Kimberly’s Golden Heart-nominated debut A Convenient Engagement published with Penguin-Intermix last year, followed by A Dangerous Damsel and A Ballroom Temptation. Her new print series launches this summer with Entangled, so watch out for The Importance of Being Scandalous on shelves next month. She first came on my radar via #Pitmad, when I starred a tweet pitch for ACE in 2014 and devoured her manuscript immediately after.
While Kimberly and I have been working together for a while now, I wanted to open the floor to clients who might not be on your radar, since we are both new to BookEnds. Hope you enjoy learning more about Kimberly!
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I write in my home office at my house in the Lake Tahoe mountains, or coffee shops and couches in my hometown of San Luis Obispo, California.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
Candy & coffee. I smash chocolate like it’s my job, and I have difficulty putting anything on paper without a cup of coffee next to me.
What do you love about writing romance?
I love the truth of it. Other genres include romance as secondary or tertiary plots, but in my experience romantic relationships are way more likely to be center stage in your life. I also love the hope. There is no character so flawed that a redemption can’t be found for them.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
Honestly, I was a historical romance reader way before I was ever a writer of anything. The vocabulary, the history—it caught me early and it’s never let me go.
What is the hardest part about writing romance?
At first, it’s being able to make eye contact with people who’ve read your book. But after that, for me it’s when I try to write a story about a personal struggle that I haven’t quite conquered yet in myself.
What book do you wish you had written, and why?
Oh, lord. All of them? It’s hard for me to answer that, because if I had written the books I love, they would have turned out different and I love them so much as they are. However, I did recently express that I was furious with myself for not having written The White Queen and The White Princess and pretty much that whole series by Philippa Gregory. The subtle addition of magic to real history—I’m super jealous I didn’t think of it.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
Eating. Gambling. Wine tasting. Sassing off on twitter. Pretty much any vice you can think of.
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
Bellromance.com (I’m sorry in advance. It’s as informal as anything else I do.)
What’s the last book you read?
Oracle by Michele West.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Somewhere tropical. A house that opens up right onto a beach, with a comfy chair in the shade and a killer wifi signal.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
It didn’t start out as a writing quote (it was said to me about modeling) but it applies beautifully to writing romance.
“If it were as easy as people think it is, everyone would be doing it.”
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
To let my dialogue shine. When I first started, I didn’t know it was my strong suit. A guy on a critique website told me my dialogue was really special, so I should stop ruining it by burying it in couched statements.
Plotter or pantster?
Pantser, but I’m trying to find a happy medium.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
I don’t mind them for books that are complete, but I have a formula. That formula does not work for books that aren’t on paper yet.
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
I have a general playlist that is full of songs that give me the feels or make me all fighty. Anything that kicks up overwhelming emotion for me.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
All of them! I can relate almost any interpersonal dynamic to Grey’s Anatomy. I think you’ve got to consume as much storytelling as you can, to keep your plot bunnies replicating, and when you spend your days writing…TV is a nice break.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Coffee when I am writing. Red wine when I’m not.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
The amazing team, and in-house Sub Rights!
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Follow the rules—to a point. Find out which ones you can break to make yourself stand out, and which ones you need to follow to prove you’re not an amateur or a liability.
And be self-aware/don’t just focus on failure. Focus on where the process is breaking down. If you’re getting requests but no offers, the problem is likely your book. If you’re not getting any requests, you need to fix your query.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?
It wouldn’t have been my answer before I met her, but Jo Beverly. Meeting her was my coolest experience in publishing so far. She was so charming and warm and went out of her way to put me at ease even though I’m a spaz. Now that she’s passed, if I had the chance I would meet her again, because she was a truly special person.