Who’s That Indie Author? Kim Fairley

Author Name: Kim Fairley

Genre: Nonfiction; memoir

Books: Shooting Out the Lights: A Memoir, She Writes Press, July 27, 2021; Photographs and Two Diaries of the 1901 Peary Relief Expedition, University of New Mexico Press, 2002    

Brief bio: As a writer, I focus on my quirky family, my experience as a competitive swimmer, and my age-gap marriage (my husband was 32 years older). I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended the University of Southern California on a swimming scholarship and eventually my interest in art led me to Michigan where I attended grad school, raised my kids, and have lived ever since.

What got you started as a writer? With a great grandfather who in 1901 was an early Arctic tourist, I’ve always been fascinated by polar exploration. At the University of Michigan, I created monumental collages about the Arctic, and discovered I enjoyed crafting family stories more than creating art about them. And that’s when I began to write.

What difficult experience has helped you as a writer? Starting when I was twelve, my parents left my four younger siblings and me to manage on our own for a week or two every month while they traveled on business. My siblings were ages four, six, eight, and ten. We kids prepared meals, cleaned the laundry, deposited checks, and answered sales calls. We learned early how to manage everything by ourselves, and if we wanted something, we needed to go after it. I developed self-reliance and resilience. I became a fighter. I also learned the importance of consistency.

Have you ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? If so, how many times and what was your experience? Not yet.

What advice would you give a new indie author hoping to publish a book? My best advice for any new author is to write the stories that they find themselves repeating. When we wrestle with the words on the page, we discover truths about ourselves. These discoveries connect with readers.

What has been the biggest challenge for you during Covid? During Covid, I found myself craving human contact and sometimes feeling paralyzed by anxiety. The pandemic has been a reminder to pay attention to my body and my spirit.

What are you reading right now? I saved a book that my husband had read the year before his death. It was called Growing Young by Ashley Montagu. The book focuses on the evolution of human behavior which didn’t appeal to me in my twenties. Recently, I discovered he had marked some of the passages, so I began reading it. I see these marks now as clues into how he was thinking decades ago.

Would you rather laugh or cry over a book? I prefer books that make me cry like When Breath becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi or Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. These books stay with me.

Have you ever climbed a tree to read a book? Never. I’ve hidden in a closet to read a book though.

Have you ever dropped a book in the tub, in a pool or in the ocean? No, but it’s a miracle because I spent half of my childhood in a swimming pool. From age twelve to twenty, I swam nine to eleven miles a day.

Could you live in a tiny house? If I had to, sure. After college I slept on a twin mattress on the floor of my apartment. The only other furniture were milk crates where I stored my books.

What are the small things that make you happy? I love waking to the sound of songbirds at my window, the smell of strong coffee, and the company of my sweet foxhound, Harley.

Website and social media links:
Website: kimfairley.com
Facebook: @kimfairley11
Twitter: @kimfairley1
Instagram: kimfairleywrites


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25 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? Kim Fairley

      1. Very. Enough so it is on my book wish list. (I have made myself promise myself to NOT buy ‘a’ book until I read a book I have at home and haven’t read. 😉 )

  1. I find Kim a kindred spirit in many ways—except for competitive swimming. I like the story of how she became a writer and also her parents’ instilling self-reliance in a learn-by-doing exercise. Wow! Barbara, this interview makes me want to read the book. Thank you!

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