LaToya: Hi Kim, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Kim: I was born and raised in Philadelphia, but now Stockholm, Sweden is my home. I moved here back in 1995 for love and I am still here for love. I studied literature at Temple University, received an MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. When I’m not writing fiction, I work as a senior copywriter for a Swedish cosmetics company called Oriflame. I love traveling and I probably spend nearly all of my disposable income on it. I want to see the world.
LaToya: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Kim: I want to write stories that make people feel emotional reactions. I used to dream of hitting the bestsellers lists—and it’s still something I aspire to—but my main ambition is to keep writing and reaching more people.
LaToya: Which writers inspire you?
Kim: There are so many! I usually tell people that my holy trinity of writers consists of Ernest Hemingway, Toni Morrison and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I love their writing styles and the stories they tell. I also get huge bursts of inspiration from reading Tia Kelly and Nia Forrester’s novels. I am a huge fan of their work. Karen Siplin and Abigail Bosanko have also inspired me, as have Dorothy Koomson, Xio Axelrod, Rebecca Hunter, Nana Malone and Delaney Diamond.
LaToya: What are you working on at the minute?
Kim: I’m preparing for the June release of Maybe Tomorrow, which is a standalone in the Maybe… series. I’m also working on two new books—another standalone in the Maybe… series called Maybe Now and a more SciFi-esque love story called Under the Milky Way. Hopefully both books will be done by the end of the year—not sure of any release dates though since it’s still early days.
LaToya: What genre are your books and why?
Kim: I write women’s fiction with romantic elements. My books end up being labeled as romances, since the love story is always in focus—but I don’t really follow the rules of romance, which can annoy readers. My characters misbehave. Sometimes they cheat, sometimes they go out of their way to make things worse in their attempts to make things better. They screw up. And sometimes it’s not clear if there will be an HEA. I like love stories that feel real. I read to have new experiences, so I like bringing authenticity and real life problems into my fiction.
LaToya: In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
Kim: Kim is like her books: messy, optimistic, quiet yet emotional.
LaToya: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Kim: I think Nicole Beharie would be perfect as Eddy from Maybe Tomorrow. She’s who I pictured nearly the entire time I was writing the book. And her Danish love interest would be her former Sleepy Hollow co-star, Tom Mison. He was always Henrik for me.
LaToya: When did you decide to become a writer?
Kim: My mom would say I’ve always been a writer. Even when I was a kid, I wrote stories. I went through a brief period when I was more interested in design and architecture, but I ended up coming back to writing. I started truly seeing writing as my dream when I was in high school.
LaToya: Do you write full-time or part-time?
Kim: I write part-time. I wish I could write full-time, but that will have to wait another year or two. I need a few more books under my belt before I finally take the plunge.
LaToya: Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Kim: Since I still work full-time, I have to fit my writing around my day job. I get up every morning at around 6AM and try to write for at least 30 minutes. If it’s a good writing day, I get an hour in by writing while I eat breakfast. I also try to get another 30 minutes to an hour of writing done when I come home from work. It all depends on how tired I am when I come home from work.
But I think I get most of my writing done during the weekend. Then I usually write all afternoon—usually in my favorite local café—and then I take a break for a few hours to hang out with my husband. And then I start again in the evening unless we’ve decided to watch a movie together or something like that.
LaToya: Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Kim: I aim for at least 1600 words per day, but some days I don’t get more than 300 words written. It all depends how easily I can extract the words from my brain. Some days are better than others.
LaToya: Where do your ideas come from?
Kim: Real life inspires me. I people watch, I eavesdrop, I observe. Sometimes an article in the newspaper can inspire me, or a snatch of conversation can give birth to an idea. Sometimes it’s simply something about someone who passes by that can spark an idea.
LaToya: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Kim: I outline, but I don’t follow my outline religiously. I like to allow the story to take me where it wants to go. I just rein it in when I think we’ve veered too far off course.
LaToya: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Kim: When I first began writing, I wrote to please only the readers. I didn’t really think about whether I liked my story. Then one day I realized that I needed to feel more connected with my stories and characters if I wanted readers to feel the same. And when I began writing what I wanted to read and telling stories that spoke to me, I felt like I became a better writer.
LaToya: What is the hardest thing about writing?
Kim: Staying focused. It’s so easy to get distracted. I find I write best when I am on vacation or at least away from my usual daily routine. That change of environment is liberating.
LaToya: What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Kim: Actually finishing it and letting it go. It was the first time in ages that I was writing without an outline. And when I first began writing it, it was more just a way to clear my head so I could work on something else, but I fell in love with my characters and their story. It started off as a short story, then grew to novella length. And then I realised I’d written most of a novel without ever intending to do so. It was just hard to let go of it.
LaToya: What is the easiest thing about writing?
Kim: Falling in love with the characters you create. I love my characters, even when they’re being complete pains in the neck, I love them.
LaToya: How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Kim: When I write my first draft during NaNoWriMo, it takes a month to have a quick and dirty first draft and then another three or four months to tweak it until I feel happy with it. My upcoming novel took over a year to get it right.
LaToya: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Kim: Hopefelly, living somewhere warmer than Sweden with my gorgeous guy, working on a future bestseller.
LaToya: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Kim: Don’t listen to your parents when they tell you that writing is a hobby, not a job. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. And, yes, you should travel and go beyond the boundaries of your normal life.
LaToya: Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Kim: Shonda Rhimes. I love her shows, love the dialogue and the conflicts she creates. I would love to just sit and talk writing with her. And convince her to produce the Maybe… series into a TV series or a movie.
LaToya: If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Kim: Whenever I re-read Such a Girl by Karen Siplin or A Nice Girl Like Me by Abigail Bosanko, I wish I could have written those stories. Both novels ring true and their characters are interesting and compelling. I get book hangovers from them. :-)
LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Kim: Write the stories you want to read. Don’t change your writing to suit other people’s whims. Stay true to your story.
Connect with Kim:
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Kim-Golden/e/B007SNV3K8/