Today I'd like to welcome Kimberly Brouillette, co-author of “Secrets in the Shallows” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Kimberly earned her B.S. in earth science/geology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and an M.A. in Biblical studies from Trinity Theological College & Seminary. She has been editor and contributing editor for numerous published books and has also written many published articles for periodicals and Internet blogs. Kimberly works for a regional magazine, while also focusing on her writing and editing projects. This includes the 2014 Paranormal Awards winner for fictional literature, Secrets in the Shallows, the first book in The Monastery Murders Series, co-authored with Karen Vance Hammond. Kimberly also enjoys reading, writing, music, history, traveling and spending time with loved ones.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
If it were to save the life of a loved one, I would most likely break the law. A person’s life is more important than a bunch of rules. Of course, each specific situation would determine the level of law breaking that I would do.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive is simply performing mundane, day-to-day requirements without aspirations to fulfill your true dreams. A person who lives like this may take the typical vacation every year and have a family. It’s not that they are necessarily unhappy. The difference is that when you are truly living, the mundane, day-to-day requirements are only a means to obtaining your true dreams. Right now, I have a day job that is satisfactory, however my true desire and passion is to write great books that people can’t put down and can’t wait for the next one. There is so much deep satisfaction knowing that something I wrote and spent so much time and effort on is enjoyed by so many.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
Once I have begun a book project, I am motivated to write by the simple fact that I have a story that must ‘come out’ and be told. I liken it to being pregnant. Every day, the story is there growing and forming new features and details. It gets bigger and bigger within my mind. It is always with me and I think about it constantly. Even when I am driving, I may say character dialogue out loud in order to hear how it sounds. (I’m sure that many people who see me must think I’m a little crazy.) This process does not stop until the final words are written and the final version has gone to the printer.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
I believe humans want children for several reasons. Of course, many people want to pass on a type of legacy that will impact the world after they have passed on. I also think that many people simply cherish having children to love and nurture. As humans, most people have a need to be needed, as well as to love and be loved.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Secrets in the Shallows" ?
With a mystery, there is a unique need for attention to details. Since my books are paranormal murder mysteries from multiple views, the biggest challenge in creating them has been to accomplish all of my overall story plot goals while orchestrating and directing all of the individual character plots. All of this must be accomplished while still maintaining a level of suspense and horror that keeps my readers turning the pages and unable to put down my books.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
The most important thing that I have learned is life is to ‘NEVER GIVE UP, ESPECIALLY ON YOUR DREAMS.’ Since I was 18 years old, I have had many serious health issues. When I was 32 years old, I found out that I had over 300 polyps in my large intestines and that I had to have it completely removed in order to prevent them to become malignant and form a very aggressive cancer. Both my father and grandfather have died from cancer related to this disease, so I had no choice. After the initial surgeries, I was near death at least 4 times for various complications related to the surgeries. I was bedridden for about 6 months and was in out and out of hospital too many times to count within a 3 year period. I had to crawl to the bathroom for 8 months whenever I was home alone. It took over 5 years to regain almost all of my health back. Soon after, I went through a divorce and complete life overhaul. I felt like I was completely starting over midway through my existence. I had to begin almost from scratch and I had to claw my way back to some form of self-reliability. Although I admit I faced many challenges that seemed almost impossible at the time, I was able to overcome them and keep going. In spite of battling deep depression and severe physical weakness, I did not give up on getting better.
Writing a book was the last thing I thought I would accomplish at that time in my life, although I had considered it. I was just too emotionally drained to take on that challenge. Fortunately, the path that I took allowed me to discover how much I truly enjoy writing. Once I grasped onto that understanding, my newly found interest became a passion that actually improved my life in many ways. This passion became my dream. Not only did I enjoy the actual process of writing, but I gained a complete satisfaction knowing that people enjoyed what I worked so hard to create. That in itself helped build my self-esteem and make me a stronger person. Accomplishing my dream, although unknown to me when I was younger, actually changed my life for the better in many ways.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Secrets in the Shallows" ?
Actually, I have to admit that my fiance, Chris Matheny was the one who came up with both the first and second book titles. He’s a screenplay writer and actor who is very good with words. As often happens with him, he had moments of inspiration when he suggested “Secrets in the Shallows” and “Devil in the Details” as titles for my first two books.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
How I handle personal criticism is completely reliant on whether the person is respectful of not. I have no problems at all if the person is respectful and trying to help me improve my writing style, or make necessary corrections/adjustments to better my work. I understand the I am not perfect and I’m sure out of about an estimated 260,000 words I have published, I’m sure that there are a few typos I still need to fix. If that person can help me by giving me corrections or suggestions to genuinely improve my writing, then I don’t mind listening to what they have to say. I have had many reviews with constructive criticism that were respectful and very helpful. Fortunately, I have only had a couple that seemed as if they contained personal attacks.
Whenever someone comes to me with a mean or jealous spirit, or perhaps a review that had a very negative instead of helpful attitude, then I have learned to simply let their words roll off my back like water on a duck. In those cases, I have found that their words do more harm than good if I take them in. In addition, I have realized that I won’t be everyone’s favorite author and some people may not enjoy my style of writing. I can’t allow any harmful words to cause damage to me personally. I don’t want them to taint one of the things I enjoy the most — writing stories.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
To everyone who likes a great page turner that you can’t put down, my award-winning, paranormal murder mysteries, “Secrets in the Shallows” (The Monastery Murders, Book 1) and “Devil in the Details” (The Monastery Murders, Book 2) will keep you on the edge of your seat. The twists and turns in the plots do not disappoint and these books are full of surprises. Each character is brought to life in this woven tale which combines Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense and Agatha Christie’s mystery. My books are a great choice for anyone who enjoys feeling as if they are inside the story while experiencing how each character feels. For those who want to have a story come alive in your mind, reading my books by a warm fire are the perfect remedy for a cold, rainy night.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
I believe that even when it seems as if there is nothing left, there is always something left that exists, even if you can’t see it, smell it, feel it or taste it. It can be regarding physical nature, such as an ‘empty’ glass that is still filled with air. Black holes have recently been shown to have certain physical properties that were previously unknown. It can also be something emotional, where the deepest, darkest depression may make a person feel there is nothing left to live for. Yet even then, there is still something that exists, even if the person can’t see or feel it. There is HOPE for a better future.
Thank you Kimberly :)
For taking the time to answer my questions
& the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “Secrets in the Shallows” on
A deadly storm is brewing over the sleepy little town of Wattsville, Maine. Mystery and intrigue creep into the village like a fetid fog blown by an ill wind. The untimely deaths of two young men shake the quiet peace of the small community, and threaten to destroy the life of a revered religious leader. The spirits of those slain cry out for justice from their graves, while restless ghosts walk the hallways and grounds of the old monastery; silent victims of the horrors that took place by the pond.
Faith, forensics, and falsehood mix together to thicken the plot of this elaborate murder mystery. The twists and turns of the case will lead the team into the darkest heart of evil, and the mind of a serial killer.
Follow the determined team of investigators, as they pit science and religion in a battle for the truth. Haunted by ghosts and stalked by a killer, will the team become victims themselves, or will they discover the ‘Secrets in the Shallows’?