Thank you so much for sitting down with us for PRIDE month!
So, tell us a little bit about you. How did you get into writing?
I was five years old when my parents gave me a collection of children's classics novels for Christmas. Hardcover, beautifully bound. Black Beauty, Grimms' Fairy Tales, The Man in the Iron Mask. There had to be thirty books. I remember sitting by the lit tree, surrounded by them as I looked over each one. I couldn't read them. Not at five. But the potential was everything. The stories, the wonder.
I fell in love with words and possibilities that day. Once I discovered that I could tell my own stories, create my own wonder, I never looked back.
As a society, we have come a long way in the representation of LGBTQIA2S+ members, but there is still a long way to go. What would you like to see happen in the next few years and how do we get there in order to see that representation? I would love to see the relationships more accepted and part of the literary narrative. I'd love the concept of a non-traditional couple to be remarkable because of the story, not because "they're lesbians." I'd love to see powerful characters that aren't based on the ways they love, but who they are and what they do.
Any advice for young authors beginning their author journey?
Keep going. It took me almost four decades to get the nerve to even try and publish. Don't do that. Put yourself out there. Learn. Submit. Fail. Get up and do it again. Learn more. But don't ever stop. You'll find your place.
Do you feel an obligation to speak for or represent the LGBTQIA2S+ community through your writing?
An obligation? No. But I'm certainly drawn to representation. A large part of my social circles are LGBTQIA2S+ and they are inspiring. I often think of specific people while I'm writing (and have a whole list of folks who want to be killed off in a tale... weirdos. My weirdos.). I'd hate to let them down by ignoring them.
Tell us about the first piece of writing you had published and how that impacted you?
It's called Campfire Songs. Luna Station Quarterly accepted it. It sparked from a writing prompt - "write about a doll". And so I did. A creepy doll that isn't at all what it seems. The story has a non-binary character with significant influence, named Auntie. "She was never entirely she, nor entirely he, though always She if you knew what was good for you."
LSQ was my first submission and I was a bit shocked when it was accepted. I was sure it was a fluke. I didn't try again for two years. Nearly 100 published short and flash pieces later, I've found more confidence.
It’s almost cliche that authors live on black coffee and hard liquor. What are you drinking right now?
Chai latte! Pepsi is also acceptable.
Fun question: If you could live in any ‘book world’ what one would it be and why?
Charles de Lint's Newford.
It's a small city with nothing to set it apart from anywhere else. Except the elves and fairies and people who dream (and live in when they sleep) of another world. De Lint was my first journey into Urban Fiction and I've never quite recovered from it.
Kimberly Rei does her best work in the places that can't exist... the in-between places where imagination defies reality. With a penchant for dark corners and hooks that leave readers looking over their shoulder, she is always on the lookout for new ideas, new projects, and new ways to make words dance
Her debut novelette, Chrysalis, is available on Amazon (https://readerlinks.com/l/1416028).
Follow her twisted adventures at: studio-rei.mailchimpsites.com