Blog post character interview -- by Kimberly Russell
I’d like to thank Carrie for the opportunity to share about my recent release, Journey to ChiYah, a Christian fantasy novel about a gal that goes on an unexpected trip filled with surprises.
Journey is my personal overcomer story and is a delicate balance of my life experiences, hybrid facts, and plain old fiction, where the main character, Jade Pepperdine, finds healing and freedom from her past. Let’s get to know her…
Kimberly: Thanks for joining me today.
Jade: You’re welcome, but I don’t get it. You already know all this stuff.
K: True, but I think the world needs to hear from you. How about we start with some background?
J: *disgruntled sigh* Fine. I’m 34 and live in small-town-nowhere-you’ve-ever-heard-of. I’m named after my great-aunt, Jade Edith Pepperdine. My mother likes to use this as her favorite ‘Momism’ and taunt me about being ‘Jaded.’ She can be sooo annoying.
K: Ah, yes, your mother. Care to elaborate?
J: Mom used to be a pretty sore subject for me, but things have changed. In me, anyway. She isn’t much different, still sharp tongued and critical, but we’re doing much better these days.
K: Why’s that?
J: *eye roll* You already know it’s because of ChiYah.
K: Tell us about your journey.
J: I got stuck there and met this really weird guy who was the Mayor. All I wanted to do was go home, but he insinuated I had issues and needed to be fixed because I was broken.
K: Yikes. That must’ve been hard to take.
J: It really ticked me off at first, but he wasn’t wrong. I know I can be high maintenance, and I’d noticed that my life was crumbling.
K: How so?
J: A lot of it had to do with Mom—we just couldn’t seem to get along. Plus, I was having trouble at work with being temperamental and cranky. Contentious with co-workers. All kinds of stuff.
K: No, not you?
J: Very funny. I was dealing with a lot of fear, too, which brought out my inner-control freak in an attempt to avoid it, and then I’d get mad when it didn’t work. Anger became my default because my temper seemed to sit on the edge of explosion at all times. It was a big, vicious cycle I couldn’t seem to break out of, even though I knew things needed to change. I just didn’t know what to do.
K: Makes perfect sense. Facing ourselves is never easy. So, Mayor offered to help with all this?
J: He did—if I agreed to his quest thingy before I went home.
K: Whoa, that sounds like blackmail.
J: No, I had a choice, but he helped me see that it really was in my best interest. He’s really caring and stuff. Super kind.
K: You’re glad you went on the journey?
J: Very much so. Mayor helped me see… me. What was going on inside and how stuff that happened when I was little was affecting me today.
K: Wow. That’s profound.
J: Believe me, though, the quest was anything but easy. Especially since I wasn’t the most cooperative. It was a long and twisty road, but I wouldn’t change any of it.
K: I see. Tell me about now? Post-ChiYah?
J: Things are way better. Not perfect, but much improved. I don’t feel so alone, have more hope, and less fear. And Mom and I are coming along nicely. *smile* But people really need to read the whole story for themselves. Journey to ChiYah is at Amazon, right?
K: It is indeed, and thank you for the PSA.
J: You’re welcome. I’ll send you a bill. Hey, didn’t I hear that if readers sign up for your newsletter they get the first two chapters?
K: Anything to add?
J: Just that I’m nothing more than a mess with a message. Nothing special. I hope that by sharing my story, others may decide to deal with their own junk. Trust me, it’s a journey worth going on. I dare you to check out my adventure, and who knows? Maybe, like me, you’ll find someone you never knew you lost… yourself.
Retired for four years, Kim’s day job was that of civil servant in the Michigan Department of Corrections at the local prison complex. She served as Warden’s Secretary under two female wardens in a three-prison complex of 2500 medium security inmates.
The highlight of Kimberly’s career was the role of Program Coordinator for the first inmate-dog training program in the MDOC. Since its inception in 2003, thousands of rescued greyhounds and “pound puppies” have been through the program, and it has expanded to many other facilities in the Michigan system.
Kim began writing in 2009 after she joined an on-line writing community called FaithWriters and regularly participated in their weekly writing challenge. High-ranking finishes led to publication in the 2015 & 2017 FaithWriters anthologies.
Branching out to become a columnist for a local entertainment publication called Frank Talk was a challenge. The publisher allowed Kim to be a guest contributor in their “Critter Corner” but was hesitant to add a fictional component. After a trial run of The Adventures of Miranda DailyLife, Kim authored the column for over a year and enjoyed an enthusiastic readership.
Kim has also been published in Dog Life Magazine and has three full- length manuscripts from participation in the National Novel Writing Month challenge held in November each year (writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.) One of these-Photo Finish-is her next project—stay tuned!
When not hanging out in her favorite place on earth—the She Shed— and creating literary magic, Kim is a pickleball fiend, playing several times a week. She also loves to read, enjoys a somewhat mediocre golf game, and is a tech geek.
Purchase Journey to ChiYah at Amazon: http://mybook.to/JourneyToChiYah
Sign up for Kim’s newsletter: https://rebrand.ly/i9urolq
Amazon Author Page: author.to/KimsAuthorPage
Web Site: https://www.kimberlykrussell.com/
Carrie: Thank you Kimberly for stopping by the OWG blog and sharing with our readers your interview with Jade! Hey, Kimberly I was a prison guard in Michigan! Talk about small world!
Giveaway: A copy of Journey to ChiYah in winner's choice of paperback or ebook. Leave a comment for Kimberly (or Jade!) to enter!