Tell us a little about your "real" (Non-writing) life -- family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
I work part-time at Hobby Lobby, count offering at my church, and spend my spare time on the internet or talking with my family. We spend a lot of time together, and a lot of my story ideas are hashed out with my father and brother.
I get story ideas from all over – articles I read online, personal stories from other people, even just brainstorming. I've also included people from our church as characters in my books – ssh!
Tell us about things you enjoy -- what you do for fun or personal satisfaction.
I do almost any kind of handcraft involving yarn (knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, weaving), and I'm always considering picking up a new hobby. I also bake a lot of cookies.
My brother and I both live at home still (he's currently in college) so our family does a lot of things together – biking, walking the dog, doing projects/repairs on our hobby farm, and working through story ideas.
We're also big computer gamers, meaning my dad and brother play, and I watch. Top favorites include Halo, Destiny and Destiny 2, and Starcraft.
For my own play time, I love point-and-click puzzle games, and two of the best I have ever played are Ghost Trick (quirky, fun, and profound) and Gemini Rue (dark and dystopian but with an awesomely redemptive ending).
Tell us about working with any people who help you create your books -- Do you use Beta readers? Hire an editor or proofreader? How do you get your covers?
My family is my first sounding board, but it's very important to get outside input, as well. I've had mixed results with beta-readers: the thoughtful ones who will give you an in-depth critique are in high demand, and so have limited time to offer. Some others are eager to offer help, but don't really provide useful feedback…or don't get back to you at all.
As for editors/proofreaders, I've had my grandfather proofread a few of my books (he's ordained with a Masters degree). However, I haven't worried about it too much; consuming lots of quality literature will train your mind to recognize proper usage, and making sure your manuscript goes in front of several beta-readers anyway can help.
I know everyone on the internet tells you to use a professional cover designer – but I never have. It can be very helpful to just examine lots and lots of covers (especially the professional ones, but also the crummy ones) to get a feel for proper form and expectations for classy covers. I have put together the covers for my last three books in GIMP, which is a free alternative to PhotoShop (I love free).
Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
|Click cover to go|
directly to Amazon
Fifty years after the collapse of American civilization, the gangs struggle for turf and resources in the waste of the city, while a rising city-state tries to define its own version of “progress.”
Tommy Thaxton is from White Mesa, a community that saw the collapse coming and prepared with a God-centered worldview that values all human life…even the zombies.
He's used to dealing with the anarchic gangs, but when he discovers a settlement with a protected fence-line and plenty of food, he doesn't know whether to celebrate that people are flourishing…or look for the catch.
Even the zombies here are different. Instead of trying to attack whatever moves, they cheerfully obey every order they are given…or do they?
What's your next project?
Book 3 of the White Mesa Chronicles is waiting for beta-reader critique. After that, there are three books in the series waiting to be completed and two book ideas beyond that need finalization.
When I'm done with White Mesa, I hope to either write more books about my modern day private investigator (from Hayes and Hayes), or a science fiction soldier story.
Who do you consider a mentor in your life? What did that person teach you?
My greatest mentors are my parents, which is part of why they chose to homeschool me (wanting to have control over what I learned and how I was raised). However, I also owe a great deal to my grandparents, a Sunday school teacher, pastors, and other people from churches we've attended who encouraged and challenged me in various times of my life.
The Holy Spirit has used all these people to teach me to trust God better – something I'm still learning.
Do you include your own life in your books? Why or why not?
Who I am and my worldview definitely colors my writing, but I have never, for example, included a “self” character or related an actual personal event in one of my books (yet). The closest is a short flashback in the latest White Mesa book, where one of the characters treats his younger brother's nosebleed, and passes out because of the blood (I did that with my foster sister's nosebleed).
I think this is mostly because I want my characters to be as perfect as possible – or if they do have flaws, I don't want to give them my flaws. : ) I also don't feel a need to explore my own experiences directly through my writing.
Perhaps I will grow out of this, and learn to be more honest in my writing…perhaps not.
What's your favorite "treat"?
Food? Chocolate. Specifically, I've been on a kick lately about chocolate chip cookie dough. It's quicker to make than cookies, and it goes with ice cream so 'ummy…!
You have a whole day to go anywhere and do anything. What would that be and why?
Sit home and work on projects. There's never enough time – partly because I am lazy and procrastinate, partly because I always have four or five projects going at once.
I just finished a pair of socks for an Operation Christmas Child box, and am in the middle of a plastic mat for homeless veterans, a hat for a Christmas Child, a log love-seat for my mom, a cross-stitch picture for me, a 50,000 word novel for NaNoWriMo…and that's if I don't decide to just bake a cake instead!
Where can people find you on the Internet?
I have my own domain: KimiaWood.com
I'm also very active on Twitter (find me @KimiaTheAuthor) and just this year joined Facebook (where I'm still getting the hang of things: facebook.com/user/KimiaTheAuthor)
To see all the great books in the Indie Christian Books sale, visit http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/