Welcome to Up Around the Corner, Kim. Please, take a moment to tell us a little about yourself.
Well, this question, believe it or not, always throws me. I guess I will never get used to anyone wanting to know anything about me. I still do not believe that I am a published author. It's very surreal to think that people in the world download or buy a paper copy of something that I have written. You'd think the novelty would wear off at some point but since 2008 when my first book was published, it still hasn't.
I live in the Mid South region of the US, and people here are very friendly and polite. Music is king here, not literary arts, and that's sometimes a mystery to me as there are some pretty great authors from here. John Grisham, Mark Greaney, and gosh, we even have a poet laureate here.
I love writing books, stories, and on occasion, a poem or two. It's like my belonging somewhere. It's in my blood.
I am also a radio host for the show, Writer Groupie, on Blogtalk Radio. It's a labor of love, and I am always looking for authors to host.
I also blog with three of my writer buddies over at Murder by 4, and we have garnered four 101 Best Sites for Writers awards from Writer's Digest. An honor I am proud of.
I am also a photographer, and have a small business with my hubby who is a videographer. Summertime I meet myself coming and going!
Between a full-time job, a part time business, my writing career, my radio show, and family, I am a busy person but I manage to get it all done. It's why I cannot understand people who say they don't have time to write, or read.
With so much going on, Kim, how do you prioritize and how do you find time to write?
That's a good question, Terry. I mean, it's hard on a good day, but I manage. I get up at 4 AM every morning, make a pot of coffee, work on blog posts, do some Facebook and Twitter stuff, visit forums like AbD and try to exercise, and write. But on the weekend, I get most of my writing and editing done. On the weekend, I also shoot photos, edit photos, and help my husband with our business. The summers just about kill me J -- I am really thankful for long weekends like Memorial Day and other holidays.
I find that when I am working on a new WIP, and the writing is going well, I will deny a lot of excess, like Facebook, Twitter, forums, blogs, etc. I just do not have time to visit and post to them.
When I am in the throes of edits, such as I am now, there is more time because I am always thinking of what needs to be done, but not necessarily doing it.
Can you tell us about your work in progress and also about some of your published works?
My latest WIP is a YA fantasy titled Loran Rudder and the Secret Key. It is going through the editing process. My most recent publication is An Unexpected Performance, a YA time travel, available at Amazon in print and for Kindle.
I am also working on a fantasy for a summer workshop, and a contemporary romance. I never cease to write.
What do you believe drives you to write, Kim?
Good question. I believe that at one time, maybe in the beginning, I thought it would be something that I could one day make a career of – doesn’t every writer want to write full-time? But lately, it is my dream to litter the world with stories that will be around long after I am gone. I would love to one day be known as a "classic storyteller". Of course, that might not happen until I am dead, as we all know posthumous fame is the norm! But if only my kids and their kids and so on read my work and know that someone in their family did such a thing, and actually like it? That's enough for me.
Can you tell us a little about Murder by 4 and also about Writer Groupie?
Murder by 4 is a blog I co-host with my three friends, Marta Stephens, Aaron Lazar and S.W. Vaughn. Ron Adams is a guest blogger and so is Warren Adler, the author of War of the Roses. We have the great distinction of being a four-time winner of the 101 Best Sites for Writers by Writer's Digest for a thriller site. There are a lot of murder, suspense, and thriller writer interviews, and general good writing tips there.
Writer Groupie is my new Blogtalk Radio show. I interview authors about their books and the writing life, and it is a great and fun way to see how others perfect the craft. I hope it serves as another marketing tool for them as well.
Speaking of writing craft, how do you avoid plot holes and/or writing yourself into a corner?
The best way to avoid plot holes and or writing the character into a spot where they cannot fix the problem can be corrected pretty easily with more planning on the front end. Sometimes writers just dive right in and start writing the story without pre-planning the road ahead. The old adage about using a road map for a road trip and using an outline for a book journey is pretty true. Outlines can help a lot in these sorts of situations. Just take more time on the front end so you have less work to do during the writing expedition. This is a fact that I am just now coming to appreciate. I am outlining a whole lot more now than I ever have before.
Some good points, Kim. Is there anything else you’ve learned about writing, or being an author, that you’d like to share with the readers?
Some ideas about motivation: If you want to write, write. There is time in every day to do the things we want to do, if we want to do it. If you find time to watch a television program, you have time to write. If you play computer games, you have time to write. Make writing your priority. A lot of successful authors make it like a job. They dress up and they do the work and then they shut everything down, and "go home".
And don't say you are afraid you couldn't come up with an idea, either. There are ideas flung across the universe every second. Just grab one! If you need a prompt, ask me. I am full of them.
We all have fears of failure, and even of success, but that shouldn't stop us. The only thing keeping you from writing that novel or that non-fiction book is you. As I like to tell my kids, (and you may quote me!): "The only thing holding you down is gravity."
Speaking of gravity, you wrote a Time Travel YA book, right? (I know because it’s on my bookshelf at school and some of my students have read it). Can you tell us a little about that novel and also what is your favorite SF television program of all time?
Yes! I wrote A Mirror in Time back in 2010 and when the original publisher went out of business, I reissued the book (revised and re-covered) under a new name. An Unexpected Performance is the new issue, and I created the cover myself. That is something that I am very proud of. I think it speaks to the historical aspect of the book a lot better than before. My favorite SF television program of all time? That's a toughie. There have been a lot. The original Battlestar Galactica was pretty good, but Stargate SG1 runs a very close second. I am about to become a huge fan of the new series due to kick off called Under the Dome, too, I bet. It's not pure SF but looks really creepy and good anyway.
Re-releasing is a great option now available today when a publisher goes out of business. Some good SF Shows, especially SG1—if you ask me.
How do your friends, family and even co-workers react to what do they say about your writing and the time you put into it? Its it what you expected when you began writing?
My family has always been very supportive of my writing. I believe that most of them have purchased at least one of my books. Probably fewer of them have purchased my YA than my adult ones, though. Only because YA is not a genre they read. Writing has certainly evolved for me through the years. When I first began way back in the early 2000s I believed I would be a bestselling NY published author without ever having to edit. That is a good laugh now. No author should ever do anything with a work that isn't edited within an inch of its life. But I think new authors have a somewhat arrogant attitude thinking that they are the best that has ever been. It takes a few dozen rejections to stop that belief. I have published short stories, novelettes, novels, and even a poem or two since I had the "I am Queen of the world" disease. I now believe I have only scratched the surface of what one could know about writing.
I agree, Kim. One never stops learning as a writer.
As we’re closing in on the end of this interview, is there anything you’d like to add or share?
If there are aspiring authors out there who want to know some of my advice on how to get into the writing chair and better yet, how to stay there until they turn out something, they can pick up my latest work, TenTips for Getting that Book Written. It's only about 40 pages long, and filled with great info, and even bonus material! I just produced it on Amazon for Kindle and it is a whopping $1.50. Also, I am always looking for guests for Writer Groupie radio show, and if anyone has a book they would like to promote, feel free to drop me a line.
Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for the interview Kim!
For those who would like to find out a bit more about Kim Smith, here are a few links:
Kim Smith's Author Website
Kim Smith's Blog, Writing Space