Author Katherine Kim is today’s feature in Moms That Rock. Moms That Rock is a series to shine a spotlight on all the amazing moms that I admire, work with and/or are friends with. I hope that sharing their stories, it will inspire you and maybe you will discover a new favourite person too! Whether that be a creator, designer, entrepreneur, artist or in today’s case, an author.

Katherine Kim is a self confessed introvert and slowly but surely, over the time that I have known her, has started putting herself ‘out there’ more, so I’m excited to share her with you. That sounds a bit weird, but you know what I mean! Her books are fun and a good escape from every day reality!

She has been a lifelong lover of fantasy, having being introduced to Tolkien as a child, which might explain the direction she went in with her writing. She writes from the comfort of her Tokyo apartment, surrounded by miniature giant robots and a constant supply of coffee.

Katherine is a mom of a teen and author of 20+ books and a handful of short stories (more coming).

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I will get a percentage of the sale at no cost to you if you choose to buy something.

Photo of author Katherine Kim and her family. Asian male wearing glasses, teenage boy in a hat and mask, smiling white woman
Katherine and her family on the Hatsumode Pilgrimage

WELCOME KATHERINE, CAN WE START WITH YOU TELLING US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

Sure. I grew up just outside of Washington DC, on the Maryland side. I decided in high school that my dream of being a writer was foolish and I would never get a decent living out of it, so I went to college and got my degree in theatre. Oh well. 

Granted, I was still involved in storytelling, I was much better at plugging in the lights and sitting in the dark than any of the rest of it.  Now, though, I’ve wised-up and live in Tokyo with my husband and son and have gotten back to my first love: writing. Through my husband, I get to learn new and interesting bits of folklore and history in a city that’s significantly older than anywhere I lived as a kid, and my son brings home odd stories from school about experiences that I would have sworn were made up for anime. 

AND ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?

I write new adult urban fantasy, which means that the main character is around college age, though lately, I’ve been branching out to main characters in their thirties and even dabbled in some more traditional fantasy. I write for people who want a little bit of escape from every day, who like a bit of adventure and sometimes a little romance. Basically for people who want to hang out with friends, rather than frenemies or villains.

I also collect bits of world mythology and snippets of folktales to use in my stories.  My readers enjoy them as well.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE WRITING WORLD?

I’ve been reading and obsessed with stories for as long as I can remember.  I remember writing scraps of stories and bits of scenes all the way through high school. But as I grew up I gave up my idea of writing novels for a living and went off into theatre instead, because, you know, theatre is a much more lucrative and stable career.

A few years ago I had an especially vivid dream that stuck with me, so I sat down to write it out, just so I could get it out of my head… and I didn’t stop.  That was my first novel.  With that finished, I poked around online and realized just how easy it could be to get my book into the Amazon e-book store. I’ve since de-published that novel so I can try to polish it up better, and with luck, that will be out again by the end of this year.

Katherine Kim, what do you find most challenging with your business?

Pretty much everything but the writing, if I’m being honest. 

I’ve gotten better at some of it: getting appropriate book covers, writing the blurbs, and so on. I have a long way to go, though, at doing better with my business bookkeeping and project management, but I’ve already learned a ton and can only get better!

Right now I’m trying to fight my introvert nature to start a YouTube channel. I intend to mainly read my books, which feels like it should be pretty low-key, but I’m stressing about it a bit. I’m going to be brave, though, and I hope in a month or two to have something to show for it, and another way to get my stories out there.

What do you love most about your job and how do you use creativity in your business?

I love the writing. 

I am addicted to stories, after all, and when I sit down to write it’s like I’m hearing the story for the first time. I often don’t know what’s about to happen until it flows out of my fingers and into the keyboard, even when I have my rough outline right there in front of me!

Creativity? I, um…  I write about shifters and mages saving their friends and sometimes the world while handling the HOA or annoying sidekicks.

I suppose some of the marketing could be considered creative but to me all that has to be too deliberate and planned to be easy for me.

What does a typical day look like for Katherine Kim?

Well, in an ideal world and all…

I get up a bit before 6 so that I can have a few minutes of peace before the madness that is getting my ADHD, autistic son out the door for school on time.

So I get up and make coffee and do all that morning stuff that has to happen. I also take about ten minutes to do some journaling. Mostly getting all the stuff out of my head so it doesn’t hang around and make me more anxious. The Anxiety Gnomes have enough ammunition without me hoarding more for them.

I’ll also put a little thought into what my goals for the day are. I like to pick three major things that I want to have done for the day, like ‘finish chapter three’ or ‘write the blurb’ or whatever, and I jot those down in my planner. I have tried doing it the night before by my brain doesn’t work very well in the evenings. 

After that, I’ll sit down with a fresh cup of coffee and open up my project and ease into it. I just try to bang out the words I need. Now that I have my wonderful vacuuming robot (which we affectionately call Miggs, cause he’s right-handed) I’ll run that as well for the first cycle or two.

After lunch- which I have with my husband, since he works from home, too, since the pandemic- I’ve usually used up my focus, so I’ll do something mindless like chores or watching YouTube videos. Or both. 

In a perfect world, I have the energy to start dinner at around 5, aiming to eat around 6 or so, after which my brain has entirely given up and I’ll dither around until bedtime. I try to at least get the dishes done after dinner, or have family storytime over dessert where I’ll read a book like Dealing With Dragons or something fun and low-stress like that, but I make no promises.

This is all a very loose rhythm, though, since I’m also the go-to parent for going into the school when they need someone, and you know, life, but that’s sort of an ideal day.

What is one thing you wish you had learned earlier in your business journey?

Wow.  How long a list do you want?

I think the first thing I wish I had done better is to get some developmental edits on my first book and to get a more genre-appropriate cover.  I’m currently working on revisions for those, and have plans to re-release those first books ove the next couple of years.  

Some of the best advice I’ve heard is that if you want to make your living writing books, you need to treat it like a job.  Back then I definitely treated it like a hobby or a random fun thing, and I can see how that held me back.

YOU AREA WONDER MOM MEMBER, HOW HAS THAT HELPED YOU?

When I started out my son was younger and needed a lot more attention from me, so I learned tricks to entertain him (without resorting to the Electronic Babysitter) while I got some writing done.  Now that he’s older and in school, it’s much more about learning how to do business while still doing life AND parenting.  It’s really good to know that I’m not the only one out there trying to juggle all these balls.

Where to find Katherine

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