Today, I would like to welcome my special guest Kim Baccellia, a Young Adult Writer, to my blog. Kim is the author of Earrings of Ixtumea. A fascinating tale about a young girl who dismisses the legend about her Mexican grandmother's magical earrings as a silly fairytale...until the earrings thrust her into the parallel world of Ixtumea.
EDBB: Welcome to the elenadorothybowmansbooks.blogspot.com Kim. It's a pleasure to have you here.
Kim: Thanks for inviting me!
EDBB: Would you like to tell us about yourself…and about your book?
KIM: I’m the author of the YA multicultural fantasy, Earrings of Ixtumea.
Earrings of Ixtumea is a fast-paced fantasy featuring a young Latina who discovers ancient traditions in her family history that propel her to a magical civilization, where she struggles against evil forces that threaten her family, her heart, and her life.
EDBB: What book was it that made you want to be a writer? What was it about that book that piqued your interest?
Kim: I admit when I was in middle school I used to love reading Harlequin romances. I would write my own romances. Later, I loved such stories as The Far Pavillions and Clan of the Cave Bear and wanted to write books that would take the reader away to different worlds and time periods. I loved pure escapism. I even wrote my own fan fiction. I was a huge Star Trek and Star Wars fan. While in college I was introduced to such great fantasy writers as Orson Scott Card, Robert Jordan, and Terry Brooks. I was hooked.
EDBB: What did you do before you were an author or were you always a writer?
Kim: I was a bilingual teacher for eight years for South Whittier School District. I was a Sheltered English teacher for seven years for Tustin Unified School District. My favorite subject to teach? Writers Workshop, of course!
Before that I was a telemarketer, sales clerk, and I even worked at the BYU library while going to school. My favorite jobs involved being around books.
EDBB: Who publishes your books and what has your experience been with publishers? How long did it take you to get your first book published?
Kim: Virtual Tales is my publisher. They’ve been great and supportive. It took about two years to write Earrings. Another year or so to do revisions on my story and a year for it to come out in print. So over all, it took about four years.
EDBB: How did it feel when you first glimpse a copy of your first book with your name on it and held it in your hand?
Kim; Unbelievable at first. Then awesome!
EDBB: Are your stories based on real people, a combination of people, or are they all figments of your imagination?
KIM: They’re a combination of things. My imagination is huge. I remember being the storyteller of my neighborhood as a kid. I base my stories on a little of everything.
EDBB: Do you write a character chart for each of your characters, or do you imagine each one as your work progresses?
Kim: I use a character chart that lists the strengths, quirks, and traits. I also list the character’s faulty thinking and wound.
I cut out pictures from magazines of what I think my character looks like and post them in my writing room. My room changes to reflect what book I’m working on. Right now I have 1976 things and music in there as I’m working on my YA contemporary book, Bullets of Truth. I even have pictures of me during that time period and my father in the basement making bullets.
EDBB: What do you like the best or least about writing?
Kim: I love how you can bring your characters to life. I love it when people read my work and tell me how much my story affected them.
The least favorite thing is how long it takes to get published. It takes more than talent in this business. You need to be persistent and not to give up.
EDBB: How long have you been writing?
Kim: Since I can remember. I was on the high school newspaper staff. I wrote a horoscope column in middle school and my own poetry and gossip paper while in junior college. I also put together slide presentations based to my poetry. It seemed like I was always writing.
EDBB: Why did you want to become a writer?
Kim: It’s a part of me. My father used to tell me it was in my genes. I’m related to the author of Tarzan.
For a long time I put aside writing to have a more secure position, teaching. But the words wouldn’t leave me. I found myself attracted to writing programs for children. I ended up making writing a big part of my student’s experience. Then I thought why don’t I follow my advice to my students and write my own book?
Once I signed up for a creative writing class at UCI extension program, I was hooked. There was no turning back.
EDBB: Thank you Kim for being my guest for today.
Kim: Thank you for having me.
Elena Dorothy Bowman
Journey to the Rim of Space and Beyond