Allow me to welcome author Kimberly Mullican to the Open
Vein. Her book, TAKING CONTROL is available now in
multiple formats. Read below for more details!
EJ (me) – First, the dirty. Tell us about your book,
Kimberly Mullican (KM) – First of all EJ – thank you so
much for having me. I appreciate you taking time out of
your busy schedule to play Pimp for a Day!
This is the part I hate. If you can tweet in 140 characters,
why is it so hard to shorten the description of the book?
My blurb for my book:
Kat Trueblood, genetically engineered medium and former
CIA Agent, thought she had escaped the danger and drama
of her previous life. She has a stable job as a paralegal, is
dating her first girlfriend, and has plenty of time to spend
with her best friend and guardian – a ghost named Grant.
In denial about missing the action of her former life, Kat’s
thrust head first back into it when the Russian mafia – the
same guys who raped and tortured her for two weeks during
active duty – targets her and her family. The CIA forces her
to choose between working with the FBI to catch a serial killer
who is slaughtering area drag queens or leaving her family at
Distracted by discovering Grant is in love with her and her
girlfriend ending up on the suspect list, Kate finds herself as
the hunted instead of the hunter. Captured by the killer, she
must face her inner demons in order to survive and end the
serial killer’s mayhem.
ME – The book description for Taking Control is unbelievably
compelling, hinting at the story being a spy action thriller
with a paranormal twist. Was it a premeditated decision to
write a story using both elements, or did it evolve organically
from one into both?
KM – You’re not going to believe how this all came together.
I had a terribly overwritten vampire book (Don't we all? :) …
and it’s good, just horribly overwritten. After every single
agent said, “no thanks” or nothing at all I started looking at
what they WERE looking for. Strong female MC – check;
gay/lesbian overtones – check; paranormal – check;
Romance – well there is a little romance and sex, best of
both worlds. (Don’t gasp – we all love sex, it’s okay.) The
whole story started to form as I was reading what agents
were looking for. The funny part is – I decided to go the Indie
route instead. Who cares what the agents want really? I’m
not looking for an agent. Not now anyway.
ME – Most of my blog followers being authors, aspiring or
practicing, we’re always interested in the nuts and bolts of
craft here at the OV: Tell us a little about your journey to
KM – Well, I did way better with English and Literature in
high school and college than Chemistry and Math. It’s just
the way my brain is built. (I like and understand the way your
brain is built!) I have written several short stories, really
sucky poetry and a few good stand-up routines for a couple
of starting artists.
I always loved a good book. I was a huge John Grisham fan
until his work seemed redundant to me. Then I discovered
Baldacci. I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal stuff and I
love vampires. Shoot me. I’m not enticed by the sparkly kind
though. I’m getting off topic. Blame it on my background in
sales. I talk too much.
After the divorce from my first husband, I suffered from
insomnia. I got sick of tossing and turning and decided to
write the stories that were in my head. Though Goddess
Janet Reid would flog me for admitting it – I published my
first novel via vanity press. Yes – I learned my lesson. I have
an unedited book out there with my face plastered on the
back. Thank God it isn’t on bookshelves and my name has
Since 2006, I’ve been reading on the industry, following
authors and studying while writing. I joined a few crit groups
and finally, started TAKING CONTROL. I knew I wanted to
self-pub and that all responsibility was going to fall on my
shoulders. I have had 10 separate pairs of eyes on this book
through all stages. Editing is so important, and very difficult.
Each critter found something different or suggested
something different. Again, in the end, it’s all on the author.
ME – What’s your writing process like?
KM – Oh hell, I’ve tried to be a plotter. I find it stifling.
I’m a type B though and the fewer the rules the better.
Each WIP gets however much time it needs. If it’s shit,
I scrap, rewrite, rework and give to betas. Depending on the
scene I’m writing I switch up my environment. Dark scenes I
write at night, usually with a cocktail (careful using this
process, you need to reread it in the a.m.) Light stuff I write
during the day with a boat load of coffee in my system.
I do have one WIP that I never connected with and it never
made it to the Betas. It upset me so much I even erased the
digital file. It just stunk. It’s okay to write garbage. Someone
important once said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” The
important thing is to keep writing.
ME – In the current climate, it’s almost impossible to talk
about writing and not talk about THE business. You
published Taking Control independently. What went into
that decision, and what can you tell us about the process?
KM – I touched on that a little above. I read Konrath’s blog.
(NOTE: J.A. Konrath is an author who staunchly advocates
DIY publishing, and gives lots of tips on how to do it
successfully. You can read his blog, here.)I’ve also read
some of his books. I think the man is onto something. While
he may upset some people, I can see how passionate he is
and I don’t think he’s wrong, I just think the industry is
changing and why not have control of your own work
product? After all, I have a piece of garbage out there that
I don’t get control over until 2014. If I had self-pubbed, I
could correct my error and move on.
ME – Any tips for those of us considering the Indie route?
KM – Edit, Edit, Edit. (Amen, sister!) Get as many readers as
possible and as much feedback as possible. If you can afford
an editor (and I couldn’t) get one. Buy Kristen Lamb’s book
on marketing. I think of her as my guru, whether she likes
that or not, I’m not certain. But I talk about her so much,
Klout says I’m an influencer on Lambs… Your cover art can
make or break you, so choose wisely.
Read as much as possible. Read books, blogs, industry
news, author web pages anything you can get your hands on.
Stay on top of the industry. Please, look before you leap.
Educate yourself on what you’re getting yourself into. This
industry isn’t for the faint of heart.
Do your research. I wrote about drag queens in my book. I
spent a lot of time with a drag queen and he was very helpful
making sure I didn’t misrepresent that sector of the population
. I certainly didn’t want scores of drag queens out for my
head! That would just be weird.
ME – Change is constant in the publishing industry nowadays.
Put on your prognostication hat: What does publishing look
like 5 years from now and, perhaps more importantly, where
do you think authors fit in?
KM – I really do see the big 6 suffering in the long run. It’s
slow, and today’s world is fast paced. We get everything
on-demand nowadays and they just haven’t gotten on board.
We are going to have to sift through some self-published crap
to find the gems. Who knows, someone might not like my
work, and that’s ok. After all, you can be the tastiest green
apple in the world, but not everyone likes green apples. So
far I have received positive feedback and one 5 star rating on
Amazon! The reader even wrote a review that nearly made
me pee! (No one said I'd need diapers to be a writer ...
must. read. more.)
ME – Enough shoptalk! Tell us where we can find Taking
You can find it here: Barnes & Noble & Amazon
Paperback will be available shortly through CreateSpace.
If you want to be slightly disturbed and/or enticed,
TAKING CONTROL is for you.
Thanks again for having me! It’s been a pleasure.
ME - Pleasure is all mine. Best of luck to you in the future!