Friday, April 4, 2008

Interview with Kimberly Van Meter

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Kimberly Van Meter. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called A KISS TO REMEMBER. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

I would love to tell you a bit about my latest release. It’s the third in the Emmett’s Mill series, published through Harlequin Superromance and it’s the story of Nora Simmons and Ben Hollister III. What can I say but this is my favorite character thus far? Nora is the kind of heroine you don’t often find. She’s not cute and cuddly or sweet and nice—far from it!— but she’s really an awesome character because she’s genuine, loyal and truly flawed in such a wonderful way. Nora and Ben have a love story that is alternately funny and wild to poignant and revealing. I love it!

KISS TO REMEMBER is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Well, it’s actually integral to the story. It’s my original title and I was tickled that the PTB agreed that it was perfect. The hero and the heroine share their first kiss when they are kids and it’s just something that always stuck with them even though they grew up apart after that one fateful moment.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

A bit. I didn’t know anything about landscape architects and so it was fun to learn about this very creative and hands-on type of business. I have the very definition of a black thumb so I really couldn’t rely on my own expertise. (I can relate to that) KW

What character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Well, since this book is the continuation of a series, which started with the middle sister, Natalie, then Tasha, I’ve come to know Nora fairly well. And from the start she was my favorite because I could always count on Nora saying what needed to be said even if it wasn’t polite or politically correct. I also liked Nora because she felt most genuine. She wanted to love and be loved (don’t we all) but sometimes she went about things the wrong way and I loved that about her because in the end, we see past her flaws to the true person beneath, who just happens to be a wonderful person. I’m sure we all know someone like that in our lives. I know I do.

If your book was made into a movie, what actor would you like to fill your hero’s shoes?

This is such a hard question to answer and yet it’s such a popular question. That takes some serious thinking…I guess I’d have to say that I would leave that up to the reader because we all have different ideas of what the hero looks like. I think the model the art department used on the cover of the book is a very good representation of Ben, so whoever that was would fit the bill nicely!

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Oh yes! Margaret Mitchell (of course!) for starters. Then, it’s a freefall through the countless authors I’ve learned from, enjoyed, or just flat-out idolized over the years. Judy Blume and V.C. Andrews (who didn’t read Flowers In the Attic?) from when I was a kid; recently, Karen Marie Moning and J.R. Ward are sitting pretty high in my regard and I’ve only just discovered Nora Roberts (I know! Scandalous!) but I’m totally hooked on her new series.

What do we have to look forward next?

My next book after A KISS TO REMEMBER in April is another Emmett’s Mill story entitled, AN IMPERFECT MATCH, which comes out in September. This is the story of Dean Halvorsen and Annabelle Nichols. For those who are following the series, readers will remember first meeting Dean in RETURN TO EMMETT’S MILL when his younger brother Josh hooks up with Nora’s sister, Natasha. I confess, Dean and Annabelle’s story came together so easily and it was a delight to write. I actually came in a full month ahead of my deadline I was writing so quickly. I do love that story, too. Annabelle is a wonderful heroine. And my editor said Dean was the kind of hero that made her feel warm and fuzzy. Yum!

Thanks, Kimberly!

To celebrate her book release, Kimberly is offering a free book from her backlist either FATHER MATERIAL or RETURN TO EMMETT’S MILL to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Bio: An avid reader since before she can remember, Kimberly Van Meter started her writing career at the age of 16 when she finished her first novel, typing late nights and early mornings, on her mother’s old portable typewriter.

Although that first novel was nothing short of literary mud, with each successive piece of work her writing improved to the point of reaching that coveted published status.

A journalist (who during college swore she’d never write news), Kimberly has worked for both daily and weekly newspapers, covering multiple beats including education, health and crime, but she always dreamed of writing novels and someday saying goodbye to her nonfiction roots.

Born and raised in scenic Mariposa, CA, Kimberly knows a thing or two about small towns—preferring the quiet, rural atmosphere to the hustle and bustle of a busy city anyday—but she and her husband make their home in Oakdale, which represents a compromise between the two worlds.

Kimberly and her husband, John, met and fell in love while filming a college production. He was the camera operator and she, the lead actress. Her husband often jokes that he fell in love with his wife through the lens of a camera. A year later they were married and have been together ever since.

In addition to writing, reading, and drinking hot chocolate by the windowsill when it rains, Kimberly enjoys photography and is the resident photographer for every family event, including weddings and new babies. The photographs gracing the walls of their home are comprised almost entirely of shots Kimberly has captured, whether on the job or just playing around with the camera.

The oldest of four siblings and the mother of three children, Kimberly divides her time between soccer games, swim meets, bottle feedings, and deadlines.

Check out author’s website at

Buy through Amazon or anywhere Harlequin Books are sold.


Shelley Mosley said...

I enjoyed reading about you and your books, Kimberly! Thanks for creating a realistic heroine--I don't like the sweet ones either!

Kimberly Van Meter said...

Good morning Shelley! Thank you for visiting with me today. Nora is so strong-willed and unique she practically dictated the story to me. You'd think with a strong character like that it would be difficult to find a hero for her but Ben popped up immediately and he was fun to write, too. Ultimately, this book was a riot to create and I'm so tickled that RT gave it 4.5 stars and named it a Top Pick! for April.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Kimberly. Great interview. A Kiss To Remember sounds great. I love the cover.

Ginny said...

Okay, Kimmy. I'll try this again. Could not get in before. Anyway, I did read A Kiss to Remember and am looking forward to the next Emmett's Mill story. Loved Nora. Loved her spirit, her penchant for saying what is on her mind and to heck with what everyone thinks. She's honest and true to herself. I get tired of those sweet, syrupy weak-willed women who seem to think they must always be perfect. So, keep up the good work, gal. I miss you and all the SVR people, but don't think I'll be leaving Cody, Wyoming for a long time, if ever. I live vicariously through SVR e-mail and yours and other SVR'ers books. Got yours, Terry McLaughlin's and Deb Salonen's new ones and devoured them in a hurry. Keep 'em coming. Allison and Deb both sent me some books to share with my Wyo friends. So did Donna W. Take care.


LuAnn said...

Great interview, Kimberly. As a journalist myself, I enjoy reading about others in my field who have branched out to other types of writing.

Kimberly Van Meter said...

crystal: Thank you! I love the cover, too. Would it be gushing too much to say it's my favorite thus far? The art dept did a fabulous job capturing the spirit of the main characters as well as a darn close physical representation!

Ginny: You're such a doll! Wyoming sounds like a wild and lovely place. It's on my list of states to visit someday. Glad you're still keeping up with the Rosers! And thank you so much for picking up AKTR and loving it! *hugs*

Luann: Thanks for stopping by! We journalists need to stick together. ;-)

Wendy Almeida said...

Can't wait to read your latest book!

Kimberly Van Meter said...

Wendy: Good to see you! I hope you enjoy Nora's story! Thanks for stopping by.

Ellen said...

I have all of your Emmetts Mill books and have really enjoyed them but I think A Kiss to Remember is my favorite (so far). I love Nora and kind of have a kinship with her. She reminds me so much of myself (at least when I was YOUNGER!)

Carol Webb said...

Hi, Kimberly. I'm glad to hear they decided on your original title. Sounds like a wonderful book. I can't wait to read it.

Ellen said...

PS - Kim I'm EllenToo not the other Ellen. And I came to visit like you begged.

Kimberly Van Meter said...

Ellen: Bless you for taking pity on me! LOL...I'm so glad you enjoyed AKTR and I'm tickled that you have all the Emmett's Mill series. Did you know that Dean Halvorsen has a story coming up in September? Yep. And it's a good one!

Carol: You know titles are a funny thing. I've been lucky in that the PTB have liked three out of the five titles I've submitted. In fact my Sept book has only a slight change from An UNLIKELY Match to AN IMPERFECT MATCH, which I thought was a subtle but perfect alteration. But I know some authors hate trying to find a title and readily admit that it's the hardest thing to do. I enjoy it. Probably comes from my journalism experience and always needing to get down the nitty gritty of a story.

Ellen said...

I'll be looking forward to Dean's story. Do you have any more planned after that?

robynl said...

Nora and Ben are characters I'd like to get to know better.
The book title 'A Kiss to Remember' could take some of us readers down memory lane.

Kimberly Van Meter said...

Ellen: I do have more Emmett's Mill stories planned. Sammy Halvorsen needs his own story; he's such a card. And I have a Rom Susp set in Emmett's Mill but nothing set in stone...also I'm working on a story for John Murphy (the brother to Evan Murphy, Natalie Simmons husband) that I hope my editor likes. :-) Those two are still in proposal phase. I'll let everyone know if I get a green light!

Robyn: Yes, that title definitely could spark some memories in our own lives, couldn't it? LOL...I think we all have a kiss that lives on in our memory even if it was a short-lived moment in time or the beginning of a heated love affair.

Candy Halliday said...

Hi Kim:

I recently read Tasha and Josh's story "Return to Emmett's Mill" and loved it.

Can't wait to read the rest of the series!


Kimberly Van Meter said...

Candy: Thanks! I hope you enjoyed Tasha's story. That was a HARD story to write. So emotionally gut-wrenching that when I started writing Nora's story a week after I finished, it was such a relief to delve into someone else's skin who wasn't so damaged. I mean, Nora was certainly flawed (deliciously so) but she wasn't traumatized like Tasha.
When I first envisioned the sisters I had to figure out if I wanted the series to stay light and fun like Father Material or heavy like Return to Emmett's Mill and then I realized the decision wasn't mine to make! The sisters dictated their story, not me. I just followed where they lead and I am so glad. I am very pleased with this series. I think it's some of my best writing thus far. :-) I hope my readers agree!

Kimberly Van Meter said...

Ohhh drat! Did we get spammed?? Grrr...Oh, and a winner will be drawn Monday or Tuesday so there's still time to post over the weekend. I've had a great time chatting. I'll pop in here and there over the weekend to make sure I don't miss anyone in case we have some stragglers.