Interview with Kimberly M. Clayborne

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a working/middle class neighborhood in Queens. My dad was a Vietnam vet who worked for a phone company called NYNEX (That's way old school), he passed away when I was ten. My mom was a stay at home mom until I was three and then she went back to teaching. I was actually in the class next to hers so I always had to be a good girl. They always encouraged us to read, explore and fight for our dreams.

Both of my parents were avid readers and my mom was, and still is, a great storyteller. I think her stories where what helped to awaken my imagination where as dad was a bit more on the straight and narrow. I never saw him read a novel but he would read the Daily News and the New York Times from front page to the back page every day.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have a few joys of writing. The first joy of writing is my readers. I love to read people's reactions to my stories. I love when someone writes me and tells me what they liked and what they didn't like and what should be changed. Feedback gives me insight to my readers so write to me, write to me, write to me. You can friend me, tweet me or read my blog and leave a message. Tell me if you didn't like something so that next time I write a story or a sequel to a story, I'm be mindful of what my readers hate.

Another great joy of writing for me is creating people and worlds. I get to step outside of myself and create this person and his or her world. When you write, you're giving the reader insight to a situation. You're placing the characters worst, best and most intimate moments on display for all to see. You're kind of going behind the scenes of this persons life and you can see little parts of yourself in the hero or heroine or a friend or family member. Its, to me, the best thing about being a writer and I think that is incredibly fun. I can create towns, homes and situations, and I can make the characters as rich or as poor as I want.

So its cathartic for me to step out of my life for a few hours, leave myself behind, and step into this world that I've created. Sometimes with life you really need an escape. For some people its pets, or video games, or cooking or gardening, but for me it's writing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
What motivated me to become an indie writer was wanting to live my dream of being a writer. I've always loved writing but was just too nervous to send my stories to Harlequin or any other romance publisher. Here I can write freely without feeling nervous or worried about a rejection.

Being a writer is something I've wanted to do for a long time and it is a really big fight for me to get up the nerve to even put a book here on Smashwords. I mean for someone like me, I constantly second guess myself. I don't want people to think my stories are crap. Even if I know a story is really good and well written, I will sit on it and go over it three or four times before I publish it. I have a few books I'm re-reediting right now. It's crazy but it's a labor of love for me because I have so much fun doing it.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I wrote was when I was thirteen and was a teen horror in the genre of R.L. Stine who was my favorite author at the time. It was awfully written, I still have it in one of my story boxes. I read it over every now and again. It was a great concept but it's in need of a serious grammar overhaul.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite writers are Edgar Allan Poe, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Stephen King, Lorraine Hansberry, and J.R.R Tolkien. There are many others but I can't remember them off the top of my head.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. I write for myself because it's therapeutic but I also write for my fans. It makes me feel amazing to have a good review because I'm always on pins and needle when I publish a story. To see a good review is like, OK I'm doing something right, and it honestly motivates me to keep writing. I feel in a lot of ways that feedback from my fans changes how I write. I count on the bad feedback sometimes more than the good feedback. Good feedback inspires you to write better and to make a love scene sexier, because I want to be the absolute best for my fans. Bad feedback from fans forces you to go back and reread your writing. Sometimes you reread a story after a bad review and it makes you wonder where the problem lies but a lot of times you see what a reader is saying and you correct the problem. So my fans are like my everything, good or bad, they really truly help me.
What is your writing process?
Honestly I don't have one. I'm not a writer who can sit and plan out every bit of the story down to the very last word. A story pops into my head and I write it. Along the way I do my research but I don't sit down and plan out everything bit by bit. I did that once and ended up not even writing the story because I had already written out everything on the paper. When I leave a story in my head and not write it out, it gives the story time to formulate and it gives my characters a chance to find their voice. I can add things to the story while I'm writing it because I'm seeing it play out in my head as I write so it's fresh and new.
Is there anything you can say to those who want to publish independently?
There's a lot I can say but I think people just have to try it for themselves. I was so nervous before publishing Carlie that I vomited twice. But I'm happy I did publish it because I faced my fear of rejection and received some amazing reviews on it. I actually cried when I read some of them.

One thing I can say is editing. Editing, editing, editing!!!! Like most indie writers I go back and reread my story but still I find that I didn't put a comma here, I misspelled this word or I missed a word there and that's even with spell and grammar check. I wrote Carlie in the November of 2012 and I'm still finding words missing or misspelled, or changing things in my book that I don't like. It's a constant struggle to make sure your story is up to standards you can be proud of putting out in public.

Believe me if there are typos or editing problems your readers will let you know and not always in the nicest of ways. So always, always make certain your editing is good and your corrections are understandable.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my most recent book is a couple who move into a house and are haunted by a ghost. The ghost is attached to my heroine, Keya, and it takes her a moment to remember why the ghost is there. Its sad in a way that Keya's innocence and need to have a friend as a child, saddles her with a not so nice or friendly ghost that scares her. Keya grows up and marries and takes her husband back to the house that she lived in as a child and the ghost somehow reattaches to her. The story continues with the fight to finally rid herself of the ghost as Keya becomes pregnant.
What are you working on next?
I'm actually writing four stories. A horror called The Ghost of Mary Beth, a romance called Mended, an erotica story called All The Delicious Things and last is a mystery called Axed, which is going to be a murder mystery series of four or five books. So I'm super busy right now.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing I spend my time relaxing and going to my classes. I workout as early as I can then I go to Manhattan for my classes. When I get back to Queens I may go out for dinner and drinks with friends. If I don't do that I stay home and knit or watch 70's slasher flicks on Youtube.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to continue writing while I pursue my career in Information Technology. I would love to travel to Europe and see all the castles and historical sites but I'll have to stop being a chicken and get on an airplane again. Someday I want to get married and have kids but I can't ever seem to find the right guy so I'm not really in a rush.
Published 2014-11-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A New Love
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 96,980. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
After a horrible abusive relationship Eve Michaels never imagined she would ever fall in love again until she meets her new neighbor. Beau Dandridge is everything she never thought she would want but turned out to be everything she truly needed. When he begins to express how he feels about her, she's uncertain but she can't help what she's feeling for him. Will Evie give in to her hearts desire?
Carlie
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 42,610. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.50 from 2 reviews)
A night of working late takes a bad turn on the way home and Carlie finds herself in a fight for her life. Trapped in a dark alley with a man who is bent on causing her harm, she is saved by a man who risks himself to keep her safe. Something begins to brew between them that night. When his heart begins to seek hers, will Carlie give in to a man who both scares and excites her?