Wild Women Authors is pleased to feature The Haunted Purse, a YA paranormal by Kimberly Baer , a recent release out of the Wild Rose Press. Up first is Liberty “Libby” Dawson, a fifteen year-old genius with a talent for scoping out thrift shops and . . . other things. . . with some help from her band of pals and an old denim tote with a mind of its own. Or maybe someone or some thing else’s mind?
Knowing what you know now, if you had it to do over again, would you have bought the purse? That’s a question I’ve thought about a lot over the past two years. Do you believe in parallel universes? Sometimes I imagine what my life would be like in a world where I never bought the purse. The Libby in that world would have avoided all the horrors I had to face. All the heartache. Still, I’d say yeah, if I could go back to that fateful day at the thrift store, I’d probably buy the purse all over again. Because as bad as the bad stuff was, there was a lot of good that came about because of that purse.
What is your biggest fear? Being alone. Losing people I love.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? I’d have to say Harry Potter. I know, I know—me and six billion other people, right? The thing is, I identify with Harry in a way that not everybody can. He spent his formative years unloved, neglected, and even abused by the people who were supposed to be taking care of him. Same with me! I read the HP books when I was, like, nine, and they gave me hope. Harry got out of that bad situation. He turned out fine despite his early struggles. I wanted to believe I would, too.
And we couldn’t agree more!! Now, what’s the best piece of advice you ever received? “Lock your door.” That’s what my neighbor in the inner city used to tell me when he saw me coming home. He knew I lived alone, and he wanted to make sure I stayed safe. I took his advice to heart, and I’m glad I did. I can’t tell you how many times I heard somebody rattling my doorknob late at night. Probably some low-life checking all the doors, looking for an easy victim. Thanks, Mr. Owens! You just might have saved my life.
This has been great, Libby. Thanks for talking to us. Now we’d like to chat with your creator, Kimberly Baer.
Which writer or character[s], from either books or movies, [or both] have had a major impact on your writing? Too many to name! When my kids were growing up, I started reading the fiction books they brought home from school, and I fell in love with the middle-grade and young adult genres. I’d never written a book-length manuscript before (aside from a totally pathetic novella I penned at age fifteen), but suddenly my mind was exploding with ideas for novels, and they were all geared toward younger readers. Some of the MG/YA authors who influenced my focus were Louis Sacchar (Holes), Neal Shusterman (The Schwa Was Here), Katherine Hannigan (Ida B), J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter), and Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games). But there were lots more, too. I have an idea or two for an adult novel, but most of my story ideas continue to be geared toward younger readers.
With regard to research, where did you start for this novel? Did that lead you down different paths, thereby changing the original concept? The only change I made based on research had to do with time frame. I can’t reveal too much here, but certain elements of my story had to line up with historical developments that occurred in the real world at a particular time. Other than that, I didn’t have to do much research relating to the main plot, because—let’s face it—there’s no information out there about haunted purses!
Tell us a bit about your publisher. How did you hear about them; what influenced you to submit to them. I was lucky to find a truly wonderful publisher: The Wild Rose Press. I heard about them from my best friend’s sister, who published a book through them a couple of years ago. She had a great experience, so I decided to give them a try. This is a small press, and what I love about them is their warm and welcoming approach. They’re so helpful! And they have a robust group of authors who go all out to promote one another’s books.
How is the submission process? What is the turn-around time from date of query to date of release? The submission process was smooth. I don’t recall the exact turn-around time, but I’d say things progressed fairly quickly with The Haunted Purse.
What are you reading right now? Our House by Louise Candlish. It’s about a woman who comes home from a short trip, only to find another family moving into her house. The other family insists they bought the house fair and square, so this poor woman has to try to get to the bottom of things. As a reader, there’s nothing I love more than an intriguing premise and a strong plot, and this story delivers. It’s full of twists and turns.
What's next for you? I’ve been putting the finishing touches on a middle-grade novel, Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. It’s about a girl who lives in a shopping mall (literally!). When somebody starts vandalizing stores late at night, she’s the logical suspect. She and her friends set out to catch the real vandal, and their sleuthing leads to some astounding discoveries.
To purchase The Haunted Purse, go to: | | | | |
To learn more about Kimberly Baer and the stories she creates go to: www.kimberlybaer.com.