Today I am chatting to the lovely Kim Lain, who is a fellow writer and member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. I met Kim at the York Tea last year, and she is a lovely person inside and out. Find more about her here, and on her blog https://theblogbykimelizabethlain.blogspot.co.uk
Hi Rachel, thanks for having me! I’m a proud member of the RNA. This is my fourth year on their fantastic New Writer’s Scheme.
Q1. Can you tell us a little about your WIP?
Well, after having just submitted A Bombshell for the Barrister to Harlequin M&B for their consideration, I’ve just started something new. As with every new book I start, I get quite excited and can’t wait to get the words down on to the paper. I’m aiming for the Modern/Presents line and this is an amnesia story.
Q2. What’s next for the writing? What are you working on currently?
It’s not far off November, so (unofficially) I always try to do NaNoWriMo – National November Writing Month. This where I attempt to write 50,000 words in a month. I’m just at the stage of interviewing my hero and heroine to prepare for this. Asking them all sorts of intrusive questions about their private life is great. Only yesterday, I looked down at the word count for my hero and I’d written 5,000 words! I use a lot of it in the actual book though.
Q3. In addition to your books, what kind of career have you had?
I left school at sixteen and went straight into Local Government for many years. After I’d had my two boys I was determined to be a stay-at-home Mum. When I eventually returned to the workplace in 1999, I worked with young people in a sixth-form college. After that I managed attendance in a secondary school, and now I work two days a week in a university.
Q4. A typical day in the life of you – what does that look like?
Depends. On a working day I’m up with the lark and at my desk by eight. My husband works three days and I’ve just reduced to two, so on our days off together we might drive out to the coast and have a long walk, followed by lunch somewhere. Wednesday is my official writing day. As soon as the house is quiet, I make a start. I might be updating my monthly blog, adding more words to my WIP, or other lovely writerly related things, such as answering your questions. Of course, I try and stay off social media, but I never succeed. Why is Facebook so addictive?
Q5. I collect elephant ornaments (and books of course) – do you have something you collect?
Apart from the dust, you mean? No, seriously, after 36 years of marriage, DH and I now are at the stage of getting rid of stuff. Only recently, I’ve made him dispose of 36 years of bank statements, which broke his heart, so no, as I get older, collecting more things is not on my agenda. In the next two years, when hopefully the two sons have flown the nest, DH and I are hoping to downsize. And – at the moment – much to his chagrin – I’m going through the house with a fine tooth comb. It’s great.
Q6. Women writers, and romance writers in particular, often see prejudice and a certain ‘pigeon holing’ when it comes to their books – what would you say about your own work?
Yes, I’ve come across this. Although I try to keep my day job and my writing life completely separate, when I have mentioned that I’m aiming to write for Harlequin M&B, I’ve definitely seen the odd eyebrow raised. I’ve also had both female and male colleagues ask me outright about the amount of sex in my books.
Q7. If you could branch out into a different genre, which one would you choose and why?
As a child I loved to write ghost stories, and this carried on into my teenage years. At school, my English teacher was always keen for me to develop my writing, but then I left education and life got in the way. Now, I’m not so sure if I could ever return to that genre, but you can never say never!
Q8. Do you have any tips for the budding novelists out there reading this?
Yes, they should definitely join the RNA New Writers’ Scheme. The subscription might seem pricey, but it does include a full critique of your novel, which is invaluable for a new writer. If you can, try and attend a couple of writing courses to learn technique and to hone your craft. Personally, I attend courses run by Kate Walker who writes for Harlequin M&B. At first, I did her basic romance course, and then progressed to the advanced course last February in Fishguard. Through her wonderful courses, and the RNA, I have made so many friends, and gained a fantastic support network, which is so important.
Q9. What are you reading currently?
Well, I’m about to go on holiday so have my Kindle ready-loaded with romance. I’m on the Choc Lit readers’ panel, so will review a story whilst I am away. I read Mills and Boon of course, but don’t just stick to Presents – I like a lot of their other lines too. At the moment though I’m reading ‘Can’t Buy me Love’ by Jane Lovering.
Q10. Finally, do you have a next goal or dream in life? If so, what is it?
When I got back into my writing a couple of years ago, I was a bit casual about it all. I certainly didn’t write every day. I wouldn’t write for weeks sometimes, but now I am more determined, more focussed. My dream is to be published, and if that never happens then so be it, but it won’t be for the want of trying.
I wish you every success Kim!