Tag Archives: Kim Smith

Motivate the Muse by Cozy Mystery Author Kim Smith

We have a special guest blogger today.  Kim Smith, author of the cozy mystery novel, Buried Angel, is here to tell us how she…motivates the muse!

Motivate the Muse

by Kim Smith

Recently, I hosted a free workshop called Jumpstart the Muse. It was a lot of fun, and I think the attendees got something out of it. I figured what the heck, might as well tell you all what happened.

First, I had them give me a list of why they were there to take the workshop, and most all of them had some reasons that we all face. They were: absent inspiration, boredom, creative dementia, and detail under-load. In other words, they didn’t have the inspiration to make the perspiration.

I really think this is a common problem with us writers today. We work at so many things, and we desperately want to write, but when we sit down to get to it, we either get another interruption, or we just stare at the white screen and get depressed.

My workshop was designed to give writers the GOOD NEWS that they are not helpless in this situation. We are the motivation BEHIND the inspiration! We, literally speaking, are the MUSE.

So, some of you will not believe me, right? You’ll say, oh no, without my creative side working, I cannot write a word. Well, try this exercise and see if you still think so.

  1. Get yourself some index cards, of differing colors.
  2. On each color, write a word at the top, whatever you so desire, I did this and I wrote “Sounds” “Smells” “Touches” “Sights” “Tastes”—now that means I had five colors, and each color would represent each of these items. Now you try it, but you do not have to do what I did. Try for other stuff, like, “Romance” “Mystery” “Suspense” “Anger” “Sadness” or any other you would like.
  3. Now, that you have your collection of cards by color, start with one. Let’s assume you wrote “Anger” – now go out and think of a situation that made you so angry you could kill someone. Write that story on that card under ANGER. Did you feel the anger resurface? Reread what you wrote and be sure and make me, the reader, feel that anger just like you felt it. Did your face turn red? Did you cry? Make me mad!
  4. Okay, now, do something like that for each of those cards. If you wrote “Mystery” at the top, you might just simply say “The day my car died was a mystery to everyone”. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It just has to tweak your thoughts for writing something.
  5. Once you have your cards, and your “muse tweaker” titles, go for it! Keep a card file for all your little thoughts and big thoughts. You never know when this will turn out to be something to use in a book, or as an article piece.

Oh yeah, and when you finish this exercise, try telling me you didn’t have anything to write!

Kim Smith is the hostess for the popular radio show, Introducing WRITERS! Radio show on Blog Talk Radio. She is also the author of the zany, Shannon Wallace mystery series available now from Red Rose Publishing. You can visit Kim’s website at www.mkimsmith.com.

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Interview with Mystery Romance Author Kim Smith

Kim SmithKim Smith is the author of the popular Shannon Wallace Mystery Series, and A Will to Love is her first published romance story. You can find her at http://www.mkimsmith.com at her blog http://writingspace.blogspot.com and on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/mkimsmith and Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/mkimsmith

Q: Thank you for this interview, Kim. Can you tell us what your latest book, A Will to Love, is all about?

A: Sure! A Will to Love came to me when I learned a local bed and breakfast was going out of business. The ownership of that little place has a sort of sad history as the first owner’s wife passed away from being a victim of the Chicago Amtrak crash in 1999. She was buried in a little cemetery on the property. For some reason, hearing of it going out of business made me sad and I remembered the woman who died and who probably loved that place a lot. She was the catalyst for the story. Benton and Kitty were creations out of my own mind.

A Will to LoveQ: Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

A: No it is not my first novel. It is my first published romance story though. Writing romance is different for me because I never thought I would be any good at it. I have had a great marriage for nigh on 17 years and have someone who spoils me rotten. Writing romance should have conflicts and trials that make the relationship stronger and well, what can I say? My marriage is a very happy, hardly ever conflictual arrangement. Go figure I would wanna write romance!

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

A: It wasn’t difficult at all. I do not know why but sometimes great characters just COME to me. They pop out and begin talking to me and all I can do is just hang on for the ride. Benton Jessup was one of those. He came as a very broken man, with determination to succeed. And Kitty Beebe is already very successful and just hoping to continue. They just worked out well together and writing them was fun.

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

A: So far the reception has been super. The reviews are coming in and all of them are very positive. I think that my fans think maybe writing mystery is not all I can do. I hope that is true because I intend on surprising my fans again very soon with a totally different twist.

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

A: Right now, I am being a lot more devoted. I am turning out four or five pages a day in the hopes of keeping up with one of my good writing buddies. She and I are going to write together (not the same book) and edit together and then submit together for an agent. Who knows where that will lead? It’s fun and challenging though to know I have to get my page count out every day.

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

A: I have just gotten an Iphone and it has games. Oh my goodness and everything else! I am having trouble keeping it charged because I use it so much. I also am a photographer and love taking pics.

Q: What book changed your life?

A: Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Those books are so much what I hope to aspire to one day. She entertains, and educates all at the same time. Who could ask for a better way to learn how to write?

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

A: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters – because I try so hard to help others get the word out about their work. My family sometimes thinks I neglect my own stuff in deference to others. It’s really fun though, and I am just a writer groupie as everyone knows!

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

A: I am not the characters in my books. I do not get implicated in murder, break into houses, own restaurants or b and b places. I am just a normal old southern gal, with a desire to entertain.

Thank you for this interview, Kim.  I wish you much success on your latest release, A Will to Love!

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Let’s Play Book Trivia with Mystery Author Kim Smith!

It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…

Today our guest author is Kim Smith, author of cozy mystery Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery.

avenging-angelKim is best known for her contributions to the writing world as the admin of Writers4Writers.com, a place created with the sole purpose of helping other writers find a place to nestle in and make friends. When the site grew large enough to make it on its own, Kim went solo and began her own ventures into the world as a writer.

Kim has since published a number of short stories at such places as Gryphonwood Press, Micro Horror, and Long Story Short. Recently, her first short story using the characters from her book, AVENGING ANGEL, came out at Mouthfull of Bullets. You can purchase your copy of the magazine at: http://www.mouthfullofbullets.com.
In 2009, Kim will have three more shorts coming out including another Shannon Wallace story.

Kim is a member of EPIC.

You can find more about Kim and the books at http://www.mkimsmith.com.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Kim! Here are your questions:

book71If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

Well, the book is set close to Memphis, and everyone knows that Tom’s character worked for Fed Ex in Cast Away and Memphis is the home of Fed Ex’s hub. So his character would just need to click his heels and say “home, home, fly Fed Ex home”.

book72Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

Brittany would have no chance of getting into trouble if she hung out with Shannon and her friend, Dwayne Brown. Dwayne was raised by a Bible-believing Grandmother who would “slap all the hide off him” if he did anything she disapproved of, and he still fears her. He’d show Brittany the light.

book73You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

An excerpt because it would show them the stuff in this fabulous book and how the characters live and move and give them an idea of why they want to make it three dimensional and put it on the big screen. Besides which, I already have Sandra Bullock, Eddie Murphy, and Antonio Banderas lined up for the leading roles.

book74Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

The part where Shannon has to fight her way through a scene or die. I think he would appreciate her spunk. Either that or he would expire laughing at her bad timing.

book75They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

“DVDland” and it would be in adult bookstores because the content would be mature.

book76The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that particular tree in relation to your book?

Japanese maple. It’s so much like me, short, full, and colorful.

book78President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

Dude, you gotta get out more. No one knows who you are! Get a Bebo, Blogspot, Facebook, Gather, Livejournal, Myspace, Squidoo and Twitter. Oh yeah, Twitter will make you famous.

book79Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

As the laughter and applause died, I would say, “You love me! You really love me!” Then, I would thank my family, my friends, my editor and my publisher.

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