Today I welcome author Crystal Kilmavicz to my blog. Her third book, This Side of Perfect, is due out next month.
Hello! My earliest memory of wanting to be a writer is from the summer before I started the eighth grade. I just had just read Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and remember closing the book with a resounding snap and stating, “Oh, I could so write this.”
However, as life will have it, the start of my professional career took me into sales for many years before I eventually pursued my passion to write. I began writing full-time four years ago and have completed three novels. Though my inspiration to write novels was born from family tragedy, it is proof that out of difficulty and pain there can be a positive outcome.
My first novel, Falling Through Trees was published in 2014. It is semi-autobiographical as first novels often are, though the characters and scenes all stemmed from my imagination. It tells the story of two sisters, Kate and Molly, and the mother they share. The sister grew apart and went their separate ways until a family tragedy forces them to confront each other and the secrets of their past. The older sister and main character, Kate, must discover how to find joy in life and, ultimately, learn how to let go.
My second book developed when I volunteered at a local home for the elderly. The book strays from women’s fiction into historical memoir. It is a collection of short stories that capture the past of both individuals and of our nation; I interviewed fifteen people from the ages of 85 to almost 100 years old. The book is called The Days of Not So Long Ago and was published in 2015. I have since been commissioned by two other families to write their mothers’ memoirs.
My third book is a sequel to the first. Entitled This Side of Perfect, it continues with the characters’ lives one year later. Kate believes in her heart that life should be good. She has her family, a new home, and they are living back in Maine near her sister and the beaches she adores. As months pass, however, she realizes that the idea of perfection is not quite right, and her heart begins to stray. It’s not until that which she loves most is taken away, that Kate finds she must fight for her family and for happiness. This Side of Perfect is filled with drama and even more suspense, and will be released in June, 2016.
I love the idea of women who face struggles and fight for what they believe. I begin each novel by writing my ideas on Post-it notes, plastering the notes onto my bedroom wall, and then allowing the storyline to unfold as it may. My writing journey has been rewarding in many ways, and I now teach the concepts and techniques of creative writing to both children and adults.
From Maine originally, with time spent in Atlanta and overseas in Kiev, Ukraine, my husband, two children and I live on Daniel Island, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Close to numerous beaches, the smells and sounds of the ocean are as precious to me as they are to Kate, my main character.
Today, I write every day both for my novels and for various blogs. I am a regular contributor to Readers Unbound, and a guest blogger for various sites. I am also the new writer for the online CSA tennis newsletter. I also lead two local book clubs and formed a writing group aptly named Guilty Prose.
One aspect of my life that not many people know about is that I contracted spinal meningitis when I was an infant, and spent three months recovering in the hospital. Every year when I returned to the same doctor who had attended me, I heard how fortunate I was “just to be alive.” Now, I always aim to appreciate life to the fullest and remember to give back to my community. When not writing, I love to get outside and exercise; I run regularly, play tennis, head for a bike ride, and spend time with my two beautiful children.
I hope you will check out my books and my website. I post infrequently and specifically, often tongue-in-cheek, and try to put a smile on a face and some inspiration in thoughts.
Crystal’s books can be found on Amazon.