Interview With Author Kim Jewell

I recently sat down to talk with Kim Jewell, YA author of Invisible Justice, Brute Justice, and Misery’s  Fire.  I asked her some questions and this is what she had to say:

Is Kim Jewell your real name or a pseudonym? 

Kim Jewell is my real name – I don’t use a pen name.  I never really  thought about it, actually, but I know people who write under multiple names –  mostly because they write in different genres and they want to keep the  identities separate and unique.

Coffee or tea?

I drink both, but if you want to know my preference, I’d choose a cold Diet Coke any day of the week.  (I’ve got one next to me right now!)

Is your glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty?

What glass?  Where did I put it?!  No, seriously… Usually I’m a half-full type of person – I try to find the positive in any situation.  But I do have days where I feel like “Okay, who drank my water? I swear, when I get my hands on you…” or “Why did you have to take my glass?  Go get one of your own!”

What are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading Unsigned, a book from fellow indie author (and a friend from my days on the writing community website Authonomy) C.C. McKinnon.  It’s about a young couple who moves into a new home and has an unsigned suicide letter mailed to their address.  The letter is years old, so obviously not meant for them, and they decide to try and track down whomever the letter is intended for.  As the cast of characters grow, so does the mystery surrounding the letter’s author and motivation.

Also on my bed-side table is Crytozoology A to Z, a reference book about legendary mysteries of nature – like the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, Chupacabras and more.  It’s a loaner – I told my neighbor I was writing a book about sasquatches and he grabbed it from his bookshelf for me.  It’s a total hoot!

Next on my to-read list is Heaven is for Real, a gift from my best friend.  I’ve heard great things about it, and can’t wait to dig in!  Unfortunately, finding time to read is about as hard as finding time to
write…

What time of day do you like to write?

Lunch time.  I’ve got a full-time job and a full-time family.  My lunch hour is pretty much the only time I get all to myself.

What was the hardest part about writing for you?

Just finding the time to fit it into an already busy day.  I love my day job – would never give it up!  And when I’m not working, I devote my down time to my family (and wouldn’t have it any other way).  I
wish I could cram about eight more hours into my lunch hour!

Were any of the characters in your novels based on you or anyone you know?

You know, I don’t think any of my characters themselves are based on people in my life…  But I do struggle with names for the characters.  Often times I will run down the phone list or search through news
articles for a good name.

Can you keep a secret?  One of my villains is actually named after someone in my life that I really don’t like very much!

You have three books out, all of which are Young Adult novels.  Why did you choose to write this genre?

So far all I’ve completed is in the young adult arena – it’s a genre that our entire family has always
enjoyed, both in literature and in movies.  When the boys were young, I read the Harry Potter novels to them before bedtime, and I remember standing in line waiting to see the first movie with them.  True
story – the first HP movie came out the same day we closed on our house.  We told the title company to hurry up the process because we had movie tickets that were more important!  Our entire family has always
been fascinated by the creativity in YA literature, so this feels the most natural for me and my voice.

Can you tell us a little about the Justice Series and what’s up next for Sam,  Leesha, and their gang of genetically modified super teens?

Invisible Justice is told from the perspective of Sam Dixon, a fairly typical 16-year old, at least until he starts to experience random bouts  of burning fire sensation that spreads throughout his entire body.
The flashes don’t last long, but they’re excruciating.  They  also leave him with heightened senses – he can see farther (and in the dark!),  hear things blocks away, smell the faintest of chemicals in the water…
The powers come and go just as the flashes of pain do, but each time they last a little longer, and eventually strengthen and manifest into other abilities.  When the flashes are done, the powers stay for good.

A random meeting connects him with Leesha Conway, another teenager who has already gone through the flashes, and is left with the power of telekinesis.  She can lift and move pretty much anything, people included, with just the power of her mind.  They team up to find out what is happening to them and who is responsible.  Along the way, they find two more teenagers who have been affected and the team works desperately to track down the doctor responsible for the genetic manipulation.  He’s not entirely honorable, though, and will stop at nothing to control the teens once they’ve started realizing their powers.

Brute Justice picks up where IJ left off, the evil doctor is still in hiding, and they finally find him and start tracking him like he’s been watching them.  The four teens start gathering intel on him, waiting for the right opportunity to approach him for questioning.  They track down another teen named Jade, but the mystery about her is that she has been through the flashes, but hasn’t realized a power of any kind.  They also find yet another teen toward the end, and without giving up too many details, this character adds a very interesting dynamic to this book and for the other books to come.

Tell us a little about Misery’s Fire.

Misery’s Fire is a story about a nineteen-year-old (Grant) who gets killed when he tries to avenge his sister’s (Misery is her name) murder.  He wakes up in hell with a caseworker named Angelo whose
only purpose is to make Grant as miserable as possible.  When he can’t break his spirit, he hastily resorts to a punishment from a flip comment Grant makes about nothing being worse than high school.  So he
sends him back to the fiery pits of cliques, chicks and acne.

Grant gets plopped down in this fancy private school (polar opposite of his former impoverished life) with nothing but the clothes on his back and a bag full of freshman books.  New body, new face, no one to turn to for help.  So he is forced to learn how to survive, and make choices based on his new sense of right and wrong.  Angelo plays his part, throwing evil temptations at him, and Misery has some divine intervention as well.

This one’s a lot darker, edgier – still YA, but it definitely skews to the older teens.  It covers some heavy topics like gangs, crime, drugs, bullying, and also family loyalty, redemption and faith.  I always
hoped to create entertaining stories that would appeal to teenagers, but would also to their parents as well.  I wanted to cover some heavy topics that are affecting teens today, and really open up lines of communication between parents and their kids.  This one’s the one to read with your teen if you struggle getting them to open up about tough issues.

Which of your novels is your favorite and why?

Invisible Justice.  Gosh, that’s hard to choose between your children, but IJ was the one that got me started in this adventure.  Strangely enough, I didn’t tell anyone – not even my husband – that I was writing fiction until I was well into the project.  My confidence in myself was shaky – I was afraid that I’d not finish the project, and even if I did, people would think it was rubbish.  Thankfully, everyone has been incredibly supportive, and they seem to love reading IJ as much as I loved writing it.

What project are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a sci-fi novel entitled After the Pulse, which explores life after Earth has been hit by an electromagnetic pulse.  This one was a storyline that came from one of my husband’s dreams, and I
swear it was right after he watched the movie Zombieland.  (He loves that movie.)  So it explores what happens when the electrical grid has been disabled by the pulse and people are no longer able to
rely on cars, computers, telephones, television – you name it, it’s been zapped.  Oh, and there are some random zombies and other crazies thrown in.  It’s a sci-fi/horror that is told from the eyes of a
sixteen-year-old.  It’s suitable for YA, but should appeal to all sci-fi lovers.

I’ve also started a silly little middle-grade romance novel in which a sasquatch girl falls in love with a teenage boy.  The twist – the sasquatch population is much more highly evolved than the human race, and they feel far superior to humans.  It’s their higher intelligence and advanced technology which enables them to blend in with society when absolutely necessary, but also helps them evade our wandering and ever-curious scientist explorers looking for proof of Bigfoot existence.  Imagine her family’s dismay when they find out Flora has a crush on a filthy human!  Oh the horror!  It’s called Sasquatchattraction, and
I’ll eventually pull it from the shelf, dust it off and finish it, but…

Right now my readers are asking for the next book in the Justice Series, so after I’ve sent my current WIP to my beta readers and editors, I’ll get back to that series.  Flora’s budding romance will have to wait a bit longer, I’m afraid.

What advice, if any, do you have for other writers?

First of all, I would recommend that aspiring authors read some of the books already available in the genre they intend to write.  Know what is hot, what is “so last year,” try to understand what your readers want to
read.

My next bit of advice would be to join a writing group of some kind.  If you don’t have one readily available, there are tons of them online.  I started with authonomy.com, a writer’s community started by HarperCollins for all types of books.  HC also has a teen version of this community called inkpop.com.  Wattpad is also very popular.  You’ll be able to read other people’s work, and have them read yours in
return.  You’ll get lots of reader feedback that way.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you’re ready to edit.  If you can’t hire a professional editor, ask your friends and family to help you.  The thing is, often times when a writer is editing, he or she will read what they intended to be there, and actually gloss over typos in the process.  Spell check doesn’t catch everything – a fresh set of eyes on your work is much more valuable!

Where to find Kim Jewell:

Blog
My Twitter handle: @kimjewell
Facebook profile
Facebook fan page for Invisible Justice
Google+ profile
LinkedIn

Kim’s books (click below)

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble

   

                                    

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble

 

 

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble

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