Can you believe February is almost over?
Neither can I.
But it is!
Today, we have a fantasy/non-fiction/inspirational/science fantasy author joining us, who is active on Kindle Vella, Kim Riehle! Kim is an avid researcher and loves creating worlds that weave their way into the hearts of reality. She attended Brigham Young University-Idaho, developed after school writing and theater programs in her area, worked with under-privileged children for over two decades, started a genealogy business, and she is a huge proponent of Halloween. Kim lives in the mountain valleys of Utah with her husband and children.
1) When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I taught myself to read when I was four, and from there I found so much joy in reading that I wanted to create my own stories. When I was six I made a place in my closet where I could hide away and read and write.
2) Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Many of the things I write about are floating around in my imagination. Unfortunately, that means that I have more ideas than I have time to write.
I also can look at a normal situation and morph it into something creative.
3) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Because I still have children at home, I do most of my writing after they go to bed. I keep note pads here and there around the house or in the car and when I think of something to add to my story I make sure to jot it down so I can include it when I can put words to paper.
4) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Something that might be considered a quirk is my map-making. I know that many people world build but I love creating maps. In another life, before technology, I would have loved to be a cartographer. I make maps that are as simple as a backyard that leads to the woods as well as ones that have multiple continents, with demographics for each country.
e do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I do significant research online. I belong to several archives and read historical texts. If I can make it happen, I do like to go onsite. I will also read from experts who are familiar with the area or subject I choose to use. Old newspapers are also wonderful. Strange things have happened over the course of time and most of that was documented in your local paper.
6) When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first novel when I was 18 before I started my family. From there my writing shifted and I went from children’s stories to non-fiction, and back to fiction. For about 15 years I helped individuals with personal histories, and now I’m back to fiction.
7) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I am a wife and a mom. My husband and I have been married for 35 years and we have 10 children and 7 grandchildren. I currently have four kids still at home. Other than that, I still love reading, theater, and helping individuals make sense of their genealogy.
8) What does your family think of your writing?
They are all very encouraging. I am grateful they support something I love.
9) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I discovered the importance of endurance, and how strong the emotions were when you finish writing the last sentence of a book.
10) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written 6 books. My favorite is probably my first novel. It is not publishable at this point and is in need of a significant rewrite. The characters I created for that piece are still a part of who I am today.
11) Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
One of the greatest things that helps you to become a better writer is to practice. Also, your writing will be influenced by what you read. Read well written books and learn how sentences and ideas are weaved together through language. Be willing to ask for help and accept differing opinions on your work. Then sit down and write.
12) Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I don’t hear from my readers on a regular basis because I am currently writing serial fiction but receive a surprising review a few weeks ago. I reached out and asked if anyone would like to comment on what they had read. There was a message posted by my aunt where she said she had been reading my book and thought it was wonderful. That may not seem like much to most people but my aunt is in her 70s and it has been several years since we have seen each other because of where we live. For me, that was the best review.
13) What do you think makes a good story?
A good story is one you believe in. I had the opportunity to speak with another aspiring author about some pretty severe criticism he had received because of the topic of his story. It was based on real events and he has documentation to support it. He was verbally attacked for making up history. I told him that if you believe in something with all your heart it begins to take on a life of it’s own and no one can take that away.
14) As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a theater teacher.
15) What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I went to Thailand to see the ruins of the ancient temples in Phuket. That was an incredible trip. In the United States our buildings are only at most a couple of hundred years old. In Thailand they have ruins that date back thousands of years.
16) Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing brings me a lot of peace.
17) What are common traps for aspiring writers?
The “get rich quick” idea is one of the biggest traps. Becoming a successful writer takes time and publishing a successful story often takes even longer. Write for the right reasons.
18) What is your writing Kryptonite?
My Kryptonite is trying to write when there are a lot of interruptions going on. I need quite to focus and read what I write out loud so I can see how it sounds. If I don’t allow myself that quiet I don’t succeed.
19) Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
I have found that reader’s block comes when my physical and emotional health is suffering. If I am taking care of myself then I have the energy to move along the block and find the opening that improves my story.
20) Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I have written under a pseudonym for years because my greatest fear was not failure but success. I didn’t want my writing to change what I had with my family. In the end though, I do use my name because with Kindle Vella the advertising is primarily through social media. It was easier to be me.
21) Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I am true to myself and to my story. Sometimes when you change things because the readers want you to it distorts the feeling of what you are creating.
22) Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I believe anyone can be a writer if it is something they really want. Emotions are an interesting thing. Some people may assume you don’t feel strongly. They are wrong, you just feel differently. If you want to write, write. Don’t let others dictate who you want to be.
23) If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
What you have to say is of worth, even if it is not of this world.
24) How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It made me more consistent in the time I set aside to write.
25) What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I was 13 I had the opportunity to be a tutor for peers that struggled with reading. I had to learn how to read upside down so when I sat across the desk from them I could help them sound out words. During that year I realized how language, being able to write and read, changes who we are and opens doors to what we can become. When someone learns how to use their language they become something more.
26) As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I would probably choose the ghost of a blue dragon for my mascot. Ethereal beings are incredible.
27) How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have 28 works in progress.
28) What does literary success look like to you?
Literary success is having someone enjoy my story. The numbers are great but if I can give someone joy when they are reading that is success to me.
29) What’s the best way to market your books?
I am using Kindle Vella.
30) What do you have coming next?
I have three titles on Kindle Vella, The Sliders Series, Mending the Mirror, and H.O.P.E. I am finishing compiling information and building my world for an epic fantasy and I have two other YA novels in the works.
The Sliders Series by Kim Riehle
Sabrina, Josh, Emma, and Zack... The accident changed everything. Their world was being torn between two realities with no way to control sliding away from life at home. How could they decide who should live and who would be abandoned to death? The bonds of friendship may not be enough to keep everyone alive.