When I first came up with the thought to do these interviews, I knew I couldn't leave out this talented author, especially since my mother simply raves about her books. Kimberly Rae Jordan is the daughter of missionaries which has played a major role in her writing books on family and faith.
I know that my mom is super excited to read this interview and I'm sure there are more of you who are ready to hear what this sweet lady had to say. Below is the interview I was blessed to have with Mrs. Jordan.
Me: Does your inspiration for your books come from real life people and places? Or are they purely fictional?
KRJ: For the most part, the places in my books are real, although I did create the town of Collingsworth for that series. I have created fictional locations (Rachel & Mari’s bookstore in Those Karlsson Boys series, for example) but they are in real cities/towns. The characters and situations I write about, however, are purely fictional. That doesn’t mean I don’t draw inspiration from real life people. I just don’t base a character one hundred percent on a person, but they can be a sort of patchwork of several different people—some I know, some I see on TV or read about in the news.
I will say that when I started brainstorming for the Collingsworth series, I had decided that the premise was too farfetched to use. A woman who kept having children and leaving them with her mother? I wasn’t sure that it was plausible enough for readers to buy into. Then one evening I was watching a documentary on TV and was shocked as I listened to them basically lay out my whole backstory for the series. There were differences, of course, but there were enough similarities that I realized that maybe my series would work the way I’d set it up. So that was a case where a series wasn’t inspired by real life, but it was validated by it.
Me: Of all the books you've written, which was your favorite and why?
KRJ: I’m not sure if I have one overall favorite. It’s kinda like picking a favorite child! LOL If you’d asked me this after I’d written the Collingsworth series, I would have said The Long Road Home because Cami’s journey as she came to accept her worth in God’s eyes was moving for me.
I enjoyed writing Guarding Her Heart because it allowed me to revisit the country where I grew up, and Than was a fun character to write.
I supposed if really pressed, I would have to say that Signs of Love is my favorite. I loved Alana’s determination to take care of Caden and to help others who were going through what she had. And Justin…well, there’s nothing like a strong man with a soft center. I loved his devotion to the only family he thought he’d ever have and then how seriously took being a role model to Caden. Of course, Justin and Alana together just rounded out the story for me.
Me: Do you work from an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
KRJ: Usually I start a story with a character. Like right now, even though I’m writing one story, I have the characters for the next story in my head. I’m in the “getting to know them” phase. For me, the story comes from the characters, and I just go with the flow. Writing romance means I pretty much know the ending, but the journey to that point is a lot of fun. I may have scenes in mind that I know will come into the story at some point, but I don’t actively plot out the story before I start to write. I’ve tried it, but then I felt like I’d already written the story and lost interest!
Me: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
KRJ: I have loved to read ever since I was a child. We had no television until I was in my teens, so books were my entertainment. Early on, my favorite authors were writers like Janette Oke, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Mary Mapes Dodge and, of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder. As I got older, I found writers like Francine Rivers—loved her Mark of the Lion series!—and Karen Kingsbury. Then in my early twenties, I discovered the Christian romance genre through the Love Inspired line. (Fun fact: They were the publisher I initially targeted when I started writing many years ago.) I was introduced to a lot of wonderful authors through them. I don’t read a lot of secular authors, but I do enjoy books by Dean Koontz.
Me: Do you have an interesting writing quirk? If so, what is it and how does it help your writing?
KRJ: I can’t think of anything that I would specifically consider a quirk. I do have a weird writing schedule though. I usually stay up until four AM writing each night. I find those hours after midnight when the house is quiet to be the best time to write. Thankfully, my husband is supportive and willing to get up at a “normal” hour to get the kids to school. This schedule has been a definite benefit lately as I’ve been struggling with back pain which has pretty much left me bed-ridden for a good chunk of the day. I’ve had to resort to using dictation while lying down to get my story into Word, so having that quiet from midnight until four AM has been a real help.
Me: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
KRJ: I have really enjoyed books by Tammy L. Gray. Mercy’s Fight is one of my favorites of hers. I also have enjoyed the Seven Brides Seven Brothers series by Belle Calhoune who also writes for Love Inspired. Other authors whose books I’ve read and enjoyed are Valerie Comer, Jan Thompson, and Autumn Macarthur. I haven’t read all that they’ve published, but I’ve enjoyed the ones I have read of theirs.
Now more than ever there are new authors popping up to try. It’s a great time to be a reader! And an author! I’m so thankful for the readers who have chosen to take a chance on my books. God has blessed me with wonderful readers and every day I’m grateful for the opportunity to share more of my stories with the world.
Kimberly Rae's newest novel 'Guarding Her Heart' is now availbale on Amazon. For more information about this gifted author, click the link below to visit her website.