Happy Blog Day from camp at Cape Cod. Hubby and I are on the back end of our glamping trip. Our first stop was near Freeport Maine. We visited the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath where I did a bit of research for an up coming book. Took a boat ride and then ate at a tourist trap. Let's just say the food was overpriced and the taste underwhelming. We did better when we visited with a long time friend and pastor who is also an author and visited the Sea Dog restaurant. I'll be doing more research here in Cape Cod. Did you know the pirate ship the Wydah is located right off the coast. Well come on back and I'll fill you in another time because I can't wait for you to meet today's guest.
Hey, Kim! I'm so glad you could join me at camp today. While I grab some refreshments why don't you introduce yourself?
I’m a lifelong planner—whether it was work related, getting my chores done as a child to maximize my allowance, or what we’re having for dinner. After a long and very demanding career in Health Care Information Technology, I retired almost seven years ago. I was a little worried about what I would be doing, but I discovered I had a lot of pent up demand to keep learning and doing—only now it’s things I want to do. My husband says I’m the poster child for how to be retired. I treasure my family and friends and try to always support them. I’m the busy person, who if you need something done, you would ask.
You sound like my DH. My son always tells Pete he is terrible at retirement. What interests do you have besides writing?
I’ve always done needlework of some kind: knitting, crocheting, cross stitch, needlepoint, and chicken scratch embroidery. Now I have a spinning wheel and spin all kinds of fiber into yarn to make things for the people I love. The most interesting and expensive fiber I’ve spun is musk ox. It’s extremely light and purported to be nine times warmer than wool. I spun two thousand yards and learned how to do cable stitches to make a birthday sweater for one of my sisters. Then I received a loom from my sister-in-law as a birthday gift and taught myself to weave. To date, I’ve woven over seventy scarves out of yarn that I spun. They’ve all gone to friends and family. Pictures of my retirement projects now fill four albums, not including my writing. I learned how to make jewelry with 24 carat gold thread and how to do embroidery on lace bobbinet fabric ordered from England. I’ve knit over one hundred pairs of socks for friends and family. I am the chief building maker for my husband’s extensive HO model railroad layout that takes up a large part of our basement. I read extensively from classics to sci-fi to romances to all the Lemony Snickett books. Since becoming a Rose, I’ve greatly expanded the number of authors I enjoy. My husband and I have a standing date each afternoon for a cocktail and a crossword puzzle. We do the same puzzle and while it’s kind of a competition, we swap answers at if needed. I love to learn and keep my brain active. I’m a person who looks up the words I don’t know in the dictionary and uses Internet searches and our old set of World Book encyclopedias extensively to expand my knowledge.
Wowzah! That's a lot of textile moving through your hands. I can crochet a bit but don't have the patience for much more, though I do have friends who quilt, embroider, and weave. Sounds like your DH is an amazing support.
My first encourager and writing consultant is my husband of forty-seven years, Jim. We married young and have grown up together. He reads my stories and provides terrific insights and ideas that add interesting points to my work.
I’m the oldest of ten kids with more than eighty nieces, nephews, greats, great-greats, and most recently a great-great-great nephew. While I have no children of my own, I have lots of role models for the children in my stories. My siblings and their families and my in-law extended family have all been very supportive. I have related experts for medical, legal, finance questions. Although I have to confess I did alarm one of my sisters when I called to ask about a head trauma without explaining it was for a story. I am blessed with a number of friends across the country who have encouraged and supported my writing adventures. Some have been early readers of various stories. My friend, Millie, especially, has patiently read multiple drafts of my stories and made spot on recommendations to improve them. It’s wonderful to have a resource who loves you enough to give you an honest critique. Several years ago, author Cynthia Ruchti helped me learn about deeper point of view and helped me hone my writing skills. She grew up in the same small Wisconsin town that I did. Attending writers’ conferences, like the Southern Christian Writers Conference based here in Alabama and networking with people there has also helped me improve my craft. I am the person who types the story and sends it off, but fortunately, I have lots of help along the way.
That's an amazing array. What a big family, too. Are there any books or authors who inspire you?
There are so many. I love the way Francine Rivers can take a story from the Bible, move it to the old west and write a marvelous novel. Nora Roberts is the queen of family stories spread over multiple books. Elizabeth Goddard has inspired suspense stories nailed. Cynthia Ruchti writes books of hope and inspiration. I love Edgar Rice Burroughs, John D. Macdonald, Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, Edna Ferber, Willa Cather, John Irving, John Steinbeck…the list goes on. I read sweet to steamy romances. I love a happy-ever-after ending and villains you don’t expect.
I adore Francine Rivers. The Mark of the Lion Series, Leota's Garden and Redeeming Love are my favorites. I also read sweet to steamy. Do you have any funny or outrageous talent?
Does curling your tongue count? My husband can’t do it so he’s amazed I can.
I'll give you a yes for that. What's your neighborhood like? Are there any places you frequent?
Sadly, some of my favorite places did not survive the pandemic. Our frequenting places took a bit of a dive in the past couple of years. We live on the end of a very short street—only six houses—and we’re on the cul-de-sac at the end without any visible neighbors. My back deck is screened in and looks out to trees all around. One of my sisters says from back there it looks like I live in a state forest. It’s quiet and peaceful. In the summer, one of my jobs is keeping the hummingbird feeder filled. I don’t garden or mess with flowers much—that would just be feeding the deer.
So many small businesses took a hit and haven't recovered. My heart goes out to them. Your home sounds lovely. What's the most amazing natural occurrence you've seen?
Being at the Alabama Gulf Coast, early in the morning and watching a thunderstorm over the gulf. Then this rainbow appeared.
A "kodak moment"?
Taking the Tube to Westminster station the first time we visited London, England and coming up from underground to be at the base of Big Ben. It was a chill bumps moment. (Kim sent a picture and it's at the end of the blog today.)
For the rest of your life there's one song that plays whenever you walk into the room. What are we going to hear.
Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries—it helps me have the confidence to believe I can do anything. And do it well.
Most writers grow up with books. What are your fondest memories?
I loved the Nancy Drew stories. I read all of them by the time I was eleven and then bought the whole series as an adult and have been reading them again. Nancy was sassy, in a respectful way. She was independent and smart.
Is there a subject that should be taught in school that's not?
The art of dinner conversation. Beginning with no electronic devices at the table. I’ve noticed a lot of home schooled children seem more comfortable conversing with adults at dinner, or elsewhere, than children with less exposure to adults and others who are not tethered to their electronic devices.
What was your first job?
I worked in my father’s veterinary clinic cleaning out the kennels. Yuck. Eventually, I graduated to clipping poodles, doing billing in the office, and stocking shelves. I remember going on my first job interview while I was in college. The HR person said you listed your dad as a job reference as working for your dad, that’s not much of reference. I told him he didn’t know my dad! I got the job.
Naming characters is a chore for some and a fun game for others. How do you find your names?
Sometimes a name just pops on to the page. I don’t know from where. Some are names that remind me of people I admire—or don’t! I have written entire novels, multiple drafts, and decided to change the character’s name because it is too wimpy for the hero or too nice sounding for a villain.
Kim, thanks for being my guest around the fire. I showed your cover to my hubby who loves Bassett Hounds. Before you head off to weave, sew, or spin another tale, could you tell us more about your book and you?
Kim Janine Ligon
CJ Reynolds couldn’t wait to escape his hometown. He’s loving his bachelor life as a software developer in California. So much so that he hasn’t been back in years to see the grandmother who raised him.
Mikal Benson believes her small town is perfect for raising her son, Will, alone. When Mikal finds her neighbor, Polly Rogers, sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood, barely clinging to life, she calls Polly’s grandson—CJ Reynolds—and insists he must come home. Now!
From her coma, Polly whispers three words that change everything. Did she fall or was she pushed? CJ, Mikal, and Will form an unlikely team coming together to discover the truth as danger engulfs them and love transforms them into a family.
PUBLISHER: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
RELEASE DATE: 08/17/2022
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Your Host D.V. Stone
Award winning multi-genre author and blogger. Fantasy, romance, mid-grade. Nothing better than a campfire, book, and glass of wine. Okay maybe there is.📚
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