Did you always want to be a writer?
No, not exactly, but I remember when it first occurred to me, though. I was in eighth-grade English class, the first day of school, and the teacher called my name. “Kimberly Blackadar,” he said. “That is the name of an author!” I was only thirteen, and my best pieces of writing were often folded and passed across the room, but still, his prophetic words stayed with me, year after year, until I sat down at my computer and started my first novel.
It sounds like your teacher planted a seed. So do you believe in the power of suggestion?
Absolutely! I spent eight years in the classroom, and I never took that role lightly. I recall sitting in an interview with a colleague of mine, and when we were asked what we did best as teachers, we answered: “We find something special in every student and celebrate it.”
Now, after leaving the classroom, what is your typical day like?
Well, I’m a homeschooling mom with a pilot for a hubby, so it’s not overly conducive to a writing career. But then again, how many authors have the ideal situation? Most juggle careers, families, and other obligations─all while trying to complete their writing projects. Writers, however, must excel at time management and set firm deadlines─usually in terms of pages per day or week.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Yes, read, read, and then read some more! (Okay, now I sound like a teacher again.) But don’t just read books in your genre; expose yourself to all works of literature. I vacillate between contemporary fiction and the classics, finding the greatest inspiration from the written word.
Do you need to be inspired to write?
No, I am always eager to write, but I have to be in a place for writing─either in my office or out in nature. I wrote a good portion of my first novel while at the beach and when I was up in Alaska. I think location─and a little ambiance─is important. Especially when writing romance novels. Of course, I’m not suggesting typing by candlelight, but soft music, comfortable clothes, and chocolate do evoke the muse.
Speaking of romance novels, aren’t they all the same?
Well, there are two probable endings for a romance novel: it’s either happily ever after or a Kleenex moment. But what makes them unique is the obstacle course along the way, and for fictional romances, it is more like crossing a mine field─with one explosive moment after another.
Where do you come up with your “explosive” ideas?
When I’m out on my long runs, my imagination really goes places. So my husband bought me a digital recorder to capture those ideas; unfortunately, when I played it back, I couldn’t follow it. I sounded like a breathless 911 caller leaving the scene of the crime, and now I’m back to relying on my memory.
After coming up with the idea for your first novel, how long did it take you to complete it?
The published version of Nothing but Trouble after Midnight took around six months to write, but it was preceded by two abandoned manuscripts. Even though the characters remained constant throughout the writing process, the relationship between the main characters, Rob and Chloe, evolved with every draft. At first, I created Rob to fulfill the friend role, but over time, I grew quite fond of him, and consequently, so did Chloe.
Aw, Rob and Chloe… can we expect more from them in the future?
NBTAM is the first of seven young-adult novels in the 7C’s series, with each book focusing on a different girl, but Rob and Chloe will be ever-present throughout the series. Chloe is the prominent link in the friendship chain.
Besides your current series, are there any other books on the horizon?
Yes, I am timelining a standalone adult novel tentatively titled In the Rose Garden. Conceptually, it is very complicated and will demand more of me as a writer. But I am eager for the challenge.
Is there any form of writing you would rather avoid?
Yes, anything autobiographical─like answering interview questions.
But isn’t all writing autobiographical?
I certainly hope not! My characters will encounter many hardships over the years, and my life has been rather pleasant so far…
Young adult literature is the fastest growing sector of the publishing industry, and a 2008 Newsweek article reported that book sales for ages 12-18 climbed a staggering 25 percent.