Kim Purcell is a novelist and writing teacher. Her two published novels are Trafficked (Penguin) and This Is Not a Love Letter (Disney/Hyperion). She has a third "mystery" book contracted with Little/Brown due to come out in the next two years. She teaches novel-writing in a joyful multi-sensory way, helping both kids and adults achieve their dreams.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Sit down and write as often as you can so you don't forget your story. Setting a schedule works. You might not feel like writing but then you sit down and after fifteen minutes, you're in the zone. This is why I recommend fifteen minute writing sprints. Everyone has fifteen minutes. Just sit down and write as fast you can, racing ahead of any self doubt, for a short time. Sometimes, that fifteen minutes turns into two hours, and sometimes it doesn't. Either way, you add a feeling of joy and accomplishment to your day. Be weird when you write. Add in your own unique voice and take on the world. This will make it sparkle. Do not share your work until you've finished a rough draft. Do not reread your work until you've finished a rough draft. At the end of writing each day, brainstorm what you'll write next, so that you're eager to sit down and you have ideas. And finally, remember that storytelling is never a waste of time. We need these imagination breaks to take away the stress of life, to observe the world more closely, and to find joy in unexpected places. Good luck.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Victoria, BC, and lived there until I was three. Then I moved to Prince George, a small town in Northern Canada.
How long did it take you to write Trafficked and This Is Not a Love Letter?
The total time to write Trafficked was about 8 years, but I was also writing another book at the same time. I did about 20 drafts of Trafficked. I rewrote it 3 times from scratch. This Is Not a Love Letter was faster, about six years. These books inspired me to find out how other writers do it faster - and this is how I developed The Busy Writer Method.
Where do you live? Are you married? Do you have kids?
My husband, teens, and I live in Santa Monica, CA now. I've also lived in New York City, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Seoul (where I taught English As A Foreign Language) and Guadalajara, Mexico (where I attended the University of Guadalajara to improve my Spanish). I met my husband while teaching in Seoul, Korea, teaching English. He is a TV producer and is the host of the popular podcast, AI for Humans.
What jobs did you work when you were a kid?
I started working at eleven. My first job was riding an ice cream bike for Dickie Dee Ice Cream. After that, I worked as a restaurant hostess and server, lifeguard, swim instructor, and mountain biking instructor.
What do you teach?
I teach novel-writing and I love it! If you're a kid or teen and you'd like to take a class with me, find me on Outschool.com. If you're an adult, I teach and coach many adults and help them finish their books.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
I love so many things about being a writer...the elation of being in the zone, of writing exactly what I want to write, and the peaceful feeling afterward. I love hearing from readers that my words have somehow changed their lives. Most of all, I love inspiring adults, teens and kids to write because I think when you write, you speak your truth and you gain confidence in real life to be who you really are and speak your truth.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love writing for fun and also teaching writing . . . truly, what I do for my job is also what I do for fun! On top of this, I love swimming, going for long runs, spending time with my kids and my husband, playing Catan, walking my dogs, hanging out with friends over a good cup of tea, hiking, skiing, or simply staying at home and having an impromptu dance party. I love to dance everywhere, especially in empty elevators and public bathrooms if there's a good song playing. I try not to embarrass my daughters, but sometimes I just can't stop myself from...twirling!
Hugs to you all...and feel free to email me any more questions. (kim (at) kimpurcell.com)