a Magazine for Writers

Q. Could you tell us a little about yourself? (If you have a website, books, etc. please list and tell us about them.)

A. I am a computer programmer by day and I have no web site. It’s absolutely shameful. But my heart isn’t with the computer—just my wallet. My heart is in my writing. Anyone who wants to know me just has to read my work.

Q. What would you like our readers to know about you?

A. I’d like the LSS readers to know that I love language as much as they do. Reading, writing, acting, anything to do with words; language is my obsession.

Q. How long have you been writing? What made you put that first story down on paper?

A. I’ve been writing since seventh grade. I used to write stories and read them to my friends during recess.

Q. Do you write in a particular genre?

A. I am a very eclectic writer. I have tried my hand at everything from romance to literary short forms to screen plays. I still love all the forms and have current projects in at least three.

Q. Who’s your favorite author and why?

A. I have so many but I suppose Joyce Carol Oates is the writer who stands out in my admiration. Being so undisciplined myself I am positively envious of her work ethic. And I love the fact that she is so hard on her characters. No one in a JCO book ever gets off easy. It’s the characters that make her writing what it is, that make the reality of the story the reader’s reality too.

Q. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

A. Assuming a mastery of basics like grammar and punctuation and spelling, it’s character that makes good writing great. A writer skilled at crafting characters can make the most objectively mundane event sparkle with vivaciousness and energy. He or she lifts the reader out of her chair and into the world of the story—no matter how far-removed from the reader’s reality that world may be.

Q. How do you develop your plots and characters?

A. I am a character driven writer. Plot gives me a headache. A character comes to me with very definite traits. It may take me a while to learn what those traits are but I have to do that before the story clicks for me. Once I know what makes my character who he or she is, only then can I figure out the story.

Q. What is most frustrating about writing?

A. When I’m writing and I’m, what I call, in the zone and the writing is going great, like a movie in my head, that’s when I’m happiest and most fulfilled as a writer. The most frustrating aspect of my work is not being able to reach “the zone” any time I want to go there. If I had my way I’d go there every time I sat down to write. But it doesn’t work that way for me.

Q. What is the most rewarding?

A. Any question that leads me to ask more questions. I’m always seeking to learn and experience new things. It’s all fuel for the writing fire.

Q. What do you do to unwind and relax?

A. Of course I love to read and have since my first trip to the library in grade school. I also love music and take my Ipod with me everywhere I go. Writing, however, does not relax me; quite the opposite. When I’m working very intensively on a project I often come fully awake in the middle of the night with my head bursting with ideas. So that makes me a morning writer. You see, I can’t even talk about relaxing without bringing writing into the discussion.

Q. Is your family supportive?

A. My family is my cheering section. My husband saw me through ten years of college while I slowly completed my B.A.. in theatre and he never asked, “And what are you going to do with a degree in theatre?” I love him for that. And other things too.

Kimberly, congratulations for winning Story of the Month for your wonderful story, Hair.