Meet Kimberly Bella, Runner Up in the Fall 2012 WOW! Flash Fiction Contest
Hello, Muffin fans. You're in for a sweet treat today! When I read, I appreciate stories that have an unexpected twist and catch me off guard. That's what happened when I read Kimberly Bella's story, Things. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, 'Could this possibly happen?', but my senses said, 'NO WAY!' I was wrong. (Smiles) Check out Kimberly's story and then return here to get to know her and learn more about her writing.
Kimberly's love of writing started when she was a child. Inspired by a love of reading and determined to exercise her imagination, she scribbled in ever-present notebooks, anxious to capture real life experiences and observations that would create and enhance her stories. Poetry poured form her in high school as a remedy to teenage angst and as a result of a first boyfriend who shall remain nameless.
Kimberly loves music and movies of all genres and aspires to add screenplays to her collection in the future. Kimberly holds a MBA from Suffolk University and is currently working on her first novel.
Kimberly loves to laugh - loud and often - with her husband and nine year old twins and usually at the expense of her farting, drooling bulldog, Sipowicz.
WOW: Hello, Kimberly. Welcome to The Muffin. Congratulations on earning runner up honors in WOW's Flash Fiction contest. Things is a great story! I absolutely love the twist in the last line - although I secretly suspected it. Why do you think the last line is so important, especially in flash fiction?
Kimberly: The last line is important because it not only turns one's assumption on its head but leaves the reader with a lasting impression of how things are not always as they seem. It also does not follow the usual pattern of a person fleeing another person's anger i.e. thought patterns seem to think it is adult to adult relationships when one feels they've had enough and need to leave, to escape.
WOW: It definitely caught me off guard! Honestly, it was the perfect ending. (Smiles) I think a lot of parents who read the piece may relate to the storyline. Sometimes, you want to escape - even for a moment - but you know you're needed. Your bio mentions that you have nine-year-old twins. Would it have been as easy to write this story if you weren't a mom?
Kimberly: It would not have been easy to write this story if I was not a mom. The story originated from a tantrum my son had one day. He's at a stage where he wants his way and that's that. My husband was on active duty at the time so I was essentially a single mom trying to balance fun with discipline and being outnumbered in the process. The story flowed very easily and was a great outlet to my frustration.
WOW: Been there! I help watch two of our grandkids, and some days, it's a delicate balance between fun and discipline; however, the grandchildren and children have provided a lot of ideas for stories. (They probably wish I would QUIT writing about their antics!) Children and writing are a lot alike; both require nurturing, creativity, and direction. Do you consider your stories as "your children"?
Kimberly: I don't see my stories as children to me. However, each story holds a memory and is special. They hold specific observations and situations that I've experienced as both an insider and an outsider to an event.
WOW: Those situations and observations form powerful stories. In your bio, you mention that you started writing at an early age. How do you think your writing has evolved since you first scribbled in a notebook or penned a poem while in high school? Has the process become easier?
Kimberly: When I was younger, the writing and poetry I did literally poured out of me. My emotions were at an all time high because of my age and maturity level. What I felt ended up on a page. I find writing a slower process now because I am more jaded. I see the ending but struggle with how to get there at times.
WOW: I think most writers face that struggle at some point. As a writer, I am always interested to see what other writers like to read. What do you read for recreation?
Kimberly: I love to read biographies. I am fascinated by what other people have lived through and survived in most cases. The interpersonal relationships hold such a spectrum of emotion that I can feel what it is like to walk in another person's shoes.
WOW: That's a good description of biography! I may borrow it and share with my writing students. Kimberly, I'm wondering if you would share a tidbit about the novel you are working on. Pique our interest!
Kimberly: The novel revolves around a 9 year old girl's view of her world and the experiences she encounters as she lives amidst an eccentric group of characters. Her mom, a tough broad with a deeply damaged soul; a criminal older brother; a sister on the road to ruin; a sister who lights up the world. A lot of her experiences and observations stem from the bar where her mom works which opens the door to a whole bunch of people she may have otherwise not encountered in her young life.
WOW: Sounds interesting! I look forward to reading it. Again, congratulations, Kimberly, and thank you for sharing your thoughts with readers of The Muffin.
Interview by LuAnn Schindler