The First Time I Read . . . Welcome Kim Cox

I'm thrilled to have mystery writer Kim Cox as a guest today on Birds and Books. Read about her journey into writing and publishing. Kim offers some great advice to aspiring authors.
Congratulations are also in order. Kim's first paranormal mystery, Haunted Hearts, comes out this Monday!

 My Author’s Journey by Kim Cox

The author who has inspired me most is Mary Higgins Clark with her book Where are the Children. I have been reading her books ever since. There have been other mystery and romantic suspense authors who have also inspired me; such as, Sidney Sheldon with Masters of the Game, Rage of Angels, and The Other Side of Midnight; John Grisham with The Firm and The Client; Donna Kauffman’s Loveswept books; Stella Cameron’s romantic suspense books, and Fern Michaels.

When did I know I wanted to be an author? Unlike every author I’ve ever read about, I didn’t know I wanted to be an author from a young age, and I didn’t like to read in school. Most books didn’t interest me. When I neared my teens I did sneak my mother’s True Story magazines to read. Not sure why, but those stories engrossed me. By my mid to late twenties my love for reading began with historical romances. I loved reading about pirates and medieval times. Once reading took hold, I was totally hooked and thought, I can do this and many stories of my own came to mind that I wanted to write, but I still didn’t write.

It all started when I was working nights as a front desk clerk at a local hotel, and my husband, Lee, who at that time was a roofer had an opportunity to work in Virginia Beach with a contractor with which he’d been working. Soon I had to quit my job and I was stuck at home without a vehicle in a rural area. My neighbors thought my husband had left me and wasn’t coming back but I knew better.

During that time, I reflected on my life and wrote about it. I filled four spiral notebooks. Later, Lee came home and we move back to our hometown. I purchased an electric typewriter and typed it. That’s when I first thought about getting published. I bought a lot of the Writer’s Digest books on writing, publishing and publishers. I sent out query letters without success. I learned the hard way that my life story wouldn’t appeal to anyone else.

From there, I purchased a word processor and took two courses, Writer’s Digest’s Writing to Sell Fiction and NRI’s Fiction Writing. Through Writer’s Digest, I entered a writer’s contest and Suspicious Minds (working title, Deception) was born. It was a mystery about greed which was one of the deadly sins from the contest. I didn’t win but I learned a valuable lesson.

I wrote my first mystery novel in a little over three months, but it ended entirely too short at 35K. I couldn’t see what was wrong with it but knew it wasn’t completed. I decided to purchase my first computer, and I researched online providers where I found American Online held the most resources for aspiring writers with the Writer’s Club.

I found many things after that, such as RWA, writing contests, and most importantly my first critique partners. Here I am many years later, still writing and enjoying it. Now I feel an urgency to write like I’ve never felt before, like time is running out and if I want to get all the stories in my head out there, I need to get it done.

To aspiring authors: If your dream is to be an author, be persistent, and write even when you don’t feel the inspiration. Something will always get in the way, but you have to push past it. Find other aspiring authors and form a critique group.

Recent News: I have a newsletter where I offer exclusive contests and free books. Sign up at My first published book, Suspicious Minds, is on sale at 99 cents and a free short story, All For Love, are offered at Amber Quill Press. I have a free short story offered on Amazon, A Dream Come True, Book 1 in the Second Chances series. I have another short story, In His Arms (Book 2 in the Second Chances series) available now. There will be five books coming out this year, the first was All This Time—a romantic suspense novel was released January 2015.

New Release: Haunted Hearts will be released March 30, 2015. It is the first book in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series. The rest of the series will be released this year also, Get Out or Die (Book 2) in July 1, 2015, The Wedding Crasher (Book 3) in September 2015, and Christmas Cruise (Book 4) in November 2015.
Besides writing, Kim Cox works as an MIS Specialist for a local workforce development agency, designs/maintains Websites, and designs book covers. She has created her most recent book covers. She has associate degrees in Office Systems Technology and Web Technologies and a diploma in Medical Office Administration.

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