Thursday, April 5, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, KIMBERLY LLEWELYN

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, KIMBERLY LLEWELYN

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Hello Kimberly, thank you so much for this fantastic opportunity. Now you are known as “the Wedding Writer.” Why is this?

Thanks for letting me visit with you today! Who doesn’t love a good wedding? I’ve always enjoyed writing wedding-themed books. One day, a friend referred to me as the Wedding Writer and the name stuck. In the last few years, I’ve had a few bride books published and I’ve enjoyed their success...with more on the horizon.

Tell us about the awards you have won as an author.

I do have a file somewhere with certificates and awards where I’ve been a finalist and placed for my chick lit, mostly in the humor category, but I’d have to go digging for it! Anne Bonnie Reader’s Choice, Heart & Scroll Madcap, Holt Medallion Merit, and More than Magic do come to mind, which were all exciting. The BookSense Notable Pick List recipient was extra thrilling. That came from independent booksellers nationwide.

Is it notable that you enjoy writing women's fiction mostly? If there was one other genre you would consider writing in what would it be and why?

I love writing fiction for women, whether it be romance, chick lit, romantic comedy, etc. I enjoy sharing stories that women can relate to, that says we’re all in this together and it’s okay to laugh through the tears. While I am currently branching out in my fiction for women, another genre I’d love to delve into would be young adult. I’ve got some stories related to teens that are nagging at me, so I might have to get those on the page soon. I think it would be fun to tap into that youthful world so full of wonder and angst.

Tell us about your most current book.

I have been having tremendous success with my new sexy contemporary romance, Almost a Bride. That book stayed on the Amazon Best Sellers List for days and continues to do well. It’s a story about two people who find each other under the most unusual of circumstances—they participate in a sex appeal study. In doing the research assignments together, they learn about themselves and discover who they really are. When reading Almost a Bride, you can get swept away in the romantic fantasy of it all. And yet, you can still relate to Kip Lockehart and Ivy Hammond as they overcome their very real obstacles to love.

If you had to choose one book out of all you've written so far that was your favorite to write, which would it be and why?

Goodness, why not ask a mother to pick her favorite child? I don’t know if I can pick a favorite, but my favorite part about writing Almost a Bride was taking chances on Kip and Ivy. I liked pushing the envelope with their circumstances, making them suffer emotionally (Aren’t I awful?) so they could truly discover just how much they meant to each other. I enjoyed making them dig deep to see if they were worth fighting for. And, of course, adding small doses of humor throughout was fun, too.

What was it that got you into writing and when did you realize just how talented you were?

Oh, heck, I was born this way. Before I could even write, I was drawing complex storyboards to tell my stories! I’d started three novels by the time I turned seventeen and earned my Bachelor’s in English. But it wasn’t until I became a casualty of layoffs at my day job that I finally realized, “I was gonna do this.” I would pursue my dream of being a novelist. For me, it was desire, drive, and persistence that kept me writing. You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t have stick-to-it-ive-ness, I’m not sure how far you’ll go.

You also have a writing workshop, tell us more about that and where we can find it.

I enjoy giving writing workshops to various groups and organizations (not just romance!) in person and online. Throughout the year, I offer an online workshop, Cracking the Romance Code: Unlocking Storytelling Secrets for Writing the Quintessential Romance Novel at Savvy Authors (www.savvyauthors.com); it’s also available to other online groups/organizations.

Who are some of your most profound literary inspirations?

Norman Mailer was a big inspiration. I hung out with him one summer in Provincetown, MA, many moons ago. Talk about fate, having a world-renowned, infamous author share wisdom that stayed with me the rest of my life. Also, Emily Bronte and her novel, Wuthering Heights. That story still makes my heart flutter. I’ve been told that I’m a hopeless romantic—who knew? And lastly, Margaret Atwood and her novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Terrifying and poetic, that novel will haunt me forever...it’s quite profound. I even had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Atwood. The experience blew me away.

Tell us a bit about your family and if you allow them to critique your work.

My hubby is so supportive. Sometimes he reads my work when I need help with the logistics of something, but he doesn’t critique. My extended family is very supportive, too. I’m blessed in that regard. The only ones who critique my work are two trusted authors (and friends), Kathy Carmichael and Tara Randel. We’ve worked together for years. We’re tough on each other but do it with love and respect.

Do you have any advice you'd care to share with other authors? Please leave us your links so we can get to know more about you and your works.

Definitely refer back to my reference to stick-to-it-ive-ness! Write from the heart. Write daily, if you can. Work on your craft. Join a writing organization or writing group. And by all means, read, read, read!

Thanks so much for letting me share with you today. I love hearing from readers and feel free to friend me on Facebook!

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