Today I have K.J. Dahlen visiting The Life and Lies today. Kim is on tour with her new novel, Bones.
1) Why and when did you begin writing?
I began writing when my kids were little but life interrupted and I had to wait until they were older. I started again when they were grown and now I write every day.
Bones was the first book I had published but not the first book I ever wrote. This version of Bones is actually the second printing. Bones started out as a short story but it was an unfinished story so when I rewrote it, it became the story you read today.
3) How did you come up with the title?
The title reflects what Max found in the cave. Max has to figure out who the Bones belong to and how they got into the cave.
4) What books or people influenced your writing? Was it positive influence, or negative?
I loved to read as a child and I always wanted to write. My Mom encouraged me when I was younger but I didn’t follow through. It wasn’t until I was married with small kids that I put my mind to finishing a novel, then I had to wait until my kids were grown before I actually put my mind to finishing what I started. My husband encouraged me to do it so I would have to say, my mother and my husband influenced me, both in a positive way.
5) How do you go about researching for your books?
My books are pure fiction so most of what happens is pure imagination but when I do need fact I check the internet. I have also read quite a bit on police procedure and criminal pursuits.
6) Did you base any of your characters on real people?
I may take bits and pieces from the people I know and give my characters some of the things I see in other people and I also try and give a little of something of myself in each of my books.
7) What’s the most exciting part about being a published author? What is the hardest part?
I would have to say the most exciting part of being a published author is actually holding a book in my hand that has my name on it and knowing other people are reading it. The hardest part is trying to come up with another plot without doing the same thing time after time. So far I haven’t run out of ideas but someday I might
8) Do you have any other books planned in the future?
I always have another book planned. I think I have outlines for around 20-25 books waiting to be written.
9) Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
In Bones I like Joey the best, I find forensic science very interesting. I hate Jared the most. He’s cruel and he likes to hurt people but in the end he gets what’s coming to him.
10) What advice can you give to young writers who want to publish their books?
Never stop trying. Don’t give up on your dreams. You’ll probably get a hundred rejections before you get an acceptance but all that means is you got the wrong publisher. Use what the rejections tell you to make your story better and send it out again.
Just for fun:
1) What are your ten most favorite things?
Chocolate, tea, coffee, cinnamon gum, a child’s giggle, a good book, a good whiskey, a quiet moment to think about something good, my husband’s kisses and the moment just before I fall asleep
2) What do you do when you’re not writing?
Thinking about the plot of my next book
3) Do you have any pets?
Yes we have a dog named Sammy
4) Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
I have a small table set up in the living room for my laptop so I can write anytime day or well into the night. This way I can still be part of my family
5) Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
I need coffee when I write
6) If you could go anywhere in the whole world, either for a vacation or to live there, where would you go?
With the politics right now I wouldn’t go anywhere outside the United States and my family is nearby so I guess I’d stay right where I am.
7) What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?
Geometry and math were my worst subjects and English was my best, of course that was a long time ago
8) What book are you reading right now?
Right now I’m discovering new writers and I’m meeting so many new writers. I just finished a book called Shattered Tomorrows by C.L. Kraemer- wonderful book!
9) Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I have always wanted to go to college. After I graduated high school I chose to get married and while I never regretted my decision then I always wanted to go to college. When my daughter went to college I envied her the chance I never got.
Kim lives in a small town (population495) in Wisconsin. From her deck she can see the Mississippi River on one side and the bluffs, where eagles live and nest on the other side. She lives with her husband Dave and dog Sammy. Her two children are grown and two grandchildren and for that fact she feels blessed. She loves to watch people and that has helped her with her writing. She loves to create characters and put them in a troubling situation and just sit back and let them do all the work. They surprise even her at times. They take on a life of their own and the twists and turns become a story. She found she liked mystery/thrillers the best. She likes to keep her readers guessing until the very end of the book.
Her next book coming out is in March 2012, titled Fall from Grace.
About the book:
When human bones are discovered in a cave just outside of town, it’s up to Sheriff Max Reardon to find out who the bones belonged to. But someone in town doesn’t want the bones identified and they go to great lengths to try and stop Max’s investigation.
They break into Max’s house and try and destroy the evidence and when that doesn’t work they frame Max for murder. Can Max clear his name and bring the murderer or murderers to justice?
Kim will be giving away a $10 gift card to Amazon, and a chance to help her with her next novel! Leave a comment to enter! And don't forget to follow the rest of the tour.