A shy child, Kimberly surprised her parents when she announced her plan to run away and join the circus as a trapeze artist. To keep her around for a while, Kimberly’s father built her a backyard trapeze from a piece of pipe and some rope. Hanging by her knees upside down from the branches of an old elm tree turned an ordinary world into a magical one full of adventure. Just down the road was the beach where she chatted with herons, crabs and sandpipers, and read books about brave girls like Nancy Drew. In real life, she was lucky to be mentored by strong women including teachers and, of course, her mother.
After quietly moving through high school, Kimberly went on to earn a B.A. in psychology and an M.S. in counseling. During those years, she worked as a breakfast cook (poached eggs are still her disaster), a detective’s assistant (tracking down wayward husbands and insurance scammers) and a martial arts instructor. It was only when she married her high school sweetheart and had two sons that she stumbled into her love of the creative arts. While coaching her boys’ Odyssey of the Mind (creative problem-solving) teams, she witnessed how writing and performing plays that highlighted their quirky creations sparked kids to take risks, embrace their voice, and stand tall in the face of challenges. This was the experience that sent her back to school to become a teacher.
Fifth grade proved to be her sweet spot. As her students wrote and produced plays that highlighted their learning, Kimberly’s belief in the power of story deepened. It was a bittersweet moment when she left her classroom to once again return to school to honor her own stories, earning her M.A. in creative writing. Her thesis, a full-length adult play entitled Ana’s Hummingbird, received a staged reading at the Dramatist’s Guild in NYC. She also dabbled in short stories and poetry which have been published in American Writers Review, Mused, Rubbertop Review and Plum Tree Tavern.
It’s no wonder that after so many years of inspiring interactions with children, Kimberly turned to writing middle grade novels. Each of her three books features a brave girl protagonist whose love of nature helps her find her voice and stand up for her beliefs. The first of the three, Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade, was awarded honorable mention in the 2019 Tassy Walden New Voices in Children’s Literature contest. Kimberly can’t wait to see the book in children’s hands and hopes it launches a whole new flock of brave kids willing to speak out and share their own stories.