Updated: Mar 23
This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on Alison Kimble!
Interviewing Alison felt like meeting an old friend for the first time. If you also love long walks where the heart and mind can wander, going to the movies, and reading books that evoke magical adventures, you will enjoy getting to know this writer.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Alison Kimble began writing because she loves stories and believes in their power to shape our world and ourselves. Her writing blends the real and the fantastical and crosses genres of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi. Her debut novel, Strange Gods, came out in July 2021, and she is currently working on her next. She lives in the Greater Seattle Area with her husband and spends her time walking in the woods, going to the movies, and seeking adventures large and small.
About Alison's Book
Spooky arrives at a wilderness boot camp for troubled teens with two suitcases and an ultimatum: either she keeps her head down over the summer or she won't be allowed home at the end of it. All she wants to do is survive the pyros, bullies, and power-tripping counselors, get through senior year, and start her life somewhere new.
But when an encounter with another camper goes awry and ends with Spooky hiding in the woods, something else finds her. Something ancient and powerful has sent out feelers, hoping to catch a human alone. For its purposes, even a delinquent teen will do.
If Spooky wants to survive to see any kind of future, she will have to figure out how to gain leverage over a god. And as if the one wasn't bad enough, a pantheon of dark entities are lining up between her and the life she's always wanted...
And now, the interview:
Alison, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I'm not one of those writers who always wrote or always knew I wanted to be an author. I wrote a poem here and there growing up, but never considered writing a book. Then, after college, I was reflecting on the power of stories and how they inform our worldview, and the stories I hadn't seen told yet, and decided I wanted to write a book!
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
Strange Gods is the first book I've written, so it is inspired by my appreciation for storytelling. But more specifically, I was at a ten-day silent meditation retreat when the image of an orange god with eighteen fingers popped into my head. His name was Carcass. And Carcass LOVES stories.
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
Speculative fiction—mostly fantasy, but occasionally horror or sci-fi. Just like visiting a new city helps us understand the town we’ve always known, visiting a fantasy realm helps us understand our world through strong comparison or contrast. It magnifies truths the author wants to explore. Plus, magic is always more fun!
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
No, but I have major dog-envy.
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I have maintained different schedules at different times, but I think having a writing schedule is important. My longest running schedule was two hours a night on weeknights, and most of the day Sunday.
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
I write to get the dang story out. I think this is common to many writers, but sometimes it flows out of me faster than I can type it, and sometimes I have to labor to get a scene on the page.
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
I would tell myself that… I am going to get so much better at this. That Strange Gods will be my first published book, that people will like it and even love it, and that it isn’t too weird for people to get! It will even be some readers’ favorite book.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
Think about why you are writing and set goals to fulfill that purpose. Some days it will be easy and fun and inspiration will come naturally, but other days, you just have to motivate yourself to follow through. Set goals—like finishing draft one this month—and then also bake-in time for breaks. Inspiration comes when the mind wanders!
Inspiration comes when the mind wanders! —Alison Kimble
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
Oh, very. And absolutely! Most of my best ideas just come to me, but I get a sense when I am on to something and chase it down.
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
I've published one book, and I intend to publish many more! I hope to have consistent readers who come to me for unique, exciting, and thoughtful stories.
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I am grateful for so many little things in this time, although the world has been a bit unpredictable lately. I am grateful that the weather is better, because walks are more pleasant under clearer skies!
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
Going to the movies, taking walks, reading an amazing book, and being inspired all over again!
Which book are you reading right now?
Two Dark Reigns, by Kendare Blake
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Circe, by Madeline Miller
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is undefinable, but it's fun to try.
Stay connected with Alison! Here’s where you can find her:
Next Magic Monday, I will continue my Tarot Stories series on the Major Arcana. Next up, The High Priestess.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.