Culture Street


Kimberley Freeman is an established writer under the name Kim Wilkins. She is moving her writing talents out of the speculative fiction genre and focusing on commercial women's fiction. She published DUET in 2007, GOLD DUST in 2008 and WILDFLOWER HILL in 2010 under the pen-name Kimberley Freeman. Her latest book, LIGHTHOUSE BAY is our Book of the Week.

 

We are thrilled that Kimberley was able to join us today to answer a few questions.

You started your writing career as a writer of fantasy (as Kim Wilkins). What was the deciding factor in crossing over to commercial fiction?

I simply felt as though I'd said all I could say in fantasy at the time. Every idea I came up with sounded very familiar to me, so I decided I would leave that field fallow and try something else. I never suspected that Kimberley Freeman would do so well, and she has kept me busy ever since.

Do you have a preference for fantasy or commercial fiction?

No. I love stories as long as they're big and full of passion and adventure and strong women. It doesn't matter which genre.

Do you think there is prejudice against the romance novel?

Yes of course there is. It's the lowest rung on the genre ladder, which is completely ridiculous because there's nothing as important to our species than connecting to each other (not to mention falling in love and having babies: that's how we continue to exist). I think a lot of the prejudice against romance is prejudice against women's reading habits. These are stories about women's experiences of the world, for women, and mostly by women. I'm never dismissive of romance.

Much of Lighthouse Bay is set in 1901. Did you have to do much research to create the sense of time and place necessary for this book?

Yes I did. I love the historical research, and this time it was particularly fun because it was set locally (about 2 hours from my home). I spent a lot of time looking at old photographs and visiting historic buildings and reading old diaries.

The importance of family is an underlying theme in your book. Is this something you have discovered for yourself?

Again, it's all about how we are connected, isn't it. Family are the people you love and who love you even when times are tough. I am so grateful for my mother and my brother. They are a constant source of love and support for me.

How do you balance motherhood with writing?

Very badly, I imagine! My daughter once drew a picture of me, and it was the back of my head in front of a computer. I only have my children 50% of the time (their father has them the other 50%) so my time with them feels scarce and precious. I work very hard on the weeks they aren't with me, and when they are with me I make sure I'm at every school pick-up and I try very hard to turn off the computer so I can give them my full attention. Sometimes it's hard (for example when I'm wrtiting responses to interview questions quite late!).

Which novel inspired your own writing journey?

It was Gladys Malvernís The Dancing Star, first published in 1944, an account of the life of Anna Pavlova, written for children. Like many little girls, I dreamed of being a ballet dancer but unfortunately I was very very bad at dancing and didnít progress beyond the one disastrous Christmas concert. But it wasnít the stuff about ballet that affected me so deeply, it was the stuff about work. According to the book, Anna Pavlova was obsessed with dancing. She practised all the time. She did it until her toes bled and she just. kept. going. This notion, that one could work so hard and push through barriers of extreme discomfort, really took hold of my imagination. From that moment on, I understood the incredible romance of work: diligent hours spent on something that mattered to make an outcome appear in the world.

What is next for you?

I'm going to write another Kimberley Freeman book over the summer (don't worry: summers are looooong in Brisbane). And then I'm going to have a little break.

You Might Also Like

Books

Dr Tim Sharp on living a happy life

Dr Timothy Sharp has three degrees in psychology (including a PHD) and an impressive record as an academic, clinician and coach. He runs one of Sydney's oldest and most respected...

On July 17, 2014

Books

Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany

By Sophia Whitfield

On June 24, 2013

Books

Milly Johnson on Christmas family traditions

Milly Johnson is a Sunday Times top ten bestseller, poet, columnist, joke-writer, radio presenter-in-training and winner of Come Dine With Me. She likes cruising on big ships, owls, Pellers Ice...

On November 27, 2013
 

Books

Vaseem Khan selects Five Books of Influence

Vaseem Khan first saw an elephant lumbering down the middle of the road in 1997 when he arrived in India to work as a management consultant. It was the most...

On August 14, 2015

Books

What are you reading?

This week we are reading The Unfinished Journals of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier.

On July 24, 2012

Books

The House of Memories

By Sophia Whitfield

On January 1, 2013
 
Copyright © 2012 - 2017 Culture Street
Contact: info@culturestreet.com.au