Today we meet Kimberly Rae, author of Christian suspense. She has written a series on human trafficking as well as a series about dealing with pain, and I think we’ll be interested to hear what she has to say.
Q: Hello, Kimberly. It’s so nice of you to come to visit today.
A: Hi and thanks for having me!
Q: I looked on your Amazon page and saw that you had lived in several foreign countries and that you had work in five languages. Please tell us about that, how you came to be living in so many different exotic places and knowing so many languages.
A: I’ve lived in Bangladesh, Uganda, Kosovo and Indonesia. I went to Bangladesh for 2 years after I graduated from college, to teach school and do writing projects. Uganda and Kosovo were both short humanitarian trips, and then after I got married my husband and I lived in Indonesia for nearly 3 years. He taught ESL at a University there. I love different cultures!
Q: I loved the trailer on your site where you talked about your books. Please tell our blog readers why you write the books about human trafficking.
A: When sickness brought me permanently back to the US, I wanted to stay involved in doing things that matter in the world. Human trafficking was a major subject on my heart. I had been writing for 10 years but mostly for magazines and such, so when I started thinking of writing a novel, I tossed around some ideas but wasn’t sure what to focus on. My mom looked at me and asked, “If you could write about anything, what would you write about?” By the end of the day, I think I had 3 chapters of Stolen Woman done. It brought together things I’m passionate about—human trafficking, missions, and women finding their worth.
Q: I also discerned from your trailer that you love Jesus. Will you tell us about your salvation experience and a little about your life?
A: I definitely love Jesus! Everything good in my life comes from Him. I trusted in Christ to save me when I was a child, and grew up loving Him. My dad was in the Navy, and my mom was a school teacher. I have two sisters—I’m the middle—and we lived in the South but I don’t like grits and don’t have an accent most of the time (though my husband thinks it’s funny how thick it gets when I’m talking to someone who does!).
Q: When did you decide to become a writer?
A: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Actually I just found a set of stories I’d written when I was only 10 and ironically, I had a story of rescue in there. I guess this idea of helping the helpless was something God put on my heart a long, long time ago. Officially, I began writing for publication after college, if you don’t count the novel I wrote in high school that was so horribly cheesy I threw it away a few years ago to make sure nobody ever found it!
Q: How was your writing journey? Was it easy or hard?
A: Definitely hard work, with a lot of humility-inspiring events along the way, but that’s a good thing! When I started writing for magazines, at first of course rejection felt devastating. However, once I decided I was in this to learn and succeed, and after I told myself to expect nine out of ten submissions to get rejected, it really did get easier. I learned to submit several pieces at a time, so I wasn’t biting my nails waiting for that one to get returned, and to study my target magazines to know what they were looking for, and how to write a great query letter. I have a blog now for other writers, to hopefully make it a little easier on them!
Q: Tell us about your series “Sick and Tired”. What compelled you to write about this?
A: I have had health problems since childhood, but they seemed random and disconnected. When we lived overseas, my condition got worse and worse, but years of doctor’s visits and heaps of tests still didn’t reveal the problem. Now, after fifteen years of searching, I was finally diagnosed by a specialist at Emory. I have Addison’s disease, hypoglycemia, asthma, and a cyst on my brain. Dealing with lifelong illness gets discouraging, and those of us with chronic illness tend to feel alone. I wanted to read a book that was funny, empathetic and helpful, but especially one that would remind me that God loved me and had purpose for me, and my worth wasn’t it how useful I felt I could be. I couldn’t find that book, so I wrote it! It’s now a series, with the first two out and two more on the way!
Q: I know there are many, many people with chronic pain and I am sure they would profit from reading what you have written. If there were one book in this series that would benefit a sick person most, what would it be?
A: I’d have to say the first one, Sick & Tired. Nearly one out of every two people in America has some kind of chronic illness. They need to know they are not alone, and it helps to hear somebody say it stinks, they understand, and they’re cheering you on. That’s what the first book in the series is meant to, with some practical help like how to explain your condition in a way that doesn’t leave room for people to think it’s in your head. =)
Q: I saw a letter on your Amazon site from a doctor who was praising your work as something both doctors and patients would enjoy reading and was very impressed. Do you get a lot of letters like this from doctors and patients?
A: I love hearing from both doctors and patients! I have one doctor friend who keeps stocked up on the books to give to certain patients, and I love that. She gets to encourage them, and they feel more understood. I heard about another doctor who put the book in their waiting room and had a patient ask if she could keep it! They said no. =)
Q: Tell us a little about your new book, Blue Ridge Setup, that was released this month? It is anything like the other books you have written or it is the beginning of a new series?
A: It’s totally different novel than my ones on trafficking. At its heart, Blue Ridge Setup is a fun read about a young woman getting set up who doesn’t want to get set up. Kayla Madison moves in with her eccentric romance-novelist great aunt, who is determined she and Ryan Cummings would make great characters for her next novel, if only she can get them together! Poor Ryan has no idea what he’s getting into when he agrees to do a landscaping project for the great aunt, who intends to keep coming up with jobs for him to do until her plan works!
But it also has the serious themes of what illness takes away, struggling with feeling useless, needing to find worth for who you are, not what you do. It was good therapy for me, writing the book, and I hope it will be good therapy for others reading it!
Q: Sounds like fun, and it also sounds like a good lesson. I can’t want to read it. Tell us about some of the children’s books you have in print.
A: The newest one, When I’m With Jesus, is due for release November 29th. It’s a beautifully illustrated book for children who have lost a loved one, from the perspective of the person who goes to Heaven. This is a very special book to me, and I hope God uses it to touch and comfort many children and adults.
Q: It sounds like you have your finger in lots of pies--lots of different genres--I'm looking forward to reading some of them. Kimberly, it has been so nice to talk with you today. I’m looking forward to the readers’ comments about your diversified books. Thank you so much for your interview.
A: Thanks so much for letting me visit here today. God bless and keep you!
OK, bloggers, it’s your turn again. Leave a comment if you’d like to win one of Kimberly’s books, and don't forget to leave your email address and the name of the state you live in!