Let’s get the logistics out of the way – what is your name, where are you from and what is the title of your short story in the upcoming Running Wild Press Anthology?
Hi there! My name is Amelia Kibbie. I was born, bred, and corn fed in southeastern Iowa, and currently reside in Iowa City. My story is called “Idylls of the King.”
What started you on the path to writing?
I give all the credit to my third grade teacher, Mrs. Stoll. I remember the day she said, “Today we’re going to start a create writing unit.” I didn’t know what creative writing was. I loved every second of it. My first opus was a Superfudge fan fiction, followed closely by Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles fanfiction. I’ve been writing ever since for pleasure and for my friends and family to read. I didn’t “get serious” about writing until my 30th birthday. I thought to myself, if I’m ever going to do this, now is the time. So, for the last 4 years I have been writing and submitting nonstop.
How did you come up with the title of your short story?
The King Arthur myth is a vein that runs through my story, and I quote several times from Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. It made sense to name the story after Tennyson’s poetry collection about Arthur and his knights.
If you could give a quick log line for your story in Running Wild Press Anthology – what would it be?
In 1943, two boys, each suffering in his own way, evacuate London to escape the bombings, and, with the help of a wise Baroness, realize their legendary love story has just begun.
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences of your writing career? One of the biggest challenges?
I’m sure you’ll hear this from a lot of writers — rejection is hard. I remember the first rejections I got, or when agents or publishers would respond with constructive criticism. The first few times it feels so dreadful, but then you develop this amazing scar tissue. If you can get that scar tissue built up, you’ll have the courage to keep submitting. It’s like starting a new diet/exercise habit. It’s totally awful at first, but after awhile you get used to it, and you get the results you want if you have the grit to stick with it.
I’d have to say one of my biggest wins as a writer was having Idylls of the King published. I wrote it for another anthology that rejected it, but I loved it so very much that it broke my heart that nobody would ever read it. But then Running Wild came along and saved my story. I remember when I got the email at work. I told the first person I came across and they were very confused about why I was happy crying.
If someone was new to your work, what work should they start with? Why? OR Do you have a preferred medium or genre that you like to write in? Short Story, blogs, flash fiction, novel writing, freelance writing? Is your writing comedic, dramatic, thriller etc.
On vein that runs through a lot of my writing is a powerful role for women. In Idylls, it’s the Baroness who holds the key to everything and everyone’s destiny. The first short story I ever published, Duck Pond, is about an immigrant woman who is taken advantage of until she reaches her breaking point and decides to fight back. I’ve written literary, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, and horror, but if I had to choose a favorite genre… honestly, it would be horror. Stephen King and Anne Rice were very formative authors for me.
What are you reading right now?
My husband is a very romantic man, and he always plans a theme for big milestones or holidays like Valentine’s Day. For our 6th anniversary, which is coming up on March 8th, he has planned a trip he’s calling “Our Anniver-Scary.” He knows how much I love freaky paranormal stuff. I don’t know where we’re traveling to because that’s a surprise, but for the past few weeks I’ve been getting books in the mail that are supposed to “set the mood” before we go. My first book was The Shining, so I started re-reading that. I’ve also gotten Haunted Cheyanne Wyoming and a Dear America book about a prairie school teacher. I’m “dying” to know where we’re going for our trip!
The thing about re-reading The Shining, which I haven’t read since high school, is how much the writing sounds like me. Or I sounds like Stephen King, even after all these years and not reading one of his books since probably 2002.
What is your writing process – are you a pantser or a plotter?
I’m a plotter, but only to a certain point. I can plan about five chapters in a row, but then I have to write those and see what else comes up before I plot some more of it. That leaves wiggle room for things that come up that you weren’t expecting. My characters will take the driver’s seat from time to time and I have to work around what they decide to do.
What has been most successful for you in marketing your work? Are you doing anything different for 2018 that you haven’t done before?
This year I did my first convention, which was Halloweenapalooza in Ottumwa, IA. I wouldn’t say it was financially successful, but it was one of the most enjoyable days of my life.
What are you working on next and what is the best way for people to connect with you?
I’m turning “Idylls of the King” into a novel that catches up with James and Arthur ten years later. The best way to keep track of what I’m up to is to find my author page on Facebook or check out my website ameliakibbie.com
Amelia Kibbie is an author, freelance writer, and secondary educator. She was born, bred, and corn-fed in the great state of Iowa, but her heart is divided between France and New Orleans. Amelia’s short stories have appeared in several anthologies, including the pro-human sci-fi collection Humans Wanted and My American Nightmare: Women in Horror. The literary journals Saw Palm, Quantum Fairy Tales, Wizards in Space, and Intellectual Refuge have featured her work. Rustle, her first (and probably only) volume of poetry is available on lulu.com and amazon.com She also blogs for the parenting website mom.me and at akibbie.wordpress.com.
Amelia’s most recent publication is through Running Wild Press. Her short story, an LGBT historical romance called “Idylls of the King” appears in their second anthology of short stories. “Idylls of the King” is the story of two boys shipped away from London to avoid the Nazi bombings in WWII as part of a program called Operation Pied Piper. James and Arthur, along with their classmates, move into the manor of the Baroness, Lady Barlow. However, their woes and worries follow them there; James is relentlessly bullied and Arthur does not speak because of his stutter. It’s up to the Baroness and her war-veteran butler, Mr. Marlin, to help the boys realize that they are just as important and legendary as characters from the King Arthur myths.
Amelia has spent 12 years in public education. Her current position is as an instructional coach and interventionist. Working with students who struggle is her calling. She lives in Iowa City with her husband, two-year-old daughter, and three spoiled cats. They share the condo with a shy ghost. Her most recent obsession is the musical Chess.
All of her information can be found at ameliakibbie.com.