Kimberly Pauley's Blog
March 2, 2017
You’ve gotta love a day that celebrates books and reading! I know I do. This morning I did a fantasy map building workshop for Max’s class and found them to be amazingly creative cartographers! It was loads of fun and I think the kids had a great time.
And this afternoon I had a Skype visit with a school that was just really, really lovely. There was an entire roomful of kids but they were just incredible — so quiet and attentive and they asked great questions. Skypes can sometimes be a bit rough if there are technical difficulties and sometimes kids don’t stay as engaged as when you are physically in the room with them, but these kids were absolutely brilliant. Plus, many of them were dressed up for World Book Day! I saw everything from Hermione to Katniss to an Oompa Loompa to Thing 1 and many more. I rather wish I had been there in person to see them all up close.
I really enjoyed it and I hope they did too. Now I’m itchy to set up my next author visit (Skype or otherwise)! It’s so much fun to connect with readers.
February 24, 2017
Someone pointed out (rightly) that my (new) website was really lacking in pictures (including of myself, other than the lovely doodles drawn by Emi Tanji). So I thought I’d fix that. And what better to put up pictures of than my favourite thing (other than my family)? Readers!
I’d lost a lot of photos and things when my old website crashed and burned, so I put out a call for people to send in either new or old pictures of themselves with my books. I’m so happy to share them with you! (And feel free to send one on to me…I’d love more!).
I’ve even got one of a Czech reader, which is AWESOME. I’d love one of someone with a French or Spanish version (hint, hint).
Hope you enjoy!
February 21, 2017
Okay, so, remember when I had to remake my website entirely after discovering my old site was gone & the database corrupted & backups inaccessible? No? That’s okay. I didn’t actually expect you to remember that.
I am, however, happy to announce that I’ve finally got some more of the old website recreated again (excerpts from all my books + a teacher & discussion guide for Sucks to Be Me) and…drumroll please…ba da dum…for the first time ever, a never before published EXTRA for Ask Me from the Killer’s Point of View.
I highly recommend reading Ask Me first, as this is a companion piece and not a continuation or epilogue or anything of that nature. And I’d love to hear what you think.
February 7, 2017
(Question from Emily on Twitter. You too can ask me anything.)
I’m so glad you asked. No, really. Because I’m totally in love with what I’ve been working on — both right now (a new book I started with the new year) and the one I recently finished (and is currently out with my agent…wish it luck). Both are middle grade (ages 8+) fantasies, though they are very different.
Why am I so in love with these books? Well, to be honest, after ASK ME I was determined to write an adult book. Crime fiction. I’d had a short story published that had a character I really loved and wanted to expand upon: a female hit man. But, you know, with humour and gory jokes and severed hands in purses. Because that’s how I roll. I worked on that sucker for what felt like ages and nearly finished it. Maybe I will finish it one day (or maybe I’ll re-write it down to be YA, which is more likely) but I had to stop writing it. Maybe I’m too nice. Maybe I’m too silly. But that book was killing me. I’ve never felt so miserable writing anything before. I think I deleted more words than I wrote and that’s not normal for me at all. I draft fairly clean. So I put it in the metaphorical drawer and pulled out some younger ideas I’d been sitting on.
And it was like sparkly unicorn-poop fueled magic. Writing was suddenly something I wanted to do again rather than something I was making myself do. It was fun. And it was something I could share with my son (who is now about to turn 9 and has a weird sense of humour…I wonder where he gets it from).
So, anyway, to actually answer your question…the pitch-y blurb of the book I am working on now would be:
A lowly apprentice accidentally becomes the world’s greatest wizard and soon finds out it isn’t at all fun when everyone wants something from you. He embarks on an epic adventure to rid himself of his “curse” while dodging jealous wizards, trolls, and scheming gnomes. With his ungrateful and argumentative new friend at his side, who just so happens to almost be a hag, the Kingdoms will never know what hit them.
Or, you know, something like that.
I randomly came across this recording on YouTube from Andrew Recites (he’s a Queensland Speech/Drama teacher and apparently records bits of books and poetry as monologues) and he’s done a bit of my first book. Cannot even tell you how much I love hearing this in an Aussie accent. This is total awesomesauce.
October 4, 2016
(Question from Beth on Facebook. You too can ask me anything.)
The full question was: When we sat in speech class and you were constantly writing in your notebook, did you know you were going to be a successfully published author? Anything from your notebook published?
Wow, no, I definitely had no idea. I might have hoped that in the back of my mind, but I definitely had no inkling. I generally wrote for myself. There was a lot of turmoil in my life at that time and writing seriously did keep me sane.
I can’t say that anything from any of those notebooks has been published exactly, though I do turn to them for ideas sometimes. I can definitely say that all of that scribbling did help though! The more you write, the better you get at it, same as with everything else…
October 3, 2016
(Question from Kevin on Facebook, you too can ask me anything)
Everyone asks me that and I have to say that I think it is one of the most evil questions ever because I love books. How can I have a favorite/favourite? Maybe this is why I only have one kid…because I could never choose.
I quite possibly briefly lost my mind last month when a fellow writer was asking for volunteers to participate in The Poeming: a found poetry project featuring the works of Stephen King. See, they were having issues finding someone to cover RAGE, one of the Bachman Books (King wrote some novels/novellas under a pseudonym way back when), because it is out of print. Well, I happen to own a copy.
Sure, I said, I’ll do it!
Because certainly October isn’t already busy enough and I have time to write a found poem every day. Totes possible.
Anyway, so here I am in October and The Poeming has started. You can find all of my RAGE found poetry at (Rage) Against the Machine over on Tumblr.
It’s an interesting experiment. I decided, since the novel has roughly 31 chapters, that I would base each poem on one chapter. And, after I started, I decided (rather arbitrarily) that I would start at the end; that is, each poem starts with the last line of the chapter (or at least part of the last line).
I wasn’t sure when I started what I was going to explore. I didn’t want to do a re-hash of the book itself. I think what it is turning into is a twirl into madness through one person’s eyes. Maybe not exactly the Charlie Decker (the protagonist) of the book, but someone teetering on the edge.
I think they’ll be best read going from the Chapter One poem on to the end, but feel free to pop over any time and let me know what you think.
October 2, 2016
I love it. There’s no other city like it. If I could go back in time and tell my horrible Dick Van Dyke British Accent teenage self that I’d wind up living here, I’d probably faint dead away (no knock on Mr. Van Dyke because he’s still totally awesomesauce but even he’d admit his accent was atrocious). It’s also very interesting being an American abroad. You get a perspective on your home country that you’d never get otherwise. I highly recommend travel. But mostly I love Europe in general: the markets, the diversity, the history…I could go on and on.
October 1, 2016
(Question from Jeff on Facebook. You too can ask me anything.)
Yes, I do**. I have to say that I absolutely had the most amazing time getting to chat to Clive Barker on the telephone for around an hour or so. I was a bit starstruck, I have to admit, but he was incredibly lovely and nice. We talked a bit about art and painting and storytelling and life. Most of the interviews I did were via email and Clive was one of the few that I actually spoke to on the phone, so perhaps that was part of the difference.
As a funny aside to that, I got to tell him the story of how my husband and I are partly together because of Hellraiser. See, my husband and his roommate in college decided that they were going to meet ALL the girls in our dorm. They spent a week helping girls move in, carrying their stuff up flights of stairs, etc., etc. (somehow they missed helping me with my mini fridge though…). Anyway, at the end of all that, they invited every single girl they had met to a movie night. They rented a VCR (yes, this was a long time ago), which was no easy thing when you were a new college student with no credit card) and a stack of movies.
The Hellraiser movies.
This is the part of their plan that was a bit faulty, I think. Anyway, so there they are, two guys and probably about 20 or 30 girls, having a Hellraiser movie night. I wound up sitting in front of my now-hubby and we’ve been together ever since.
**For those that don’t know, I was the founder of YA Books Central, one of the largest (and pretty much the first) teen lit sites on the Internet. I ran it for over ten years before turning it over to other capable hands (as I was moving to the UK). It’s still going strong, currently under the leadership of C.J. Redwine, who is awesome.