WWII, the 4th of July, and Me

July 3rd. 2018

With so much confusion, misinformation, anger, and attack in our media and social media our American culture has been battered, and quite bruised. I’d be willing to bet a frightening number of citizens under the age of 40 couldn’t define what the culture or constitution is, much less articulate what it is that makes American significant. After the win of World War II (a war most Americans never wanted our country to enter) our national pride was at an all time high, and our persona internationally was highly revered. Since then, we’ve been on a downhill spiral and I hope 2018 is rock bottom. It’s not that I want hubris and nationalism to prevail, but I would like to see Americans set aside their disagreements to look at our country and culture to remember the American Ideal–a hope and freedom that is incredibly rare–and recognize how fragile our republic is. If we don’t protect this idea that all men/women are free, and the system that guarantees that, then we risk losing our liberty.

On the occasion of the 4th of July, let’s agree to disagree about the things that divide us, and celebrate the things we have in common. We are blessed beyond measure. We are free to live, dream, and build without oppression from our government. And we are only on earth for a short while, so let’s be good guardians of what we’ve inherited.

Harmon General and Confetti

June 27th. 2018

I’m one of those folks who love to celebrate. Return home from a vacation?–put out the welcome sign. Make a good grade?–ice cream with sprinkles. Did something good without having to be harassed about it?–special dinner. So when a new book rolls out to the public, I throw a party. You’ll recognize me by the chocolate smears on my fingertips. (Sweet Shop USA keeps me stocked with Fudge Love truffles for just these sorts of occasions.)

Harmon General is getting the star treatment. Not only because it has a built-in audience thanks to the generous readers of The Big Inch who’ve been asking about this sequel, but because it proves that writing a good novel wasn’t a fluke. Well, the fluke factor might be a presumption since the book reviews are just beginning. But, still.

Friends are gathering to toss confetti for Harmon General’s flight into the hands of readers, but I also have a special book event planned for Saturday so that everyone in this neck of the woods (that would Longview, Texas) can buy an autographed copy as well. I’ll be at my favorite local book store, Barron’s. Though more of a gifts store and cafe now, Jim and Julia Barron have cultivated this author (and others) and I love, love, love that I can sell books in the beautiful treasure box of a store.

I hope to take the book with me to several area bookstores this summer and am willing to travel if you know of independent bookstores that welcome authors in for meet and greets with readers. Thanks for your kind support, and I hope you enjoy the new book!

Harmon General Has Launched!

June 25th. 2018

It’s trite, but true. Launching a book is a lot like delivering a baby. After the pain of writing and producing the details for publication–and after those last few weeks when the book has arrived but I’m afraid to touch it–then comes a time friends and strangers start seeing the book cover, and oohing and ahhing over the pages, and Ta-Da all the good energy returns.

Harmon General was sent out to book bloggers/reviewers a few weeks ago and had a dry run through a fantastic bookstore in Kilgore, Texas, but now it’s show time. The reviews are rolling in, book signings and book events are scheduled, and readers are going to start posting comments to social media. Despite the tension I feel in my shoulders, there’s nothing to be done about the novel now but to hope that the book grows on readers and that they’ll talk about the story with their friends. Harmon General is the sequel to The Big Inch, and as such has some built in expectations that I may or may not have satisfied with those that enjoyed the first book. That was a risk I weighed when I pictured Emmie Tesco at the grand opening events of the Army hospital, Harmon General. But I hope the book is well received, and that readers fall a little bit more enchanted by life in WWII in an oil boom town, particularly as I’m itching to see if there’s a third novel to carry the series a bit farther.

If you’ve bought a copy of Harmon General and enjoyed it, post a picture with it to Instagram and tag me in the post–fish_writer. Or to Facebook and tag, Kimberly Fish, author. Like any mother, I’m curious to see where the book goes and what kind of company it’s keeping.

Thanks for sticking with me on this writing journey. If you’d like to receive news about future book releases or awards, please leave your email on the home page and I’ll include you the next time I send out a newsletter. And as always, I’d love to meet at the next “sip and see.”

The Formatting Apocalypse and Harmon General

May 23rd. 2018

There’s a fine line between admitting you have some stupid issues with technology and staring into the abyss that is underbelly of your laptop. I can’t quite tell the difference, but after six days of dealing with formatting issues for uploading the manuscripts to POD outlets the precipice is real. I’ve gone round and round with formatting (what is usually a fairly straightforward procedure) and the proof copies of the novel will reveal whether or not I have to go back into the ring.

This might be that element of perseverance that defines me as an author almost as much as sticking with the writing process. Can’t give up. Can’t give in. Must press on. Readers are counting on me to win!

In the last phase of production

May 8th. 2018

There was a big learning curve when I decided to be in charge of my book’s production. I’d watched the Print On Demand industry evolve over the years, and after writing The Big Inch (and realizing I wanted it to debut in time for the pipeline’s 75th anniversary) I knew the only way to get the book into the market was to tackle the process myself. Through much trial and error, The Big Inch rolled out in time and I soon followed that with my sophomore book release, Comfort Plans (now a 2018 Best Historical Romance award winner!) Having two successful book launches under my belt might lead one to think that I knew what I was doing–but yet again, I’m back at the chalkboard studying production steps and better ways to maximize my efforts.

Harmon General, the novel due out mid-June, has some interesting components that made writing and now producing it, a little more nuanced. For one thing, it’s a sequel so I had to be intentional in writing the plot and characters to satisfy those who enjoyed reading The Big Inch, and also be engaging for those who’s first encounter with my books might be this one. Second, I had to cement some locations and historical references I included in The Big Inch because readers remember details.

Creating a 1943-era map of Longview and marking where I’ve set imaginary places and where the actual landmarks are has been a sticky process too. And I can’t promise you I’ve got it right yet. Stick with me though, the book release party is just weeks away and we’ll have a something big to celebrate!

Comfort Plans wins 2018 Best Historical Romance award from Texas Authors

April 16th. 2018

How exciting to share the big news about Comfort Plans‘ big win! This is my second novel, and quite the departure from the WWII fiction of The Big Inch. Because I love historical context, Comfort Plans has a rich backstory of early immigration to the Texas Hill Country, and the imprint left by those needing to reinvent themselves among the limestone and prickly pear cactus around Comfort, Texas. Twenty-five years ago I used to drive those hilly roads peeking into a landscape that was foreign to this Georgia girl, and fascinated by the grit of the German settlers who chose to get off the wagon trails in a land filled with cougars, bears, and Mexican soldiers. The testament to that era was still seen in the architecture of the farms and small towns, and I would run my fingers along those limestone walls and listen for the echoes from the past. I’m weird that way.

The idea of turning one of those farmsteads into a modern family retreat is not unique–it’s done countless times a year in the Hill Country, and I chose to set a mulish builder and a historical preservation architect (one who had been derailed from knots coming undone) among one of those old houses needing restoration–just to see what would happen. What happened was a fun ride through the ins/outs of historical preservation, home construction, and power struggles, but also the reinvention of a woman who needed to prove herself. Comfort Plans is as much about a woman finding her own identity, as it is about a house shedding it’s secrets. Family dramas, charming characters, and treasure also keep the story hopping and I hope that you as a reader, enjoy it as much as I did in writing it. This is the first time in my life I can say I’ve written an award-winning book, and I’m honored and thrilled that Comfort Plans opened that door.

Finding an Audible voice for The Big Inch characters

April 2nd. 2018

I’ve been working with a professional actor, talking through characterization, place, and nuance about the characters of my debut novel, The Big Inch, as we prepare to go into production for Audible. Because many of the characters in The Big Inch are Texan, and many have southern roots, you’d think it would be easy. Au Contraire. This roster of distinctive voices would give any actor a challenge. Since a listener can’t see who’s talking from the sentence structure, it’s up to the narrator to give vocal cues and–here’s the kicker–maintain those cues through hours and hours of a dialogue-based novel. God Bless the woman who’s taking on this opportunity and her knack for mimicking the distinctives of a regional accent that needs just enough variation between the old and young women, those that are celebrating their southern roots, and those that are hiding from them.

To be fair, when I was writing The Big Inch, I never dreamed it would one day become an Audible book that would rely on a strong vocal actor bringing the characters to life for those listening while stuck in traffic or on an extended road trip. I trusted my reader’s imagination. Now, though, I’m trusting someone to give sass and vigor to people that previously existed in my head. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you in the loop as to how this is progressing, and what some of the tips I’m using to inspire the narrator to hear the characters as they sound inside my imagination.

Big news for The Big Inch!

March 26th. 2018

Spring Break 2018

March 19th. 2018

Speer Chapel at LeTourneau University

March 7th. 2018