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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

 

INTERVIEW WITH KIM HYTINEN



Kim's first love wasn't writing; it was photography. Something about the way an entire story could be etched in time with a mere shutter's wink captured her heart. Although she dabbled with her camera through college (and still does), a few odd journalism jobs post college sparked an interest that lay dormant: the written word. Newspaper columns did not give Kim the creative outlet for which her heart yearned, however. Although her resume is full of writing and design experience, what you won't find in Kim's portfolio is what has been most important to her life and her career: her family. Most of Kim's writing is inspired by the short moments that create richness in life. As though her words were a camera, Kim aims to capture a snapshot with her stories: a brief glimpse at the tiny moments in life to which, she hopes, almost anyone can relate. She is very active in her local writing community in Howell, MI, where she founded a group called PageJammers, and in South Lyon where she is a member of another writing group.

You can find out more about Kim by visiting her blog: http://www.kimhyt.blogspot.com



WOW: Today, I got the exciting privilege to sit down with one of our wonderful winners for the Winter 2008 Flash Fiction. Congratulations on placing in the top 10 with 2 of your stories, Kim, we are so proud of you! Did your story “Facing Faith” come from a personal experience?

KIM: Facing Faith started as an impromptu writing session with one of my writing groups. Although I don’t remember what the exact prompt was, I remember thinking it had potential. I was also inspired by local author and friend Rachael Perry (How to Fly, Fresh Water)

WOW: That’s great that you are part of a writing group. Did you have a special stuffed animal when you were a little girl? If so, what was it?

KIM: I’m more of a cat person, but when I was a child, I had this beat-up (kind of like the pink elephant in Facing Faith!) puppy. We moved a lot when I was a kid, and on one trip, it ended up in the toy box during the move. The toy box was antique and I guess just too tempting for a thief because it was stolen from our garage before I had the chance to get any of my toys out. I was not a happy camper for quite some time after that!

WOW: I bet that puppy sure had some exciting experiences with you. It’s so rough when you are little and end up loosing precious items. Do you have siblings?

KIM: Lorie, my only sister, is about seven years older than me. She and I are like night and day.

WOW: I am sure you two had a ton of fun growing up. Do you have children? If so, how many?

KIM: I have three girls. Brenna is 7; Lisa is 6; Paige is 2.

WOW: Sounds like you stay pretty busy with 3 little girls. Is WOW! The only contest you have entered? Or have you entered your wonderful stories in other contests?

KIM: I have entered a couple of my stories in contests before. I think I entered one in a Glimmer Train contest and another in a Writer’s Digest contest, I think. No luck there, though!

WOW: We wish you the best of luck with any future entries you may have. You have a wonderful ability for story telling. In your story “Magic Carpet Ride” You mention laying under the stars, is this something that you have done with a family member? When was the last time that you did this?

KIM: Before my husband and I were married, we each lived with friends and had a difficult time finding alone time. So, we used to grab a blanket and head outside at night. It wasn’t completely private, but at least we could have a conversation without everyone hearing. But the star theme from Magic Carpet Ride really came from my daughter’s love of the moon and stars.

WOW: How romantic, being able to sit under the stars like that. Then to share the stars with your daughter. The little girl Lisa in “Magic Carpet Ride” is Autistic, is this based off of someone that you know? Or have you worked with Autistic children before?

KIM: My middle child is autistic. This is a bit unusual, but I knew when she was about three months old. Her doctors didn’t want to “label” her, so they had a “wait-and-see” attitude, but I just took charge and started my own therapies with her at home. For example, she absolutely hated having her feet touched. So, I would apply firm but gentle pressure to the soles of her feet. My mom thought I was torturing her, but I knew it was helping her. Thanks to early intervention, Lisa is able and willing to share affection physically.

WOW: Mother’s intuition always prevails, we commend you. Are all of the stories that you have written have children in them?

KIM: No. I have a wide variety of stories with very different characters. In fact, that’s what drives my stories most of the time. My idea for a story rarely comes from an event, but instead starts with a person who comes to life in my mind.

WOW: That’s fantastic. But, I bet it can get dizzy with all of those people running around in your mind. (just kidding) Have you ever tried to get your stories published? If so, did you attempt it through a book or magazine publisher?

KIM: Just recently I submitted my first query for a book. We’ll see!

WOW: We wish you the best of luck with your query. If you were to say something to inspire other writer’s for WOW! What would be the one thing you would say to them?

KIM: Make every word count. Write your story from your heart; let it spill onto the page. Then edit. Don’t rewrite as you go along. Let your story sit alone for a week or so after you’ve written it. After that, go back and hack away at it. Keep it tight. Let your story fill the page, not your words.

WOW: Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, I’m sure so many will find inspiration from you for one of their stories. You mention in your bio that you started a writer’s group, how long has your group been around? How often does your group meet?

KIM: PageJammers has been going for two years. We meet once a month, but we’re in the process of reformatting the group. PageJammers will have a web site up and running this year that will enable the group to stay active with writing and eachother throughout the month in between meetings.

WOW: Congratulations on the upcoming site for PageJammers. Please keep us informed when the site goes active so we can all take a peek. Out of the two stories that placed in our contest, which is your favorite? Why?

KIM: I love elements of both, but I think Magic Carpet Ride steals my heart because it is based on my daughter. I have reworked that story so many times! I think it’s finally finished (and yes, it’s different than when it actually made it into the top ten at WOW!).

Kim once again, congratulations on your two wonderful stories making the top ten for the Winter 2008 Flash Fiction Writing contest. We look forward to seeing more wonderful stories from you in the near future. Also, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. It was wonderful having this chat with you.

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