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Stuff ‘N Nonsense – The Stuff Happening In My World

POSTED March 23, 2010 11:39 p.m.

The life of a working mother is rarely static. Between kids, home and work, there’s always something going on. I’m accustomed to the chaos but lately, it seems the hectic nature of my life has sent me skidding a bit sidewise as I try to hold it all together. But rather than focus on the negative, I’m concentrating on the positive aspects of my life.

To that end, I’m very excited to talk about my newest release, TRUSTING THE BODYGUARD, which will hit shelves in April. This is my eighth book, though I’m currently writing No. 12, and it’s the last in the Emmett’s Mill series.

The reviews have been coming in and they’ve been very good. Romantic Times Bookreview magazine gave it a solid four stars, saying, “…Van Meter’s story is exciting from start to finish thanks to characters that are realistic in their fear and determination, and a story that doesn’t tie up the ends too neatly.”

Cataromance.com, a website dedicated exclusively to category romance called the story, “…Tough, gritty, explicit and bold…” which is such a wonderful compliment as I really took a lot of chances with this story.

As I’ve matured as an author, my personal style or “brand” has evolved to the point where when readers pick up my books they know what they’re going to get and that’s a story that will make them laugh, cry, and everything in between because I write about real people with real problems. In other words, situations are often ugly, complicated, and uncomfortable because that’s what happens in life. I don’t write fairytales but I think there’s a ribbon of hope weaving its way through the story because you know, somehow, things will work out for the two main characters.

(As a sidenote, cataromance.com also named my July 2009 release KIDS ON THE DOORSTEP as the best Superromance of 2009. This was quite an honor as there were many wonderful stories written by my fellow “Super” authors.)

I can tell you, this process never loses its luster. Seeing a book of mine on the shelves is such a gratifying feeling. It makes the long nights, early mornings and lost sleep worth it when I hold the book in my hands. And don’t let anyone tell you differently, it is work. Many people don’t realize the process a book goes through before it reaches their local retail outlet. By the time that book is ready for shipment, it has been edited, revised, copy edited, line edited, and then, when you’re fairly certain you NEVER want to read that book again, you get to go over your galleys, which is the absolute last opportunity to catch any goofs before it goes to print. All of this is time consuming and more often than not, I’m knee-deep in the writing of another book. A co-worker asked me how I go from writing news all day to writing fiction at home and wasn’t I tired?

Of course my answer was two-tiered. Sometimes it is difficult to flip the switch as they are completely different styles of writing but the more you write, the better you become, no matter what style, so there is a benefit. As for tired? That’s too mild of a word. Try exhausted. And, unfortunately, there is a price to be paid. My deteriorating health has recently taken a toll on my creativity. Hence, the need to adjust my hours. But it’s really hard to step back when you’ve become accustomed to doing it all without breaking a sweat. I’m a doer. I like to be busy. Deadlines keep me motivated and focused. However, I want a career in publishing, therefore I have to find the balance between the day job, my family, and my books if I want to be truly successful.

I credit my family and friends for being so supportive of my needs. They’ve really been my rock during times of extreme deadline stress, when I’m unpleasant to be around and snapping at everyone. Living with someone who makes a living through their art takes skill, patience, and plenty of love — I’m lucky to have such people in my life.

And because I have such a strong support system, they make it possible for me to crank out the books my readers love so much!

Remember, second week of April, TRUSTING THE BODYGUARD!

 

Kim Van Meter is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at kvanmeter@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.

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