Kimberly Kinrade… Forbidden Mind

October 23, 2011

Arts & Literature, Interviews

by Alex McDermott:

In the ever-growing market of YA novels, author Kimberly Kinrade stands out from the rest! Her body of work includes numerous critically acclaimed novels and short fiction. With volume two of her series Forbidden Mind mere weeks away, I grabbed a few minutes of her time to catch up!

Alex Mcdermott: You write YA novels. As an adult, how do you get into the mindset of young people for your inspiration?

Kimberly Kinrade: I don’t really approach it as ‘getting into the mindset of young people.’ In fact, I didn’t set out to write YA novels. Characters just started talking to me, telling me their stories, and when I looked at these stories, thematically they always landed in the YA category. I think young adults face so much growing up and coming into their own, that the stories they relate to are stories we can relate to at any age. I know I had already experienced and gone through quite a bit by the time I was in my early 20s. When I go to write my books, I hold in my mind the theme of my story and the specific journey my characters must travel. If I do my job well by writing them as they want to be written, then I believe the appeal of their story will cross over generational lines.

AM: There are certain people who argue that young people should not be “influenced” by stories of witches, ancient gods and goddesses, and other fantasy elements. How do you address those critics?

KK: Everyone has their views and opinions about what’s ‘appropriate’ or not for young people. I really don’t address these critics. I just write what’s in me to write. Those who love that genre and style will read it. Those who don’t, won’t. I, obviously, don’t agree with critics who feel these themes are somehow harmful. Every great story is based in ancient archetypes and themes that transcend genre. My use of magic or paranormal elements in my books is just a tool to bring those themes and archetypes to life.

I love the paranormal and fantasy genre because it opens up worlds of imagination and adventure that so many of us secretly (or not so secretly) crave. As a child I loved this because it created clear lines of good and evil, light and dark. Things made more sense. The esoteric, metaphorical and sometimes muddy ‘fight’ we feel growing up in this world is so much clearer and cleaner in these other worlds. As an adult, I’m still drawn to this, but in more subtle ways. Some of my books take the ideas of good and evil and turn them on their heads a bit. Now I can play with that ‘black and white, good and evil’ theme.

Honestly, I’m not sure why some people have a problem with these genres. But we each have to decide what’s right for us. My children are very young and are already steeped in the world of fantasy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m even using the worlds they’ve created to write a lower grade chapter book trilogy for launch this Christmas. I love the breadth and scope of their imagination!

AM: You write a lot of serials. What advantage does this give you in terms of a story? I imagine it allows you to create a longer plot and break it up!

KK: Sometimes I just have no choice in the matter. Forbidden Mind was supposed to be a short story, and it turned into a trilogy. Honestly, I can’t seem to write a stand alone book. I’ve tried! But plots and subplots sneak it and my characters demand more attention. I think because I love to read a good series, that it’s just how my brain thinks after so many years reading. If I fall in love with a world, with characters, I want more! Hopefully my fans feel the same way. And it does allow for deeper characterization, more complicated plots and more opportunity to really get to know everyone in the books. I love this!

AM: What advice would you give new authors, especially in the growing indie market?

KK: It’s a changing world out there. Don’t get stuck in one way of thinking. Stay open to new and wonderful publishing and marketing possibilities. Everyone who says ‘these are the rules’ now are speaking about yesterday, not tomorrow. Write your plan in pencil and keep a big eraser with you. And keep writing!

The more great, high quality books you have out there, the more likely you are to succeed. But don’t sacrifice quality. Whether you self-publish, use a small press, go with a legacy publisher or find some all new way to publish, make sure you have a professional cover, professional formatting and by golly–professional editing! Even the most brilliant writer needs a content and line edit by someone who knows what they are doing.

AM: What have you learned most as a writer over the years?

KK: That I can always improve. My writing has changed drastically over the years. I always actively seek ways to grow and improve in my writing and marketing. I’ve recently become a plotter after years of being a die-hard panster. I’ve found this has seriously cut down on my rewriting needs and is allowing me to keep up a very aggressive publishing schedule. I’m also learning a lot from my editor on how to make my writing sharper, cleaner and more powerful. The craft of writing is something I just love! It’s why I do what I do.

AM: Self-publishing is a huge trend lately, but you chose to move into more traditional publishing. What inspired that shift for you?

KK: I didn’t go quite as traditional as you might think. Evolved Publishing is sort of a hybrid publisher. Very author-centric, they often describe themselves as self-publishers on steroids! It would take a LOT for me to sign with a legacy publisher. I’m not sure I would, but I’ll never say never. With the rise in eBooks and eReaders and the shifts taking place in the publishing world, it doesn’t make sense to give almost all my royalties away to someone else when I can do it on my own. I love the deal John Locke worked out to get his paperbacks distributed by a legacy publisher without signing over any of his rights. Those are the kinds of creative relationships I think we’ll start to see as the landscape continues to shift.

With Evolved, I still have creative control of my work, but I get an awesome team of editors and cover artists who make my work even better and a team who is committed to promoting my work and helping me succeed, just as I am them. I’m still indie, just not so alone in the process. What really cinched the deal for me was talking to the founders of Evolved and learning about their very unique business model for this company. I realized that by signing with them I wasn’t losing anything, wasn’t risking anything (as I might with a legacy publisher or even another small press) and I gained so much in the partnership. And so far it’s a been a perfect fit for me!

AM: What can we expect next?

KK: So much!! Forbidden Fire (book 2 in the Forbidden Series) will be out early November, followed quickly the final Forbidden book, Forbidden Life. In December I will be releasing the complete Forbidden Series as a 3-1 book, with bonus features, in both paperback and ebook. Then I’ll be launching three lower grade chapter books with some fabulous full color illustrations. The Three Lost Kids–Lexie World, Bella World and Madelynne World– will be available in time for Christmas, as individual books and a collection. I’m very excited about this series! Especially with all the new color eReaders coming out.

Then, look for Death by Destiny, the first in The Chronicles of Corinne trilogy, and The Reluctant Familiar, the first in a longer series. The next 12 months have a lot of exciting book launches coming! More magic, witches, gods and goddesses, curses and conflicting prophesies and so much more.


Alex Mcdermott and Kimberly Kinrade are both featured members of DarkMediaCity, a free social network for those who like it Dark.  Whether it be literature or film, horror or sci-fi, paranormal romance or paranormal investigation, we’ve got something for you.

Kimberly can also be found on her website:

To purchase a copy of Forbidden Mind on, please click here.

(All interviews are the exclusive property of DarkMedia, and may not be reproduced or shared without permission, excepting links to the interview.)

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