Author Spotlight: Kim Chance talks Keeper
Today is special because I get to host Kim Chance on the blog! In addition to being a fabulous author, and a bright light in the writing community, Kim is one of my best friends and CP. As anyone who watches her YouTube channel knows, Kim has been chronicling her journey to publication on there for the past two years, and so I am b--e--y--o--n--d excited to be celebrating KEEPER's release with her!
Seriously . . . this blog post should come with a Gatsby-level party and champagne!
Kim held a Live Launch Party for Keeper on Tuesday night (which I was thrilled to be part of!) and she's giving away TWO GRAND PRIZES! Watch the video for the rafflecopter password you'll need to enter in order to win either a personalized/signed copy of KEEPER, or a query/first chapter critique by Kim's fabulous literary agent, Caitlen Rubino-Bradway of The LKG Agency! Hurry! The rafflecopter ends 2/6!
And now for my chat with Kim!
Hi, Kim! Welcome and congrats on debuting Keeper. Can you tell us a little about the story and what inspired it?
Hi! Thank you so much! I’m so excited to be here! :)
Keeper follows the story of a 16-year-old girl named Lainey Styles, an SAT whiz and bookworm. One day, Lainey is attacked by a 200-year-old witch and discovers that she’s a Keeper—a witch with the exclusive ability to wield a powerful spell book. There’s just one problem! That spell book has been stolen by a malevolent wizard who plans to use it siphon away the world’s magic. So with the help of her comic book loving best friend and a handsome but very mysterious street fighter, Lainey is forced to leave her life of college prep and studying behind to prepare for the biggest test of all: stealing back the book.
To be honest, I have no idea where the story came from! It was a very organic process. I was working on another story idea when a certain plot element from Keeper popped into my head. It was random and out of the blue, but I was so intrigued by it that I immediately started imagining the world that element fit in to. I scrapped my other manuscript and started working on Keeper. The rest is history!
What is your favorite thing about Lainey?
Lainey has a strength that I wish I had! She has A LOT thrown at her over the course of the novel, and she still manages to stay true to who she is. She is incredibly brave, even in the face of terrifying and devastating circumstances, and I admire her so much for that!
I’m a firm believer in the idea that every story teaches the writer something new, so what did writing Keeper teach you?
Writing Keeper was a very personal journey for me. It was full of ups and downs and there were so many times that I wanted to give up and quit. If I’ve learned one thing from this journey, though, it would be most definitely be that dreams don’t work unless you do. I know I say that expression a lot, but it’s because it’s one of the most honest pieces of advice I can give. Nothing worth having comes easy and they don’t call them dreams for nothing. You have to work really hard. You have to fight and claw your way through the muck and the mess. Fear, doubt, and insecurity will always try to crush your spirit, but you have to put your bum in your chair and write through it.
I’ve also learned quite a bit from the characters themselves. Maggie taught me that everything is better with a friend by your side. Josephine taught me that we all have a role to play and that sometimes our destiny is far bigger and greater than we ever imagined for ourselves. And Lainey, my dear MC, taught me that true courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear. True courage is being afraid, but doing it anyway.
What does it feel like to be a debut author?
It’s a very surreal feeling! I keep waiting for that “I’m a real author!” feeling to kick in, but so far it hasn’t hit me yet. I just feel so lucky to be where I am, and I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me along the way. I know Keeper wouldn’t exist without having so many amazing people believe that I could actually do this! You only get to be a debut author once, and I couldn’t be happier with how my debut year is turning out. I still have lots of goals and aspirations for myself as a writer, but I feel so fortunate to be a 2018 debut!
Your YouTube channel is one of the best! What made you want to take up vlogging, and do you have any advice for writers who may be thinking about starting their own channels?
When I first started my writing journey, I didn’t know any other writers. I wasn’t involved in the writing community at all, and there were many times when I felt incredibly lonely. Writing a book is often a very solitary process, and I wanted to create a community where writers like me could connect. I also really wanted to document my own publishing and have a place where I could share everything I’ve learned along the way. I hoped that by creating my channel, I would be creating a place where writers could come together and not feel so alone. We’re all in this together, and we’re so much stronger together than we are apart—at least that’s my philosophy!
My best advice for people who want to start their own channels is to be yourself! I know that sounds a little cliché, but I think people are drawn to authenticity, and it’s very easy to tell when someone is putting on a front. Be who you truly are and don’t be afraid to be honest and real. It’s also important to create quality content on a consistent basis. Growing a channel can take time, but authenticity coupled with consistent quality content is the recipe for success!
What has been your most rewarding experience as an author so far?
The most rewarding experience so far has been receiving messages from fellow writers who tell me that my journey has inspired them to pursue their own. I have such a heart for helping other writers, and it fills my heart with delight to know that I played some small part in encouraging other writers to chase their dreams!
What are you reading, or otherwise currently infatuated with?
I’m reading a few things at once, actually! I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series via audiobook, and I also have several ARCs from my fellow Electric18s to read! I just got Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince though, and I think that one might jump to the top of my TBR list! :)
My current infatuation is a book, but I haven’t read it yet. Lately, I’ve been binge watching The 100 on Netflix, and I am OBSESSED. The series is based off a novel, so I’m hoping to pick that one up soon! I love a good dystopian drama.
And finally, what’s your favorite bit of writing advice?
My absolute favorite piece of writing advice is this: Don’t be afraid to write crap. Crap makes excellent fertilizer for beautiful things to grow! I think we, as writers, often get hung up on how “crappy” our work reads to us, but once we give ourselves permission to just write the crap, we allow our work to grow organically—and that’s when the magic happens! We all write crappy drafts; it’s part of the process! But a crappy draft can turn into a beautiful piece of fiction if we’re brave enough to let it! So don’t be afraid to write crap, my friends.
Many thanks go out to Kim for taking time to share more about Keeper, as well as for her tips on booktubing, and giving yourself permission to write without expectations. Be sure to add her page-turning paranormal to your Goodreads list, or (better yet!) order your copy RIGHT NOW from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Book Depository, Books-a-Million, or request it at your library, or local independent bookstore.
AND FOR WRITERS: You don't want to miss Kim's YouTube Channel! She posts weekly videos packed with writing tips, and hefty doses motivation. Click on the graphic to check it out!
And, as always,