Good Morning Everyone and happy Friday. I know that it has been a few weeks, again since we have shared a coffee together but life has a way of changing your plans. I am back and ready for adventure. This week on Inside A Beautiful Mind we have the lovely Kim Smith who will be chatting about her books.
KADE: Good morning Kim, Thank you for being here today. Let’s jump right in to it and tell the readers a little bit about your new book?
KIM: Here’s a brief synopsis of Disk of Death
A twenty-something woman is targeted by her boyfriend’s murderer after he takes her private video collection from the murder scene.
A caper mystery in the truest sense. This wild and zany debut is the story of Shannon “Wall-ass” Wallace, recently fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend–who also turns up dead. Now she’s a person of interest to more than just the cops…
When Shannon Wallace is fired from her secretarial job at Fine Furnishings, she thinks her life is over. She cannot believe her boyfriend, who was also her boss, has done this to her. To them! It’s enough to send her racing to the nearest casino to drown her sorrows.
In a drunken state, she goes to visit Rick Fine to tell him a thing or two. But all Rick wants is for her to get out of his hair. When he throws money at her to call a cab, Shannon collects the last of her vanity and goes home.
Only, the next day, Rick turns up dead, and now Shannon finds herself in a terrible dilemma. She’s a person of interest to the South Lake police department.
The detective in charge of the case turns out to be a former flame–one with a grudge. And he is enjoying Shannon’s trouble just a bit too much.
When he lets it slip that her boyfriend’s murder was also a theft, and several video disks have turned up missing, Shannon knows that her situation is much worse than at first believed. That was a romantic collection, and very, very private.
If the cops get those disks, they will be evidence, and possibly viewable by some of South Lake’s finest, like Sal Ramirez, detective extraordinaire, man with a mission.
Now Shannon and her college bestie, Dwayne Brown, are on the run to find the disks before the cops do. But first, they have to get them back from the murderer…
DISK OF DEATH is a perfect read for fans of Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, and Caper Mysteries!
Wow, does that ever sound like a wonderful story. What inspired you to write your first book?
KIM: I fell flat in love with romantic comedies after a lifelong love of historical romances. Once I discovered that laughter is great medicine, I totally wanted to write one. It feels good to hear readers say, oh man, that was a great fun read.
Yes, I can totally get on board with that kind of mindset. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
KIM: Oh, it’s mostly imagination, but the town of South Lake is a mash-up of the town I live in and the surrounding areas. Some readers have told me that they had a hoot trying to figure out what place I was describing.
How fun, it would be rather exciting to find the places that you described within the book. So tell me, what was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
KIM: The casino scene. I knew these characters so well by the time I wrote it that it flowed as naturally as water.
How did you come up with the title?
KIM: It is based on the storyline. There is a disk that Shannon must find in DISK OF DEATH and so it became the focal point for the story. It is natural that the title would describe that.
Good point Kim. After pouring your sweat and blood into creating this wonderful story, what has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
KIM: I have never been good with criticism, so everything that I heard from day one of the post-writing period was difficult for me. The best advice I got was to quit worrying about the “rules” and just get it right. The best compliment was from my readers who absolutely loved the book and said so.
What wonderful words to write by and you surely should follow it. Know I am curious, do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?
KIM: I have to eat while I am behind the keyboard. I throw snack food in my mouth all the time. My favorites being gummy bears and oyster crackers (not at the same time!) Hence why I am now on a major diet!
Ha ha, well sometimes that does happen when we are in the midst of our creations. With all your works, what’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book?
KIM: LOL. I had to look up when Red Light Districts came into vogue. It was a really good education on prostitution!
No, doubt. Learning something new is what keeps us interesting. On that note why don’t you give us an interesting fun fact about your book.
KIM: I really did go into a gun shop and handle guns to be able to better describe that experience in Disk of Death. I didn’t buy one though!
That is definitely some good hands on experience that would allow you to capture the moments best for your readers. I know everyone is different in the way that they write but do you work with an outline, or just write?
KIM: Both really. I start out with an outline, or story beats, to get me into the story, and to help understand the characters. Then I will just write for a few chapters. Try it out to see how it fits. I may or may not go back to the outline after that.
Each story is so different and because of that you have to find the right fit for each one to get the words to flow. Now would you mind telling us about your experiences in getting your first book published?
KIM: Well, it would take a lot of space to tell you everything, but suffice it to say, I had a baaaad experience with my first and second and third publisher. I am now an indie and love every moment of it.
Well good for you! Happy writer, means lots of stories for us readers. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
KIM: My first attempts to write a book came in the 1990s and I finished my first book in that era too. It never went anywhere though. It was a really raw book. No editing, no anything. Then in the early 2000s I changed from trying to rewrite The Lord of the Rings and wrote a historical romance. It was so great to type THE END!
Oh how wonderful, I bet it was the most marvelous feeling. How did you choose the genre you write in?
KIM: I have written in nearly every genre. I believe I am a mystery writer now, but romance is not far out of reach.
Very cool. So Kim, where do you get your ideas?
KIM: The world at large. I can hear a snippet of conversation at a table in a restaurant and start writing. It’s very easy to be influenced by our culture these days. Even the shoes women wear will spark a story out of me.
That is wonderful, you must have so many things playing around in your head at all times. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
KIM: Oh sure. Just about every book I have ever read or am currently reading influences me. I love the way some authors handle dialog, or setting. It’s a great way to learn how to write!
I agree, every book has something to show you. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
KIM: The best writing advice is to WRITE. If you do it often enough, it will become a habit and if you do it often enough you will get better at it. The second best writing advice is to READ. How can you know how to build a book if you never pick any up? Writing style changes with time, as in, the old era of the gumshoe has been replaced by savvy women sleuths. Not saying a good old gumshoe story won’t fly, but a reader is going to be looking for the sort of book they are used to reading. So you must READ to WRITE.
Excellent advice I dare say, thank you. So what is your favorite quote or saying?
KIM: “There is nothing holding you but gravity” – my kids quote it back to me every time I want to stretch my creative muscles but am a little hesitant to do it. It’s the quote that I used on them all their lives as they were actors.
That is so uplifting and inspiring…oh and true! Now for some silly stuff, Tea or coffee?
KIM: Coffee most all day long – but I will drink tea too. I love both hot and cold. I think I have a serious caffeine addiction.
Nah, you can never have too much caffeine. Hehe Alright then what about sweet or salty?
KIM: Salty. I love crackers of all types, especially oyster crackers. But they have to be the original kind. I abhor the salt-free kind.
Yum, I like where you are going there. Would you like to share with us a passage that will give us a glimpse into the world you built?
KIM: Sure! This is from Disk of Death the first Shannon Wallace Mystery.
August in the Mid-South is like living in the tropics. The crepe myrtles bloom in fuchsia and pink and old people perch like lazy flies on white wicker swings. Cane chairs appear on porches alongside tables covered with lemonade pitchers.
In every neighborhood folded fans open to gently wave at the heat, and everyone talks about the weather. No one moves too much or too fast, thanks to the humidity, which turns everything into a condensation-streaked wonderland even before daybreak.
Here, the firmest hair spray is reduced to damp stickiness, the best laid plans are set aside until evening, and the most even-tempered person would contemplate murdering their friend.
KADE: It sounds so awesome, that’s wonderful. Now let’s give the readers some info on what is the best way to stay in touch with you and where to learn more about your books…
- Blog: http://www.kimsmithauthor.com
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kimsmithauthor
- Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/kimsmithauthor
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/mkimsmith
KADE: All fun thing must come to an end but I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Kim Smith for letting us spend some time with her today and see inside her creative process. And a big thank you to all you readers out there for taking a moment to support your Authors.
If you or any of you know of someone who would like a few minutes of limelight on Inside A Beautiful Mind with me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and place Author Interview in the topic space.
Enjoy your Friday folks, you are awesome and please remember to be kind to your Authors, leave a review. See you next week, Peace!