10:14 AM

In the Author Spotlight & Contest
Kimberley Troutte

AL: Hi Kimberley! Thanks for being in the “Author Spotlight” this week.

Kimberley: I am so happy to be here. Wow, a week? That’s a whole lot of spotlight.

AL: So, tell us what’s happening with you.

Kimberley: I am preparing for my sweet boy to graduate from 8th grade. I can’t believe this. High school next year? How did this happen? Wasn’t he just learning to crawl? Wasn’t I just in high school? Um, no that was cough—twenty plus years ago—cough. Ahhh, time goes so fast.

AL: What do you have for us to read?

Kimberley: Catch Me in Castile. It is a paranormal romantic suspense. A ghost story.

AL: Any new works rolling around in your mind?

Kimberley: Too many. I’ve got to get cracking. I’m in the final stages of three books. I’ve got a paranormal suspense involving a philanthropist, a doctor, and two old voodoo priestesses who are plunged into the epicenter of Haiti’s greatest earthquake. I have a women’s fiction about a mother who is hiding her son from an abusive father when the boy becomes famous due to an ear surgery that allows him to hear God. And a middle grade adventure about two boys who join forces with a miner forty-niner ghost to save an old mining town.

AL: Who inspired you to follow your dream of writing?

Kimberley: That’s an easy one! My family. My dad is an avid reader who passed down books that he enjoyed. From him I learned to devour books like fudge. As a kid, I read hard-boiled detective stories, adventures, and mysteries. My mom gave me her books too which included sweeping epics and books set in interesting locales, like China, Japan. My sis introduced me to Romance.

All of them, including my husband and kids, have encouraged me to follow my dream. I couldn’t have done any of it without them.

AL: When you write do you do a detailed outline before you get started or do you have the idea then just 'fly by the seat of your pants'? :-)

Kimberley: No outline. I’m not a “plotter” or “pantser”. I’m an “in-betweener”. I start with the premise. For example: A 15th Century nursemaid gets pushed out of the Alcázar and for the next 500 years haunts the tower.

Then I go to the “why’s?” and “how’s?”. Why was she pushed? Why can’t she simply move on? What’s the mystery? How is the ancient story related to the modern-day one?

Then the “who’s”. Who is the ghost? Who is the modern-day woman who becomes embroiled in the ghost’s mystery and tries to solve it? Who is/are the love interests?

I get out a pad and paper and work on the character sketches. I need to know everything I can about these people from the way they look and act, to their deep internal secrets. Then I do quick scene sketches. I know the opening, a few important key scenes, the climax and the end.

By this time, my pantser side is so antsy to get going that I have to start writing or my brain will explode. I’m hearing dialogue in my head when I close my eyes at night, seeing the scenes, dreaming the story. I panic that if I don’t get it all down, it’ll be lost. I choose a scene that I can see most clearly in my head and start typing. From then on, it’s a mad, frantic, wild push to the end. It’s a little crazy. Maybe a lot crazy. When that first draft is done, I celebrate with a chocolate chip cookie, or an ice-blended mocha, put my feet up (yeah right, this is where I usually tend to the things I’ve let slide for a month or so. Housework, bills, cooking…) and let the story sit a few weeks.

Not looking at it for a while is important. I need fresh eyes when I go back and do the REAL work—the edits.

In the editing stage I add the depth, emotion, description, twists and turns that I missed in the first draft. Sometimes I realize that a scene would be best “seen” through a different character’s eye. I polish and shine my way to the end. Then I let it sit again. For the next pass-through, I look for anything that doesn’t “ring true” to my writer’s ear. I also look for dialogue, actions, plot points that don’t move the story forward and cut them. I’m big into cutting. Ask my critique partners.

Oh, speaking of them, my fabulous crit partners are crucial to this whole wacky process. Anything that pulls them out of the story, or doesn’t work for them gets fixed or cut on the third or fourth pass through.

AL: How do you decide upon your settings? What about the names of characters? Do you ever change either mid-stream into a story?

Kimberley: After I went to Spain, I knew I wanted the story to take place in such a romantic, beautiful place. Segovia is amazing!!! Towers, ancient Roman aqueducts, the history? Perfect for Catch Me in Castile.

The names of my characters do change. Usually the names just pop into my head. I try them on and see if they match the character. Deborah Nemeth, the editor at Samhain who bought Catch Me in Castile, asked me to change the ghost’s name. She felt the original name Teresa was too similar to Teresa of Avila who was born in a later time period. The ghost is now Serena.

In another story I changed character names mid-stream. It sort of messes with your head for a while, like calling your kids by new names. I’ve never changed a setting in the middle of the book, although, I have added places.

AL: Okay, let’s get personal… Sometimes people envision an author’s life as being really glamorous. I like to set them straight, so tell us what’s the most unglamorous thing you’ve done in the past week?

Kimberley: Hmmm. There’s so much to choose from. LOL. Oh, I’ve got it. Cleaning the fish tank. I’ve have sons and they have pets. Who do you think feeds and cleans up after them (the sons and pets)? Mom. The other day I was scrubbing the green yuck off the fish tank. I had scooped out pitcher after pitcher of the gross water and dumped it on the grass outside. It was my intent to refill with nice crystal clear water. As I scrubbed and scooped, the water became so murky that we couldn’t see the fish. My sons came unglued thinking that mom had dumped their fish out with the gross water. I didn’t think I I did, but wasn’t 100% sure. So here we were, on our hands and knees combing the grass, retracing my steps, searching for the poor fish as time ran out. After several minutes, just like the doctors on Grey’s Anatomy, my husband and I looked at our watches and called it. No fish could live out of water that long. My kids were furious with me until…you guessed it…the water cleared and they saw their fish right there in the aquarium where it had been all along.

AL: Best movie you've seen recently?

Kimberley: Sandlot. It’s an old kid’s baseball and coming of age movie that I love to share with my boys. Oh, and the Bourne Supremacy. I love Jason Bourne.

AL: What were you like as a kid?

Kimberley: A teacher’s pet goody two-shoes. I liked to please and didn’t get into trouble. My mom and I were always close and I told her everything, which my teenage friends that was really UNCOOL. I still phone Mom several times a week. Family is the most important thing to me. What else? I married my fifth-grade sweetheart. Not in fifth-grade! No, we waited until we had graduated college. He was adorably cute as an eleven year-old, but I swear he’s only gotten more handsome over the years. God, I love that man.

AL: Where would you like to travel if you had the chance?

Kimberley: Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Australia…Lots of places.

AL: Fun-off-the-wall-question… You’re the actress in a must see blockbuster movie that everyone’s been waiting all summer for. (A) What’s the movie about? (B) Who’s your character? (C) And who’s your leading man?

Kimberley: Hmmm. Let me try this in my deep voice…

In a world run by evil villains who’ve set the earth on a collision course into the sun, one person can save us. Kimberley Troutte, the kick-butt author who has been hiding her secret abilities to (fly, shoot lasers out of her eyes, breathe under water, and stop a bullet with her teeth) joins forces with sexy bad-guy turned good but still fighting for justice (combo of Brad, Tom, Mel, Johnny, and Matt) Jason Bourne. The clock is ticking…

AL: Please share a favorite quote(s) with us.

Kimberley: This one is from my dad. When I told him that I was finally going to be published he said,

“I’m so proud of you, honey. It’s great the way you’ve put your guts to the pavement and kept going.”

It’s all about following your dream even when there are a few bumps in the road and you get scrapped and pebbles get stuck in your belly… Well, maybe that’s not it exactly, but you know what I mean. Don’t give up.

AL: Thanks so much for joining us this week, Kimberley.

Kimberley: I love it. Thanks for having me.

AL: If you’d like to find out more about Kimberley please visit:




Seeing dead people is bad enough. Loving him could make her one of them.

When the mother of all panic attacks prompts Erin Carter’s boss to pass her over for promotion, her mind doesn’t just crack. It explodes like an egg in a microwave, shattering her career along with the company car she crashes into the office building.

The death grip she’s kept on her sanity slipping, she takes a friend’s advice and flees to Spain. There she finds comfort in the healing arms of surgeon Santiago Botello—until a fifteenth-century ghost warns her that being with Santiago is dangerous, possibly even lethal.

Santiago has his hands full protecting his sister from a dark curse and his family from a very modern-day psychotic killer. The last thing he needs added to his plate is a neurotic American. Yet something about Erin tugs at his heart so hard he wants to wrap her in his arms and never let go. No matter the risk.

Erin’s attraction to Santiago makes her the killer’s next target. Survival means she must face her greatest fear, solve an ancient murder mystery—and hang on tight to the one man she’s fallen crazy in love with.

Warning: This book contains a woman willing to lose her mind for love, a hot Spaniard with hands a girl could die for, deadly family curses, a ghost with memory disorder, and a really mad killer.

Excerpt (PG-13):

I couldn’t save myself. I was dying a gruesome, humiliating death that was far from over.

There’s no point in continuing the interview,” the Big Guy said. “You’re not handling this well, Erin.”

Backed into the corner, my pride bleeding all over the place, I did what I had to do. “I’m not? Handle this: take your job and jam it straight up—”

He gripped my shoulder. “Be sensible.”

“You want to keep that hand?” Sensible? Any sense had flown out the window fifteen minutes ago when the most important meeting of my life had turned into all-fiery hell. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to pull out the “I Quit” card. This place, this job, was my life.

He tipped his palms up in his typical “let’s negotiate” stance and turned on his plastic smile—the one he flashed before grinding opponents under his wingtips.

Had he forgotten I knew all his moves?

“Think about what you’re doing. If you walk out of here, it’s all over.” His plastic smile slipped, just a hair.

I didn’t want it to be over. Silently, I begged. You want me to stay. You need me. Please, don’t let me go.

“It’s your call. I won’t stop you,” he said.

“You think I should stick around to—what, rub my nose in your asinine decision?” I trembled with rage. He didn’t want me…he never had.

His nostrils flared. “I was wrong. Obviously, you’re not the best person for the job. I’m sorry.”

He wasn’t sorry. “The only thing obvious is I’ve been robbed.” I narrowed my eyes at him. “No wait, screwed and then robbed. Sums it up, doesn’t it?”

“You’re acting like a crazy woman.”

I leaned in close enough to kiss him. Or bite his nose off. “You haven’t seen crazy yet.” No one at the firm had, but I tilted dangerously in that direction.

Breathe, Erin, breathe. Don’t lose control, my psychiatrist droned inside my head. I had never been so humiliated, or so viciously used by anyone before. This hurt.

YOU breathe, Dr. Stapleton. I want to pound something. Hard.

My gaze flicked down to the thick folder in my hand.

The Big Guy saw the look in my eye. “Erin, don’t you dare. Those charts belong to DH&L.”

Meaning that after eight years of devoting every waking hour to the brokerage, Erin Carter was no longer a part of the company. I’d become a non-entity.

My head threatened to explode.

I dumped the presentation I’d spent weeks preparing over his perfectly trimmed, meticulously styled salt-and-pepper hair. Life as I dreamed it rained down in glossy color and spanned out across the gray-flecked carpet. Trashed, all of it. Without looking back, I shoved the conference door open with a bang and hustled out of there before I strangled him with my bare hands.

Halfway down the corridor, reality set in. What had I done?

My stomach flopped. I was going to be sick. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.

I was numb and yet my legs were moving. Fast. The click of my heels on the faux-marble tiles sounded a lot like, “Screw up, screw up, screw up.”

I grabbed my purse, fled through the lobby doors and ran like a demon chased me into the parking lot. Making it to my car, I shrank down in the front seat, covered my face with my hands and sobbed. The silk blouse I’d paid a kidney for was spotted with tears. How had things gotten so messed up? I felt…destroyed.

Rooting in the glove compartment for a package of Kleenex, my hand skimmed across the DH&L emblem blazoned on the Car’s User Manual. That’s when another important truth sank in—this wasn’t my car. I drove the firm’s navy blue Buick as a top commission producer. Some perk. I only drove it to and from work, even on weekends.

The windshield went fuzzy. Panic seized my brain and careened through my body like a high-speed police chase on the Hollywood Freeway. I wouldn’t outrun the attack. This one was going to be colossal.

“Sweet God,” I begged. “Not again.”

Fingers of terror scraped down my spinal cord. A thirty-pound weight smashed the air out of my lungs. A strange sound filled the car’s interior like air squeaking out of a busted balloon as I hyperventilated in the car that wasn’t mine. The world spun madly. Gripping the steering wheel, I hung on, but nothing would stop the fall. No one would catch me.

My mind didn’t snap. It exploded like an egg cooked on high in a microwave. Heartsick, panic-stricken and blinded with fury, I turned the key, stomped on the gas and floored the Buick.

Straight for the firm’s lobby doors.


Ella Drake said...

Oh, that excerpt left me hanging! What happened after she floored it? Must find out!

Hailey Edwards said...

You're just going to leave us like that? lol

Wow. I definitely want to know what happens next. Great excerpt.

Kimberley Troutte said...

Thank you Ella and Hailey for stopping by.
Love my Divas!

debb said...

WOW! What an excerpt! I have got to know more.LOL
Debby Creager

Kimberley Troutte said...

Hi Debb,
thanks for coming by!
Glad you liked the excerpt.

s7anna said...

Hey Kimberley,
Your book sounds like an awesome read. I love watching the Sandlot too and I'm not even going to bother mentioning how many times I've seen all three of the Bourne movies.

Congratulations on our new release.


Kimberley Troutte said...

Thanks for coming by!

Louisa Bacio said...

Hilarious story about the fish tank! I, too, feed ALL of our animals!

Kimberley Troutte said...

how many animals do you have?
We have four very large snakes (I put my foot down an a fifth, "Mom can I have...?"
The fish.
The sweet dog.
But at any given moment we could also have a tarantula, lizard, bird...
Life is exciting being the only girl in the house.

Louisa Bacio said...

Too Many!

2 dogs
8 birds (canaries, finches, diamond doves)
2 hamsters
2 hermit crabs
African leopard tortoise
2 frog tanks (cannot be together)
2 large fish tanks (have someone who cleans them)
3 small tanks

That should be it. All for 2 kids!

Kimberley Troutte said...

Oh man, Louisa, you have got a land-ark. Nice. I love animals. It's the clean up I could do with out. LOL.
Glad you've got someone else to clean those tanks.
Oh, we found a rare snake the other day on the road. A desert king snake, which is not usually found in this area. Pretty cool and didn't even hiss when we held him. Beautiful too. My husband walked well off the road into a pasture to let him go.

ladybirdrobi said...

Hi Ann & Kim,
I hope you both are having a good day. It is sweltering here today even with my overhead fan on high I am dripping sweat, eeww so unladylike. Congrats on your latest release Kim, the excerpt did what it was suppose to. Make me wonder what is gonna happen next so that means I have to add it to my growing TBR mountain.