Kim Pritekel is a long time resident of Colorado, screenwriter and prolific author she took some time out of her writing schedule to share her thoughts and let us know what she has coming down the pipe in the future.
Who were your earliest role models for writing, who did you read for inspiration and craft? My first and most influential role model was V.C. Andrews. I began reading her Flowers in the Attic series when I was about 10. By that point I’d been writing for a year already, but she taught me how to write real flesh and blood characters. I’d also credit Dean Koontz, whom I began to read probably around 11 or 12. Like Andrews, he taught me a lot about characterization, but also a lot about depth in storylines with multi-layered plots.
A lot of your stories focus on characters with a dark past, is there something about this that resonates with you? It does greatly. Now, I don’t want you to think I, myself come from some deep, dark past. I had a normal childhood with great parents and an older sister. But, both my mom and biological father (parents divorced when I was 5, so grew up with a stepdad) came from complicated and deeply tragic beginnings, especially my mom. It very much shaped my emotional understanding of life and gave me a profound curiosity and understating of human psychology and the darker side of people and life. I worked on my curiosities and vented my confusion of all this in my stories, which helped me to understand people better, if that makes sense.
Your last novel The Plan is set at the end of the dust bowl a tumultuous time in American history did you decide on the setting or the story first? Does history inspire you when you are writing? To answer the latter part of your question first, history inspires everything I do, particularly in writing. Even if I’m writing a present-day story, as is my current novel I’m writing, 2020, history or historic facts play a significant role. As for my novel, The Plan, the era of the 1930s in America has always fascinated me – a time of great strife as well as crime via Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, et al. It was also a high point (if you can call if that) of the KKK, and to add insult to injury, the middle of the country suffered greatly from over-farming thus the Dust Bowl and economic crippling of the nation. What a wonderful time in history to set a disturbing romance! Lol So much wonderful fodder to choose from.
What advice would you have for any one that wants to start writing? Be patient with yourself. Writing a story, and certainly a novel, isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time, a lot of patience and, depending on the individual, a great deal of planning. This could simply be planning in your head while housecleaning (my personal favorite) or much time spent on notes or outlines (not so much for me). Whatever your style, try and have a clear idea of what you’re trying to say, what’s your story and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by shiny things, meaning, little sub-plots or side stories, that may do more to confuse and frustrate you or your reader than move the main story along. Most of all though, believe in yourself.
The musician Sarah Brightman shows up in most of your works, when did you discover her and does she aid in getting into the mood to do writing?
I was introduced to the angelic voice of Sarah Brightman on my 17th birthday by my aunt. By that time I already only listened to opera and classical music (Yes, I was an unusual child), so it wasn’t a stretch for me to fall for Sarah. Initially it was her in the Broadway musical, Phantom of the Opera, but I quickly expanded into her solo work, as well. Sarah Brightman’s voice has gotten me through pretty much everything since that day. She can bring me out of a bad mood, comfort me or simply heighten an already good day. I don’t listen to her while I write, but then I don’t often listen to music at all. But, there are times where a scene calls for a particular bit of emotion that I need the reader to feel, so I’ll choose the song or album of hers that brings those emotions out of me while I write the scene, so it then translates to the reader.
I see that you also work in the film industry, how did that start and do you have a dream project you would like to work on?
Funny story. First and foremost, I’ve always loved movies. Back in the Dark Ages, when VCRs were all the rage, my family would rent a huge stack of videos and spend the weekend watching them. So, zoom ahead to 2005 when I was one of the featured authors at a writer’s convention called, BardCon. I met a woman named, Gail who was a stunt woman in the film industry. We hit it off and became friends, swapping phone numbers. So, end of 2006, she contacted me about a project she was working on, a movie called, Legend of the Red Reaper. They were looking for an author to write a prequel novel to the story of the movie. She got me in contact with the producers and I was brought on. Well, during that process, their screenwriter walked off the project, and suddenly I was thrust in that role. No pun intended. I met some folks on that project that brought me onto other projects or introduced me to others in the industry. I worked as a screenwriter for projects and productions companies from Florida to Los Angeles, as well as worked on some independent projects in my home state of Colorado. I haven’t worked in the industry in any serious way since 2012, and honestly, don’t miss it. It can be amazing, but can also be an ugly and bruising industry. This small town girl definitely prefers getting lost in the world of her own making in whatever newest novel.
What is your next project, Where can people go to find more information about your work?
My next book is a two-part series called, The Traveler. It’s about four women in various points in history that are affected by the same evil that is hunting them through time. One of the women has to figure out why and who before it’s too late. The Traveler, Book One: The Hunted comes out in December 2019. The current novel I’m writing is a psychological called, 2020 about a serial killer who uses history as clues to the who and why and a former Anthropologist must work with the police to find him before she’s next. I write under my own name, and can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble’s online website, as well as my publisher, sapphirebooks.com. I’m also on Facebook.
Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be? With my partner barricaded in the mountains.
Q ) How do you identify Jedi, lesbian, Ninja, gay, vampire, bisexual, were-wolf, transgender, pirate, asexual, fairy, aromantic, sith, intersex, Spartan, non-binary, wizard, genderfluid, time lord , queer, …? ? Oh my! Lol As much as I do love the Spartan possibility, I am a woman who is a lesbian. Nice and simple.
Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die? Stonehenge!!!!! Oh my goodness. I spent a month in Europe last year, and the final day we went to Stonehenge. Of all the wonders I’d seen in England, France and Scotland, Stonehenge touched me like nothing else.
Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you? I’m legally blind and can’t even read my own novels anymore.