Kimberly Fish has been a professional writer in marketing and media for almost 30 years. In the course of research for the Longview Chamber of Commerce 100-year compilation, she stumbled across a 1940s-federal works project that was too good, too war-winning, to not be retold to modern audience. In 2017, she released The Big Inch, her first WWII spy thriller detailing the crazy, big pipeline project that fueled the Allies to a win in Europe. The Big Inch has also been released as an audio download on Audible. That eye-opening novel was so consumed by readers, she quickly followed it with a second WWII spy thriller set in Longview, Harmon General. Both of these novels will be helpful to her work with the City of Longview’s 150th birthday celebrations which begin in January of 2020. Comfort Plans, a contemporary novel also set in Texas, continues her love of history by weaving old letters into the renovation of an iconic Hill Country farmhouse.
Kimberly has been active in a variety of endeavors favoring East Texas for many years, and enjoys speaking on the value of weaving history and nostalgia into our plans as we grow our communities for the future. She and her husband live in Longview, and they are the parents of two delightful, and fully grown, human beings.
Taking Time With The Author
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? What inspired you to publish your first book?
Like most authors, I read voraciously as a child, and told stories that could hold my mother enthralled (my first encounter with biased critiquing.) I always wrote well in school and contributed to all the school newsletters and yearbooks, but it was in college that I decided to dive deep. I majored in film making and minored in creative writing—taking my love of story to a level that has influenced me in countless ways.
What is your current project? Care to share a little with us?
I’m currently working on creating a wholesome, second-chance romance series set in and around Comfort, Texas. My first book set in Comfort won the Texas Authors Best Historical Romance award, and that told me that readers identify and enjoy my stories with sass and grit.
Who is your favorite author? What strikes you about their work?
Jan Karon is one of my favorite authors. It was after reading her Mitford series that I decided my stories had a place in the marketplace and that readers clearly wanted more wholesome, entertaining stories of people and the families/communities around them.
Tell us a little something about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
I’m not a surprise to most folks—I’m basically a cheerful and optimistic person, but most folks don’t know that I also enjoy long stretches of quiet time.
You write historical fiction. What challenges do you find in writing this genre?
The challenges for historical fiction are in getting the details right. Readers are very in-tune and quick to fact-check, so it’s important to comb all the newspapers, magazines, and films of an era to double-check even the small details of society and culture. And, this may be the most significant and difficult part, making sure the characters are true to their era—their thoughts, motivations, actions, and reactions need to be authentic to be convincing.
What are your favorite motivational phrases, sayings, or verses? Why?
I’m a sucker for a great slogan, but though I love it in the moment, I’m never quite right in remembering the wording. And my list of favorite verses is fluid, depending on what I’m going through at the moment. I just love that God gives us what we need, when we need it.
What books/authors have most influenced your life? Why?
Every book I read is a favorite at that moment I’m sucked into the story, so my list is too long to note.
Do you work with an outline or do you just write? In other words, are you a planner or a pantser?
I’m a pantser. I’m as surprised as everyone else when my characters and plot hang a left, and take an unchartered path.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there anything you would change about your publishing experience?
My one word of advice is to read, read, and read some more. Read across genres, periods, and style. I’m sure if we all slowed down and read more books, so much of the chaos in our world would settle down.
Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I’m having fun writing novels, and if they’re having fun reading what I write then I hope they’ll stick with me for the books to come. They can visit my website to see the backstory and blogs associated with the various books, but also subscribe to my newsletter to stay informed about book-ish news from my desk.
Books by Kimberly Fish
THE BIG INCH (Misfits and Millionaires Book 1)
Lane Mercer, sent to Longview, Texas in July, 1942 is part of a select group of women working undercover for the fledging federal agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Assigned to protect the man carrying out President Roosevelt’s initiative to build the nation’s first overland pipeline to hurry East Texas crude to the troops, she discovers there’s more to Longview than the dossiers implied. There’s intrigue, mayhem, and danger. Shamed from a botched OSS mission in France, Lane struggles to fulfill her mission and keep from drowning in guilt. Getting involved in local life is out of the question. Between family, do-gooders, and Nazi threats, she’s knitted into a series of events that unravel all of her carefully constructed plans, revealing that sometimes the life one has to save, is one's own.
Investigate the history and create new functions for the structures everyone else saw as eyesores. The old German farmhouse in Comfort, Texas, might be the screeching end of that dream job. The assignment seemed so ideal at the start; generous clients, a stunning location, and a pocketful of letters that were surely meant to explain the ranch’s story. All that goodness crashed louder than a pile of two-by-fours when her grandfather announced he’d lured Colette’s ex-husband back to San Antonio to take over the family architecture firm. Now, not only does Colette have to endure the challenges posed by Beau Jefferson, the client’s handpicked contractor, a house that resists efforts to be modernized, and letters that may hold the secret to buried treasure, but she also has to decide if she has the courage to fight for her future.
Sparkling WWII Historical Fiction series: Harmon General. In this spy thriller, Lane Mercer, now a semi-retired spy, and her frenemy/senior spy with the OSS, Emmie Tesco, have to solve a mystery of who is behind thievery of malaria-fighting developments within the laboratory of U.S. Army hospital, Harmon General—as well as discover the mastermind behind the sale of this information to the Nazi’s. For agents with their skill set the mission should be routine, but their maneuvers are complicated when sources reveal their enemy is one of their own—a rogue agent bent on terminating Lane. Second-chance romances, unexpected allies, and a Texas homecoming celebration complicate Lane’s mission to keep a lid tightly over her history. Plans to reinvent herself are thwarted, proving that, sometimes, taking on the past is the only way prevent biological warfare on U.S. troops, not to mention, save her sanity.