Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guest blogger: Interview with Author Kim Cox

Please welcome my good friend and author Kim Cox. I also want you to pay special attention not only to Kim's great books, but her husband Lee's awesome chain-saw art. There are pics of both below. Both the books and the wood carvings look as good in person as in the pictures - truly fantastic!


Hi, Ashely!

I'm so happy to be here.

1) You’re in college. What are you taking and what are your goals? What made you decide to go back to school? How do you write and go to college?

As you know, I've always worked another job beside writing. Unfortunately, my writing doesn't pay the bills yet. My job, along with the company I worked for moved their operations to Honduras, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to go back to school. The government offers to pay for college under these circumstances. I couldn't afford to go back to college otherwise. I'm taking Office Systems Technology and Medical Office Administration. My goals are to get an Associates Degree in Office Systems Technology, a diploma in Medical Office Adminstration, and a Level I Certificate in Accounting. I started college with some credits, so I'm filling in with Medical Office and Accounting classes. Once I've finished college, I hope to get a job at the VA Hospital which is only five miles from my home, and recently I've thought of possibly teaching (college level) the types of classes I'm taking now. Frankly, I haven't found a way to write while going to college yet. However, I'm only in my second semester, so there's hope. All of the time I'm not in class is spent reading and studying.

2) What is it like living in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina?

I love it. It's a bit cold right now, but it's still wonderful to get up in the morning and look out the window at the scenic views that we sometimes take for granted. Living here has caused me to believe that God is an artist and the mountains are part of his landscape.

3) Please tell us about your husband’s chain saw carving. Do you help him with it?

Lee is a chain saw artist. He just finished an eagle perched on some rocks, and I went with him Saturday to Lake Lure, NC, to talk to a man about putting some artwork in his new home. Lee showed him some sketches of what he had in mind, and took some measurements. The man wants a bear, sitting on a rail while hugging a wooden column, looking down from the second floor to the first floor of his home. I don't help him too much--only with paperwork and directions to get here or there. I'm not very artistic that way. His website is www.leeschainsawart.com if anyone would like to see more.
























4) What is your typical day like?

Well, I'm usually a night person but with school, I have to get up around 6am. After getting ready, I check my personal e-mail, school e-mails and black board (an online tool for school where they post assignments, and announcements). I take one online class and two that are mostly online where I just go in to take tests. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I have classes every week, so I physically go to class on those days. When I get home, I do homework and work for the online classes. This semester is more hectic than the last. I'm taking a Medical Terminology class that is going to be very time consuming. Each chapter has 4-5 sections and each section contains 10-15 words. The tests will include 3 chapters and that will be over 200 words that I have to know along with their meanings. They said this class will be like learning a foreign language and they were not kidding. And it's not something you can just do once a week. I have to spend hours on it every day.

5) Tell us about your upcoming contests and promotions.

We're (myself and 4 other authors) hosting a chat at LR Cafe on April 22 to promote our anthology, ONE TOUCH BEYOND, that will be release at Cerridwen Press February 21st. The chat is still in the planning stages, so the date may change. Some of the authors will be giving away prizes by drawing from guests who participate in the chat. I haven't decided what I'll be giving away at this time. Also, I have a contest where I give away books from my vast library every so often. It used to be monthly, but now it's every so often. I draw names from those on my listserve. If anyone is interested, they can go to my website at www.kimcox.org and click on the listserve link to sign up. Or click on the Contest bar at my website where they can find directions of how to sign up.

6) Please tell us about your website design and management business? How can you help an author with her web page and promo?

I used to manage this through Word Museum, but now I just maintain web sites for a few authors of about 5. I don't really help with promo any more though. After Word Museum was sold, I kept the authors who had their own Web sites and keep them up to date for them. I have taken on a couple of new clients and created their web pages from scratch as well. It's something I love to do. My prices are well below others who offer these services and do promise a quick response when sent updates. But I'm pretty much out of the promotion game except for posting information on their Web sites. You can find a list of authors with links at my site as well.



As for my own promotion, I have Web space at the popular Web sites such as: MySpace, Gather, FaceBook (in process), Yahoo, WindowSpaces (think that's what it's called), and I have my own blog page, Kim's Musings at kimcox.blogspot.com and our anthology group has a blog page at theyarnspinners.blogspot.com.

7) What are you working on now?

I have a number of books/stories in process. All This Time is a Romantic Suspense; For The Love of Money is another Romantic Suspense; Shattered Hearts is a Mainstream set during WWII with some romantic elements; Trainswept is a Western Historical Romance; Innocence Lost is a Women's Fiction Time Travel those goes back in time to Ireland about the 1300s. Running for Her Life is a Mystery with romantic elements and Sailing Away is a Short Contemporary Romance set on a cruise ship. There's a short blurb (some have excerpts) for all these at my Web site. As you can tell by my works-in-process that my reading interest vary quite a bit; but one thing they all have in common is they are either a romance or have some romantic elements.

Thank you, Kim, for joining us today. I appreciate that you took time out of your busy schedule to be my guest. As a critique partner and anthology partner, I can testify that your stories are all must-reads. Good luck with your schooling and your writing. I hope you’ll join us again. Ashley

Thank you and You're welcome, Ashley. I've really enjoyed speaking with you today. Now, back to the books. :-)







Haunted Hearts

by Kim cox

Chapter One

“How do you like it?” Lucy Ann Malloy, standing at the top of the stairs, turned to the right, then to the left as she modeled the blue and green pastel dress. “I found it in the attic with some of my old things.” She lingered in the doorway on the main floor. “Well?”

Lana Malloy glanced up from editing the ad for her new PI business. “Nice,” she said and returned to her work.

Lucy moved to Lana’s side and gazed over her shoulder. “What are you working on?”

“The ad for the newspaper and magazines. I've got to figure out how to attract some business, or I’ll never make it through the first month.”

A chill filled the air surrounding Lana and she shivered, pulling her sweater tightly around her.

“I have an idea, actually a pretty good one. I know who your first client can be.”

Without even glancing away from her paper, Lana asked, “And who would that be?”

“Me.”

“You?” Lana looked up, her interest piqued. “What are you talking about?”

Lucy’s white hair shone with blue highlights as if she’d just had it rinsed Well preserved from someone who had been dead twenty years. “Find my murderer so I can rest in peace. How about it?” Lana’s great aunt had been with her since she moved into the old beach house in Charleston, South Carolina five years ago.

“And who would be paying for my services?” Lana smiled, pulling her reading glasses off and laying them on her desk. She loved her great aunt, but she could be a card. Lucy had always been a rebel, always tried to be different from everyone else. “Besides, you died over twenty years ago. That’s a cold trail for sure.”

“I got money, smarty—a lot of money that no one has found yet.” Lucy covered her mouth with both hands and then removed them. “Oh, well, the cat's out of the bag now. I can't spend it, anyway.”

“But you died—”

“Let me finish. Shows how much you, or any of those pigs know.” She glided back and forth across the room as if she were dancing at her coming-out ball.

“Well?”

“Get out your pen and pad and take notes.”

“Not until I’m sure what you’re telling me is the truth.” Lucy sometimes changed details to suit herself and the moment, but she’d never talked about her death before. Lana never questioned her because she thought it may be too painful for her aunt.

“Have I ever lied? Never mind, don't answer that.” Lucy laughed as she stopped in mid-air, lowered herself down to the desk and hovered in a sitting position just above the surface. Then she crossed her legs. “It was Valentine’s Day. The last thing I remember, I was helping Davide eat his dinner. He had been sick the last few days, and I went over to visit. He didn't eat much of his potato soup, and I love potato soup on a cold winter’s night. You know, that kind your mother used to whip up?” Lucy licked her lips. “I miss that since I’ve been dead. There’s no need to eat anymore … no appetite.”

“Get on with your murder case.”

“Oh, yeah. I tend to get sidetracked now and then.” She giggled. “Anyway, I never left that room until I woke up in this house dead and looked down on my body lying on the living room floor, right in front of my sofa. The next morning, your mother came to see me and found me . . . I mean, my body. That's it.”

“Right. You were poisoned, but your murderer was never caught,” Lana mused.

“You call yourself a private investigator? Elementary, my dear Lana. Use some logic. How did I get from Davide’s house to my house?”

Lana chewed the eraser on the end of her pencil. “So, you believe you were poisoned at Davide’s, but someone brought you back here either before you or after you died?”

“By golly, I believe she’s got it.”

“Are you sure you didn’t just forget going home?”

“I didn’t forget. I was only sixty, and not senile. Someone must’ve moved me while I was unconscious. Can’t you see that?”

Lana stood and paced the room. “It’s a possibility, I guess. What did the police say?”

“They said, ‘the old broad croaked. No suspects.’ And they looked no further.” Lucy moved up behind Lana. “Clue number two: I've been reading up on my ghostly position as well. Did you know there are specific reasons why ghosts haunt places?”

“No. What are they?”

“According to this, my reason is . . .” Lucy took out the book, opened it to the bookmark and started to read, “’When someone is murder and the murder goes unsolved, their spirit must wait around until the mystery is solved, usually around the anniversary of their death.’”

“Where did you get that book?”

“Here, in this house.”

Lana sauntered into the library and fingered through the books on the shelves. “I didn't know we had all these books on ghosts.” Lana smiled until she saw the look on Lucy’s face. She was serious about this, and Lana felt bad that she hadn’t realized it sooner. She loved the woman dearly, but often, Lucy kidded around so much that it was hard to tell when the woman was genuine.

“I found them in the attic, dusted them off and put them on the shelf last night. They belonged to your grandfather. He was into that kind of stuff. You believe me now?”

“I don't know. I'll read over these today and see.” Lana brought a book back to her desk as Lucy followed. “What exactly did you figure out? And if you’ve solved it, why do you need me?”

“Not everything. Just what I need to do to get to my resting place. I was killed on Valentine's Day, 1982.”

“So?”

“I need to find my murderer by Valentine's Day, or I’ll be stuck here until next year, same time.”

“Why?”

“Because that’s when I died.” Lucy placed her hands on her hips. “Haven’t you been listening? Anyway, the book says it’s the only time I will have the opportunity to claim my eternity. It’s on page fifty-two.”

“Do you have any suspects?” Lana flipped through the pages. “This looks interesting.”

“That old buzzard I was trying to help.”

“Davide? Your fiancĂ©?” Lana glanced up.

“That's the buzzard.”

“You two were going to be married in a few weeks. Why would he want you dead?”

“That, I don't know. But I think he's as good a place to start our search as any. If it wasn’t him, it was someone in his family. They were against us marrying. Especially his son, Anthony.”

“Our search? But you can't—”

“But I can. I read about it in that book. I can leave anytime I want. I just haven't wanted to bad enough until now. Plus, I need to attach myself to something in order to leave. That something, or rather someone, is you.”

A few hours later, Lana looked from her book as Lucy drifted in with a tray of food—a tuna fish sandwich with pickles and chips.

“I thought you could use something to eat. Seafood is brain food, you know.”

When Lucy floated back across the room, Lana glanced toward the window and glimpsed a terrified face in the window. It was her neighbor, Roxie Thomas, with curlers in her strawberry blonde hair and cold cream still covering her horrified face. When the dress glided toward a filing cabinet and one of the drawers opened all by itself, Roxie's eyes widened and her jaw dropped. The closed window muffled her screams.

8 comments:

Joan said...

Kim, I read a lot of romantic suspence novel so am looking forward to your new ones coming out.

Molly Daniels said...

This sounds like a winner! Great excerpt!

Ashley Ladd said...

Isn't Kim's excerpt great? I love the book.

Thanks Joan and Molly for posting.

Bronwyn's Blog said...

Great interview ladies and I *love* that bed!!!

Ashley Ladd said...

Isn't that bed (and Lee's work) awesome? I'd love to have one, too. Someday, as soon as I can afford it, I'll commission Lee to make something like that for us.

Ashley Ladd said...

Kim, thank you so much for being my guest today. It was great chatting with you.

Ashley Ladd said...

Isn't that bed (and Lee's work) awesome? I'd love to have one, too. Someday, as soon as I can afford it, I'll commission Lee to make something like that for us.

Caffey said...

Hi Kim! Sorry I missed you on the chat day (I just found Ashley's blog :) and don't know if you will get this, but I loved SUSPICIOUS MINDS and its on my keepers shelf here. Definitely will check out the anthologies!

Cathie
tbranxiety@yahoo.com

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