I grew up in a small town in Northern Quebec. Since childhood, I surrounded myself with art, books, animation and fell in love with fantasy novels like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I worshipped movies like, 'The Labyrinth' and 'The Dark Crystal'. These movies with the animated puppets truly inspired my love of animation. I told myself, I was going to do that!
Years later, I left my small town and moved to the city of Montreal, where I studied 3D Animation. I became an Animation Supervisor for a VFX company, and stayed in the field of animation for 14 years.
Now, I use my imagination to write books. I’ve retired from the world of VFX and settled in the country with my husband and two Bernese Mountain dogs, Simba and Maggie, my children, where I write full-time.
I write stories geared towards children because, let's not tell lies, I'm still a 13 year-old at heart!
TSR: Kim, A very warm welcome to you, and can I thank-you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us today.
Thanks Calum. I’m very happy to do this interview.
TSR: For our International readers, can I begin by asking what are your best memories from you childhood of growing up in Northern Quebec, and what do you like best about living in Montreal now?
My best memories were at my grandparents’ cottage. Their cottage sat on a huge boulder right on the lake. I remember the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and the wind in my ears. We spent our summers there, and it was awesome.
Montreal is a very diverse city. It’s multicultural and very artistic. I fit in perfectly.
TSR: Do you think books that you read during your childhood may have influenced your current writing in any way?
Definitely! I can’t remember how many times I read 'The Hobbit', or 'Lord of the Rings', and the 'Sword of Shannara' series, while growing up. I fell in love with fantasy adventure books. And they’re still my favourite. And those are the kind of stories I love to write.
TSR: Did you always want to become a writer?
Not at first. I got a feel for it in high school in my English class, but I never thought I’d ever be good enough, so I forgot about it for a while. Then the need to write materialized years later and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. It took over. I just had to write the stories I had in my head.
TSR: Do you have a set writing routine when you are working on a novel?
I have to play it in my head first before I put it on paper. When that’s done, then I create an outline of the entire book. I flesh out the chapters and main plot points. Once it makes sense, I start writing up the first draft. When I'm happy with that, I send it off to my editor. Usually, he’ll ask for some changes, and once that is done, then we’ll do a copy edit.
TSR: Where do you write best?
In my sun-room, with the birds chirping and the squirrels chasing each other up trees! It’s relaxing.
TSR: Have you written any other books before you started writing your 'Soul Guardians' Trilogy?
I wrote another fantasy book called, Underground. It’s about a young girl who gets wisped away in a secret underground world where she discovers the truth about herself. I tried to get it published, but it never happened. Thank God, because I think it’s awful now!
TSR: Can you tell us a bit about your first 'Soul Guardians' book entitled ‘Marked’?
'Marked' is the story about a young girl who dies and wakes up in a strange new world. She becomes a rookie for the Guardian Angel Legion, and goes on missions with her Petty Officer and friend David to keep the mortals safe from the demons. But when she discovers a Mark on her leg, the entire Legion accuses her of being a Demon spy. She doesn't know she’s a tainted heroine. Angels are dying, and David begins to pull away from her. The Legion is in peril, and Kara sets off on a dangerous mission alone—to save an elemental child, born of angel and human parents, held captive by the army of demons. A child rumoured to have extraordinary powers that could destroy the entire Legion. Only Kara can save the Legion and sets out on her quest, deep in the demon infested mortal world in search of the kidnapped child.
TSR: What was your inspiration for the theme that you have followed within this particular story?
I can’t say that I had an inspiration. It just came to me. And I kept on writing!
TSR: What genre would you say that The 'Soul Guardians' Trilogy fits into?
Urban Fantasy (and even reality-based fantasy).
TSR: ‘Elemental’, the second book in the Soul Guardians Trilogy is about to be released shortly. Can you let us into any secrets about this new book?
In the second instalment, readers will find out why Kara is part elemental. They’ll find out what her mother’s role is, and who her father really is. I don’t want to give out too much...!
TSR: Are you working on another series besides this one?
Yes. I'm working on another fantasy series for young adults. It’s about a young orphan street kid named Scarlett Steel who has the gift of the Sight. I should have the first book finished early next year.
TSR: Do you have any hobbies or other interests that you enjoy in order to give you a break from the demands of writing?
I love talking long walks with my dogs. I get to play with my stories in my head while I walk. I also enjoy painting. I love painting wildlife and country cottages with beautiful country gardens.
TSR: Can you give any advice to new writers, as they struggle to try to achieve a work life balance when trying to live their life, write and also possibly trying to promote and sell their books as well?
Dedication and never give up. Find time to write at least once a day. Read everything you can get your hands on. And before your book is finished, start promoting as much as you can, everywhere! Blogs, free press releases, Facebook, Twitter. Create your own website or Blog. Get a following before your book is out. That was my mistake. I released my book, and no one knew about it. How can readers find it if they've never heard about it? You need to get people excited about your book. Start promoting at least six months before your book is out. I know it’s hard, but writing is hard. And promoting is harder.
TSR: What is your favourite book and why?
‘The Golden Compass’, by Philip Pullman. But really, his entire ‘Dark Materials’ series! The armoured bears, the cliff ghasts, the daemons, there are so many great elements in his story. It’s so imaginative and well written. The idea of having animal daemons connected to humans - as part of a manifestation of human souls – is brilliant! I read these books over and over again. They’re genius.
TSR: Are you currently reading any books at the moment, and if so what are they?
I just finished ‘Portal’, by Imogen Rose, which was interesting. I’m now reading, ‘Hollowland’ by Amanda Hocking. I’m half way through, and this is by far my favourite book by her. It’s fantastic.
TSR: Can I ask you what simple things in life make you smile?
Ice-cream. Red wine. My back yard. And the beautiful sandy beach I walk to every morning. My feet in the water always make me smile!
TSR: Kim, it has been a great honour for me to work with you on this interview for my literary site. I would like to thank-you once again for taking the time to speak to us today.
It was my pleasure J
If you would like to find out more about Kim and her writing just follow the link given below: