Friday, April 2, 2010

Authorly Journeys - Kimberley Griffiths Little

Today we are graced with author Kimberley Griffiths Little. All I can say after reading her interview is... Holy freaking cow! She's fought for the opportunity to be a writer, guys! And her book is amazing (yep. She sent me the ARC. *feeling important*).

Tell us about your amazing book.

THE HEALING SPELL (Scholastic, July 1, 2010). Deep in the bayou country, twelve-year-old Livie’s mamma arrives home from the hospital in a coma. Daddy is determined she will only get better surrounded by the people who love her best, but Livie is terrified of her mother’s lifeless condition and wracked by a guilty secret. Livie travels into the forbidden recesses of the swamp to buy a healing spell from the mysterious traiteur in hopes that she can bring her mother back to life. Secrets, gators, and sisters abound!

Excited about my very first blog review this week!

Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication ?

The Healing Spell is a love story – one of those stories I loved from the moment I got the idea and Livie began to appear in my dreams. She took six years to bring completely to life (maybe 25 revisions after a fast 3 week draft!), even as the project received lots of interest from editors right from the start. I rewrote for several editors, but it just wasn’t “there” for them – I think it just took time to find the right editor. The editor at Scholastic who bought it and ran around begging the publisher that “she HAD to have it!” told me in her first letter that The Healing Spell was a *rare gift*. I have never in my life received such a compliment!

I’d had an agent for many years, but we parted ways as she was getting out of the children’s/YA arena. That was nail biting! She’d been my security blanket – and now I was out in the cold. It took me two years of querying, querying, querying (39 agents in all!) to sign with Tracey Adams who had been my dream agent for a long time. I even followed her across the country just to meet her and pitch my stories!

Six weeks later, Tracey sold a three-book deal for me with Scholastic Press and finally found my editor - “The One”! After YEARS AND YEARS (Um, DECADES) of writing my heart and brains and derriere out, not to mention over two years of agent querying, the speed was stunning.

I’m a true believer in the right timing.

Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?

There are always those *dark* and *evil* moments or bad rejection days you feel like giving up. While you’re trying to learn your craft or on submission and the rejections just keep coming and coming and coming, it often feels like you’re banging your head against a brick wall—or the nearest computer monitor. It’s easy to feel alone, and get that absolutely-positive-no-question-about-it “I must suck and I ought to just go read a good book and quit torturing myself!”

Why didn’t I give up? I call it The Voices after Midnight Phenomenon. That sounds schizophrenic, but every writer will tell you that their character’s “voices” and stories tug at their mind or heartstrings. I am literally compelled to write it down and watch it unfold, just like I’m watching a movie. But it’s more than just *watching* a movie—it’s like I’m LIVING a movie.

Find Kimberly Online:

My brand spanking new website with a Southern Swamp Flair!

My blogs: or

Pre-Order Amazon:


And to read all of today's Authorly Journey interviews, click below:

Elana Johnson

Lisa and Laura Roecker

Beth Revis

Leah Clifford

Victoria Schwab

Kirsten Hubbard

Carrie Harris

Kim Harrington

Amy Holder

Kathy McCullough

Tiffany Schmidt

Susan Adrian

Dawn Metcalf

Gretchen McNeil


Lydia Kang said...

Wonderful interview! Every interview this week has been like having a personal cheerleading squad to keep going, keep going. Thanks!
And her book does sound awesome!

JE said...

Thank you for this. It's nice to see the journey of other writers.


Christine Fonseca said...

Wonderfully inspiring ladies - thanks

Matthew MacNish said...

Morning Bethany and Kimberley, thanks for posting this!

What an interesting premise for a book. It sounds a little like The Lace Reader in the bayou, but that's probably just me.

I also have to totally agree about The Voices after Midnight. I wake up sometimes with an inspiration and have to jump on my phone and send myself a message before I lose it - otherwise I CANNOT get back to sleep.

Shameless promotion:

Please visit my blog and comment today. I have a post by guest blogger Justine Dell where she shares an ACTUAL query letter of hers that found success.

She is a wonderfully lady, always willing to help another writer and I would really like her to get the recognition she deserves.


Carolyn V. said...

Wow, the book sounds so interesting! I'm so glad she was willing to share her experience with us! I can't wait to read the book. =)

Jude said...

A three-book deal? CONGRATS!!

And you got me at "guilty secret."

Candyland said...

Wooooooowwwww...I love authors who never gave up and it happened for them.

Jemi Fraser said...

Sounds like a really great book! Congratulations and thanks for letting us hear your story :)

Unknown said...

I love to see all the different journey's each authors has to pursuing their dreams! It is so special!

lisa and laura said...

Incredible! This book sounds incredible and I can't wait to read it :) (that is if I can pry it out of Lisa's hands :)

Elana Johnson said...

Wow, yes, this is a great story! Thanks for sharing, and I love the cover of your book. Can't wait for summer. :)

Unknown said...

Ooh... *is intrigued*

I like the comment of beating one's head against a wall, or nearest computer. It's very nice to know I'm not alone. Yay :)

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great read!! Man where am I going to get the cash to buy all these books? I love how you guys interview authors!

Tell me something though, do you know of anyone writer who only had to query once to get an agent?

I just thought it would be fun to know.

Bethany Wiggins said...

Office Girl,

I personally do not know a single writer who only had to query one agent. In fact, most of the writers I know had to query MANY, and rewrite their book many times. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

Wow, thank you all for these lovely comments. I'm so touched and SO thrilled about Bethany and Suzette featuring me!

Office Girl and everybody else who is curious . . . I know of one author who got a book deal with her first agent, but ended up changing agents a year before the book even came out. When she queried agents for the second time, she had 2 offers within DAYS of querying! But she had a book deal already with a second title ready to sell. So not *exactly* a one-query writers, but sorta close. :-)

The closest I've come to that sort of success is the very first short story I ever subbed was sold to the first magazine I sent it to. But I'd been writing for awhile and was currently taking an intense writer's course with a past editor as my teacher.

Learn your craft, work hard, get crits, work some more, love the writing *first*, work some more - and then never give up once you start subbing and you WILL have success!