SHOT #1- There’s always someone who doesn’t know you when they first see a new book. Share a bit about yourself.
KR- I am a Jill of many trades – photographer, author (of course LOL), owner of a Tea company and a Certified Tea Specialist. I love the world around me and I try to learn as much as I can every day. I learned that Life is too short so why hold back? I don’t just live my life – I embrace it in all its weirdness. I am a Strange and Unusual woman and I’m glad for it. I can have Tea while discussing Proust, dance my butt off at a Goth club, enjoy an afternoon of solitude in an art museum, or go romping through a cemetery. I’m also a BIG fan of World of Warcraft (Glory to the Sin’Dorei) and Moon Knight.
SHOT #2- Your latest book is JACKIE VERONA: A MURDER OF GYPSIES. It’s being billed as a hipster whodunit. What does that mean to you?
KR- Geez, really? My publisher came up with that genre. (grin) However, it means that none of my characters are idiots or “stale”. Books and art are their life lines. They embrace the world and will enjoy whatever falls into their laps. Jazz plays a big part in my life and I wove it through the book. You can actually hear the music as you read. I also made most of my characters be Tea drinkers. I had someone once tell me that my characters don’t know what alcohol is – give them a cup of Earl Grey and they are in heaven! Although they may appear to be stereotypical in the definition of Hipster, they also put their own spin on that term and OWN IT.
SHOT #3- Why set JACKIE VERONA in 1957? What about that time period adds to the weight of the story you’re telling?
KR- LOL Seriously – I love the Beat Generation. When I read On the Road (published in 1957) for the first time and then visited Kerouac’s grave, something inside of me came alive. The Beats were free thinkers, explorers of the known and unknown, and BONGOS (grin). When I decided to write my first murder mystery, I knew it had to be during that period of American history. I wanted to do the “slice of life” within the larger picture of such a period. On the Road is the backbone of Jackie Verona’s world.
SHOT #4- There are a lot of themes woven throughout JACKIE VERONA, all wrapped around a mystery. As an author, is it important to you to address issues important to society within your work or are you more drawing on personal aspects of you?
KR-Both, actually. I want my readers to see the world through a particular set of eyes. Being a Black woman with a myriad of interests, I don’t see that represented too much in the world of books. I wanted to add my voice and reactions to the literary maelstrom to let people know that yes, my voice and insight are important. Maybe you won’t agree with me, but at least it’s out there.
SHOT #5- Any future plans for Jackie, Clovis, or other denizens of Moon City?
KR-Oh YES! Honestly, I had the most fun writing Monica’s (Mooney) character – she’s a very important part of Jackie’s life. While Jackie lives her life with just enough spice, Mooney throws it all over the place and doesn’t care who is allergic to it. The two are very much my own version of Sherlock and Watson and it works for me. I will say this – the second book will involve more music (classical) and twins. For some reason, I love writing about twins.
Kimberly is available for interviews for websites, newsletters, podcasts, etc about JACKIE VERONA: A MURDER OF GYPSIES and her other work. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an interview or to obtain a copy of her current work for review purposes.