Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Kim Wright does the dance of joy...plus a book giveaway

Recently, I watched the movie Silver Linings Playbook and loved it for many reasons.  One of those reasons is how, just like today's CLC guest Kim Wright, it uses dance as a way for the two main characters to move past the obstacles in their life.

Since she was a kid, this North Carolina native has been obsessed with books (something I'm sure many of us can relate to).  With a vast array of stories to her credit, in recent years, her books have focused on women who reinvent themselves as the reach midlife.

Today, we are privileged to have Kim share with us some of her thoughts on writing and dance. Thanks to Gallery Books, we have TWO copies of Kim's latest novel, The Unexpected Waltz, for some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada!

Visit Kim on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you feel is the recipe to becoming a successful author?
It would be wonderful if there was some kind of recipe...it seems like every book which makes it out into the world has its own story behind it. Not just the plot of the book, but the backstory of how the book came to be.

But writers do often ask me for advice and I tell them this. Connect with other writers. It's so necessary - to inspire you, to keep you going, to give you feedback on your works in progress and then, once those works are done, to help you get your book out there into the world in terms of finding agents, editors, and eventually readers. "Networking" sounds so manipulative, like you're pretending to be friends with people because you think they can help you, but in reality I've found relationships among writers to be nurturing and supportive. There's this myth of the writer toiling away in isolation in a garret somewhere and maybe there is a little bit of truth to that. After all. you're alone while you're actually writing your books, But the most successful authors I know are very plugged in to the literary world, frequently swapping ideas and advice and helping each other with all sorts of tasks, from serving as beta readers to setting up folding chairs at events.

Where do you draw inspiration from for your books?
I'm one of those writers who definitely draws inspiration from her own life and the lives of her friends. For example, I got the idea for The Unexpected Waltz by hanging around my own dance studio. Every nationality you can imagine is represented in this one tiny studio, with all sorts of ages and personalities and all sorts of reasons for wanting to dance. Every time I would go in I would get caught up in the most bizarre conversations and I'd think "This should be a book."

Of course the flip side is that if you base your books around recognizable events in your life, people are always looking for themselves in the books, certain that this character or that is secretly them. I never build a character around someone I actually know - they're always amalgamations of lots of people and my own imagination. But my friends are reluctant to believe that! If they're blonde and a character is blonde, they assume it must be them. Sometimes they get kind of huffy. I know another writer who bases her books around her home town and the other day she was laughing and saying to me "I'm afraid to go out alone at night anymore."

How has the writing process gotten easier as you write more and more books? How has it stayed the same?
It gets easier in the sense that after you've published a few books, you begin to believe you can do it. So at least you aren't writing with some negative loop running in your head telling you that you'll never finish or, even if you do, that no one will buy it. And also, as I said above, the more I write, the more friends I have who are writers and the more support there is around me. That makes a huge difference.
But the actual process of writing remains eternally challenging. Every new book demands not only its own plot, but also a fresh structure, so you're not only reinventing stories but also reinventing the way you tell them. I know people who have breezed through their first books and then gotten really stuck on their fourth or fifth one. Each book is its own little world.

In your Goodreads bio it says you enjoy ballroom dancing. What is your favorite type of ballroom dance?
Did I say I enjoy it? Then I lied. I ADORE it. I'm OBSESSED with it. My favorite dance is the tango. Whenever I hear tango music - or anything by Bon Jovi since I like to tango to Bon Jovi - I start twitching like a crazy person.

What do you consider your greatest life accomplishment and why?
Making friends with my ex-husband to the degree we were able to successfully co-parent our kids. For a long time it did not look like that was going to happen... he was really angry at me about the divorce and I was afraid my two children were going to be caught in the middle. So I went around for a couple of years saying "We are going to find a way to get through this and all be okay on the other side" and I think I was the only person who even remotely believed that.

But you know something? My kids are raised and great and my ex-husband and I get along just fine, sort of like grouchy but affectionate siblings. Getting to that point took more sheer persistence and faith than anything I've ever done, including getting my first book published.
(But getting my first book published would be a close second!)

Thanks to Kim for visiting with us and Gallery Books for sharing The Unexpected Waltz with our readers.

~Introduction and interview by Tracey Meyers

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends June 15th at midnight EST.

24 comments:

Janine said...

I have always been a huge Bon Jovi fan. When I was young, I worked in a bar and fell for a customer who looked exactly like Jon Bon Jovi. Unfortunately, as I got to know him better, he had a huge ego that I couldn't stand. Anyway, I can't pick a favorite song. There are just too many.

susieqlaw said...

Living on a Prayer

Dcimo2 said...

It's got to be "Livin' on a Prayer"...that's the one I find myself belting out the words to whenever/wherever I hear it!

Kimmi said...

Kim's Love in Midair is one of my favorite books ever. I highly recommend it.

Bonnie Franks said...

Shot Through the Heart is one of them!

Jessica Meddick said...

Livin on a Prayer

Angel Wells said...

I love just about all his songs!!

Anita Yancey said...

My favorite song is Livin on a Prayer. But all of the songs are really great. Thanks for having the giveaway.

Carl Scott said...

Like a lot of people I like Livin on a Prayer. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Katherine Ivan said...

My favorite Bon Jovi track is Wanted Dead or Alive (though Livin' on a Prayer and You Give Love a Bad Name are also high on my list)

jodi marinich said...

always loved living on a prayer

bn100 said...

Livin on a Prayer

PoCoKat said...

Living on a Prayer

Renee said...

Hmm....I'll head back to my high school days, "I'll Be There For You" , followed closely by "Bad Medicine". Oh 1988 such memories!

Patricia said...

It's My Life wins for me.

pascale said...

living on a prayer

Laura Bryant said...

Living on a Prayer

jpetroroy said...

I looooove Livin' on a Prayer.

debb1955 said...

Living on a Prayer

Hailey Fish said...

Wanted Dead or Alive!

lawree67 said...

Wanted: Dead or Alive which is also the theme song for Discovery Channel's "The Deadliest Catch"!

Reese78 said...

Living on a Prayer!

Nova said...

Bon Jovi - Born To Be My Baby is my favorite!!!

Tami said...

Wanted dead or alive. Brings me back to the 80's and high school!!