Book Wordy podcast, Paranormal cozy mystery author interview with K.A. Miltimore transcript

Transcript for the Book Wordy podcast, Paranormal cozy mystery author interview with K.A. Miltimore

Byrd Nash
Welcome to Book Wordy, a podcast about fantasy and science fiction books, authors and the art of writing. I’m your host, Byrd Nash, former journalist and author of the Wicked Wolves of Windsor and other fairytales.

Byrd Nash
Welcome to Book Wordy, a podcast about fantasy and science fiction books, authors, and the art of writing. I’m your host, Byrd Nash, former journalist and author of the Wicked Wolves of Windsor and other fairytales.

Welcome to Book Wordy. Today we have a guest, K.A. Miltimore, and we’ll be discussing her Gingerbread Hag cozy paranormal mystery books. They’re a blend of a local town strange B&B and picturesque Enumclaw (I’m not sure if I’m pronouncing that, she’ll correct me) Washington, with the quirky and sometimes dangerous supernatural. Welcome, Kim.

K.A. Miltimore
Hi, thank you for having me on. I’m so excited to talk with you today.

Byrd Nash
Well, I’m excited to talk to you about your books, because you know, I love you. I love your books. I really enjoyed the first one. And now you’ve got a second one out, too Now did I pronounce the name of your town correctly? Because I’m not in the Washington area.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes, it’s Enumclaw.

Byrd Nash
Enumclaw. And why did you pick that town as a setting for your books?

K.A. Miltimore
Well, Enumclaw’s a little town that really has gone through a lot of transformation over the years. Tt was a real sleepy town years ago and more farming really. But as Seattle has become more and more expensive…

Byrd Nash
Right.

K.A. Miltimore
Or from the people from the city are moving out. And we’re finding our smaller towns are having more of this kind of crush between farm life and maybe some different perspectives. You know, big city folks coming in, things that they expect towns to have. So I thought it was an interesting place to kind of play with that dynamic of what is, you know, as towns evolve and change.

Byrd Nash
Well, it sets up an automatic conflict.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes.

Byrd Nash
We visit a town that’s very picturesque here, over in Arkansas, and is has a huge problem, because the tourist trade is what fuels that town. But then there’s people who actually have businesses there that live year round, and then there’s farming communities too. And sometimes they can all be in conflict with each other.

K.A. Miltimore
Exactly.

Byrd Nash
Now, for those that don’t know, the readers that haven’t found these books, one is called Burned to a Crisp. That’s the first one. The second one which just came out is called The Teeth of It. And it features a Baker, Hedy Leckermaul, Leckermaul? And she’s kind of unusual. Tell me about your character, your main character.

K.A. Miltimore
Hedy is a character who is a really abnormal in the fact that she is normal in this universe. She is, or at least to her own knowledge, she’s just an average person who is at the heart of this world. Where when you have supernatural beings kind of moving and going across the, you know, the world essentially and needing safe havens to stay in. And so she operates kind of a bed and breakfast that is, is part of this overall network. That’s called the Concierge. And so these little houses are all over the world and the supernatural folks can come and travel and stay safely. Where maybe out in the world, they wouldn’t be able to stay as safely. So Hedy’s unique in that she doesn’t have any abilities herself, she just operates the house.

Byrd Nash
And I actually really liked that, because it gives the human perspective when she’s surrounded by a group of non human entities. So it kind of helps us be introduced to the world because she perceives it from the human perspective.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes, yes. And her whole philosophy is that she’s there to be supportive and helpful of people who are maybe in a tough spot, or in a in a community where there’s change or conflict, and she’s there to support them. So, but it also gives her a bit of pause in that she doesn’t have the same kind of self defense mechanisms that some of these other beings do. And so when things happen, you know, what does a plain old, ordinary mortal do to keep herself safe?

Byrd Nash
She’s pretty good at finding a way to work herself around those difficulties. But you know, I was thinking about this. Because as a host of a supernatural, paranormal Airbnb-like place, while she is a hostess, and she’s welcoming people, she’s obviously interested in people or you wouldn’t have that kind of line of business, it also puts those people at a distance. You’re friends, but you’re not friends?

K.A. Miltimore
Yes. Correct.

Byrd Nash
And I know in this last book, in The Teeth of It, not to give spoilers, but there’s almost a lonesomeness that Hedy is feeling, which is actually part of, you know, you are a host, you’re not going to really be friends, and these people are going to leave.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes, that was that’s kind of part of Hedy’s story arc is that she’s kind of coming to grips with the fact that she’s had a pretty lonely life. She’s loved her life. She’s traveled a lot. She’s met a lot of amazing people. But at the end of the day, they move on, as you say. So she’s, she’s there, you know, with her menagerie of pets that that live there with her. But you know, she doesn’t have that kind of constant companion. And I think she’s starting to think, Wow, maybe I’m missing out on something here.

Byrd Nash
Well, a few more things I did want to ask about Hedy. I mean, I don’t, I know that she’s gonna have a fascinating past, because you’ve given hints of that in the first book, and definitely in the second book When you were writing her and conceiving her from the writing standpoint, how much of that do you need to figure out before you write this series? Or did you evolve it as your series was being written?

K.A. Miltimore
It’s definitely evolving as I go. Hedy, I knew, was going to be kind of the center of this hurricane, essentially, and that she was going to be a bit mysterious, and, and there would be some unknowns of how she got into this line of work. And you know, why she collects the weird things that she does, and… But really, as the story has been moving through now, and I’m working on book three right now,

Byrd Nash
Awesome.

K.A. Miltimore
She’s kind of telling me herself, you know, this, it’s evolving. She’s, she’s telling me, you know, through hints kind of the things that are going to be coming in the next trilogy of books, which are going to be set in New Orleans. And things are going to take a decidedly more dangerous turn in that set.

Byrd Nash
Well, I know that you’ve mentioned New Orleans briefly in terms of her past and book one and book two. Have you been to New Orleans yourself? Or is it just some…

K.A. Miltimore
Yeah, I have. I’ve been there a few times. I love the city. I love the, the… Again, I guess I’m a sucker for this juxtaposition of where you have different walks of life kind of sandwiched up against each other. And how, you know, rich, poor, I mean, any contrast you can think of, right, you can find that in New Orleans. And, and I think it’s at those edges, where you get a lot of interesting drama and connection. And some of it for the good and some of it not for the good. So I think that that tug, kind of tug and pull there is what interests me.

Byrd Nash
I know having the series, you have a great way that you’ve set it up where you can have all these different characters come in and, come in, have their story then leave, or come back as a reoccurring character. And let’s talk about that, because these aren’t ordinary characters that come to visit Hedy and to stay with her.

K.A. Miltimore
No, they’re definitely not. To be part of the concierge network. I mean, you kind of have to be someone that needs that special level of shelter. And so pretty much every guest that comes to her is going to be someone that needs it.

Byrd Nash
Right. But it’s not someone, let’s say, it’s not a wife on the run from an abusive husband. It’s a supernatural character, like the fire salamander, or the undine. It’s some creature that doesn’t quite fit into a human world that we see.

K.A. Miltimore
Yeah, that’s, that’s definitely the goal of the network is to be a safe haven. And I guess the idea of it for me, the little bit of almost an underground railroad nature of when it started, right, because the concierge has been around for about 100 years. And so you can you can picture someone who has supernatural abilities, you know, hundred years ago, having even more difficult time kind of blending into life then. Things might be easier for folks now. The network has been around for that long and so…

Byrd Nash
I know when the, not to interrupt you, but in The Teeth of It, we have a hint that from your new character.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes. Yes, that actually plays out as as a critical part of the story, that the network has been around. So I mean, I guess that’s, you know, she does have visitors that are unique. But I try to put myself in the shoes of these people thinking, Okay, a lot of them could probably go to a motel six and stay for the night and be okay. But they probably feel more comfortable with Hedy. Because she knows who they are. She knows what they are. And they can kind of let their hair down.

Byrd Nash
Right? The mask, the mask can be lifted.

K.A. Miltimore
Yeah, I think that’s why the concierge in these way stations kind of continue to exist, as people can just feel comfortable.

Byrd Nash
Now in your world. I’m not quite clear, because I know, I think but I want to know from the author’s viewpoint. So are these beings, the paranormal beings, the supernatural beings that come through the way station, does the ordinary humans know that these people exist? Because I’m thinking not really?

K.A. Miltimore
No, not really. I mean, there might be a few folks, again, that brush up against the edges of that, of that world that might know. Like Mel, who’s a key character and, and becomes a good friend of Hedy. She finds out about the world.

Byrd Nash
Right.

K.A. Miltimore
And suddenly her eyes are opened that all these things are around them. But no, by and large, most people go about their lives with no idea that this kind of underground world exists. And that right in the center of this whole town is a bakery that helps facilitate that.

Byrd Nash
Well, and I like it, because the town of course, seems, while it’s… it sounds like a place you might want to live. And by the way, I need to know how much houses cost there. But it’s not a place that you would expect to find these kind of creatures. So talking about them, I’d like you to give me some ideas. Like when you’re researching your book, or writing your book, do you decide what supernatural entity is going to go into the book before you write the book? Or are you writing it and go, Oh, this story needs x?

K.A. Miltimore
That’s a hard question. Um, I would say in a way it kind of evolves together. The germ of the story starts and then threads from that lead to kind of the idea of what kind of supernatural is going to come to town and help facilitate the story. I tried to really stick with not making things up out of whole cloth, as far as supernatural is go, but to take actual folklore and legend and use, you know, beings that people would be familiar with, in some form or fashion. And I’ve, you know, tweaked that. But I always like to start with something, a germ of something that’s known or real. Like, well, all the all the items that Hedy collects. They all start from something that you could Google, something that’s real.

Byrd Nash
Yeah, I recognize several of them. But like Bren, is it Bren? Is how you pronounce his name? The the fire salamander. Obviously, fire salamanders are definitely something from folklore.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes.

Byrd Nash
And then because of the book he’s in, he’s featured in Burned to a Crisp. That I could see is almost the natural dovetail of Oh, well, I would need something to deal with fire in this book, because it’s going to deal with arson.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes, it is kind of a chicken and the egg. I honestly can’t remember if Bren came before the idea of the arsons or the arsons came before Bren. I think it was the arsons came before Bren. But a lot of it is very organic. It’s just kind of I get an idea. And then because I do a lot of fantasy tale reading, and folklore reading, and watching of shows, a lot of that stuff’s already kind of percolating in my head.

Byrd Nash
Gotcha.

K.A. Miltimore
So I can, I can just kind of glom on as I go.

Byrd Nash
Right. I know, for our listeners, some may not know, but in writing, there’s supposedly the pantster and then there’s the plotter. So the pantster is someone who sits down the computer or the typewriter or with their notebook, and they just start writing a story from scratch, it just evolves. And the plotter is someone who plots out the entire story. Where do you kind of fall between those two?

K.A. Miltimore
Well, I think if you were going on a scale of 1 to 10, with the pantster being a 1 and a plotter being a 10, I’m probably three and a half, four. I do some skeletal plotting, using kind of a note, digital note cards. But a lot of it just it kind of evolves s I get into that chapter. I really do write in terms of chapters. So as I’m working through a chapter, an idea might come to me that kind of sparks, Oh, wow, I could take it this way. And then I, I give myself permission to kind of go off the trail and see that leads. And then if I have to adjust my digital cards, I do,

Byrd Nash
Well, I know from reading your two books, there’s a lot of great characters in there. And for me too, as a writer, I sometimes go from the character. Their character inspires the plot, the character drives a bit of the the chapter because I want that character to complete something or to show something. And you have so many interesting characters on I’m wondering if that doesn’t play into some of what you do?

K.A. Miltimore
Definitely, I’d say I think there’s a there’s a bit of a debate in the writing community, at least that I’ve seen, where people think character is kind of above plot, plot is above character. It’s kind of, which is the key thing.

Byrd Nash
Yeah, It’s a bit like, should you be a, are you going to be a career woman, or are you going to be a stay at home mom? There’s a bit of a internet battle about what is best. What is best? I really think whatever’s best that works for you, to inspire you.

K.A. Miltimore
Yeah, and I think there are different writers that gravitate one end of the spectrum or the other, and I tend to gravitate more toward character driven story. To me, the characters really why I’m reading stories. I love, I love a good plot and good twists, and all that kind of stuff like anybody else. But for me, if the characters aren’t very interesting, I’m not going to stick around in a story very long.

Byrd Nash
I do think in a series, it’s even more crucial that the character interests your readers. Because obviously, the big reason to read a series is you want to see the character. You want to you want to read more about Indiana Jones. You want to read more about, you know, what this character is going to do in the next story. And what’s going to happen to them.

K.A. Miltimore
And watch them evolve. I think if you see a character in book one, and they’re exactly the same in book five, you have to kind of wonder, okay, has there been enough kind of change put on them? Because no one is static through their whole life. You’re better to have change.

Byrd Nash
You must be reading my mind because I was, I was talking about this today that I just really hate these characters that when I open them up and I read chapter one, they’re the same person at chapter 20. You know.

K.A. Miltimore
There needs to be some growth, or some change, or at least for self reflection in some way, I think. Because that’s that’s typically how people are. I mean, if you think of yourself at your current age, and then think of yourself back when you were 15 or 20 or whatever each you want to pick, odds are you kind of looked at things a little bit different. At least some things.

Byrd Nash
well I…

K.A. Miltimore
That’s how characters live too.

Byrd Nash
if you, you know, traditionally if you have a story, the the character, the main character is going to be faced with challenges. That’s the character arc. If they don’t change through facing the challenges, then why was I reading the story? I mean, that’s basically my mentality. Yes. So talking about your characters, then. How do you expect, without spoilers, just generalities, some of your characters to change and grow? Like for example, what is Maurice? What is going to happen to Maurice? And what is going to happen to my favorite chinchilla? So, because that’s all I care about really.

K.A. Miltimore
Maurice is a fun guy, he’s one of Hedy’s three menagerie. there’s Maurice the chinchilla, there’s Alice the magpie, and there is Zelda the cat. And all three of them are able to speak because of a artifact that heady collected. So we get to know them in a way that you wouldn’t know an average pet. And Maurice would be horrified if if he heard me calling him a pet.

Byrd Nash
Maurice is not a pet!

K.A. Miltimore
He would hate that idea. And that’s why Hedy always refers to them as her menagerie. Because she’s trying to be respectful of the fact that you know, they’ve got this kind of autonomous nature a little bit.

Byrd Nash
Yeah, it’s obviously not true to life, because you have Zelda actually talking, when Zelda would normally say “food, food, food.” That’s the cat. And so we have three cats. So the Zelda would normally just be saying, “Food now, servant.” And then stroll by.

K.A. Miltimore
She’s very imperious, I mean, if I were using the B word on your, on your podcast, that would be a good way to describe Zelda. She’s, she’s a pretty tough cookie that way. But Maurice has been really fun because he, he’s a little bit older. He’s seen some pretty horrible things in his life. And there’s a short story out there about some of the capers that Maurice has gotten into. And they’ll be another one coming out for people that subscribe to my newsletter.

Byrd Nash
I know I’m so excited. And if you want to get on her newsletter, her website is KAMiltimore.com. I’ll have that in the show notes. We’ll talk about it more at the end. But yes, I saw that story coming up and I am going to be getting my Maurice story.

K.A. Miltimore
Yeah, he’s been really fun. And he’s got a character arc that I’m dealing with in book three right now. So it’ll be interesting to see what you guys think on where things go with Maurice.

Byrd Nash
Well, I’m glad he’s gonna have his own story.

K.A. Miltimore
He does.

Byrd Nash
So the next thing I absolutely have to know is, what is a fox tail donut and where can I get one?

K.A. Miltimore
Oh, I know. I certainly wish I could go to Hedy’s bakery and get one because I thought it sure sounded delicious. So it’s a, it’s a donut. It’s like a filled donut. The interior filling is a blood red Bavarian Cream. The outside has shaved dark chocolate, up to white chocolate on the tip. so think of a dismembered fox tail, that probably doesn’t sound delicious, but that would be the shape and the look. And it’s pretty demonstrative of the kind of stuff that Hedy makes. Her fake remakes of pretty bizarro stuff. And so, a fox tail donut it one.

Byrd Nash
Well, I noticed, you know, Burned to a Crisp kind of takes place around the Halloween time, and then the sequel The Teeth of It, takes place at Christmas. Are you going to continue with the holiday theme stories for the series? Or what’s your thoughts on that?

K.A. Miltimore
Book Three is set at Valentines day.

Byrd Nash
Okay.

K.A. Miltimore
So that’s, that’s for sure. Keeping with that. Once we move away from Enumclaw and do the the prequel set back in New Orleans, I’m not sure if it were going to stick to holidays or not. It’s possible, because how could I not do at least the Mardi Gras, you know.

Byrd Nash
Oh wow, that would be awesome.

K.A. Miltimore
So that, it may end up being, I may end up sticking with the holiday theme once we get into the prequels, too. But that, to me has been kind of fun anchoring everything around the different holidays.

Byrd Nash
Now I know you’ve been doing some book signings, and Kim is also an independently published author. How’s that going? And what are kind of your experiences? Or what are you hearing in terms of feedback?

K.A. Miltimore
It’s been interesting. I had a book signing actually in a bookstore in Enumclaw. So that was really fun to say, “hey, this book is written about this town, and this house is the theme,” and you know, all the pointing things out. I had the, I think it was the mayor of Enumclaw walk by and say, “Yeah, I heard you wrote a book about this town.” It was really fun. It was really fun. The one thing I got nailed on though by both a newspaper person that interviewed me, and also the bookstore owner, was a teeny tiny detail. At the end of book one, I made a mistake and said it was in a different county. And boy, they didn’t let me forget that.

Byrd Nash
Yeah but, you know, being being self published, though, you can go back and change that.

K.A. Miltimore
I can. I can. But you know, I kind of think, I think I might just leave it. It’s one of those things where I don’t know. I mean, I could fix it. But then it feels like okay, then I’ve got multiple versions of the book floating around. And maybe I’ll just… It’ll be an inside joke only the people in Enumclaw will know, right. And them people who Listen to your show.

Byrd Nash
So I know. I think listening, looking at your social media, you got several more book signings coming up, don’t you?

K.A. Miltimore
I do, I do. Well, they’re all kind of around my area. I think the farthest one I have, actually, is one state over, I’m going to do a book signing down in Oregon.

Byrd Nash
And do they find that on your website, or on your Amazon author central area? Where do they find where to go to find you?

K.A. Miltimore
I actually have been doing the marketing to be, set up the book signings. So that has been a steep learning curve for me, contacting bookstores. First of all, finding out how to get the paperback into the bookstores.

Byrd Nash
Yeah.

K.A. Miltimore
That in and of itself is a steep learning curve, and then finding out about getting in for book signings. But I am not a person who does, you know, a lot of cold calling. So it’s been a leap of faith to kind of get myself out there and do those things.

Byrd Nash
But how, like if it were reader wanted to find out where you were going to be, where would they find your list of current book signings?

K.A. Miltimore
I’ve got my book signings all on my events on my Facebook author’s page. You can find me on Facebook, at KAMiltimore. I also keep it on my website, too.

Byrd Nash
Yeah, I think I saw it on the website. And I know, if you go to Amazon, where your books are listed, you follow the author page, you will find also there it says where your new, your next, I don’t know what you call it, public appearances are going to be.

K.A. Miltimore
Public appearances, yes.

Byrd Nash
Now, when I read book one, the Burned to a Crisp, it definitely has a very much of a mystery feel to it. And then book two has a bit of more of an adventure feel to it. They’re both cozies though. So how do you combine as a writer the cozy and the mystery and the paranormal? What, What’s kind of your approach about that?

K.A. Miltimore
You know, I would say that’s, I’m not sure that I necessarily had a really well thought out approach. And so in hindsight, I would probably tell myself, make sure you think about this kind of before you start. Because it makes it hard to market the book and, and get it into the hands of the people that would appreciate that kind of story. I think I don’t… My series, while it does still kind of fit within the genre, it’s probably toward the outer edges of it. It’s a little bit different, probably, than a lot of cozy mysteries that you’Il see kind of on the bestseller list. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s just that it is a bit different. So yeah, I don’t say it was planned that way, it just kind of evolved that way.

Byrd Nash
I do think that us independent authors, we sometimes can cross over into several different genres. Because maybe we’re writing from what we personally love. I love fantasy, but I also like it with a touch of romance and, and I like it with a lot of plot. So it’s kind of like we know what we like to read. And then we come up with Oh, this is where we want to go and what I want to present to the world. These are the ideas that I have.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes, exactly. And maybe maybe if I was trying to get higher up on the bestseller list or whatever, I would have, you know, not gone with that natural impulse. And instead, I would have said, Okay, what are the elements of something that really squarely fits in this market? Right. And then I would have written a story around those elements. But that that doesn’t feel is kind of genuine to me, as just telling the story.

Byrd Nash
And the other part of that is you want to find your special niche. I mean, if you’re just writing something that fits into the lump of fantasy, then where is your niche within that? For example, again, for people that might not know, readers, on Amazon alone, there’s 50,000 books in fantasy, in the category “Fantasy”. So if you don’t find your niche within that, you’ll just be swamped and run over. I mean, I don’t think that you’ll find your voice or find your audience. So actually, can I say Rah Rah for you, I say write from your heart. Write what you want to write. And if it crosses, and it’s a little bit harder to market, you’ll find your you’ll find your pace, you’ll find your speed, you’ll find your audience, it will happen. I know, because I’ve read your two books. And I know there’s an audience for those.

K.A. Miltimore
Well, thank you, I appreciate that. and honestly I don’t really have an appetite to do it any other way. But, you know, for folks who really are squarely in the genres, you know, good for them. That’s great. But for those of us who play on the edges, you know, its a little tougher. But that’s okay.

Byrd Nash
Well, It can be tough. But I, I think for independent authors, it’s tough period. Because, like you were, well, like you were talking earlier, everything is a learning curve with a one man band, one man army. We have to figure out how to market, the book cover, how we’re going to promote, where we’re going to promote, what’s worth it to promote in this area and not that area. And then meanwhile, we have to write. So I’m really excited that you have a third book that you’re in the midst of. How far along Have you gotten into that one?

K.A. Miltimore
I’d say I’m about 20% done. So I’ve got it all, again, like the cards done. Snd I tweak them as I work through the chapters. But yeah, I’d say about 20% done, but I’m on, I think I’m on target for getting it out. I wanted to have it out by October 1.

Byrd Nash
Oh, wow. You are definitely.

K.A. Miltimore
I think that will happen, yeah.

Byrd Nash
You’re definitely on a fast track there. I mean, not my, not quite my speed. I’m a little bit slower.

K.A. Miltimore
Well, I want to have kind of the decks cleared so that I’m ready for Nanowrimo for November.

Byrd Nash
Oh, wow.

K.A. Miltimore
Because that was, that was the genesis of this whole series.

Byrd Nash
Oh, tell me about that. Because I’m doing the camp now. And again, for readers, and maybe some writers out there, not everyone’s familiar with that. Tell me a bit about that.

K.A. Miltimore
There’s National, I forget how the acronym breaks down, but National November Writing Month, where it’s a challenge that you basically put on yourself to say I can write a novel in 30 days. And the website lets you track your progress. And then it kind of verifies that yes, you made it. Made it to the end. And so I have for years started novels, but never finished them. And I thought I just need a kick in the pants to get over the hump. I’m a great starter. But I’m not a great finisher. So I need something to force me to finish. And that’s what I used it for.

Byrd Nash
So last November, which have been last year, is that when you did the Burned to a Crisp? in November, then?

K.A. Miltimore
Yes.

Byrd Nash
Wow.

K.A. Miltimore
Yes, I did. I wrote the entire first book in the month of November, it actually took me three weeks.

Byrd Nash
And look at your success. Now you’re self published not with one but two, and you’re working on your third one. That’s really great.

K.A. Miltimore
Yeah. It’s been crazy. And it, and it’s a bit of a once you realize you can do it, then you think oh my gosh, why haven’t I done this before? What’s been holding me back?

Byrd Nash
Oh, I don’t know. Having enough time. I do plan on, I’m going to continue the podcast, but I am going to take a break in the month of November because my plan is to hit it hard on a sequel project of my own that I haven’t been able to finish. So it’s like, oh, I need total radio silence and I will go for it. So that’s good. That’s great to hear that that was such a success for you.

K.A. Miltimore
Yeah, it really was, it gave me, it also, I also took a piece of advice from a writer, a friend of mine, Philip Jones, who told me, “Don’t stop.” And then that had been my problem is I would write and then I would go back and I would read what I had written and I would kind of edit. And then I just kept doing that over and over and over.

Byrd Nash
Oh my god, are you, are you my spiritual animal or something?

K.A. Miltimore
I’m at the halfway mark and think, Oh, this is terrible. I can’t, you know, I can’t keep going His advice was, “Don’t look back, just keep plowing forward. Don’t stop.” And he was right. Don’t stop, just go all the way to the end. You can fix anything later. But you can’t fix it on a blank page.

Byrd Nash
I’ve heard, recently I was looking at someone’s, I think it’s Instagram. And they were talking about, that was the zero draft, where you just kind of, a stream of consciousness beginning to the end, you just write the story. So I do go back, unfortunately, and I, and I rework stuff, and then that’s where you get caught in the quicksand because you can’t progress if you keep re-editing. You get caught over there, and then it sucks you down. And then you start having, like you said, the self doubt. I don’t really have so much the self doubt, but I have the “Where the hell’s this going?” I’m like, oh my God, this plot is making no sense now.

K.A. Miltimore
I mean, if you have to make a major course correction, I could understand going back and kind of, you know, deleting back to where the mistake was, or whatever, and going and starting up again. But you know, I have such a terrible habit of wanting to kind of edit edit edit as I go and that’s, that I would say don’t do that. Just, you know, keep plowing on the first draft.

Byrd Nash
Well, and also I think that editing puts, I don’t know if it does for you, but I know it does for me, editing uses a different part of the brain than the creative part. So if you’re creating, you’re in a certain mode, if you’re editing, it’s almost the exact opposite of that mode. It uses the more rational part of your brain. And then it’s harder. I actually have to have just days of edit and versus days of writing. If I’m trying to write and edit, I slow down a lot more.

K.A. Miltimore
I agree. It’s really hard to mix them, sometimes even in the same week. I just, I need, if I’m writing I’m writing. But for editing, gotta be in my whole other zone to do that. So…

Byrd Nash
I really appreciate you being with me, Kim, today, I’m going to have some show notes on my blog that’ll give all the links to your social media. You have a website that gives a blog. Thank you for blogging because it’s, you know, then you learn the inside part of what’s going on. And that’s at KAMiltimore, and that’s kamiltimore.com. She’s also on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and she has another podcast that she hosts with Philip M. Jones called the Word Necromancer’s podcast. And that’s so exciting. I mean, we met by accident. When you reviewed my book and No, Amazon, I did not know her before she reviewed my book. And I’m like, Who the hell is she? What’s she doing? So then we met on social media, and I started following you and I got your book next, and then I read it and stuff. But it’s a great way social media has of providing readers an inside look to writers minds and knowing more what we’re doing.

K.A. Miltimore
I agree, it’s, it’s a lifeline for I think authors in all stages of their work, whether you’re, you’ve written a full story or not. It’s so helpful to kind of meet up with people and, and pick brains and get ideas and just support. It’s a fabulous community. Well, I will say if you are a fan of audio books, I am going to have the audio version of book one out. It should be available the beginning of August. And I will certainly be letting folks know that on my social media. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll get news about that. Super excited to hear some of the character voices, particularly the Scottish gardener. I can’t hear wait to hear what she does with Darro. So audio books, you might want to check that out. Also, if you do subscribe to my newsletter, I’m collaborating with a candle maker. And we are going to have some candles that are going to be based on the books.

Byrd Nash
That’s going to be a wonderful promotion for Halloween and also for Christmas. And what, what are the two scents that you decided to stick with?

K.A. Miltimore
Well we’re doing a bit of a mishmash. We’re definitely going for more of a spicy, autumnal, vanilla scent for book one. And then book two is going to be more of a spruce and fig and kind of warm scents for the holidays.

Byrd Nash
I really really liked that idea. Did you, I know you’re probably going to be selling them through her shop. Does she have a shop there? in town?

K.A. Miltimore
Actually, it’s going to be mostly available through me.

Byrd Nash
Okay.

K.A. Miltimore
She, we’re hoping will also have them in some stores in Enumclaw. But, and at the bookstores in Enumclaw as well. So for anybody local, go to Enumclaw and check it out. But for the vast majority of the world, it’ll be available online and I’ll be the one shipping them out. So you may get little goodies in your bags from me.

Byrd Nash
Well, I know right now, I guess it was about a year ago when I was still doing my Etsy business, the idea of having gift boxes every month that people would subscribe to. And I’ve seen it, I’ve seen that actually in the book community where… I don’t remember exactly. And maybe it’s called fairy tale loot. But there’s some people on Instagram that are doing that, where they have different theme boxes that are for books. Now most of those books are super popular books like Harry Potter, whatever. But I wonder how we could do that for independent authors. We might have to send some emails back and forth and see what… You know, 12 months of independent authors of fantasy or something.

K.A. Miltimore
Right, how fun would that be would be? I’d be down with that. I’m also involved in a full themed anthology of spooky stories. So that one will be coming out in October, so…

Byrd Nash
Oh, cool. Well, that’d be on, will that be on Amazon? Or will that be in book form? Or just ebook form? Or what? Or do you know?

K.A. Miltimore
it’s going to be on Amazon? It’s 13 writers that actually met through social media and we’re going to have a ebook version, a paperback, and probably an audible version, so. I’m super excited to share because it’s a complete departure. I did a Victorian Gaslight fantasy take and I think people are really gonna just be surprised because it’s outside of my normal zone. So I hope people like it.

Byrd Nash
I don’t know, that sounds pretty fascinating. I think I will have to be signing up. I’ll be getting that one.

You can find me at ByrdNash.com, Byrd spelled with a BYRD. On my website you can read the show notes to today’s podcast, as well as find a list of all the episodes. I also do book reviews and have resources for authors on the website. Frost Waltz is the music and it’s by Kevin MacLeod at incompitech.com.

Transcribed by Otter.ai
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