Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kimberly Afe & The Headhunters Race

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! It looks like I am getting back to my once-a-week blogging schedule! It feels good! And I am super excited to share a great interview and fantastic book by Kimberly Afe, with you today! I am so excited about this book, and I think you will be too! I just got mine delivered from Amazon, and once you read the blurb, I think you'll know exactly why I had to rush and get it!
Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.

With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.
 Um... AWESOME, right? And the cover is pretty fantastic too!

So, after checking this out, I invited Kimberly over for an interview and she graciously agreed.

1.      Describe yourself in 40 words or less!

Happy, grateful, appreciative, lover of things (family, friends, my dog, people, writers, nature, coffee, C├ęsar salad, desserts, great commercials, books, fun– this part would go way over 40 words), believer, seeker, hopeful, goofy, playful, quiet, (loud to hubby), housework avoider.

I know that’s probably not exactly the way you were expecting me to describe myself. :)

I LOVE IT! And I totally avoid housework too!

2.      Tell us a little bit about your journey into publishing The Headhunters Race. What challenges did you have to overcome?

            The idea came to me in the summer of 2011.  I brainstormed the entire story with my son over a dinner of spicy spaghetti.  We worked out the entire novel:  the characters and their motivations, the world, and the details of the race as I frantically wrote it all down. Once I was finished, I sent many, many queries (over about a two-year period) and entered it into some popular contests but dystopian was overdone by that time.  Querying dystopian was a big challenge. When I kept receiving rejections based on a saturated dystopian market, I mulled over the idea of going indie and finally decided to go for it.  Dystopian is what I write and I have more than one dystopian novel written.  Deciding whether to go indie was the hardest part of the process because the other parts of it, like cover design, editing, formatting, and how to even get started was fairly easy since so many fabulous writers provide info about it on their blogs and are willing to help.

I'm glad you went for it. I remember when people thought that dystopian was overdone, but I love dystopian novels. And I know a lot of indie authors who are extremely successful because their books rock! I am so excited about yours. It is so cool that you worked through your story with your son! That's AWESOME!
3.      Where did you get your inspiration from in writing Headhunters?

The idea was born on June 26, 2011 after a Zelda game commercial inspired me.  The commercial was brilliant and I thought why can't they make a movie that cool?  And then I thought, why don't I write a cool adventure myself!  So I did. :)

Good for you!!! There are so many forms of inspiration out there! We just need to remember to GO FOR IT!

4.      What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter, pantser? Do you have a specific time and place that you write, or do you fit it in whenever you can? Etc.

I think I’m a hybrid of both.  I’ve figured out that I go back and forth. Sometimes I plot it all out, sometimes not.  I like to get the main ideas down at least and sometimes I just get antsy to start writing when I’ve got enough to get me started.  I mostly write on the weekends because my brain is refreshed from the normal work week and sometimes I can get a cup of coffee and go for it on a weeknight.

Sounds like a good plan. I love knowing how other people make it work. 
5.      What is your favorite thought or quote?

            I don’t have a favorite one – there are so many I love and can relate to.  I like this one a lot though: 

                Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. - Brian Littrell
 Good choice! I'm a big fan of thoughts like this!
6.      What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

                To keep focus on your dream, because YOU are the one that will MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Well said!

7.      If you could have any super power, what would it be, and why?

                This is a good one!  Breathe under water!  I can think of lots of benefits to this one. :)

OH man! That would definitely be a good one! It's horrible, but my mind goes straight to all the pranks I could play on people! Not exactly "super power" etiquette, but it would be fun!

8.      What is one “MUST DO” that is on your bucket list, but has nothing to do with writing?

            Go on a road trip around the United States for 1 year!  There are so many awesome places I’d love to see around our beautiful country.

Very good idea! There are a lot of great places here! I'm trying to add some to my bucket list and take my kids! Like Mt. Rushmore!!! 
Thank you so much, Leigh, for having me on your blog!

Thank you for being here, Kimberly! It has been a real pleasure!

Author Bio:

Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.

Website     Goodreads     Twitter     Facebook     Blog   Amazon

So, show Kimberly some comment love and tell us... what ONE super power would you wish for, if you could? (Or maybe you have a secret one, that you want to tell us about!)


Kimberly said...

Thank you so much, Leigh for having me over!

I would love to go back to Mt. Rushmore - when we were young, we were doing a road trip from Washington State to Indiana and my husband would barely stop anywhere along the way (he was in such a rush!) and only gave me a few minutes at Mt. Rushmore. :)

P.S. I still keep trying to follow using the follow widget and it keeps giving me an error - I'm not going to give up though - this has happened with blogger before! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Breathe underwater - that made me chuckle.
Let's hear it for spicy meatballs and Zelda commercials!

Suzi said...

That cover is cool. Creepy, but w/the pretty butterfly.

Kimberly said...

Lol, Alex - one reason I picked that is because one of my big fears is drowning! :)

Thank you Suzi, my husband insisted it needed the skull to get the deadly part of the race across. lol (I agreed with him though)

Emily R. King said...

Great to meet you, Kimberly! I like to think I'm a hybrid plotter/pantser too.

Hugs, Leigh!

Rosalyn said...

such a fun interview! if I had a superpower, I'd like the time-turner from Harry Potter. I really need a duplicate self!

Kimberly said...

Emily -great to meet you too! I tried being one way or another and it just doesn't work. :)

Rosalyn - that is such an awesome superpower! I could use a duplicate self - myself! :)

Nicole said...

Fun interview and congrats to Kimberly!

Kristin Smith said...

Great interview! Congrats to Kimberly! I have to say, when I read the blurb about her novel I thought, "I want to read it! I want to read it!" Seriously, it sounds so cool! Love the concept!

Carrie Butler said...

Whoa. I have to read this one! :) Thanks for sharing, Leigh!

Heather Holden said...

Great interview! That quote has always been one of my favorites, as well. And ooh, breathing underwater would definitely be a handy superpower!

Donna K. Weaver said...

What a premise! Kimberly is great. She was one of my first blogging buddies years ago.

Tara Tyler R said...

kimberly is awesome! so nice to see her be interviewed - and great to have Leigh posting again too =)

happy tuesday, ladies!

Angela Cothran said...

Sounds like a very cool book. I want to go on a cross country trip too. I kind of want to base mine off of good places to eat :)

Kimberly said...

Nicole, thank you!

Oh, Wahoo, Kristin and Carrie - if you get a chance to read it - I hope you enjoy it. :)

Heather - that is such a great quote. I'd be happy among the stars any day. :)

Donna - yes - and we are both army girls too. :)

Tara, thank you so much! You're pretty awesome yourself. :)

Angela - that is a cool idea to base a trip off of - good places to eat. I love that idea!

Angela Brown said...

Three Cheers Kimberly for going for your dream and making it happen.

Dystopian is often written off as over-saturated in the market. Maybe, maybe not. But it's your story and it rocks that you did it.

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

Dystopian stories may wane in certain years but will never completely die out.

Nice to see you back, Leigh!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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