By Debbie Burke
Kim Briggs just loves adventure. She craves it. And finally, she decided to write down all the stories of intrigue and suspense running around in her head, choosing to land in the YA (Young Adult) genre. “My overactive imagination and a penchant for conspiracy theories add fuel to the fire,” she says. The Mt. Pocono, PA resident is also a writing coach and a teaching assistant for the Highlights Foundation.
Local Flair: You had been writing for a while but almost gave up. What happened?
Kim Briggs: In September of 2015, I doubted my chosen path. I questioned my ability as a writer. I believed no way was I ever going to be published. Then I went to my son’s junior high open house, and up on that wall, for all his peers to see, was the line, “My mom is a writer.” That was it for me. First, I cried. Then I got to work. I decided to publish And Then He, a New Adult novel, on my birthday, October 15. I edited And Then He several times. I created a website, made a cover, uploaded the books, and made my book publication happen. For those three weeks prior to the book launch, I didn’t sleep. Come November of that year, I decided to aggressively query Starr Fall to both agents and publishers. I had several full manuscripts out since the summer and full requests kept rolling in. The day after Christmas, I received THE email, and after a lot of thought and deliberation (and a lot of happy dancing) I decided that Inkspell Publishing could give me what I wanted: a book in my hands within a year, rather than the typical two to three years, with the promise that all the books in the Starr Fall series would be published, another major consideration.
Local Flair: What inspired you to launch the Starr Fall series?
Kim: It came in the form of a dream. I’m always chased by bad guys while I sleep. One night I woke up in a cold sweat. A secret organization wanted me as an assassin. Me? No one wants to read about me, but Starr Bishop? That’s a character who readers can get behind. I added Christian Evergood, because who doesn’t need some kissing and a dreamy hero in their life? However, Starr Bishop is not your typical damsel in distress. She can take care of herself, thank you very much.
The Starr Fall characters reflect our world of friends and families. Christian, Ben and Coda are part of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Frank is African-American, and Starr and Di possess kickass female qualities.
Local Flair: How did the cover art come about?
Kim: The cover designer is Najla Qamber Designs. Najla is incredibly talented. It’s like she pulls the inspiration out of your brain, and after you see her first attempts at the cover, you’re like, “YES! That is exactly what I had in mind. Could we change/add X, Y and Z?” A beautiful cover is the result. The best thing in the world is to see an email from her in your inbox with your book cover. Najla Qambar is a cover genius.
Local Flair: Current projects?
Kim: Big and extensive.
The outline of book four of the Starr Fall series is done. I think it will wrap up the series. However, I am scheming about a possible spin-off featuring Di, Starr’s co-main character in Starr Gone and Starr Lost.
I’m on the lookout for a literary agent for my YA work-in-progress that combines Celtic mythology with druids, werewolves and magic in a contemporary setting. I also just started agent-shopping for a nonfiction picture book about a frontier woman who made significant contributions to the development of the West and who possessed serious “woman power.”
For more information, visit www.KimBriggsWrite.com.