Hey y’all! A friend of mine, Kimberly Keane, just released her debut Urban Fantasy novel, Power Play (Amanda Byrne Book 1). It’s an amazingly fun ride that’s definitely worth a read. To celebrate the book release, she agreed to do an awesome interview! Check it out below, and don’t forget to pick up your copy of Power Play.
JAH: So, tell us a little about yourself and what you write.
KK: I live a secret life playing with large data sets, caring for my four-legged, furry dragon, and answering non-existential questions for my adult children.
I also spend an inordinate amount of time in coffee and tea shops writing speculative fiction including urban fantasy and post-apocalyptic stories.
JAH: What inspired you to start writing?
KK: I’ve always been an avid reader. It’s been instrumental in shaping who I am, and it’s given me the opportunity to live lives I could only dream of. I’ve loved with Jane Eyre, hurt with Frankenstein’s monster, ridden Falcor with Bastien, and snarked with Harry Dresden. I wanted to build new worlds, and add my voice to those who helped shape me.
JAH: Who were some of your own literary influences?
KK: Having loved everything from romances to literary classics to urban fantasy, I’ve been influenced in subtle ways by everything I’ve read. Despite my cross-genre habits, fantasy holds a beauty for me that everything else just brushes up against, and those would be my strongest influences: Anne McCaffrey, Ilona Andrews, Stacia Kane.
JAH: What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
Riding the flow is the penultimate experience. Finding that space where the story is pouring out, and the characters are carrying you on their shoulders is like flying. If I can ride that high, I can see for miles.
There’s always that one section, a line, a paragraph, a page, that sounds like you’re writing an essay for the teacher you hated. It’s stale, boring, and, of course, integral to the story. You’ve got to slog through knee deep molasses more than once, and come upon a bit of luck, to get those portions to croak, let alone sing.
JAH: How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
KK: I grew up an outsider that looks just like everyone else. It’s allowed me to catalog what I see and how other people may see things differently. To learn how experience and reality may differ from what I think is happening. Writing is one thing that allows me to explore those differences, and, with some kismet, make sense of them.
JAH: Are you a plotter—do you outline your books before writing—or a pantser, discovering your story as you write it?
KK: I use a blended approach. I pants to start; it gets me in touch with the characters and the world. Then I build a high-level outline and spend some time on character development and motivation before diving back into the writing. I’ve tried detailed outlining, but inevitably, the characters and story will take a sudden turn. The thirty thousand foot view gives me the lay of the land, and can be easily updated as the characters and story change and grow.
JAH: With so many different urban fantasy series out there, what makes Power Play (Amanda Byrne) stand out from the rest? Why should readers read?
KK: Amanda is an attractive, strong, and powerful middle-aged woman. We don’t frequently get to see women who’ve done a bit of living in the role of hero. She has her own style of battle that doesn’t include the swords and guns present in much of the urban fantasy offerings.
JAH: If you had one piece of advice for new authors, what would it be?
KK: Find your process.
I spoke briefly with a famous author years ago who preached that detailed outlines were the only way to write. I tried. I toiled. I berated myself. I outlined and wrote and re-outlined and wrote and re-outlined. I bought into the idea that it was the only way to go because, well, it worked for him. But no matter how much effort I put into it, that approach failed miserably for me. Worse, it broke me. I stopped writing for years.
So, take the advice you get and pair it with that with that one tiny grain of salt. Try it on. If it doesn’t work, torch that idea and move on to the next. And the next, and the next, until you find what works for you.
JAHL What can we look forward to from Kimberly Keane this year?
KK: Opportunity, a dark and twisted short story, will be available in May in an anthology published by Crash Philosophy. Also, of course, Power Play just dropped, so please check that out as well:
A narcissist. A vicious tormentor. An entity the gods can’t vanquish. All the while, the balance of the universe is tipping in the wrong direction.
Amanda Byrne thinks she’s got her arms around her gods-given psychic powers until she’s drawn into a war the deities have been fighting since the beginning of time.
Without Amanda’s intervention, Peter’s short life is over. She’s in the business of helping, and she’s one of the few that can contact the gods. People want to heal their loved ones, and the recently returned mythological deities want followers to expand their power.
That’s why she thought she’d gone to the hospital. But the Fates tell her there’s more at stake. The balance of the universe is askew and, without intervention, the scale will tip in the wrong direction.
But helping doesn’t always make you an altruist; sometimes it makes you a target.
Now Amanda must balance brokering deals between humanity and the gods, saving the boy, and protecting herself from a megalomaniac and the sadistic lunatic he sent after her. All while figuring out how to help the Fates put the universe back on course.
Get it HERE
JAH: Where can readers find more about you and your books?
KK: Visit my website: www.kimberlykeane.com and sign up for the mailing list to stay in the loop about deals, giveaways, and releases.