In February of 2018, the authors of Somerset Ink writer’s group published their first collective work, First Thursdays, a wonderful collection of short stories, which takes its readers on a fascinating journey of Enchantment, Murder, Abandonment, Hope and Awakenings.
The only thing more interesting than the book are its authors.
Lets meet Kimberlee Thompson author of Balancing Bella.
You have written and published a wonderful story
Tell us… how did it all start? Where did your idea for this special story come from?
I had a friend who used to talk about her “younger older sister.” From there, I stitched together bits and pieces of real life and imagination to create Balancing Bella. For a short time, I did have to book nurses for an employer’s disabled elder and it was very stressful to make sure that his severe needs were covered at all times.
If you were a character introduced in this story who would you be?
I would be Reney, and that’s why I tried to teach us both to discard a few snap judgments.
How did your plot progress throughout your writing process? Did it ever surprise you?
I started with Reney and Bella, and I had to get them bunking together. I have both friends and relatives who’ve been through fires, so I guess the idea spontaneously combusted!
A great many of us begin a story and work on it, and work on it, and work on it.
At what point in your writing journey did you feel truly committed to finishing this story?
This one kind of flowed, and at 7,000 words, Balancing Bella, is the longest short story I’ve written ever. But, OMG, the editing! Somerset Ink group-edited for our e-book, and every time of many times, we found a mistake missed on a previous take.
Listen in on writer’s group meetings around the world and you will hear more about the things that sabotage the writing process than things that move it forward.
How did you escape those traps?
Dumb luck. I did NaNoWriMo and actually finished a novel in the 30 days, but have never fleshed out and edited that work. This one…got done. Magic elixir, pixie dust, winning lottery ticket when that happens.
Many people in the industry say that writing the story is the easy part…publishing and marketing- that’s the hard part.
Now that you are in the publishing/marketing process would you agree?
I do not partake in social media, so yes. (Except Pinterest for pictures of cats, hockey players, and oddities).
Self-publishing can be an overwhelming prospect for many authors.
What did you learn from the process?
Without Somerset Ink, I’d probably still be noodling around. Self-publishing as a group really helped with the nuts and bolts aspects. And without Marie Catalfamo as a driving force, it would’ve lingered on instead of progressing. My winter malaise was nothing for Marie’s can-do attitude.
Sooo… tell us is there a sequel in the making?
What’s next for your characters?
I haven’t thought about it. I usually write fairy tales and magical reality, so a down-to-earth family drama like Balancing Bella is a departure for me. I think I’ll go play somewhere else next. Maybe a good dose of Ray Bradbury is needed first to get me back into flight.
How does being part of a writer’s group help you with your writing?
Being part of Somerset Ink keeps my feet moving when my brain has stopped. It’s a way to keep in the writerly way even if I’m feeling more pet-the-cats and make popcorn-y.
Is there a favorite writer who has inspired your writing?
Ray Bradbury, just by his volume, imagination and longevity. Margaret Atwood the same, and she’s much more funny than people realize. And she likes hockey, even did an “instructional” video on how to play in net. I don’t write crime, or read much of it, but Megan Abbott does it in a way that is much more than who-dunnit. And nobody captures the feeling of what it’s like to be a teenage girl like her, it takes me back to the ways I used to think and do.
What other writing projects can we look forward to enjoying from you?
Remember that NaNoWriMo novel? A girl sees her dead brother on a bus one day…once I edit and fill in the parts I glossed over in thirty days.
Describe the top secret writing sanctuary you will build when you become an award winning, millionaire author.
First, I will steal Ivan Albright’s painting, The Vermonter, and hang it in my space. The hands alone are magical. I don’t think a million goes so far these days, so theft might be in order, though I’ll outsource the job. Since I’m keeping stolen art in my lair, I can’t tell you where it is.
We look forward to reading all further works from Kimberlee.
If you have any questions or comments for Kimberlee please feel free to contact her here at Writer’s Block or visit her and the other authors of First Thursdays on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/SomersetInk or at firstname.lastname@example.org
First Thursdays can be purchased world wide wherever eBooks are sold.