Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Friday, October 7, 2011

Five Questions With ...Kim Kircher, author of "The Next 15 Minutes: Strength From The Top of The Mountain"

I'm so pleased today to introduce you to Kim Kircher, author of the amazing memoir "The Next 15 Minutes: Strength From The Top Of The Mountain."

Kim took time to answer a few questions about her writing career.

  1. At what age did you know that you wanted to be a writer? 
I started keeping a journal in my angst-ridden teens. I imagined someday penning stories and characters out of those tumultuous years. I still have those journals, but can't bear to look at them. I studied Creative Writing in college and went on to be a high school English and Creative Writing teacher for a few years before I moved to the mountains as a professional ski patroller. I suppose I've always thought of myself as a writer. It's been a lifelong goal to write a book.

  1. What three important facts do you want readers to know about your books?
1.     This book isn't just for skiers. My life as a ski patroller acts as an important metaphor in the book. It provides the lessons I needed to get through my husband's illness. But you don't have to be a skier, or even love the mountains, to appreciate how any type of adversity toughens you up for life's hardest moments.
2.     Nor is The Next 15 Minutes just another medical memoir. No one really wants to read about someone else's fight with cancer unless the story is compelling. I use exciting moments on the slopes to tell my story. The book opens in a helicopter as I prepare to throw a large bomb out the open cockpit door. My husband sits in the front seat and watches me over his shoulder. In less than a year he will be in a hospital bed.
3.     This book is different because ski patrollers don't usually share. Patrollers are a crusty and humble group. Few of us ever talk about our lives, perhaps because we have an unspoken code of humility that creates a veil of secrecy. When I wrote this book and started to pitch it to agents I realized that other people think my life is exciting and interesting. This surprised me. In fact, the most common response I've heard from others is that they "can't believe my job is so dangerous." I don't think of it that way, but apparently others do.
  1. Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?
I'm truly inspired by great writing. As a former English teacher, I love classic literature. Yet my tastes are all over the map. I recently finished rocker Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids, and found myself nodding along to her surprising prose. I love John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany; and Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye sits on my desk in case I need inspiration.

  1. What do you have coming up in the future?
I'm currently working on a novel that takes place at a ski area. In real life, I'm a stepmother and in my novel I want to explore what it means to be a parent without blood ties. While the story takes place on the slopes, the themes run deeper than that.

  1. What advice would you have for anyone wanting to break into writing today?
Read, read, read. Of course you want to read books in the genre you hope to write in. But don't stop there. Find words that inspire you that run the gamut of genre and style. Pay attention to how authors structure sentences and paragraphs. Take mental notes even when the language is so compelling you can't put it down. Especially then.
I found my editor and agent at a writer's conference. If you aren't lucky enough to "know someone you knows someone", which is how many writers find a publisher, than attend a writer's conference. I pitched my story to an editor who told Lynn Price (my editor at Behler Publications) about it. She listened to my pitch and offered me a contract a few weeks later. Don't give up. If you really believe that writing is your chosen path, then find a way to make it happen. Even if you have to do that just fifteen minutes at a time.

Thank you, Kim, for coming by my blog and sharing a bit about your work!

About The Book:

Kim Kircher's husband's illness wasn't something she could blow up as she had done countless times on the ski slopes during avalanche control. Instead, Kim faced the biggest double black diamond ski run of her life as she listened to the doctors put her husband on the transplant list while he fought bile duct cancer.
The Next 15 Minutes is Kim's high octane story of how she drew strength from her life among the ski slopes and of the daring world that showed her how to survive and fight back.

About The Author:

Kim Kircher has logged over six hundred hours of explosives control, earning not only her avalanche blaster's card, but also a heli-blaster endorsement, allowing her to fly over the slopes in a helicopter and drop bombs from the open cockpit, while uttering the fabulously thrilling words "bombs away" into the mic.
An Emergency Medical Technician, she has received both a National Ski Patrol Purple Merit Star for saving a life as well as a Green Merit Star for saving a life in arduous conditions. Before working in the ski industry, she received her BA and teaching certificate from the University of Washington, and taught high school English for five years. Her articles have appeared in River Explorer, Couloir Magazine and Off-Piste Magazine.
She is a current member of the Pacific Northwest Writer's Association and co-authors a blog about her job at Crystal Mountain Ski Area. Kim starred in a reality show about ski patrollers on the cable channel TRU-TV. Her husband's family owns and operates ten ski areas in the United States and Canada, including Crystal Mountain, where she was worked for twenty years.

For more information on Kim's book, check out her website at http://www.kimkircher.com/

My thanks to Lindsay at Media Muscle for contacting me about Kim's book. 

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