literary voices and mysteries
Fran Kimmel has been writing all her life and, now in the middle of her third novel, still finds it a “mysterious process.”
The Lacombe author’s advice for others plumbing their own literary mysteries is – like Nike says – Just do it.
“The best piece of advice is to write. Just keep writing,” says Fran.
Writing is often more about the journey than the destination — especially for those just learning to find their voice.
And fear not: “Out of bad writing comes good writing,” she says. “Be gentle with yourself.”
Fran says writing has always been a passion. She has written newspaper and magazine features, for online publications, tackled teen magazine columns, educational videos, corporate work and radio drama.
All the while, she was writing for herself, her imagination fed by an eclectic career that has included jobs as youth worker, career counsellor, proposal writer, communications coordinator and a 10-year stint as a vice-president for a national management consulting firm.
While enjoying her success, she knew she had her own stories to tell. She began writing short stories and drew out her own literary voice.
As the stories flowed from her imagination, she found she was returning to the same characters often. It seemed natural to let her characters take shape in the longer form of a novel — and The Shore Girl was born. “I like the spaciousness of the story you can tell with a novel.”
That debut novel won the 2013 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award and was selected a Canada Reads Top 40 book.
It follows Rebee from toddler to teen as she deals with her mother’s addictions and a family’s dark past.
To say the success of her debut came as a surprise is a bit of an under-statement. “I was shocked,” she says with a chuckle. “I was quite thrilled it was getting some exposure.”
No Good Asking came out last year and focuses on Hannah, a troubled young girl who is taken in by a family over Christmas.
While writing is a solitary pursuit, she has shared her passion with others through numerous writing and communications workshops. She has participated in many retreats and loves most of all meeting fans and literature lovers through book club appearances throughout Central Alberta and as far as Cranbrook and Kimberley, B.C.
“I think they’re my favourite thing. I meet such interesting people.
“I also get great reading recommendations.” For more about Fran go to www.frankimmel.com.
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