Living Write

What’s Your Story?

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What do you write? 

It’s a question every writer gets, as soon as the word “writer” is mentioned. I try to answer as succinctly as possible. My experience is that they want to make sure to validate my choices without opening up Pandora’s box. Writers can get chatty. I explain that I write in multiple genres, including children’s fiction, historical Christian Fiction, and light suspense espionage. That is usually enough to satisfy any curiosity the casual inquirer may have.

And what are you working on now?

I tell them I’m on book three of my spy series. I offer my “elevator pitch” that the series is a sort of “If Audrey Hepburn was James Bond.” That usually gets the main theme across. If they ask for more, I tell them my main character is a fashion model-turned-spy who is hunting a villain (or two) who is trying to manipulate world currencies for power. 

But what type of story is it?

That’s an interesting question to me because now they’re asking to find out if it would be something they would read. The reason I suggest Audrey Hepburn as my heroine-type is because I write “clean” novels. I don’t use R-rated language, explicit sex, or graphic violence in my books. Bad things happen; don’t get me wrong. My villains are plenty mad, perverted, sickening, and evil. Some of my heroes are a little off-kilter, too. (Aren’t we all?) But mostly, my style is much more Mary Higgins Clark than Nora Roberts.

Usually, people respond kindly, though I have had a few who have told me to give them a call when I do include more explicit sex. I don’t have plans for that, by the way.

Why don’t you focus solely on historical Christian fiction?

I do love it. And I may write more in the future. But I am a sci-fi geek-loving, technology-wielding Texas gal, and none of that fits into stories set in 30-54 AD very well. So for now, I’ll work on my spy stories. I’m not suggesting that there aren’t great spy novels out there right now, but I struggle with reading books that bombard me with vulgar language, sickeningly dark plots, and endings without hope. I figure that if I need a respite from that, others do as well.

What do you write?

Living Write

Red Heels, LBD Project, Book 2

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RED HEELS LBD PROJECT BOOK 2 COVER ART

Red Heels, LBD Project, Book 2 is now available in print and ebook.

Covert agent, Evan Tyler, has survived her first mission wearing the high-tech weapon known as the Little Black Dress. Along with the help of her InDIGO team, she slipped behind the curtain of the Paris fashion scene to infiltrate and dismantle an international extortion ring bent on global manipulation.

What they discovered only extends their mission to find the head of this villainous organization and protect the desperate victims. New leads take them from Paris to Marseilles, Barcelona, and London, where Evan finds herself entangled with the handsome billionaire entrepreneur, Michael Cooper. She, therefore, must protect him and his business if she hopes to uncover the truth.

Red Heels is the sequel to Little Black Dress, the first book in the LBD Project Trilogy. This book mixes suspense, mystery, international intrigue, high fashion, and state-of-the-art technology. It features strong women, handsome men, and plenty of action in a world of espionage and extortion. If you enjoy the fashion-sense and quirky sarcasm of Audrey Hepburn and the five-minutes-in-the-future adventure of James Bond, you’ll love the LBD Project Trilogy.

Find out more about the LBD Project stories HERE!

CLICK HERE to follow Kim Black on Amazon.

CLICK HERE to follow Kim Black’s RED HEELS Pinterest Board.

CLICK HERE to follow Kim Black’s LBD Pinterest Board.

CLICK HERE to follow Kim Black’s Bare Essentials Pinterest Board.

 






Living Write

My Cat Hates My Writing

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Poe is my 15 year-old black cat. We named her after the writer, Edgar Allan Poe, because of our love for his story-telling, especially his tale, The Black Cat. Poe and I have this love-hate relationship. I love her and she hates me. Really. She spends most of her day hanging out on or near my desk, often positioned between me and my keyboard. She purrs. She flops over onto my arm. She acts as though she desperately wants me to pet her. She doesn’t. If I try, she bites me.

What she truly hates, though, is my writing. Not the actual stories – though I’m quite certain she would show her disdain if she could read – but what she despises is my physical presence in front of my word processor. Not only does she intrude on my typing, but as soon as I get up from my chair (to refill my coffee or such) she jumps into it and “falls asleep” by the time I return. Getting her out requires a sincere attempt at petting… and usually getting bit. Also, I’m pretty sure she’s swearing at me in kitty-cat language. She meows like a sailor.

Today I have been preparing for my November novel, Bare Essentials, which I will write (first draft at least) over the next thirty days. I have my outline all ready. I’ve been looking over my research and character notes. I’ve checked off nearly everything from my weekend to-do list. My desk is cleared and ready to go. My husband and I went out for a few errands this afternoon, and when I returned, I found cat puke in my seat. Nice. Poe’s perfect commentary on my chosen vocation.

For some, this might be a sign of doom, a dark foreboding, a disaster in the making. But what Poe doesn’t know is that her little gift is positive reinforcement for me. You see, every novel I’ve written has one common element. Someone throws up, yarks, unswallows, pukes – whatever you call it – it happens, and it happens in all of my stories. Gross, I know. You might say that it’s my way of facing one of my fears. And so Poe’s little critique mess is somehow a very appropriate way to start my next adventure in writing.

She may hate my writing, but I love her.


 

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Each month my newsletter contains a link to a free Episode of my new YA Sci-Fi Adventure, Shooting Stars Traveling Circus! Don’t miss a chapter!

 

 






Living Write

A Wild New Adventure

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Shooting Stars Traveling Circus is my new YA (young adult) Sci-Fi Western adventure project.

When the government attempts to confiscate their horses, Annie and Cody Birchfield are forced to flee Earth for the untamed outer regions of the galaxy. To pay their way, and to keep one step ahead of the law, the young siblings use their natural talents of riding, roping, shooting, and singing to bring attention to the corruption that has all but destroyed Earth, and to prevent Authority’s iron fist from taking hold of the entire galaxy.

My characters, Annie  and Cody Birchfield, are inspired by the real historical figures Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill Cody, stars of Cody’s Wild West Show. Many other characters have historical inspiration as well, and then there are a few unique little creations like Ingrid, who I hope you will love as I do.

So here is my proposition to you, as a reader. I have a general outline of my story – a loose guide for direction. I have several of the characters put together, and I have a few chapters written. What I want from you is feedback. Tell me what you like, and where you’d like the story to go. I’d love to see some of your artwork, hear some of your music, if you’re so inspired to share.** I plan to release one new chapter a month here on my website. (Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, which will include a direct link to the chapter.) Once the book is finished, I will publish it, offering special shout-outs and freebies to anyone who contributes to the final product.

If you’d like to keep up with my Shooting Stars Traveling Circus inspiration board on Pinterest, click HERE.

Thanks in advance for your participation in this adventure. I ‘spect it’s gonna be fun!

Click HERE to read Episode 1: I’ll Fly Away.

**All contributors of fan art, fan music, quotes, etc. must confirm that their work is their original product, and must provide a release statement allowing it to be used in the final publication without expectation of monetary compensation. I will credit all contributors, and promote your music, artwork, etc. as your creation on my “THANK YOU” page.






Cinema Toast

Gearing up for Action

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We’ve finally put Winter behind us. Oh, I’m sure we’ll see another nasty week or two before Spring really gets a strong foothold, but the calendar is on our side, now. Trees are starting to bud. Grass is starting to turn green. Flowers are pushing up from the cold soil. And action movies are emerging once again to the theatres.

click to see and purchase

Yes, this month has already seen the release of 300:Rise of an Empire, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and Need for Speed, providing action and adventure for every age. This week adds Divergent and Muppets Most Wanted, both filled with excitement. Next week we’ll see Noah make the scene with its sweeping apocalyptic message.

click to see and purchase click to see and purchase click to see and purchase

April will feature big titles like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Rio 2. May will really usher in the Summer block-busters with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Maleficent. June tries to extend the momentum with 22 Jump Street, and Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.

Think all of these sound done and re-done? How about some more original tales. July brings the roll-out of sci-fi films like Earth to Echo and Jupiter Ascending. And then there’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Hercules: the Thracian Wars.

Then we’ll finish off the summer with Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, LucyExpendables 3, and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

click to see and purchase

While the action genre is not always known for deep plots and award-winning acting, they are the catalysts for amazing stunts, ground-breaking special effects, and future-forward technological advances in film-making. They also get our adrenalin pumping and our imaginations soaring.

As I look over this list, I see films I’m anxious to watch, as well as a few I’ll probably skip. I imagine a whole new slew of ComicCon costumes. I see fun.

What films are you most excited to see this year?

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.