Saturday 13 April 2013


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I’m Kimberly K. Comeau.  I was born in the United States, grew up in Chesterfield County, and now live in the city of Richmond, Virginia.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, gardener, and craftsman, in that order, and I’ve become all three.  It’s absolutely wonderful living my dream.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
At fifteen, when my first short story was published in The Squire, a literary magazine.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
It’s called Moons’ Kiss.  “They found him in the South Ofrann Desert, where everything evil lived.”

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
This is such a hard question to answer.  The original idea for Moons’ Kiss came to me in my teens.  I wrote maybe a third of the story and then stopped.  In my thirties, I reread that unfinished manuscript, began anew, and completed a first draft, followed by the full draft of a new novel entitled Rainbow Gold.  Then I returned to Moons’ Kiss and rewrote the novel from page one.  That rewrite went through numerous critiques and edits before I began marketing the book to agents and editors.  So although the answer is “decades,” that’s for one fully completed, ready-to-submit manuscript.  I can write a draft of a novel in a year.  And because I have a backlog of twenty-two completed novel drafts and I work on several projects at a time, I’m hoping to have my second book released this year, with more to follow.  Hopefully, one a year.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
My second SF novel, Rainbow Gold, is next in line for publication.  Equal Time (a title I’ll probably change because there are so many published books with that title) is mainstream fiction that addresses the American prison system.  I’m also working on the sequel to Moons’ Kiss, tentatively entitled The Children’s War.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I might have to choose Denassa.  Because she lives.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing for 47 years.  The author who initially ignited my imagination was the science fiction writer Andrea Norton.  Her books became my inspiration and how-to-write guides.  I studied how she constructed sentences, created suspense, and how she built characters.  My earliest work duplicated her writing style.  Then I discovered Robert A. Heinlein and C.J. Cherryh and their styles influenced my work.
When I learned cursive in grade school, I’d see a flourish in someone else’s handwriting and incorporate that flourish into mine.  I’d see another flourish and do the same.  In the end, when all that incorporation concluded, the result was a handwriting that others recognized as uniquely mine.  The same is true of my creative writing style.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Years ago, I co-founded a critique group with Tarah Scott that we named PC Quill, which formed as a natural spin-off from the creative writing classes I taught at the time.  Even before we formalized the group, its nine original members critiqued each other’s writing, so we were comfortable working together.  I can’t imagine submitting work for publication that hasn’t passed through the rigorous scrutiny of my critique partners.  They assure that the story I’m submitting is the best story possible.  Their questions, criticisms, and suggestions have allowed me to improve phrasing and correct story issues before the reading public sees my work.  I credit my favorable reviews to the hours my partners spent critiquing my drafts.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I’m involved with some kind of giveaway nearly every month where a reader or readers can win an ebook or print copy of one of my books.  If the winner chooses to review the book, I’m flattered and grateful, but there’s never a stipulation attached that the winner should review the book.  In my opinion, such a stipulation would dampen the thrill of winning.  After all, who needs or wants additional work?

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do.  Reviews are a great learning tool.  They tell me how readers interpret and react to my work.  And because I constantly second-guess myself, reviews tell me whether my gut suspicions are spot on or whether I’m missing a mark.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Never!  I want to learn from a reviewer’s honest reaction to my work.  I don’t write with the intention of appealing to the literary tastes of every reader, so I’m not surprised when a reviewer doesn’t fall in love with one of my stories.  I don’t fall in love with every book I read, so why should reviewers be different?

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
Something in the book, during the writing – a line, a theme – eventually suggests the title to me.  Until that time, I refer to the book by the main character’s name.  Melissa Alvarez at Book Covers Galore designed the cover for Moons’ Kiss by asking me what I imagined being on the cover, and from my answers, she designed several proofs.  I went with the one I fell in love with.  Melissa is a remarkably talented person and designer.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Pretty much, I know who my characters are by what they have to accomplish in the story, before I begin writing.  Because by the time I begin writing, I know how the story ends.  That ending is the focal point toward which I write.  What I learn about my characters during the writing are the fine details of their lives and personalities.  It’s how strangers transform into acquaintances or friends.  We gain the big, initial impression when we meet them—we learn they’re a dog trainer, or were born in our hometown—and as we spend more and more time with them, we learn the details of their lives, their preferences, their reactions to events around them.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I garden.  I quilt.  I embroider and teach crewel embroidery.  I invent and sell craft items.  I spend time with my husband.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I like all formats, but for different reasons.  I love the portability and instant availability of ebooks.  When I travel, my e-reader goes with me.  For nonfiction, I want paper, because I’m reading nonfiction for research purposes, or because I’m learning a new skill.  I want the ability to flip back and forth between pages.  I need the page not to vanish if it takes me more than five minutes to search a second reference book or complete a step-by-step task.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (ebook, hardback or paperback)
I’m reading Alex, an ebook by Adam J. Nicolai.  It’s a beautifully written, touching, haunting tale about loss, sanity, and redemption.  It’s his debut novel.  I’m looking forward to reading his future work.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I hope not.  I read most fiction in e-format, but prefer paper for reference books.  If ebooks hope to replace physical books, features such as highlighting, note taking, place holding, searchability and the ability to compare texts need vast improvement.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
I remember struggling to learn to read in first grade, but once I figured it out, I read voraciously, both at school and home.  My older brother unintentionally introduced me to science fiction when he borrowed Andrea Norton’s Time Traders from his high school library and left the book lying around the house.  I found it, read it, and began a hunt for every other book she’d written. 
I started writing when I was twelve and wrote nonstop till my thirties.  Then life interfered, and for ten years I wrote very little.  When, at last, I returned to writing, the first book I rewrote for publication was Moons’ Kiss.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
I have several.  If I had to place them in descending order of preference, I’d have to go with:  science fiction, nonfiction, classics, true crime, memoir.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t write to the exclusion of all else.  Live life.  Experiences make for fascinating people, and fascinating people write fascinating stories.

Where can readers follow you?

Your Blog Details?
Your Web Site ?
Your Facebook Page?
Your Goodreads Author Page?
Your Twitter Details? 

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