Interview with Kim Hornsby1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story? Maui. ‘Nuff Said? Agents and Editors say that writing a book set in Hawaii is the kiss of death but I’m ready to prove them wrong. Every day that I wrote this book took me back to the land of sun, beaches, palm trees and mai tai’s. And, I’ve been told that reading it does the same thing! I plan to always choose exotic locations from now on and plan to visit them for research.
2. Was there a basis for your story? A previous experience? Something else? I lived on Maui and taught SCUBA for almost eleven years in the 80’s. When the authorities say ‘write what you know’ I knew I had to go back to Maui in my head and make the protagonist a scuba instructor. As for dream jumping, I am an avid dreamer, and wake each morning remembering at least one impactful dream. I’ve often thought of writing a book about people having such vivid dreams that they lose sight of reality. When I finished this novel and the movie Inception came out, I knew I was on to something interesting.
3. What research did you have to perform to back up your story? Any research which really opened your eyes or gave you new respect for a topic or profession? I had to fly to Maui and vacation there at least twice to get all the information I needed, like exactly what it feels like to dive on a sunny day, what chicken teriyaki tastes like with a frosty Corona and how it feels to have the sand between your toes. SCUBA diving is a perfectly safe past time and I hope that my readers have a keen desire after reading this novel to try diving. I used to say to my students ‘If it was difficult, I wouldn’t have done it.’ Anyone can try diving and should, at least once. It’s like flying!
4. What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/story builder or an outliner or some other method? I think about what I will write for months. Like right now, I’m ready to re-write my novel set in Taiwan but thinking about how I will approach the new story that’ll be set in Nicaragua. For the new one, I’m thinking about the four women and the characters and mulling over whether it will be first person, which works really well for women’s fiction. In the summer, I’ll plot out each story and start writing a 40,000 word book in the Fall of 2013. Then comes the fun part of fixing the crappy 40,000 word book to include better dialogue, stronger verbs, more plot points, more description, twists that the reader doesn’t see coming. It’s fun. This process works for me but it took years to figure that out. The Taiwan one will come out in the summer, the Nica one, in the winter of 2013.
5. How do you get past writers block or distractions like the internet? I have never experienced writer’s block (touch wood) but then I deny myself time to write, like a captor denies her captee a drink of water. So that, by the time I sit down to write, I’m ready. Also I let myself write a less than stellar first draft, knowing I will rewrite it 14 more times. My standards are low the first time around, just getting down the story and basics. That way I don’t sit at the computer and fret over what I’ve written or find myself unable to write because my expectations are too high.
6. Favorite book from childhood. The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
7. What’s on your desk? Can you see your desk? Describe what you see when you look around. Mess. My debit card. A to-do list for promo sites to contact, my daughter’s field trip permission slip, a broken lawn mower part, three old coffee cups, a stapler, phone, pens, my kids’ art work on the wall, the neighbors garbage cans out the window, a Romanian dictionary, a jar of sand from Maui, my iPod, my Kindle Fire, business cards for The Dream Jumper’s Promise and papers of all color and shapes and sizes bookending the black keyboard, to name only 1/100th of what I see.