Interview with Kimberley O’Malley, author of Coming Home

 

  1. What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?

I write almost exclusively on my laptop. I am a Pantser—I do not plot or outline. When I have time to write, I sit with my laptop and juts write. I will jot down notes as I write. Sometimes, something will come to me, and I write it down. Otherwise, it would be out of my brain forever in a few seconds…

  1. Writers are often associated with loner tendencies. Is there any truth to that?

Not at all! At least not for me. We probably do the bulk of our writing alone. But I have a small group that meets every Wednesday night. I go when my life allows for that. Sometimes, we write. Most often, we brainstorm ideas about promotion, etc.

  1. Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I am a Pantser all the way. By that I mean, I write by the seat of my pants. Ideas come to me as I am writing. I am often surprised by the direction a plot or character will take. This drives my husband crazy. How can you not know???

  1. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I work full time plus write. So, reading unfortunately takes a backseat to those things. But, I ALWAYS have a book with me. You never know when you might have a few seconds to read. My worst nightmare is to be stuck somewhere without a book. My favorite authors at the moment are (in no particular order) Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins, & Susan Mallery.

  1. Do you read and reply to the reviews and comments of your readers?

Absolutely!! I am brand new, having just published my first novel this year, so I don’t have a lot of followers yet. I can’t do what I do without readers. And I was a reader long before I became a writer. I want to hear from people. I want to connect with my readers.

  1. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

Never give up! It doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient and stick with it. Don’t let one bad review get you down. Surround yourself with brilliant people who have already started down this road. The advice I have received from other authors is invaluable.

  1. Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?

My 15yo daughter, Jordan, is my biggest fan. She helps with my website and has come to signings with me. She’s my Sherpa; carrying things and setting up.

  1. Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?

I am a psychiatric nurse in a local ER. I love what I do. However, more and more, I resent the time that takes from my writing. It’s hard to balance everything. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Or days in the week.

  1. Does your day job ever get in the way of your writing?

As all I want to do is write, then yes. I work at night, doing 12 hour shifts. Then I have to come home and sleep. I would love to cut my work hours eventually to have more time to write. Who am I kidding? I want to just write!!

  1. Do you like traveling or do you prefer staying indoors?

I love to travel! I am always either on vacation or planning the next one!! We are huge Disney addicts and try to get there at least once a year. I’m going on a cruise to Bermuda at the end of June. That’s one place I can cross off my bucket list.

  1. Which of your books took you the most time to write?

Hopefully, book 1. That took 15 years from start to finish. But there’s a story behind that. I wrote the first draft of Coming Home over three weeks in 2002. My husband and I were waiting to travel to Russia to adopt our daughter. Writing saved my sanity. It gave me an outlet when I was stressed. Then we were parents and adopted a second child. I went to nursing school and was busy raising my family. Finally, in 2015, I took it out and started again. Several heavily edited versions later, Coming Home finally reached the light of day March 7TH.

  1. What do you do in your free time?

What free time? Haven’t you been paying attention?? I really do not have a ton of free time. I am a soccer Mom who loves to watch her kids play. We travel to tournaments fairly regularly, so that takes up weekends. I LOVE to read. I’m also addicted to Netflix…

  1. What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels?

 

  1. How did it feel when your first book got published?

Amazing! I ordered advanced copies of Coming Home, and I cried when they arrived. I remember holding it in my hands like a newborn. I did not give birth to my children, but I created this book. All the years of struggle and self-doubt fell away.

  1. What is your motivation for writing more?

I write because I have stories to tell. The characters live in my head, nudging me to be brought to life. I write because I love to read and have since I was very young. So many authors have given me joy throughout the years. I want to do that for others.

  1. Can you tell us about your current projects?

I am writing a series, Windsor Falls, which is a mythical small town in North Carolina. Book 2 is releasing on June 20th. I am currently writing book 3 and am about half way done with the first draft.

  1. When can the readers expect your next book in print?
  2. Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?

I’d love to say that I have a fabulous office. I don’t. I write at my dining room table. Or Panera when it’s too loud here. Oddly enough the noise of other people is less distracting than that of my family. But then, strangers don’t expect anything of me.

  1. If you were to change your genre, which one would you choose?

I write Contemporary Romance. I’m very comfortable writing that. I read several genres, but I would love to write Romantic Suspense. There’s something about the suspense that gets my heart pounding.

  1. What weather inspires you the most, in terms of bringing out your literary best?

I love sunshine and warm weather. I’m originally from northern Pennsylvania but moved to Charlotte in 2015. The weather was part of the appeal. I love that we have so many more days of sunny weather. We also haven’t had a real snow since I’ve lived here. Hope I didn’t just jinx myself…

  1. Do you encourage your children to read?

I do!! Sadly, my kids do not love to read. This breaks my heart. I have been reading voraciously since I was a small child. I do not care what they read, as long as they read something. There’s a used bookstore that I love near our house, and I bribe them with trips to it. ‘Mommy will buy you any book you want.’

  1. Is there a particular kind of attire you like to write in?

What am I wearing? Is that what you’re asking? LOL! I have to be comfortable when I write. So that means shorts and a tee shirt or sweats in the winter. I am also probably barefoot. I cannot stand to wear shoes. Ever. When I must, I wear flip flops. If I am at the hospital though they insist on closed shoes. Another reason for my writing to take off.

 

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