I was engaged by TINY from the start! We meet three different people tied together by grief and tragedy. It was a fast paced story that takes a look at grief and how these characters grieve in their own way and at their own speed. Set in Orange County, Kim Hooper has written a beautiful and insightful story.
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Please welcome local author Kim Hooper to the blog and enjoy her candid and thoughtful interview.
Thank you Kim, for taking the time to answer our questions!
Q. Can you describe Tiny in three words?
A. Heartbreaking but hopeful.
Q. Why were your compelled to write a book about the Tiny House movement and grief?
A. I wrote this book when my husband and I were going through our own grief. I had several pregnancy losses, including the loss of a baby boy in the second trimester (we went on to have a baby girl in October 2017, so there is hope!). I felt like I had to write a story that explored grief and the husband-wife dynamic during the process. In terms of the tiny house movement, I’d always been intrigued by tiny houses. It’s about simplifying in an extreme way to get to the heart of what matters. It seemed natural that one of my characters would seek refuge in a tiny house.
Q. What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
A. I love Liane Moriarty, Colleen Oakley, Maggie O’Farrell, Tom Perrotta, Caroline Leavitt, Jeffrey Eugenides, to name a few. I’m influenced by so many books, honestly. Usually, whatever I’m reading while working on a novel influences the story in some way. I’d say Catcher in the Rye was the biggest influence on me, mostly because it showed me the importance of voice.
Q. What book(s) are on your nightstand to read this year?
A. I have so many books, it’s ridiculous. On my nightstand right now: How Not to Die Alone, Homegoing, Tangerine. Other books on my to-read list right now: Recipe for a Perfect Wife, A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do, Miracle Creek, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna.
Q. What does your writing process look like? Do you listen to music? If so, does it vary based on the book?
A. I never listen to music while writing, but I like music when not writing. I rarely get more than a half-hour or so to write on any given day, so my writing process is very…frantic. I have a full-time job at an ad agency, and I have a toddler, so my time is very limited. I write in fits and starts. There may be weeks that go by when I don’t write at all. But, usually, if I’m in the midst of a novel, I try to touch the manuscript at least once a day, even if it’s just to write a sentence.
Q. What do you do when you are not writing?
A. I’m an Associate Creative Director at an ad agency for my “real job.” Outside of work, I spend as much time as I can at home with my husband and my daughter. I’m a total homebody. For fun, I like to run, do yoga, cook, drink beer.
Q. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
A. Well, the first book I wrote never got published. I wrote several books before my first was published (People Who Knew Me in 2016). I had 3 different agents before I got published. It’s a really tough business. If I had any common sense, I would have quit long ago, but I can’t not write.
Q. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
A. I am terrible at marketing. I’m just not a very self-promoting type of person. I love my stories, and I hope others like them, but it’s not my style to force them on someone. I try to have genuine connection with my readers. That’s what’s most important to me.
Q. What is something you cannot live without? (excluding computer or phone).
Q. Can you tell us about any other upcoming projects?
A. I am working on a short story collection. After I had my daughter (she was born in October 2017), I didn’t have the energy or interest in a novel, but short stories felt right. It’s my first collection. I have a novel in mind, so I’m hoping to start that in the next few months.
Q. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
A. I fear my advice is the same as the advice I’ve heard from others—write because you love it. Publishing is the icing on the cake. Write because you have to. If you don’t have to, don’t do it.
Q. Where is your favorite place to write?
A. We moved into a new house a few months ago, and I have my own office for the first time. My desk looks out over the trees in the backyard. I just love it.
Q. Name two things you consider yourself to be very good at.
A. Remembering birthdays and napping.
Q. Have you always lived in Southern California? What’s your favorite place/restaurant/library/bar/event in Orange County?
A. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, but I’ve lived in Orange County since 2003. I love south Orange County. I live in Dana Point and, if I had it my way, I would never leave Dana Point. Actually, that’s a lie. I would go to San Clemente. We love all the craft breweries in San Clemente—Left Coast, Lost Winds, Artifex.
Q. What would you like to say to your readers and fans?
A. Thank you for “getting” my stories and my characters. You are my people.
Q. Can you share with us the best way to reach you and where to learn more about your books?
A. I have a website—KimHooperWrites.com. You can email me at email@example.com
To read more from Kim Hooper, check out her recent article on LitHub.com
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