Interview: Kim Cox, Author of the Style & Profile Series
Besides author what other jobs have you had?
I am the meaning of the phrase jane of all trades. My first job was at a ice cream palor. I’ve worked as a traygirl in a hospital, cashier in a convenience store, emergency room clerk, insurance clerk, maid, customer service clerk, textiles – knitter and spinner, carpet industry (forgot the name of the position but roper or winder I think), quality control, lab technician (cloth dying), quality control office, accounts receivable clerk, production planner, and production scheduler. There’s probably more not coming to me right now.
Right now, I work as an MIS Specialist at a workforce agency (Super User, Accountability, and Perfromance), I design websites and book covers, and I format and publish my own books. I only have one book cover that I didn’t design myself and that’s BEFORE WE WED.
What’s something most readers would never guess about you?
Just about every author I’ve heard of, either from a bio or an author interview knew they wanted to write from the womb or shortly after. The shocker is, I didn’t always like to read much less think about writing myself. I’d say it was my late twenties by the time I loved to read and I was in my mid-thirties before I thought about writing.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me. It takes me a while to get started sometimes but once I do and I really get into it, it’s hard for me to stop even for sleep.
Besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?
I love reading, almost every genre but mostly mystery and suspense. I’m a television addict. I love music and dancing. A good song comes on and I can’t stay still. I have to get up and move around.
Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?
No, I write under my married name but I have considered writing under the pseudonym, Crystal Paige. I’m not sure why. It was just easier to use my real name than deal with a pseudonym. I may use one if I write in a different genre than the ones I write in now.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
It depends. If I use a real town or city where I’ve never been, of course I need to research. Most of the research that I do has to do with where my characters live and the type of dialect and fashion in that particular place and time. I research their professions. I normally stick to contemporary but there are a couple of historical books I’d like to write in the future. They will take more research.
I normally write the first draft and mark places where I need to research as I go. After the draft is done, I research. During editing, I may find I need to do more research. Then I’ll stop and research as I go, or I may mark it and research when I’m done editing. It all depends on what I need to research and my mood.
I use the Internet and books for research.
How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?
Character names tend to pop into my head. Sometimes I’ll hear a name and say, I want to use that as a character name. I store it away for a later time.
Regret? I used an alias name my son uses sometimes which is just a different spelling of his last name. That didn’t work well with romantic scenes for me so I changed it.
What do you do for cover art? Do you do it yourself, hire an artist (you can name names if you liked them), or purchase pre-made?
I mostly create my own cover art. As I said above, I’ve created all but one of my covers. I have a degree in Web Technologies where I received some training in Photoshop. I love the creative process. Two years ago, I purchased book cover templates from Nathan Dasco at BookCoverMall (bookcovermall.com). These covers have helped me learn more about shading and fonts. He sales template bundles through his website.
I won a free cover design from book cover designer, Sean Lowery, at High Impact Covers (highimpactcovers.com). It is my newest release, BEFORE WE WED. This saved me the time of creating my own. It sometimes takes many hours or days to make the perfect cover. Find the right photograph or image takes hours or days.
What is the hardest type of scene to write? Why?
Sex scenes. I’ve even thought about writing mystery or suspense rather than romantic suspense to get away from writing them. I haven’t learned how to stop it or close the door on the sex, at least, how to do it and it seem natural.
I also struggle with writing description and emotion. If it doesn’t come out in a natural way, I have to really think about it and how to add it into a scene. I don’t always see that it’s needed. That’s where a good editor comes in. What is Sarah thinking/feeling during this conversation? What does she see when she walks into the room?
Plotter? Or Pantser? And prepare to defend your position!
More of a panster. I used to be all panster but I do some plotting now. I always have to start writing first. So, I’ll write the first three chapters and then I’ll plot but not with too much detail. I’ll do some character information due to my bad memory. and I’ll write a synopsis of the story. I don’t care to know too much ahead of time or I tend to lose interest. One time, I did a lot of plotting which included a chapter by chapter outline because I thought it would save me editing time at the end.
That was the first time in my life that I got stuck and couldn’t decide how to proceed. The book was getting long and I knew how I wanted it to end but I wasn’t sure how to get from where I was to where I wanted to go to end it. The manuscript sat on the back burner for years three-quarters completed before I was able to get back to it.
Where do you get inspiration?
From everything and everyone around me. I’ll see something, read something, or hear something and think what if. Sometimes I dream scenes that eventually become books or part of a book.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Just as Sarah Martin and Jon Clayton say their vows, the police crash the wedding to arrest the groom. Jon is terrified and Sarah is heartbroken. Thankfully, their friends support them emotionally and help find Jon an excellent attorney.
When evidence of John’s guilt is found, he swears he’s innocent. But how can he prove it? As if an arrest and pending trial aren’t bad enough, his ex-wife refuses to let him near their seven-year-old son, and has their shared custody agreement rescinded as part of his bail agreement. But when Jon Jon is injured, Jon breaks the agreement and his bail is revoked.
Sarah sees strange men in Jon’s business one night. One follows her home and attacks her. When Jon finds out, he pushes her way to protect her, but it doesn’t deter her loyalty to him or the attacker’s determination to killer her. Will the enemy get to her?
Is Jon truly innocent, and does he have no idea how the damaging evidence found its way into his business? Are there more sinister people involved? Will Sarah find the evidence she needs to clear him, or will she find out he’s fooled them all? If someone else is framing Jon, who is it and what are their motives?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An author of Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal, and Romance, Kim Cox lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chainsaw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers, (Scooter and Harley) and an adopted Yorkie/Maltese mix (Candi). She’s also a mother and grandmother.
Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles. Her published works consist of Romantic Suspense Novels, a Paranormal Mystery series, and short stories.
Besides writing, cover design, and publishing, Kim presently works a full-time position outside the home as MIS Specialist for a Workforce Development company.
She is a graduate of Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing, and has associate degrees in the fields of Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies.
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Kim is hosting a giveaway, where FIVE lucky winners will receive one of the following prizes: (1) ebook copy of “ALL THIS TIME” and a $10 Amazon Gift Card or (4) ebook copy of ALL THIS TIME.
To enter Kim’s giveaway, simply leave a comment anywhere along the tour!
“The tour is sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”