The Writer’s Desk with Kimberley Woodhouse
Kimberley Woodhouse is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than thirty books. A lover of history and research, she often gets sucked into the past, and then her husband has to lure her out with chocolate and the promise of eighteen holes on the golf course. She loves music, kayaking, and her family. Married to the love of her life for three decades, she lives and writes in the Poconos where she’s traded in her hat of “Craziest Mom” for “Nana the Great.”
More about A Gem of Truth:
Escaping her shattered past is much more difficult than she imagined.
Julia Schultz has a reputation for being a storyteller, or as others see it, a liar. But with her dark and painful past, stories are all that have kept her company throughout her life. Longing for a fresh start and a second chance to earn real trust, Julia takes a job as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel, where she’s challenged to be her true self.
Learning the trade of a master jeweler is hard work, but Christopher Miller takes pride in running his family’s small shop and earning the respect of the people around him. But when he discovers that he has six weeks to buy his building from his landlord before it is sold, he must find a way to save his grandfather’s legacy.
United by the discovery of a legendary treasure, Chris and Julia find hope in each other. But when Julia’s past catches up with her, doubt creeps into Chris’s heart. Can he really trust her and her stories?
Q&A with Kimberley Woodhouse
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
KW: I used to be an extrovert. Now, I’m an introvert.
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for A Gem of Truth?
KW: At the Grand Canyon back in 2008. It was actually one of the interpretive placards that sparked this story—the second in my Secrets of the Canyon series. The Spanish had an expedition in the 1540s as they were searching for the cities of gold. A small contingency was sent west to see what they could find. This little troupe stumbled upon the Grand Canyon. From there, I created a (fictional) legend for my story that includes a treasure from the 1540s.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
KW: I’m one of those that needs quiet and focus. I can’t go to Starbucks or Panera Bread and write amongst the crowds. 😊 So… my writing space is very important to me. I’m a bit on the OCD side (at least, I have tendencies – lol) and structure, schedule, and planners are all crucial for my creative process. I use three monitors and now have a standing desk (one of those powered, massive ones) with a treadmill that keeps me moving as I write since this full-time job of mine is quite sedentary. 😊
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
KW: Write, write, write, write, write. Be disciplined about it. Don’t allow yourself to make excuses for why you can’t write. Creative people are great at coming up with distractions.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
KW: Water. Lots and lots of water. I drink 160 ounces a day. I try not to snack at my desk because that could be hazardous – lol! (In more ways than one!)
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
KW: I keep going. If I need a little five-minute refresher, I go do something around the house and then come right back to my desk and dive back in. Stephen King once said, “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” And Annie Dillard said, “Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.” I have these posted in my office to remind me that writing is hard work and I have to be disciplined about it if I want to get into the “flow state.” It doesn’t just happen on its own. 😊
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
KW: I allow myself to read what I wrote the day before. One: to get myself back into the project. Two: to *lightly* edit. I don’t allow much though. It’s better to stay in “writing mode” – get the story out onto the page and then put on my proverbial editing hat and change gears. The two are different and require different parts of the brain. If you switch back and forth too much, you’re not allowing yourself to truly get into one or the other.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
KW: Not taking enough time to study the craft. It’s not something you can learn overnight—even for the most gifted of storytellers. It’s a lifetime pursuit and understanding that from the very beginning is the best service you can give yourself.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
KW: This tag-teams off of the last question. 😊 The best advice I was ever given was to keep studying, learning, and growing. No matter how many books of mine might get published. Never stop learning.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
KW: The third book in the Secrets of the Canyon series is A Mark of Grace and it releases in January of 2023. Then the first book in my Alaska cyber series 26 Below releases in March, followed by the first book in our Kalispell series, A Heart’s Choice in May. In September, the first in what I’m calling my “Dinosaur series” releases, and then in November, book 2 in the cyber series 8 Down releases.