Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Historical Romance Author Feature: Kimberly Killion

I am thrilled to welcome Zebra author Kimberly Killion to Armchair Heroines today! I recently read her debut novel, Her One Desire, and loved it.

And now, please welcome Kimberly!

Thank you so much for joining us today, Kimberly. I absolutely loved your book! Tell us about Her One Desire.

HER ONE DESIRE is a Zebra debut that released in July 08. The story is set in 1483 England, a time when the nobles would do anything to gain King Edward’s crown. My blurb says it best:

Astride a stolen horse, encircled by the shackled arms of Broderick Maxwell, a Scottish spy escaping certain death in the Tower of London, Lizbeth Ives rides to the north, hidden by the merciful darkness. By stealth and by cunning, the daughter of the Lord High Executioner has undone her father’s cruel work, compelled to save the innocent man with her. There is no turning back—they are bound as one in his iron chains. Consumed by mortal fear, driven by passion, they disappear into the night…

A single raven follows them. Is it an omen? Or only the first of those who would capture them? They must ride on. If captured, they will face death together. But if they reach Scotland, he will claim her for his own…forever.

How did inspiration for this story and these characters strike?

I suppose I was contemplating my next story when I was watching a documentary of the lives of the executioners and how they lived. I was fascinated by their stories. I had been researching the life of Richard the Third, as he plays a role in HER ONE DESIRE, and discovered he, too, had been party to several executions. My little mind went to work and it hit me…what if I wrote a book about the executioner’s daughter? It took root from there.

Did you do a lot of research? How did you go about it?

My bible for this book was a Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall. The book is 600+ pages and I read it more than once. I discovered fascinating concepts that made me rethink my original ideas of creating a villain out of the executioner. Instead, I wanted to make the executioner a bit of a hero himself. As history buffs, we all know the mysteries that surround the princes in the Tower. I, too, have always wondered about their disappearance and decided to use that mystery as a twist in the storyline.

Were there any aspects of the book with which you struggled?

The timeframe in which I wrote it. I only had five chapters written on HER ONE DESIRE when I went to the national conference in Dallas in 2007 and pitched the story to Hilary Sares of Kensington. She was very interested in the premise of this particular story and asked to see everything I had written on it to date, in addition to HIGHLAND DRAGON, which will be out in the fall of ‘09. Ten days after National I got ‘THE CALL’. Hilary wanted to buy both books from me. The catch…she wanted HER ONE DESIRE to hit the shelves first. Of course, I was exhilarated, excited, but I only had five chapters written. Long story short…I had to write 80,000 words in three months. I set myself on a schedule of 1,000 words a day and 5,000 on the weekends in order to meet my deadline. I got up at 4:00 a.m. to write before work and then wrote at night until 10:00, 11:00, sometimes midnight. I locked myself in the closet with my laptop for privacy and when that didn’t work, I went to the ‘shed’. But, I DID IT! Whew!

How did you find yourself with writing as a career path?

Do you remember the teacher who made a difference in your life? I do. His name was Dr. Krantz. He was my mythology teacher. While attending college near Kansas City, I was working toward a Bachelor in Fine Arts when I discovered I had to take an elective. I pulled "Mythology" out of a hat, and it was there I found Dr. Krantz. The book wasn't Romeo and Juliet, as you might suspect, but Dante's Inferno-a Divine Comedy indeed. Talk about an intriguing read. Sure, I bought Cliffs Notes—I was eighteen. With a three-hour block of nude figure drawing and rocks to sculpt, who has time to read? Well, I read it. Cover to cover, after which, I read Oedipus, The Iliad, The Odyssey, and a few other Greek tragedies.I walked away with, not only an "A" in the class, but a love for all things tragic, passionate, and historic. I did receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with which I have enjoyed a rewarding career as a graphic designer for more than fifteen years. I moved on from the ancient authors of yesteryear and became engrossed in the writings of Julie Garwood, Teresa Medeiros, and Gaelen Foley — just to name a few.

What are you reading now or what's in your "to-be-read" pile?

Mostly research books:

The Big Book of Filth: 6500 Sex Slang Words and Phrases

Haud Yer Wheesht: Your Scottish Granny's Favorite Sayings

Awa' An' Bile Yer Heid! Scottish slang and insults

For pleasure, I'm currently reading a few HOT novellas: The Pleasure of His Bed by Melissa MacNeal, Donna Grant, and Annalise Russell

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

Well…um…I’ve been sitting her for a really long time trying to answer this question and I’ve decided I have no answer. I really enjoy writing. I spend hours a day talking to my characters and thinking of ways to torture them. I enjoy spending time with my family, but in truth, I even brainstorm with my teenage daughter, so that’s writing related as well.

Since it's November: What are the three things for which you are most thankful?

The obvious ones; God, my family, my writing group, but I am really thankful for my vivid imagination. I would be terribly bored without it. J

Thank you, Kimberly!

Kimberly is offering a copy of Her One Desire to one lucky AH reader. Post your comments and questions for a chance to win.

Happy Wednesday!


Cari Quinn said...

Hi Kimberly and Tiffany...great interview! I love the whole mystique of The Tower of London and Her One Desire sounds wonderful. I've just recently gotten into historicals, but they're my new "thing." ;) Loved your call story, too!

Wishing you many future sales... :)

Tiffany James said...


Her One Desire is awesome! I was reading it at stoplights just to get one more paragraph read. :0)

Oooh, I love, love, love historicals! Your in for some reading fun.

Thanks for stopping by!


peggy said...

hello kimberly,your one desire
sounds great and i already had it on my list of books i wanted to read.i love historicals.the excerpt of the book is great.
happy thanksgiving

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Tiffany and Kimberly! Kimberly, your book sounds so unique and intriguing. I can't wait to read it!


BethRe said...

Wow book sounds exciting. Very different. Inspirational story about how one teacher influenced you that much.

robynl said...

this book would get me started on historicals as I don't read many of them; I haven't up to now at least. the story sounds intgriquing,.

Eva S said...

Hi Tiffany and Kimberly.
thanks for the interview!
Historicals are my favorites and I've heard so much great about this book! It will be on my Christmas wish list...
Greetings from a white Finland, at last we have snow! The world is so much brighter...

Tiffany James said...


Good to see you! Hope all is well in your world. I think you'll really like Her One Desire.

Thanks for joining us!


Tiffany James said...

Hi, Helen!

I loved Her One Desire. Hope you do too.

Tiffany :0)

Tiffany James said...


I love inspirational teacher stories! I had a couple of teachers in high school who gave me the foundation I use everyday in my writing.

Thanks for joining us.


Tiffany James said...


Her One Desire would be an excellent "starter" historical for you! It has everything historical romance lovers expect: great characters, tidbits of factual history, action, adventure and, of course, a heart-warming, albeit sometimes gut-wrenching, romance.

Thanks for being here.


Tiffany James said...


Good to see you! A white Finland - sounds gorgeous. I am here in Colorado - still no snow where I'm at, but there's moisture in the air and it's cold. The trees were coated with frost thing morning - all white and sparkly. Just like something out of a fairy tale. It was beautiful!

I think you'll really enjoy Her One Desire.


ddurance said...

Wow Kimberly, what amazing willpower you have to get all that writing done and stay on task no matter what. I truly admire you!


Kimberly Killion said...

Uugh!!! So sorry to be late to the party. I'm usually very prompt, and check the blogs before work but I have a good excuse...
My 13 year old daughter convinced me it was a must that we see Twilight. Oh, and we had to take her friend. The only theater with tickets to a 12:40am showing was an hour away...long story short...we got home at 4:00am, which meant I had just enough time for a 2 hour nap before I had to go to work. Double uugh!
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to sleeping tonight.
Was it worth it?
OMG!!! YES, yes, yes!

Kimberly Killion said...

THanks for stopping by. I learned a lot about the Tower of London as I wrote this book. And the whole bit about the Princes in the Tower kind of fell into place and was a nice bonus in the book.

Kimberly Killion said...

Thanks so much for having me on AH. And I'm so happy you enjoyed the book. I'm glad I'm not the only one who keeps a book handing in the car. I drive an hour to and from work, so traffic can be tedious unless you have something to read.

Kimberly Killion said...

Hi Peggy!
Thanks for putting HER ONE DESIRE on your TBR list. I've had a lot of people say the book is difficult to put down, but I did have an odd email come in from a woman who said she had to put the book down because she was too afraid to find out what was going to happen to Broc and Lizzy.
I hope you enjoy it.

Kimberly Killion said...

Helen and Beth,
Thanks for stopping by and for showing an interest in Broc and Lizzy's story.

And Robyn...I try to read everything, but I admit I am partial to historicals. They say writers aren't supposed to read in the genre the are currently writing, but dang, what's a girl to do. ;)

Kimberly Killion said...

Hallooo Eva!
It's always cool to talk to peeps from places like Finland. I'm glad you are happy about the snow. I'm wishing a snowflake or two would fall soon myself. It's 18 degrees here and I'm struggling to get my fire to go. Glad you made a place on your list for Broc and Lizzy's story. :)
Happy holidays for the Midwest.

Kimberly Killion said...

It is tough. I am a morning person when it comes to being creative so that means my best stuff will be lost to exhaustion by evening if I don't get up and get productive. I confess, I didn't have a lot of willpower this morning. However, I did consider not going to bed when I got home at 4am from the Twilight movie and just writing, but truth be told, I wouldn't have produced much as all I had on the brain was Edward. :)

Tiffany James said...


Yikes! A two hour nap...I'm such a cranky-pants when I don't get my sleep. Glad to hear it was worth it! I really want to read the book before I see the movie. Guess I'd better get reading.

Thanks again for joining us this week!


Kimberly Killion said...

I'm super cranky when I don't get my precious nap. :)
Thanks again for having me on today at Armchair Heroines.
Hope everyone has a blessed and happy holiday this season.