Writer’s Desk with Kimberly Duffy
If you’re a fan of historical romance, you aren’t going to want to miss this week’s featured author, Kimberly Duffy! Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes readers back in time and across oceans. Her books feature ahead-of-their-time heroines, evocative settings, and real-life faith. Kimberly loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of 20 years. He doesn’t mind.
Be sure to stick around until the end of the post for more about A Tapestry of Light plus a chance to win a copy!
Q&A with Kimberly Duffy
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
I have four children and I homeschool in a very small house. There’s not a lot of space, and even less quiet, so I do most of my writing in the evenings and on weekends. During the day, I’m popping in and out of social media, making graphics, editing for Spark Flash Fiction, putting together newsletters, etc. But I’m not the kind of author who can write fifteen minutes here and ten minutes there. I can’t get into a productive zone unless I have uninterrupted time so I save my writing time for when my husband is off work and able to take over kid duty.
When are you most productive?
I’m most productive on the weekends when I can hole up in my room or Starbucks and have and hours and hours of quiet.
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
I don’t really snack much, but I might drink a Zevia or have some herbal tea. Sometimes, however, I’ll write through lunch. My favorite things to eat are apples with sausages, various meats, olives, and cheese. I call it my European picnic.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I think most all writer’s block is rooted in anxiety. If you discover what that is—fear of failure? Not measuring up? Fear of success?—then you can deal with it. And then you write. Even when you don’t feel like it. Becoming an author has very little to do with waiting for the winds of inspiration to hit and everything to do with sitting down and working.
What is your outlining process? Are you a pantser/plotter or something in between?
I’m an adventurous plotter. I plot—usually thoroughly—but I like experimenting. So, sometimes I write every scene on an index card before I even start writing. Once I plotted 1/3 of the story at a time. Another time I plotted half the book and then, when I reached the midpoint, the rest. I always start with a general brain dump, though. And I never plot the spiritual arc because I don’t feel as though I can do that until I know the character well. I want that to feel as authentic and transparent as possible and never ever preachy or heavy.
Best advice for someone who is just starting out.
Study craft books. Read a lot of novels in the genre you want to write. Start small (flash fiction is good for this.) And write. A lot. Always and all the time. I wrote three novels, a novella, and dozens and dozens of short stories before I got a contract.
Develop a thick skin and determine to not give up. It might take a long time. Years even. It will never happen if you stop trying.
What is your favorite show to binge-watch:
Anything historical (I watched The Queen’s Gambit in a couple days.) I also love New Girl and have watched it through three times.
What book(s) are you currently reading:
Save the Cat (craft), Fast this Way by Dave Asprey and The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst (nonficiton), The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark and Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz (fiction)
What is your current favorite song:
I don’t actually listen to much music, but my kids are all about ABBA right now so it’s all I’ve been hearing. I don’t mind. Their music is super catching and fun.
What is your favorite thing to order at Starbucks:
I’m allergic to caffeine so I’m limited, but I love their caramel apple cider. It puts me into a sugar coma, though!
Enter to win a copy of A Tapestry of Light from Kimberly*
More about A Tapestry of Light:
Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.
When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.
But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.
Connect with Kimberly Duffy