Interview with Kimberly Bella: First Place Winner in Summer 2020 Flash Fiction Contest

Tuesday, December 01, 2020
Kimberly Bella is a writer and an entrepreneur currently working on launching a proofreading business, Final Steps Proofreading. She is in the process of developing a website and is thrilled with this new chapter in her life. Writing has always been a passion and one that has truly bloomed since she left her 20-year career in healthcare a year ago. She is an avid reader and loves British television shows. Miranda is a particular favorite as well as anything by Jennifer Saunders. She lives outside of Boston with her husband of 21 years and her 17-year-old twins. Her brood also includes two frisky dogs, two spunky guinea pigs and a cat who rules the roost. She has edited several books for the author L.M. Brown, including her latest novel, Hinterland. She holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Suffolk University. At the moment, Kim is working on several short stories and looks forward to getting them published. She is the sister of Romance novelist, Christina James.

--interview by Marcia Peterson

WOW: Congratulations on your first place win in our Summer 2020 Flash Fiction competition! What prompted you to enter the contest?

Kimberly: Thank you! I'm thrilled. I entered because I love the challenge of creating a powerful, concise reading experience. I like the immediate satisfaction of having a complete story in a few days or weeks. I received an Honorable Mention in the WOW 2012 flash fiction contest for Him and I have loved the process ever since that time.

WOW: So glad that you continued to enter the contests. Eight years later and you have a winning story! Can you tell us what encouraged the idea behind your story, “The Value of Time?”

Kimberly: I was thinking about how we often see things and assume what it's all about i.e. a person stumbling must be under the influence of something. It may not occur to us that the person may have an injury that makes them stumble or perhaps an illness. I went from there but from the person's perspective. I created a section of time which details what this individual was experiencing in his life and some things that brought him to that point.

WOW: You did a great job of showing life with an addiction, and I loved the subtle but powerful ending. With your proofreading business and editing work, how do you find time to work on projects like your short stories? What works best for you?

Kimberly: I find having a schedule works best for me. A literal, written time schedule for me to stick to because I am a horrible procrastinator. I allow time for all of my pursuits so that nothing gets neglected or forgotten. I also don't want to leave a story idea for too long without working on it because I could lose the momentum of the thought.

WOW: What are you reading right now, and why did you choose to read it?

Kimberly: I am re-reading Reading Lolita in Tehran because I love how the story unfolds before your eyes. I chose to read it a second time because I love real life stories and my daughter chose it for her summer reading book. This story in particular holds my attention throughout because you can imagine the tension these women experience every day and how even reading a certain book could put them in danger.

WOW:  Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Kimberly. Before you go, can you share a favorite writing tip or piece of advice?

Kimberly: I try to have a notebook of some sort with me at all times. I never know when inspiration will strike me, and I don't want to lose an idea that excites me. I also brainstorm i.e. just write without editing, stream of consciousness, no matter how silly the details are or how little it may apply to my story idea.

Thank you very much for this experience!


For more information about our quarterly Flash Fiction and Creative Nonfiction Essay contests, visit our contest page here.


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