It has been almost a year since I met Kimberly Rose Johnson for coffee. She and her husband were visiting and she remembered I live here and suggested we get together. I had the most delightful time getting to know this lovely lady!
I’m delighted to share an interview with her now so you can get to know her better as well. Her book, The Sleuth’s Conundrum releases today so I’ve included information about it and a preview at the end of the post. My review will be posting here on Monday.
Kimberly, thank you for joining us here on the blog!
Are you writing for a particular ideal reader? Who is it and why?
I write for the Christian woman who wants to read stories that will not only entertain her but also warm her heart and feed her soul. I write the kind of books I want to read. As a Christian I find it very difficult to exclude the Lord from my stories. He is a part of my life, and so He organically shows up in my stories.
I think that is one of my favorite things about your books. Your faith is so much a part of who you are, it flows through into all of what you say!
Please describe your writing style.
I am what writers call a seat-of-your pants writer. This is a pain for me when it comes to starting a book because I have the general concept for the book and the opening, and little else when I start writing. It makes writing more time consuming, especially when I’m writing mysteries or suspense. The editing process takes much longer since I have to start from page one and make sure all the clues and red herrings are in place. Since I make it up as I go, I don’t actually know whodunit when I’m writing the story. I usually figure it out in the last quarter of the book.
How do you go about researching your books? Do you prefer online research or physical books?
Regarding research, I generally do it online. I do have police procedural, FBI, and CIA books I can refer to when needed but generally speaking, I can find what I need online or ask someone who would know via email.
As far as my preference, researching online is much faster than wading through a book. I’m all about saving time when I can. ☺
Saving time sounds good!
How is your work unique from other authors? What is in your stories that readers might not find in other stories?
I believe all authors have their own voice, which is what makes them unique. My books tend to range from 40k to 55k words, which is on the shorter side, but right in there with Love Inspired book lengths. I have a romantic suspense that released in August that is over 70k words, but that is not my norm.
My stories are fast-paced and don’t have an over abundance of superfluous words since I get impatient, not only as a reader but as a writer, with things that slow down a story. This is a big reason my books run on the shorter side. I simply have no patience as a reader for extra stuff that slow down a book. LOL I imagine that’s telling about my personality.
What is the most fun thing you have done in the name of researching one of your books?
I think the most fun I have had researching a book was when my mom and I took the Amtrak to Leavenworth, Washington to research my Love in the Cascades series (contemporary romance). My husband has extended family there that took us around and to various places. Their tour inspired not only the second book in that series but the first book in my Wildflower B&B Series.
I loved interviewing my husband’s relatives while at the Enzian Inn where my husband’s great uncle plays the Alpenhorn to welcome in the day. They really gave me a feel for the community and the history of the town. It was one of my most memorable and enjoyable experiences ever.
That sounds like such a great experience!
What is your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genre to write is romantic suspense with a little mystery woven in. I enjoy writing it because it’s seriously fun and it makes me think. You will find that The Sleuth’s Conundrum has a bit more suspense than the other books in this series. I couldn’t help myself. ☺
What is your favorite place to write? Can you describe the ambiance and what we would see if we were there with you? If we were there with you, what would we see, hear, and smell?
I write from home. Depending on the time of year you’d hear the children at the elementary school near my house playing at recess, the rush of water in a nearby creek during heavy rain, birds singing in the woods behind my house, and on a regular basis you’d hear my dog snoring.
I like silence when I write. It took me a bit to get used to the noise of the children playing when the school was first opened, but I’ve grown accustomed to the noise now and don’t really notice unless they are outside for some special function like a jog-a-thon—think loud music and a megaphone all day. I like to leave the house on those days. ☺ I can’t have music on when I write and it’s a huge distraction to me. If anyone is in the house besides my dog, I have a hard time concentrating—I’m easily distracted.
As far as scent goes, you’d more than likely smell coffee, and last night’s dinner. My husband and I try to eat healthy meals with lots of vegetables and spices.
As far as what you’d see goes, right now I’m sitting at my desk at the back of the house. I have a messy corner desk with a window to both my left and right. I keep the window to my left covered as the view isn’t great, but the one on my right looks into my woodland-like backyard and onto the woods beyond. There are squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies that think my yard is an extension of the woods. The birds are amazing! We have blue jays, meadowlarks, finches, the standard brown birds, hummingbirds and who knows what else out there. Lots of birds of prey too, but they stay out of my back yard. I’m listening to a crow squawk right now.
Stop! You’re making me miss Oregon! That sounds so lovely.
What is one thing that would probably surprise your readers to know about you?
I am a very quiet person most of the time except when I’m visiting with people one on one. I will rarely speak out in a group. I love to watch NCIS, Songland, The Masked Singer, and The Voice. I’m a musician at heart. I taught piano for 18 years and earned a scholarship to college by singing.
Which character in a book or movie are you most like?
I am most like Kayla in A Love Song for Kayla. That book was inspired by many events in my own life.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
I have more than one. ☺ Proverbs 3:5-6 and Jeremiah 29:11
Will you tell us about the main characters of The Sleuth’s Conundrum?
Tara James is the librarian assistant at the Tipton County Library. She is in all the books in The Librarian Sleuth Series, and she’s a bit of a mystery. We find out her story in this book and why she’s been a mystery. Tara loves children, has a painful past, and is a very cautious person.
Nancy Daley also a main character in this book as well as the other two books in the series. She’s spunky, daring and tenacious. She also has a sensitive side.
Adam Stacy is a reporter for the local newspaper. He is caring, supportive, protective, tenacious, and courageous. I really enjoyed writing Adam’s character.
Oh, Adam! What a great man he is. I loved reading his story!
What was your hardest scene to write?
Oh boy, this entire book challenged me! Some books flow and others I fight for every scene. This was one of those. At one point I was so stuck, I sent the book to a writer friend to read so we could brainstorm together. She was a huge help and I was able to finish the book after that.
What are you working on now?
Currently, I’m writing a book that will become a spinoff series for my Brides of Seattle series. I love writing mystery and romantic suspense and though this book didn’t start out as either, it ended up that way. Readers will recognize a couple of the characters from my Brides of Seattle series, but this series will stand on its own since it’s a different genre.
I didn’t mention this before, but I began my career as a contemporary romance writer with the Love Inspired Heartsong Presents line. When that line was closed, I started writing for my current publisher who encouraged me to add some mystery to my stories. This has evolved through the years to the point I pitched the idea of The Librarian Sleuth Series to my publisher. She loved it and I dove into the romantic mystery genre.
Kimberly, thank you for your time. It is always a pleasure to interact with you.
The Sleuth's ConundrumThe Librarian Sleuth #3
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date November 1, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Mystery, Clean Romance
Setting: Oregon Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Adam and Tara are sucked into a police investigation that might get Tara killed. Can Adam keep her safe or will he lose her forever?
Tara James, the local librarian assistant, is afraid her past will catch up to her when an infant is abandoned outside the Tipton County Library. Will news of the abandoned baby stir up publicity and force her to go on the run again?
Librarian Nancy Daley’s world has become complicated. Carter is pushing to set a wedding date, a woman was left for dead on the side of the road, and Tara, her assistant, is acting strange. Nancy is working every angle she can think of, but the case goes from bad to bizarre. Can she find the baby’s mother, help Tara, and plan her wedding without upsetting her life’s delicate balance?
Slow news days become a thing of the past for local reporter Adam Stacy when a dead body is discovered on the side of the road. Was the woman murdered or was it an accident? Adam’s feelings are growing for Tara, but she appears to have secrets she’s hiding. Is she somehow connected to the abandoned infant?
When things go from bad to worse Adam does everything in his power to protect Tara, but will it be enough?