Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Guest Author, Kimberlee Mendoza

Today we feature guest author Kimberlee Mendoza, who writes young adult stories and inspirational romances, among others, for The Wild Rose Press, and is also a cover artist at The Wild Rose Press. Kim did my wonderful covers for Jake's Return and Ashton's Secret. Kim has a new Christmas release out TODAY, and is the author of the five-star (well, angels, actually) Russell Family series of Young Adult books.

1. Who are you?

I am Kimberlee R. Mendoza…Who is she? … A mom and a fulltime graphic artist who moonlights as a YA romance novelist and playwright. For the first time in 33 years, I’m not a student, having just graduated with my master’s degree this spring. I am also an Army veteran, but I’m more Private Benjamin than G.I. Jane. And when I’m not creating novels or going to school, I am directing a youth drama team of 25+ students.

2.What type of stories do you like to write and why?

YA romance. Even my adult romances tend to have a younger heroine. Why??? Hmm…good question. I suppose because the time in my life when I was an advocate reader was when I was 15 years old. Or maybe it’s because I refuse to grow up. Some of my best friends are the kids on my drama team. And why romance? I’m a sucker for male/female tension and that first kiss.
3.What type of stories do you like to read and why?

Funny thing. I don’t read a ton of romance. I prefer to read psychological thrillers, like Dekker. However, I do read some YA novels, such as Janette Rallison’s book, “Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My to Do List.”

4.When do you write (daytime, nighttime, on your lunch hour, before the kids get up, after everyone is asleep? In large chunks of time or stolen snippets?)

I usually write after my kids are in bed, during my lunch break, and on the weekends. I have a rule. At least one page a day. With that goal, I know I can at the very least, write a novel a year. But I usually do much more than that.

5.When do you read? Where?

In my car. Waiting for the dentist. Between projects. Basically, I have about four books stashed in different places (work, car, home, etc.) and read them when I have a free moment.

6.Where did you get the inspiration for Seek Ye First My Heart?.

“Seek Ye First My Heart” is part of a series. It is the third book and it deals with the one character that you love to hate. So, I had to find a way to make the reader like her. The idea came from watching way too many 80’s movies, I guess. It kind of has that tone. Nerd likes girl, girl wants popularity. Who wins?

7.Where do you go to think?

On my couch after everyone has gone to sleep.

8.How did you come up with your title and main characters’ names?

Titles are huge to me. I spend hours going through Amazon and my thesaurus, making sure no one else has it, etc. The first two books in the series were, “Love thy Sister, Guard thy Man” and “Oh Brother, You’re Not My Keeper.” They both had that biblical sound to them. I liked that. So, I needed that for the third. The third book is so much about the heroine, Cassi wanting someone to love the real her, not her appearance. So, “Seek Ye First My Heart” just seemed to fit.

9.How long did you write seriously before your first book was published?

I wrote my first novel when I was 13 (Love thy Sister, Guard thy Man). My first published novel was called, “On the Couch.” It was published just a few years ago, and I’m 37. So, it took a long while. However, I did publish plays and poetry long before.

10. Why do you write?

Someone once told me that if you’re not happy doing anything else, then that’s what you’re supposed to be doing. That is writing for me. It is my warm, fuzzy blanket. It makes me happy :).

Kimberlee resides in La Mesa with her husband and two boys. She is a graphic designer and a cover artist. She is the author of ten novels, three e-books, one non-fiction book, six plays and several poems. She is also a drama director and a part-time acting teacher. She has a BA in Human Development and her MA in Humanities with an emphasis in literature. She is also the winner of the Sherwood Eliot Wirt Writer of the Year Award for 2006. For more information, go to

Liana's note: What Kimberlee didn't mention is her Russell Family Series has been awarded Five Angel reviews across the board at Fallen Angel Reviews, and she has a Christmas story released TODAY at The Wild Rose Press, titled Wanted: Boyfriend for Christmas. I would have posted a picture, but after twenty minutes of trying, I gave up. (Can someone tell me how to post pictures at the bottom of a blog? Or even in the middle of one??) At any rate, do check it out by clicking on the link. Thanks!


Skhye said...

Congrats on the new release! Excellent interview. I still haven't had a chance to read your Halloween story. But it's in my TBR folder. ~Skhye

Kimberlee said...

Thanks Skhye. Also, Liana for interviewing me. TWRP authors are the BEST!

Also, on adding the picture. You have to cut and paste the link below, where you want it.

Sheryl said...

Another prolific writer! Just remember to pause occasionally, Kimberlee, to give yourself a pat on the back—for brilliant writing, persistence, and belief in yourself. Belief that’s reinforced by people like, Liana, who set up excellent interviews to showcase our talents. Well done, Kim! Well done, Liana!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Kimberlee
Great interview. Congratualtions on the new release.

Kitty Keswick said...

Congrats on you're new release. I have the first novel in the Russell Family...Here's to many more.
It's always interesting to read about other writers. I wrote many books as a teen,too. I was just thinking about digging my favorite one out and revamping it. I see I'm not alone. Great minds think alike.

Carol Ann said...

Loved learning more about you Kim! Congratulations on your many accomplishments. You are an inspiration to all of us. ~Carol Ann

Kimberlee said...

Thanks, Sheryl, Margaret, Kitty & Carol Ann. You all are very encouraging.

I noticed I misspoke on my age for when I started writing Love thy Sister. I believe I was 12. Not 13. all runs together when you get older. It was completed when I was 16.