1. Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)
Hi! I’m Kim Baccellia, the YA author of the multicultural fantasy, Earrings of Ixtumea. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember. I always seemed to have a story running through my head. In middle school I wrote a horoscope column that was very popular with both my peers and teachers! In both high school and college I wrote for the school newspaper.
Later as an educator, I ran my own writers workshop for my first grade classroom. My students published their own books. My husband even made a computer program where parents followed their child reading their books. I videotaped my students reading and my husband scanned their books. This was a big hit with parents.
Even as a teacher, I would find extra moments to write. During my lunch breaks I would sneak over to the local Burger King. I wrote some of Earrings there.
2. What inspired you to write your first book?
Not finding enough multicultural heroes in fantasy novels. I was a bilingual teacher for a school district in LA County and found it odd that there weren’t many books, especially YA, that represented the population I taught.
3. How many books have you written?
Earrings of Ixtumea is my first novel. I’ve also written a YA paranormal, Crossed Out. Right now I’m working on Bullets of Truth, a contemporary YA that deals with bipolar disorder.
4. How do you decide on their topic?
The idea came to me to develop a world with Mexican mythology while I was teaching second language learners. I wanted to create a world that had some of the richness of my Mexican culture. Also I love Spanish dichos—similar to our own proverbs. I wove these throughout my story.
5. What works best to keep you focused and on track?
Getting up early each morning and just writing. It helps to have my own writing space. I have a large whiteboard where I sketch out my story paradigm. I divide my story into three acts. I also have character sketches in my room.
6. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
I write because I can’t silence the stories that run through my mind. I also love to write.
7. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?
I’ve purchased advertising spots with sites that are geared toward my market—teen girls.
My book is available through Amazon.
I have a live journal blog.
I belong to two professional organizations—SCBWI and EPIC.
8. What are some unique methods?
My current virtual book tour. I thought why should I wait to have my book published through a traditional publisher in order to have a book tour? Having my book on a virtual tour opens up a lot of possibilities that are limited by just the book store signings.
9. Where is your book available?
My book is available through my publisher’s website at www.virtualtales.com
10. Do you plan on writing additional books?
Yes. I plan on writing a sequel to Earrings. Right now I have a rough outline for books two and three.
This interview was done in conjunction with Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours – www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com.
About Earings of Ixtumea
Fourteen-year-old Lupe Hernandez dismisses the legend about her Mexican grandmother's magical earrings as a silly fairytale, despite recurring nightmares of human sacrifice. But then the earrings thrust her into the parallel world of Ixtumea...