Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Author Interview: Nicole Kimberling

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LCRW Issue 29 CoverAuthor Nicole Kimberling, a columnist for Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, answers a few questions for Weightless Books.

Q: Your non-fiction piece, “How to Seduce a Vegetarian”, appears in the new issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Issue (#29, September 2013). How successful are the vegetarian capture methods you describe?

Kimberling: They are madly successful. Through use of my simple plan, I was personally able to snag a full time vegetarian that I have been cooking for for 27 years now.

Q: What was it like to win the 2008 Lambda Literary Award for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror for your novel Turnskin?

Kimberling: Well, I was really surprised. I hadn’t even considered the notion that I would win so I didn’t work out a speech or anything and had to resort to stammering out a cute, but incoherent string of “Thank Yous” to random people. I think I also did a little dancey on the stage.

In terms of how it affected me as a writer–I felt a lot more sure of myself after being presented with a glass brick with my name etched into it. Since that time, I haven’t ever suffered from that sort of crippling angst and frustration that afflicts young writers who still feel like they have to prove themselves. So it was really nice. Freed up a lot of mental space.

Q: You write in several formats and genres. Do you have a favorite?

Kimberling: Not really. Each length and genre is fulfilling in different ways. The column I write for LCRW lets me play with language and be philosophical, which is great fun.

The mysteries and romances are interesting to build and execute. Because they’re largely contemporaries, they allow for the sort of observation-based commentary that doesn’t fit well into SF/F writing. (What I mean to say here is that you can’t riff on people’s relationships to their cars in a world that has no cars…and maybe no people.)

And the SF/F stuff allows me to work at the highest degree of difficulty and also to express ideas that are hard to address directly in a contemporary setting without alienating a reader. (I’m talking about big issues here, like race and animal cruelty and things like that.)

Q: Can you offer any advice to people writing novels in a series?

Kimberling: Speaking as an editor who reads a lot of slush–do not plan for a book to be a series. Plan for a book to be a standalone. You can always find a sequel if you really need one.

But if you’re really dead set on writing a series (that is not based on a protagonist who lends herself to episodic storytelling like a detective or mercenary or something) you must have a very explicit plan for how to execute the plot over the intended number of volumes. Otherwise the stories get mushy and indistinguishable from each other–like listening to too many MUSE songs in a row.

I would also suggest that authors intending to write an episodic series have some specific direction for the protagonist to grow so that the intrepid detective (or mercenary or star captain) doesn’t appear to just have had some sort of reset button pushed on her memory directly before the start of every story. Characters who appear to have no capacity to learn from experience get old pretty fast.

Q: Who’s your favorite author?

Kimberling: My favorite author of all time is Douglas Adams. I also really love anything written and drawn by Fumi Yoshinaga. And, of course, I adore all the authors I choose for Blind Eye Books.

Q: What are you working on now?

Kimberling: I’m writing the sixth story in the Bellingham Mysteries, which is a series of contemporary gay comedy-romance novellas set in the town where I live.

In addition to successfully feeding many vegetarians sandwiches in her personal life, Nicole Kimberling specializes in formulating this very same item at the restaurant where she now cooks. A current DRM-free subscription to Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (including Issue 29) can be purchased on Weightless Books.

2 Responses to “Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet Author Interview: Nicole Kimberling”

  1. Nicole Kimberling says:

    Thanks again for having me!

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