Just keep writing and keep fighting. It WILL happen!
18. What is your Favorite quote about writing?
“You only fail when you stop writing.” Ray Bradbury
19. Which authors are your biggest inspirations?
Oh my goodness! There are so many! But here are the main ones: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Allan Poe, Sarah J. Maas, Jane Austen, and Diana Gabaldon.
20. What are you currently working on now?
Right now I’m working on KEEPER edits with my editor. I also have a WIP in the works that’s set in 1920s. It’s on the back burner until KEEPER is squared away, but I’m excited to get back to it!
Connect with Kim
Youtube: @Kim Chance