Monday, September 7, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Kim Cutler

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?  

     Well, I always wanted to write a book ever since I was little, in 2nd grade when I took Creative Writing at school. I still have the class booklet with poems and mine was included.  Also a Bishop in the LDS church in Houston told me I should write a book as well as another close friend.  My life has been like a super soap opera, more like fiction, however very real to me. I have had so many trials and challenges during my life I could share a lot.  I feel that God gives you challenges to overcome to strengthen you. They are like mountains, and you decide which side of that mountain you want to be on…the one that overcomes the obstacles or the one who gives up and allows the mountain to fall upon and crush you. I made a lame attempt at writing a book when I was in 9th grade and that was the end of that.


How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?   

I get carpel tunnel issues if I write freehand so I write at my computer desk where I used to work from home in our bedroom basement office.  I usually carry a pad and pencil in my purse as I am planning book #2 and as the ideas come I jot them down.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?  

Being able to use my imagination is my favorite part so far in the one I am currently on, seeing just how far the imagination can take you. My least favorite part was of course writing the details of my son’s death as I kept putting it off.  Other than that, for a normal book it would be sitting for hours on end.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?  

When writing fiction (which "Just Don't Forget Me" is not) I use real people I know, and apply real life situations to them. The characters are based off people I know and some I just totally make up from scratch.  Readers would want to get to know them because there is something mysterious about each one that draws the reader in I think. I want my readers to know why, how these unusual things are happening and find out the mystery behind the fictional story based on real life experiences.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?  

Get the book at
Amazon
 

For “Just Don’t Forget Me,” my first book, I have set up a teambj page and we have used it as a way to raise money so that I could travel many times back and forth from Salt Lake City, Utah to Houston Texas to visit my son while he was in the hospital.  

I am currently friends with someone there who works at a music store, and knows a former American Idol contestant who made it to the finals…from Porter Texas. I am working on getting this person to write a song about BJ, as he loves writing his own music and playing different instruments. He said he will interview with a radio station here locally where he’s not really known and have his music put out here in a new area in hopes the song and connection with the book will gather others to hear more of his music as he is working his way up there…and it will also get attention drawn to my book and could be a win-win situation for us both.  He also lost a brother before American Idol several years ago so he can write passionately about losing a loved one.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?  

Since I am no longer working due to health issues I can write now whenever I want, anytime of day or night.  I have to admit it has been awhile.  I was really on a roll there, about ¼ of the way through my 2nd book - just took a few weeks to get that far -and my doctor had put me on a high dose of Prednisone for an auto immune disease I have.   It took away my creativity…I am off of it now and feeling back to normal. I am getting the desire to start back on my book and have since had ideas and titles chosen for 2 future books as well.  So I will have 4 in all once completed, unless of course I come up with more ideas for books.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?   

My book “Just Don’t Forget Me”  BJ’s story, was just released and is on Amazon, Create Space, Barnes and Noble online and Kindle Books and a few more.  You can find it under biography.  I am currently working on a book named, “The Pact,” about a pact a mother makes with her son and how breaking it leads to deadly consequences…don’t want to give away too much information but her son, now gone, is still around more than she thinks. 

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.  

That would be it, and then one about abuse and why women stay. The many dynamics that fall into the cycle and the statistics and why most people don’t understand why they go back since it is so bad…Most people think it would be easy to just walk away but it becomes more like an addiction and the abuser has ways of controlling your mind that are beyond your ability to fight unless you have help.  It’s like being possessed and doing things you don’t want to do, or being with a person you want to get away from but there are many reasons that factor in as to why you stay; a false sense of security, fear of threats being followed through, financial struggles, and so many more.  The cycle of abuse has many layers and abusers have many techniques they use to captivate and control their victims, and keep them in line and submissive.

Another will be about eating disorders and the many various types from overeating, under eating, vomiting, binging, starving, etc. Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimorexia, Anorexic Vomiter, binge eater then self starver.  The food rituals, etc. Calorie counting, food obsession, OCD. Or normal weight bulimic person.  It starts out as a weight issue but later turns into an addiction that spirals out of control.  Like an alcoholic, you cannot stop…you try and try to control it, or you just give in to numb yourself so you don’t feel since binging gives you a euphoric kind of high, yet you wake up the next day with a food hangover, dehydrated and moody as heck.  I always self sabotaged myself and thought I was the only person ever who woke up in the middle of the night to eat.  I did it while sleeping and would wake up thinking I had made it through until I’d found an empty jar of peanut butter and a spoon in the sink.  Or eating sugar, straight from the bag, tons of it…always some form of self harm as I felt worthless and never good enough…so I acted as such.  I grew up with what I call “The Fat, Ugly, Stupid Syndrome.”  Always trying so hard to please a person I could never be good enough for, always getting in relationships that were abusive…I didn’t love myself so I couldn’t allow myself to be with someone who truly loved me until I was able to learn to love myself first.

And last, about betrayal…from a Mother…the life long struggle of a child seeking the approval she never got. Which in turn led to many struggles and challenges in her life. 


What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?  

Everyone has their own unique trials and we can use them to help other’s…some have a gift of creativity, it’s just a matter of doing it.  I never thought I’d be able to actually write and finish my son’s book and or that it would ever really become a reality even though I talked about it.  So talk about it.  Hold yourself accountable to what you say you are going to do and just do it.  The more you talk about it, the more real it will become.  Don’t have too high of expectations.  Every successful person has to start out by trial and error.  Don’t worry so much about doing it right…I just did it how I wanted, if it’s outside of the box, then it’s just that much more unique but I had to write it in a way that worked for me, not what works for someone else.  If you fail, find out why it failed.  If it needs changes that sound reasonable, make them, if not, keep pushing until you find the right person who is looking for the kind of book you have to offer.  I started my BJ book at the end, while it was so fresh in my mind and then never thought I could fill an entire book so I changed it. It was going to be a book of poems instead as I can whip one out in 10 minutes very easily…I’m not saying they are good, just saying they come easy for me and most I wrote while working from home for a call center in between calls, would take 10-15 minutes to make a sale, then finish the poem as I was going through my grieving process.  Then, the stories came to me, and the BJ posts whom a wonderful gifted author put together nicely for me. I had a graphic artist friend who is the producer of the Houston Weather Channel do my cover.  He also lives in Porter Texas  It felt only right to have him do it as he is the one who did all the graphic art on the Face Book teambj page…often without me even knowing, just because he is a great guy. He had already invested so much into this, I felt God was telling me he needed to be the one to do the cover as well.

***

Thank you, Kim!

Learn more about Kim's book below. And don't forget to check out the links!

My son Benjamin Forrest Crawford, aka BJ, died of lymphoma in July of 2013.  He was just 17 years old.  He had been sick and told by the ER he just had the flu.  He ended up 2 weeks later in a Texas children’s hospital on full life support.  It took a month for him to get a diagnosis and after he was off life support, doing physical therapy, the doctors were calling him the Miracle Boy and planning his go home date.  The very last day he was back on oxygen…he said he was exhausted so we figured it was from overdoing it.  I spent the last day of my 8 day PTO vacation from work bought 3 months in advance with him, and after we had said our good byes, my rental car filled, ready to head back to the airport, I stood in the doorway and turned, taking one last look and he cleared his throat and said, “Good-Bye Mom, I love you!”  I knew then I’d never see him alive again. I knew the day he entered the hospital he would die, even before the diagnosis.  I flew home and he died the very next morning.

He must have known, too, because my 2nd oldest daughter found a Facebook post he had written 2 yrs. before he even got sick, saying how he’d like to be remembered, that he wouldn't be around for forever and wasn’t sure if there was a God, and if there was, what he had in store for him but at the moment. BJ didn't seem to like him much. Then he said he loved all of his Facebook friends, that they were awesome, and that he'd stick around awhile, in return, “JUST DON’T FORGET ME.”  

So I knew I had to write this book to honor his memory. He was cremated and buried at sea, though we have no memorial or place to visit him. His dream was to become a Marine Biologist.  

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