Today's Featured Book and Author: Let's talk to Kimberley Reeves, author of Broken, Blind Faith, Vittorio's Mistress, Dream Lover, and her newest release Gambling On Love.
Kimberley, thanks for taking some time to answer some questions for us.
1) What were your favorite books growing up? I loved classics like Jane Eyre and Little Women, but I also liked the darker authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray). My absolute favorite was the Judy Bolton female detective series by Margaret Sutton, which was written between 1932 and 1967. A strange preference in the age of Nancy Drew, but I loved them so much that I have slowly acquired 30 of the 38 in the series and hope to have the full collection one day.
2) Now that you have, let’s say—some life experience, what would you tell your younger self? Follow your heart. I have wanted to be a writer since I was twelve, but listening to friends and family claim it is not a ‘real’ job, that competition is too tough, you’re wasting your time – made me doubt myself and squashed the dream. About five years ago, I told a friend how much I wanted to write but had a fear of failure. He shook his head. “You’ve already failed if you never even tried, and now you have a wounded heart because of it.” I realized he was right, and the only way to heal myself was to follow my dream. One of my first novels is entitled, Wounded Hearts.
3) Describe your typical day. I’m up at 6am to pack my husband’s lunch and then try to get an hour of writing in before work. My day as a Sales Consultant involves working with parts managers for agricultural equipment, which can be quite a challenge. Most evenings I’ve got my computer out, either working on a new novel or editing a completed novel. Of course, now that I’ve found a fabulous copy editor to perfect my manuscripts, it frees up time to do what I love most: write.
4) Who is your favorite character in your books? It’s a tie between Dante from Vittorio’s Mistress (#3 in the Vittorio series), and Gage from The Little Red Skirt (#3 in the Travis series). I adore the alpha male, and these two were particularly arrogant and fought falling in love. There’s something incredibly attractive about a big, strong He-Man who suddenly finds himself pathetically vulnerable when his heart over-rules his head.
5) What do you do when writer’s block shows up, settles in, and makes itself comfortable? After the panic attack, you mean?? Actually, it hasn’t been a major issue because I never map out a novel. I begin with the names of my characters and an opening line, and let the story go where it wants to. If I do hit a brick wall, I take a few days to play it out in my mind like a movie and try to envision how my characters would react. Sometimes it helps to curl up with a good romance by my favorite authors, Linda Howard or Iris Johansen, and lose myself for awhile.
6) Do you find yourself pulling details from “real life” or does your imagination rule the roost? For the most part imagination rules, although my husband is part Italian so I do tend to lean towards dark-haired Italian heroes. Of course, if he asks, all my devastatingly handsome heartbreakers are patterned after him!
7) What was the first manuscript you wrote (even if it never saw the light of day)? Untouchable Memory. Handwritten in several notebooks, the 170,000 word novel took almost a year to write. A few weeks after the talk with my friend about having a wounded heart, I had a dream that I was in the hospital and had just come out of a coma. A man was in the room with me and said he was my husband, although I had no memory of him, and that he had to get me out of there because my life was in danger. In the dream, he was actually the one hired to kill me, but fell in love with me and couldn’t do it. I thought it was a great premise for a novel, so I finally took the plunge and started writing. I haven’t stopped since.
8) Have you ever pursued traditional publishing? Or did you go straight for indie publishing? I have entered and won a few Editor Pitches as well as writer’s contests, but haven’t seriously pursued traditional publishing. The dreaded synopsis is a huge deterrent, not to mention the endless weeks of waiting for a reply. I did have one novel published through a house, but felt the retail price they set was too high and eventually bought my rights back. Publishing on Amazon has been a rewarding experience and I am happy with my decision to give indie publishing a try.
9) What Works In Progress are brewing? Any target dates for publication? I have completed 45 novels so there is always an ongoing editing project. Currently, I am working on the fourth novel in the Vittorio series, Vittorio’s Lover, which should be ready for release in late October. In my steamiest Vittorio novel to date, Raffaele decides to intervene when he discovers Jenesa Harding’s plan to crash his brother Luca’s engagement party and expose a short-lived affair. How was he to know she would mistake him for Luca, or how much he would enjoy playing the role of his playboy brother?
I am also deviating from romance to co-write a thriller with three other authors called Thrill Crimes. It has been a great change of pace and a challenge to play the role of Gina Marinelli, a female detective hot on the trail of two serial killers. I couldn’t quite resist the temptation to give Gina a hunky partner!
I love hearing from my fans and always reply. I am deeply appreciative of the people who take the time to let me know they enjoyed my novels and who continue to be supportive.