Tricia: Today, I'm very happy to welcome Kimberly Gould, author of Thickness of Blood and the Cargon series.
Hi, Kimberly. Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your journey as a writer?
Kimberly: I started writing in High School and University but put it aside after graduation. I was really burnt out then. Around 2009, I started writing again. Fanfiction was my arena at the time and I put in a lot of words and a lot of practice in two years. In that time I also wrote the first draft of Cargon: Honour and Privilege, my first original novel. Since then I have written a second installment, Duty and Sacrifice, as well as an adult literary fiction titled Thickness of Blood. While looking for a publisher for Cargon, I thought it best to diversify, in case Young Adult wasn’t the genre for me. That’s when I wrote Thickness of Blood. Since then, however, I focused most on writing for Young Adults.
Tricia: Can you tell us about your Cargon series?
Kimberly: Cargon is set in a future where technology failed after a cataclysm that wiped out most of the population. My characters are living in a second dark age after all the knowledge is locked away in technology that can no longer be powered. It is in this setting, where society has divided itself into castes, that I tell the story of three brilliant young people and tell of their discoveries regarding their ancestors, the Fall, and how to reclaim knowledge that was lost. It is Science Fiction with a fantasy feel.
Tricia: Please tell us about Thickness of Blood.
Kimberly: Thickness of Blood follows three victims of the same man. The main point of view is George. His daughter was abused and eventually raped by James. He is on the hunt for justice and revenge. Lila is an adolescent who falls prey to James in the same way George’s daughter Daphne did. Although she doesn’t resist him, she is abused by him and when it is discovered that she is pregnant her family disown her. George, taking responsibility for not stopping James sooner, takes Lila into his family. The third point of view, and counterpoint to George and Lila, is Patty. She was James’ friend for years until he began physically abusing her. His treatment of her leads her down a road to drugs and prostitution that she has a difficult time escaping from.
Tricia: How did you get the idea for your books?
Kimberly: Cargon came to me in a dream. Eve was playing against two boys at a game she would die if she lost. The story evolved a lot from that simple start to create the novels and world. Thickness of Blood began as an entry in a fanfiction contest. I didn’t enter my story of the first encounter between James and Lila because it was too bleak on its own. The contest deadline was September, but by the end of that month I had a skeleton outline to take into NaNoWriMo, when I wrote the bulk of Thickness of Blood.
Kimberly: I think my upcoming release is my favourite. Like Thickness of Blood, it was sparked from a picture prompt. Trying to tie two disparate pictures together, I wrote a flash piece about a girl who was surviving the zombie apocalypse, is killed, and gets dropped back into her own past days before the outbreak. It became a cross between Walking Dead and Ground Hog Day as Cassandra keeps getting dropped back in her own past each time she dies. It was so much fun to write and I think it’s one of my best pieces to date.
Tricia: What projects are you currently working on?
Kimberly: Well, since my zombie time loop hasn’t released yet, I’m working on edits and galley pages for that. I’m also in the middle of the third and final Cargon book. Well, final in Eve’s story. I have an idea for a prequel that may or may not be written in future. I also have a High School ghost story, Ruthless, that I’m hoping to submit soon.
Tricia: What inspires you as a writer?
Kimberly: The amazing things I see and read. There are so many wonderful stories out there that I can’t help but want to write my own. My characters are the constant driver for me. A novel begins when the character takes hold of my brain and refused to let go until I’ve written him/her.
About the Author:
Please visit Kimberly at the following links:
Facebook: http://facebook.com/kimmydonn and http://facebook.com/cargonbooks/
Trailer for Thickness of Blood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvVE7Cas2UQ
Excerpt from Cargon: Honour and Privilege
She had nearly forgotten her thoughts from earlier, and it was hardly surprising. She recalled enough of them to jot them down while she ate. She contemplated getting dragged back into horrid incidents, her confrontations with Louis, the wives and husbands lost, the Cargon dream. It seemed the swells in her stream of thought brought her back to these terrible moments, all of them revolving around the Game. She needed to learn more.
"Excuse me," she asked a Librarian. "Are there any books on Cargon?"
The Librarian's eyes went wide; she hesitated then spoke, "Follow me." The book was in a shelf amidst the histories. The Rise and Fall of the Mighty was the title. She would never have known it had any connection to Cargon without the Librarian's assistance.
"Thank you." The Librarian nodded and left her.
The book was not a strategy guide, such things were forbidden. This tome listed some of the most disastrous fates of elite who wagered and lost; the High Ones who fell, Seconds who were lost and replaced. It included titles and lands that were exchanged, spouses and children. She still shivered thinking of such vital things being wagered on any game. There was no history of Cargon played by any but the elite. She hadn't expected one.
She turned to her notebook, all her theories, her designs, and her ideas. They would never amount to anything. She was the only rock in the sea. She could become wet, but she could not make the sea rocky. She had to do something. There had to be some way she could turn her single rock into a mass of pebbles. Some way for her ideas to be spread throughout the elite. Not one occurrence, herself in their classroom, but many tiny pieces. She heard the post noon bell, and hurried to prepare for her evening service.
After dinner, she lingered, watching the High One tend the board. She was surprised when, for the second time, the High One addressed her.
"You return," she spoke to Eve. Eve did not answer. "Your studies progress well; I have been apprised." Eve felt her face flush. Bestowing the honour of instruction on her was great, but to continue to have an interest in her was more than Eve could imagine. "You have a question? Ask." The High One commanded.
Eve longed to ask, "What service can I give when stuck between two worlds? Why do I attend when my attentions are never to be noticed?" Instead she asked her original question, the one that had plagued her since the first night she watched the High One labour at the boards. "Is there no other who could perform this duty? One who understood the importance and took the proper care?"
"There is. I could ask you to do it." Eve gasped, that was certainly too great an honour. The High One chuckled. "It has been done. But the High One who forgets to respect Cargon is destined to soon fall." Eve knew this to be the case, having just read of a number of instances. "This is not the least of my responsibilities, but it is certainly the most ... manual. I find I enjoy it." Her lips curled in a small smile. Eve found herself smiling as well and quickly dropped her eyes again. "Well, child, I have finished for another night. Continue to make the most of what you have been given."
Was that an answer to her unspoken question? Was Eve to take the next step in order to move from one world to the other? Eve dropped her knees and held herself low until the High One had left the hall. Then she turned to the boards, her face now hard.
Make the most of what she had been given. She wanted to take her first step on a road to a new life, a new place. But she had been ordered to never touch the pieces. Her mind warred with her instincts. Her mind was stronger.
Eve took a marble piece in her hand and held it tightly. She could feel every edge, every plane. The corners seemed to bite into her skin. It had very little weight; it was very small, and yet it felt exceedingly heavy, as though she held the world in her hand instead of a tiny piece. Eve placed it on the board in a new position. The movement, she could instinctively tell, was monumental. It wasn't simply the start of a game; it was the start of everything. She had put the world into motion. She turned her back on the three tiered board, walking back to her dorm.