Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blog Tour: Finding the Baby Jesus by Kimball Fisher

This virtual book tour is presented by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer.
Click HERE to see the tour schedule.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my day on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature: Kimball Fisher and 
Finding the Baby Jesus.

Kimball has stopped by for an interview:
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I'm not sure I ever wanted to be a writer--I needed to be a writer. The stories build up inside me until they have to come out. Writing is therapy.
? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
Lots. I started working when I was 14 at a florist. Then I sanded fiberglass sail boats for a while, sold men's clothing all through school, and after college I became a factory manager and then a consultant on a special type of organization where all of the employees act like managers. My graduate degree is in something called Organizational Behavior and I've been writing business books and doing consulting with corporations for a long time as a result. FINDING THE BABY JESUS is my first piece of fiction. 
? How long does it take you to write a book?
I'm not sure how to answer that question. My five non-fiction books took anywhere from 4 months (brutal) to a little over a year each (better pace). I started FINDING several years ago and worked on it off and on for about a year in total. That's about two weeks per finished page. I've been working on a middle-grade action adventure called THUNDERBIRD FEATHER for several years so far (off and on again). There is a sneak preview of the first chapter at the end of FINDING.
? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I'm really focused. I can write for 10 hours without stopping. It's not always a good thing (ask my patient and wonderful wife). I have never once had writers block. I'd like to have it sometime. I'd enjoy taking a pause at the computer to think. But everything just pours out like that blue-colored non-fat milk. Thin. Runs everywhere. My problem is trying to keep it contained. Most of my time is spent re-writing rather than writing--percentage-wise I'd estimate maybe 70% of my time. Also I type weird. I've produced thousands of pages using only the middle finger of my right hand and the middle and forefinger of my left.
? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
Nope. I'm ready when I wake up. Sometimes really early.
? Where do you write and how do you write ~ on paper, typewriter or computer?
I'm a computer guy (MacBook Pro). But I often only type at the computer. I do the actual writing in my head all day long--in the shower, when I'm watching TV, when I'm driving. It's a problem. Sometimes my sweetheart looks at me during a conversation and says, "You're writing right now, aren't you?" 
? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
Conversations. Observations. Friends. Family. Dreams. People at the mall. Stuff that jumps into my head with no apparent connection to anything. What I'm always looking for is what drives people. What makes them human. Loveable. Unique.
? How do you decide what you want to write about?
Wow, that's an interesting question. I don't think of writing as a planned process. I just start thinking things up that i have to get on paper to organize. I'd like to be one of those people who outlines. But I'm not. I start at the beginning and write a few chapters. Then I start over and over again from the beginning pushing a chapter or two farther each time. When I feel okay about the beginning, I start the process over again from the middle until I can get all the way to the end. Then I start revising. Finally I polish.
? Where does a book start for you ~ characters, plot, ending?
Used to be plot. Now it's characters. So far I've never known the ending until I was at least half-way through the book.
? What is the first book you remember reading by yourself?
I grew up with the Dick and Jane readers, so I suppose those were the first. But my earliest clear memory of reading an entire book alone is THE BOOK OF MORMON and THE ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHIN when I was eight. The next book I read was A WRINKLE IN TIME. Loved it. Launched me into THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

? What are you reading right now?

Jan Karon's IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS. I really love her Mitford Series. I'll start the second book in THE HUNGER GAMES series shortly. Collins's breakneck action pace with solid character development is amazing to me. And I just re-read Paulsen's Newbery Honor book THE HATCHET. Wonderful, simple story. No frills. Compelling. Reminds me of why I like to write for middle-graders who are just learning to love reading.

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Read. Go to movies. Make writing pens and stained glass windows. Garden. Remodel the house. Do anything with my wife.

? What is your favorite comfort food?
It's a tie between meatloaf (my wife's recipe with ketchup and brown sugar baked into the crust) and thick chicken curry with mild spices.
? What do you think makes a good story?
Good characters. Good characters. Good characters. Authentic and compelling voice. A non-boring plot.

? Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser”?
Pantser all the way. I'd love to try to be a plotter. Maybe I'll try it for my next book.

Fun random questions: 
·        dogs or cats?
Dogs. Cats have too much attitude for me. Plus, I'm allergic.
·        Coffee or tea?
I'm a practicing Mormon so I have go with herbal tea. I especially like this South African variety called rooibos (Red Bush). We use these little straws filled with honey in it. Awesome.
·        Dark or milk chocolate?
Neither. All chocolate in our family goes to my wonderful wife. She deserves it (AND MORE) for living with a writer.
·        Rocks or flowers?
Awesome question. Rocks! I would honestly cover my walls with slab granite if I could.
·        Night or day?
Day. Living in Portland makes you vitamin D deficient. I crave sun.
·        Favorite color?
Blue-green. Soothing. Makes me think of my favorite sport: Snorkeling.
·        Crayons or markers?
Markers. But only the juicy fine-tip type.
·        Pens or pencils?
Both. Pens must be home-made of exotic woods with smooth ink distribution systems. Mechanical pencils with extra-fine soft leads are also a must. Both need to be on my desk at all times.

More About Author Kimball Fisher

Kimball Fisher writes novels for young readers. He is also a best-selling business author, professional speaker, and management consultant. Some of his past jobs include: sailboat builder, ghost writer (not as scary as it sounds), illustrator, and factory manager (more scary than it sounds). For fun he builds furniture, stained-glass windows, and writing pens.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities (with minors in English, Asian Studies, and Japanese), and a Master of Organizational Behavior degree from Brigham Young University. He and his amazing wife Reenie live in Portland, Oregon, where they have seen pheasants, coyotes, and a bobcat in their own backyard.

Finding the Baby Jesus by Kimball Fisher

After being forced to wear lederhosen for the annual holiday card picture, twelve-year-old Chris thinks that the least his parents can do is get him the Tony Hawk skateboard he wants for Christmas. But when he recovers the hand-carved Baby Jesus that everyone thought had been destroyed in a fire the year his Grandma died, Chris realizes that some gifts are even more important than skateboards.

When the author had to discontinue a cherished tradition of reading Christmas stories out loud with his family and holiday guests each week in December, he wrote Finding the Baby Jesus. He had been unable to locate enough meaningful stories that could be read in a single sitting with wiggly children.



Book Blast

Tour Giveaway:
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 12/26/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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My thoughts:
I LOVE Christmas stories, all types of Christmas stories.  I was excited to have the opportunity to read this one and I am so very pleased that I did. 
This little book is packed with all that is the meaning of Christmas.  I was thrilled that we hear it from a child.
This is one I will be sharing with friends and family.  A MUST read for the holiday season.