Interview with Kim Chance - author of KEEPER and SEEKER

Kim Chance is one of my favourite authors. I've enjoyed her urban fantasy duology, and her YouTube channel is a constant source of writing advice and inspiration. It should come as no surprise, then, that I am beyond excited to interview her today. Thank you, Kim, for answering my questions! I absolutely love your answers. 

Kim Chance is a high school English teacher and Alabama native who currently resides in Michigan with her husband and three children. When Kim is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and two crazy dogs, binge-watching shows on Netflix, fangirling over books, and making death-by-cheese casseroles.



1: What is your favourite type of scene to write, and what is your least favourite?

I’m a huge sucker for romance, so any scene that features attraction or tension between two characters is my favourite! And don’t get me started on kissing scenes—those are the best!! 

My least favourite scenes to write are action scenes, particularly large scale fight/battle sequences. I think these scenes end up being some of the strongest in the book, but they are a beast to write. Nailing the scene choreography and making sure the character movement is crisp and well-organised can be tricky. I end up having to draw pictures, and even then, I still manage to screw it up a few times before I get it right!

2: You’ve mentioned how hard it was to write a sequel. Why do you think sequels are generally harder to write?

I think sequels are harder to write because there’s a lot of pressure (usually self-induced) to contend with, as well as reader expectations. For me, my deadline was also a big factor in the making Seeker a difficult book to write. I wrote Keeper in a bubble over a ten year period, but with Seeker, I had six months to write a 90K+ book from scratch and then polish it to perfection. I struggled a lot with self-doubt and imposter syndrome. I think sequels are especially challenging because you want to make sure you can deliver a satisfying conclusion to the story—and figuring out what that conclusion is isn’t as easy as it sounds!

3: Tropes can be amazing if they’re delivered well. I think that’s something you accomplished brilliantly in the KEEPER duology. What are your favourite tropes to write? Or ones that you think will always find a way to pop up in your stories?

Thank you so much! ☺ I think there a few tropes that I will always lean towards, specifically strong female friendships, the journey towards self-discovery, and the unlikely hero.

My FAVOURITE trope of all time is a love triangle. I know, I know…but I think a love triangle done well can be incredibly powerful! I have never written one myself, but I’d love to give it a shot in the future! I also think enemies to lovers would be a fun one to play with!

4: The setting in SEEKER is very different from the one in KEEPER and it added so much to the book. How did you decide on this new setting (the farm, etc) for SEEKER and when it came to using setting to affect the story, what did that creation process look like?

I was born and raised in Alabama and have a ton of family in Georgia, so when I sat down to write Keeper, I had a lot of personal experience of a southern, small town. I’m a very visual person and in order for me to describe something well, I have to had seen it with my own eyes. I drew pretty heavily from my own upbringing to craft Lainey’s world.

When it came to writing Seeker, I needed a completely different setting. I knew I needed a somewhat rural landscape, but I also needed a certain cityscape as well. I had just moved to Michigan myself, and after driving around and getting settled in our new place, I realised that the area I lived in was exactly what I needed for my story. It was easy to describe certain places in the book because I was using actual places from my own town.

Descriptions can be tricky, but for me, the key to making them authentic is drawing from my own experiences—and in the case of setting, I drew a lot from what was literally right in front of my own eyes.

5: One of the things I love most about SEEKER is the ramped-up stakes and emotions. It’s so intense! What advice would you give a writer who’s trying to raise the stakes in their own story and make the reader feel the urgency of what’s happening? How did you go about building that in your own book?

When it comes to stakes, I think you have to look at both the large and small picture. In every story, there is usually some big umbrella problem that affects everyone, but you should also look at things on a character level as well. For me, I spent a lot time making sure each character had their own personal stakes in addition to the big “the world is going to end if we don’t stop it stakes.” Then I centred their goals and motivations around that. Unfortunately for them, their goals often clashed with other characters’ goals, and that’s where a lot of the emotional escalation came from. I think the key to making the reader feel the tension and urgency is make sure each scene has a solid purpose and that the characters’ goals, motivations, and stakes are clearly articulated. Every scene need to feel intentional. Their job is to act as a domino falling into the next scene. If nothing vital happens, or if the reader is not gleaning any new information, then the scene is too shallow and needs to be re-worked or cut. Ideally, each scene should be pulling double (or even triple) duty--to the point where it is so vital to the plot trajectory that there would be an obvious hole if it were removed. Think of your scenes like one long chain of cause-and-effect, and don’t let up.

Also, don’t be afraid to really play with the emotional side of things—help the reader really get inside the character’s head so they understand what the character is feeling. If they’re connected with the character, if they’re invested, then they’re going to organically feel the tension the character is feeling.

6: You’ve spoken a lot about mental health and how it affects writers. If a writer is suffering from anxiety, depression, or another kind of mental illness, and at the same time trying to write, what advice could you give them?

This is a difficult question to answer, mainly because anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses affect people in very different ways. How I cope with my anxiety may not work for another writer who also struggles from anxiety.

For me, identifying my triggers, taking medication, and developing healthy coping mechanisms have been how I have dealt with it. But again, that’s just what worked for me. My best advice to someone who may be struggling with mental health issues is reach out and seek professional care. I know there is a lot of negative stigmas about talking to your doctor, seeing a therapist, taking medication, etc., but honestly, I wouldn’t be where I am today without those things. I wouldn’t be able to write or create either. There’s no shame in having a mental health illness and no shame in seeking help for it either.

Also, if you’re reading this, please know you are not alone. I see you, I am with you, and I am here for you. You are worthy, you are valuable, and you are loved. Please don’t ever forget that!

7: I love how Lainey, Maggie, and Ty are so proactive in SEEKER. They truly lead the plot. How did you go about ensuring that they made things happen, instead of the plot simply happening to them?

Once again, I think it all boils down to knowing the character’s goals, motivations, and stakes. Making sure that those three things were clear in each scene helped make sure that each character had agency.

I also had some excellent beta readers who helped point out where the characters were reacting to something instead of being proactive. It truly takes a village to write a book!

8: Your 3 favourite things:

Fantasy books:
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Heartless by Marissa Meyer

TV shows:

Brooklyn 99
The 100 

Fictional Couples/Ships?

Jamie and Claire (Outlander)
Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger (A girl can dream, right?)
Cassian and Nesta (The ACOTAR series)

Writing Snacks:

Hershey Kisses
COFFEE—I literally can’t write without it (It counts as a snack right?)
Jolly Ranchers

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Kim! 

Go check out her amazing books...

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