Today I’m conducting a session with…Kim Cleary!
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Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Kim: The death of my father changed me profoundly. He was the last of the older generation in my immediate family. With his passing I could no longer refer to parents, close aunts or uncles etc for anything about my past, for answers to questions about where we’d come from. We were close despite disagreeing about most things and I miss him every day. His death came before I started writing, but I know he’d be proud of me. He appears as a secondary character in my first novel! Funnily enough, my heroine feels abandoned because her father dies before she gets a chance to know him. But when she needs him most, he returns as a spirit to guide her.
Me: Losing a parent is a life changing event.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Kim: I think probably my imagination. I’ve always had the ability to daydream my way through any situation!
Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Kim: Procrastination. Especially when filled with doubt and fear … which is of course a pretty normal state for a writer!Procrastination. Especially when filled with doubt and fear … which is of course a pretty normal… Click To Tweet
Me: Procrastination, doubt, and fear are besties.
What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?
Kim: Winning an award for my first novel gave me a tangible lift when I really needed it. I hadn’t expected anything, so getting the IPPY award in 2015 for Path Unchosen lifted my spirits when I was really struggling with my health and with trying to edit the messy first draft for my second book.
Me: It’s amazing how just a bit of good news like that can really make us feel better.
What was your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path as a writer, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing? What happened? How did you get over it?
Kim: After finally finishing my second book, my health took a dive and I found myself really struggling to focus. My creativity disappeared, the first few reviews for Truth Unveiled weren’t what I was hoping for, and I just couldn’t work out what to do next. I spent about 6 months in a fog of fear and indecision. I’m not sure I can explain how I got over it except to feel thankful for my innate resilience.
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
Kim: I’ve published two full length novels and a short story. I’m almost ready to publish a non-fiction book, and I’m currently finishing the final draft of the third book in the series. In addition, I’m working on a set of cosy paranormal suspense novellas and a historical suspense. It took me 2 years to write my first novel – from start as a short story to publication date. 18 months to write the 2nd book and 9 months to write the non-fiction. I’m slow! The most painful part for me is the marketing.
Me: What causes stress in your writing life? Why?
Kim: I was raised to be quiet and unassuming and it’s tough to throw off that mantle and promote myself as a brand. I set a marketing plan, fail to stick to it, then beat myself. Then I repeat the whole process several times. I think I may be getting a little better …
Me: How do you deal with rejection or bad reviews? What advice can you give others about how to handle rejection and bad reviews?
Kim: Rejection and bad reviews are a consequence of putting yourself out there. I read all the feedback I receive, it’s wonderful to hear how much readers enjoy my work, and equally cutting to hear criticism. I’ve learned to listen out for feedback that especially strikes a chord and pay attention to that. As for the rest, I just remind myself that I don’t like everything I read, I can’t expect everyone else to like what I write.
Rejection and bad reviews are a consequence of putting yourself out there. @KimClearyWriter… Click To Tweet Pretty much everything about marketing causes me stress. @KimClearyWriter #AmWriting Click To Tweet
Me: Tell us about your urban fantasy, Path Unchosen.
She’d rather be a normal eighteen-year-old … but not much chance of that, when she can raise the dead.
When an eighteen-year-old discovers she’s a necromancer who can raise the dead, she does her best to deny this unholy gift. But after leaving the orphanage for a mysterious manor house, she learns that not only have the dead started walking again, her power means she’s the only one who can stop it.
Meagan Greystone wants to be a normal girl, but the nuns who’ve raised her treat her with fear and suspicion. When a beautiful, otherworldly stranger whisks her from the orphanage to a dignified old estate, he promises to help her wield power beyond imagining. Dare she trust that her abilities aren’t evil after all?
But when their lessons go awry, she learns she can do great harm. To make matters worse, new undead attack–corpses raised from among the long-time dead. Another necromancer is at work, and he must be stopped before he destroys the innocent inhabitants of the nearby town, including the handsome sheriff.
To save them all, can one young girl learn to control the darkness inside her–a seductive darkness that promises her power beyond her wildest dreams?
You can find Kim here:
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Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages. RACE THE DARKNESS and HUNT THE DAWN are available now! SAVING MERCY Book 1 in the Fatal Truth Series is now available for pre-order.