Oldest of three girls, raised in a small city surrounded by family, Kimberly was well acquainted with her imagination and started writing novellas in High School. She took a break while attending University, but returned to it soon after the birth of her daughter late in 2006. She has been married for 12 years, a mother for 5 and a published author for 1. She is looking forward to her future releases and new ideas.
Twitter – @kimmydonn
Facebook: http://facebook.com/Kimmydonn and http://facebook.com/cargonbooks/
1. What was your path to publication?
I submitted Cargon to over forty agencies and publishers before Jennifer Barry suggested this new company, Martin Sisters Publishing. She told me they had experience in publishing and were looking to set out on their own. I gave them a shot and I was their first release. 🙂
2. Will Cargon be a trilogy?
Yes. I’ve started work on the third installment And I think it will have a happy ending! (My original plotting, it wasn’t looking good).
3. How much writing did you do before being published?
I used to write voraciously in high school and college. By the time I finished University, though, I was pretty burnt. Rather than start writing again on my own, I started in FanFiction. After 500 000 words using other people’s characters, I figured I was ready to take on my own.
4. Have you always considered yourself to be a writer, or was there a time in your life when you decided that is what you were?
I was always a writer, though I never considered pursuing it as a career. Throughout school, anytime I was allowed to branch into fiction, I went wild. I wrote my first novella and novel in Grades 10 and 12. Well… I didn’t finish the novel, and when I reread it last…it’s scary. It’s going to stay safe in the binder. I am looking at writing as a career now, but as an associative career. I love my job as an environmental consultant, so even if I did break out tomorrow and got big 6 contracts, I’d probably still work with my boss in the summers. I might go down to only one or two days in the winters, though.
5. Do you have a blog? How do you use it?
I don’t really. I had one for a while and never managed to hit on a theme. I thought I had one at the beginning of this year, but so far, I’ve only written one ‘fear’ post. I’m not doing a whole lot better. That said, my website does allow me to announce upcoming events, releases, conventions, etc. I use it like a blog, but don’t feel I need to update weekly like a blog. I probably should, but I just don’t find ME that interesting and therefore have trouble doing it. Like I said, I had an idea for a theme, but that hasn’t had better traction. I’m a fiction writer. I’d rather spend that twenty minutes working on a new chapter than writing a blog post.
6. What social media do you use? Do you combine your personal and professional or keep them separate?
I used to be very active on Twitter, but I’ve fallen away. My facebook page is primarily personal, a way for keeping in touch with my family. I have an author fan page and a Cargon fan page where I post reviews and releases, but neither are widely followed. My email all comes into the same inbox, but I have a work address I try to use (and usually fail at) so yes, I combine.
7. How important is plausible science when writing Science Fiction?
It is the biggest challenge for me. I am constantly running things past my techie husband. “Do you think this would make sense? Could you do this after three hundred years?” etc. If it’s not plausible, it quickly becomes fantasy. I love fantasy, so sometimes I just jump that way. For Cargon, though, I wanted it to be a very realistic future. Although we don’t know WHY there is no power and technology, we can understand that it happened and how long they’ve gone without it. I think it gives the story strength.
8. How does your day job as an Environmental Consultant influence your writing?
It gives me lots of writing time! Sadly, my direct experiences in oil sands working with native plants are a little too specific for good fiction. That said, I do have one project in a folder about a tar sand monster. So, that would be a direct influence! Usually, though, it’s just a really flexible position that involves hours of travel time. Perfect for plotting and some writing.
9. Do you like experimenting with different genres?
Love it! I will never settle on one genre. My ideas come from all backgrounds, all types, all areas. I also like combining or falling between genres. Cargon is SciFi/Fantasy. It’s speculative, but with the dark age setting, it feels like an old-style fantasy, just without the magic. Thickness of Blood, my literary fiction, is contemporary historical. What do you call something set in the 70s?
10. What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
I like open office. What I really love is dropbox. If I’m stuck somewhere for a couple of hours I still have all my WIP and in open format, I can open them almost anywhere.
11. What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?
I always have a small notebook in my purse. The current one was a birthday present with a purple cover.
12. What is the most persistent distraction from writing?
Flash games. Stupid flash games. I’ll find a new app for my phone and be obsessed for a while. Or a new tower defense will catch my eye on Kongregate and I’ll have to play it to oblivion. I stay away from Kongregate and try to ignore my husband when he talks about this great new game.
13. What kind of promotion do you do for your books?
Tough one. I am trying to do High School and Junior High School readings. I had a couple early on that went really well and since then I’ve gotten in a bit of a glut. I have had the fortune of being invited to some local author book sales and readings. None of them made huge sales, but I got to talk to lots of people.
14. What’s on your virtual shelf?
The Submission from D.F. Krieger and Lichgate from S.M. Boyce. There are some other erotic pieces on my Kobo as well.
15. What’s on your real shelf?
I just got Gangstaland from Ansha Kotyk in the mail and my daughter and I are reading Water of Possibilities.
16. What is your editing/rewrite process?
I write my first draft generally chronologically, I let that sit for a month or two, then go back for a first rewrite. After that, I start looking for beta or pre-readers with several rounds of edits between each (minimum three these days). After that I send it to my publisher. The third Cargon book is not coming chronologically. I’m just writing the scenes that are coming and trying to fill in the gaps after. I’m not sure how well it will work, but I’ve already hit several stumps trying to go in order.
17. Do you use beta readers or a critique group?
I use beta-readers. I’ve never found a critique group that I have managed to hold onto for more than a few weeks. I think they don’t like me. 😦
18. What kind of images do you share on Picspiration?
I love kids. If you got a picture with a little cutie in a diaper, it was probably mine. I look for interesting scenery, action sometimes. All sorts. Last time I went diving, I found a mass of pictures of seniors. That was fun. I’m not very consistent at all.
19. Why are Canadians so nice when Canada is so cold?
Because we have to stick together to stay warm!
20. Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
Han. Come on, Greedo was a chump.
Excerpt from Cargon: Duty and Sacrifice
After class, Eve was approached again, by the same Prince offering her a seat twice before. He was older than most in the class, probably nearly finished. She was worried. The Ernst wouldn’t be calling him away now. His family? His friends? Someone would be looking for him, calling him.
“So, Server girl. You have a suitor, and an innovative one. I can’t argue with his choice anyway. You are a tasty morsel. I am Prince Louis, and this has to be the worst class. I must wonder who would send you to a class like this?”
“Leave her be, Louis. Let’s eat,” a Princess called from the doorway. Eve kept her eyes down.
“I’m coming.” The Prince leaned into her face for a moment, his lips level with her eyes. Eve held her breath until he turned. She sank to her knees in relief. She had been so close to looking up, so close to retorting to his taunts. It had taken all of her ingrained, practised subservience to resist. She rose slowly and shakily.
Kim is a great writer and I’m sure we will be reading her stuff for years to come.
Aww, thanks David! Your support is always welcome.
Thank you so much for the interview. I really appreciate the opportunity to chat with you.
You’re welcome! It was a pleasure to have you on the blog today.