Driving in My Car

Posted in Uncategorized on July 22nd, 2015 by author — Comments Off on Driving in My Car

It’s happened again. I’m riding in my car alone, concentrating on the road ahead (which can be difficult when you’re on I-29-it’s an incredibly flat, straight piece of highway) when in my brain, my WIP (work in progress) starts playing like a movie  in my head.

It’s an odd sensation because, unlike when I’m in front of my computer struggling to create a scene, I normally don’t have control over what the characters are doing or saying when this happens. I’ve found myself in tears at stop lights because a character has opened his heart to me in a way I never expected. Or I’ve cheered coming off an exit ramp as my heroine finally had the courage to stand up for herself.

This past weekend, my characters showed me, in no uncertain terms, that the climax I’d been building to throughout this whole new story wasn’t what needed to happen. Oh sure, I could have a variation of it, but it would not be what drove the ending of the book like I’d planned for the past year. Instead, as I stared at the flat Missouri and Iowa landscape, they played out for me what my new ending would be. If I can write it half as good as they performed it in my brain, it’s going to be good. It’s going to be real good!

I thought I’d share that little nugget of weirdness from my life as a writer. Hope you all are enjoying your summers and staying cool in the heat. I’ll keep you updated on when the novel is finally finished, but with this new inspiration, it shouldn’t be too long. TTFN

p.s Check out my Events pages to see where I’ll performing/speaking in the upcoming months. Lots of fun things going on this fall!

 

Enjoying Spring

Posted in Uncategorized on April 29th, 2015 by author — Comments Off on Enjoying Spring

It’s finally arrived! Spring! Although winter here in Nebraska wasn’t too terrible, I heard the horror stories weekly from friends and family back in Connecticut. I think they’re still holed up in their houses, waiting for a true break in the winter weather.

But I, thankfully, am writing this out on my deck on a glorious end of April evening. The tulips have bloomed:

tulip

The birds are singing. The dogs are happily chasing rabbits out of the yard. All around, new life blossoms. And with this season, my muse appears to have returned!

I am holding on to God’s grace as I deal with life in the real world, not my fictional one. I recently received laser surgery for reoccurring bleeding in my right eye. The doctor is calling it Coat’s disease and there is no known cause or cure. The periodic cauterizing of leaky blood vessels will help, but it may not be able to prevent the permanent detachment of my retina sometime in the future. But God is good, and as this disease only seems to affect one eye, I should retain full vision in the other.  I am especially grateful, after this last round of laser surgery to be able to enjoy the beauty around me as the sun sets on this glorious spring evening.

Remember friends, to give thanks every day for the gifts that God has given you. If you can see the return of spring, thank Him! If you can hear the birds singing to each other in the trees, praise Him! Rejoice at all He has done for you and be glad. I know I am!

 

 

Autumn Update

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12th, 2014 by author — Comments Off on Autumn Update

I realize it’s been some time since I updated my page. I’ve been busy at work on the sequel to Winter Trees. The continuing story of Ginny, Chester, Edith, and Frank is coming along nicely, although there are many bumps on the road to romance. I’m about half-way through and I have to admit, I’m surprised at the turn in Ginny and Chester’s relationship. I guess Shakespeare was right and the course of true love never does run smooth! I hope to have the new story out near the end of spring next year.

Other than that, I’ve been continuing with my review writing for ThrivingFamily.com and also working on a couple of young adult stories. I’m also hoping to get a fresh start on a new Biblical novel once the next Marigold Manor story is finished.

I hope everyone has a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

When Bronze is Gold

Posted in Uncategorized on September 1st, 2014 by author — Comments Off on When Bronze is Gold

Many months ago I entered the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards contest with Woman of Flames. I was informed last night that the novel received a bronze medal in the Fiction- Historical – Personage category.

Readersfav_medal
I’m thrilled for two reasons. First, the judges considered my book worthy for recognition as a historical work. Throughout the writing process, I prayed this story would appeal to more than people of faith. I’d hoped that someone without knowledge of the Torah or the Bible would appreciate Deborah’s courage and strength. This award is proof that this prayer was answered. Secondly, Throughout the past months, I’ve been part of a Facebook group of other nominees for this award. Their support, ideas, and wisdom have been a great help to me. It’s been wonderful, in a world that values cut-throat competition, to be a member of such a supportive community. I congratulate all the finalists for their fine work and for being such outstanding people!

 

Finally!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29th, 2014 by author — Comments Off on Finally!

So, after some four years, I’m finally ready to put Winter Trees up for publication. It’s been quite a journey. Most of the story has remained the same since the first draft made it to the semi-finals of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest four years ago. I’ve tweaked it, sent it out to be professionally copyedited, and then tweaked it some more. It’s a sweet story, with lots of humor, drama, and romance. To celebrate the publication in another week, I’m offering 10 free copies on Goodreads:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Winter Trees by Kim Stokely

Winter Trees

by Kim Stokely

Giveaway ends September 21, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Good luck, everyone! Hope you win!

What’s New, Puppy Dog?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 17th, 2014 by author — Comments Off on What’s New, Puppy Dog?

I know, I know, it’s supposed to be “Pussy Cat,” but I’m not Tom Jones, and I’m more fond of dogs than cats. I mean, come on, look at my puppies!

FOT800E

I realized I hadn’t posted in a while and thought I should keep y’all up to date on what’s going on. The summer has been spent running around the country for various reasons. It’s been fun, but exhausting. I’ve submitted several stories, some short, some long, and am waiting to hear back from editors to see if they want to see more of my work (or pay me for what I submitted!)

I’ve been using any free time I have to research Jerusalem during the 1st century B.C. What a tumultuous period, full of political intrigue, massacres and assassinations. I hope to use Anna, the prophetess, as an eye witness to this fascinating time. I plan on researching this month, then begin writing in August. I’ve set a goal of 20,000 words for the months of August, September and October. This will be tough, as I’ll be preparing for another book/performance tour in Connecticut for October as well.

In addition to all this, I’ve set a goal of getting Winter Trees out in September. The copyediting is done, now I just need to format it and get a cover. I am writer! Here me roar!

So, that’s my update for now. I’ll let you know if anything new comes up!

A New Blog Tour!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12th, 2014 by author — 2 Comments

What could I do? One of my best writing buddies, Heather Trent Beers, asked me to participate in a Blog Tour with her. Please check out her fabulous blog at http://www.heathertrentbeers.blogspot.com/. Heather writes with humor and wisdom. Unfortunately, she wanted me to answer the same four questions I answered just 2 months ago. So, if you’re new to my page and have a burning desire to know what I’m working on, take a look at :http://www.kimstokely.com/?p=672

I’ll wait here while you do…

For those of you who’ve already read that blog. Here’s a pretty picture from my recent trip to Connecticut.

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This is Hammonassett State Park. One of my favorite places in the world. I love to go there and refresh my soul.

Okay…is everybody back now?

Instead of reiterating what I’m writing now, I’d like to talk about 4 things I’ve learned about marketing this past month. Here goes:

1. It doesn’t pay to be an introvert. As much as the writing life suits me because I can stay in the safety of my house and not have to talk to strangers, if I want people to read my novel, I have to be willing to step outside my comfort zone. Toot my own horn. Tell people about my work. This includes calling up book store owners and asking if I can do a book signing. And once we’ve agreed on a date, I need to make sure others know about it. I can’t rely on Facebook to do all the work. Posters need to be placed in the store and around town. Press releases need to be sent to local papers. It’s hard to brag about yourself, but if you believe in your work, you have to do it.

2. Marketing costs money, but it’s worth the effort. I’ve done book signings where I just had my books and a sign. I’ve done book signings where I had my books, a sign, a bowl of candy, pamphlets and giveaways. Guess which signings were more successful? People will stop and talk if there’s a non-threatening freebie like candy or mints. If they stop to talk, you have the opportunity to tell them about your book. I’ve also been giving away copies of devotionals and anthologies in which I’m published. Even if they don’t buy my novel at the signing, they may be tempted to take a look on Amazon when they get home, if they’ve won a prize.

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3. Non-fiction writers often have a platform that they use to promote their books, fiction writers can benefit from the same strategy. My novel, Woman of Flames, is based on the Old Testament prophet, Deborah. I resurrected a one-woman show I used to perform for churches and retreats about women in the Bible and have been sending out pamphlets to various churches and venues. In Connecticut, I performed a show for my mother’s Assisted Living facility and sold my books afterward.

2010 03 27 Kim Stokely - Mary Magdalene 13

Several family members also attended and I’ve gotten leads for possible performances in the fall. I hope to release Winter Trees this autumn. As it’s a story set in an Assisted Living facility, I plan on contacting the Alzheimer’s Association to see if there are any events that I could set up a book signing table if I’m willing to share some of my profits with them.

4. For the Indy Author, word of mouth is still the best advertising. As such, get yourself on Facebook, Goodreads and any blogs you can. Put up an author page on Amazon and use their marketing tools. I recently did a 2 day free download promotion and had over 2,6oo people download my book. Sure, I don’t get money from those, but I think of it as having put a billboard throughout the globe! Not all those people are going to read it, but if only 10 % do, that’s 260 people that will hopefully like my work and spread the word about it.

Now, I’d like to introduce you to 3 of my writing friends, please be kind and take a look at their sites and leave a comment to let them know you were there!

Gina M. Barlean is a suspense writer with several novels to check out. Her latest is,  Thorns of Rosewood. http://www.gmbarlean.com/ or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GMBarlean

Angela Welch Prusia is a Young Adult writer with 2 wonderful Coming-of-Age novels available in print and on Kindle. The newest is Late Summer Monarch.www.angelawelchprusia.com

Janet Nitsick’s newest work, Bride by Arrangement, is an anthology with best-selling romance author, Ruth Ann Nordin. http://www.janetsyasnitsick.com/

Easter Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20th, 2014 by author — 5 Comments

We’ve had two nice days in a row, I hesitate to claim spring has finally arrived, but I’ll rejoice in the signs I’m seeing! After all, this was the view of my deck just 6 mornings ago: 1975205_10203547979208872_5088690361069318098_n

Oy vey!

And the flowers my husband had so optimistically planted last weekend? Take a look:

FOTC359

But you know what? My husband isn’t just an optimist, he has faith. Rather than throwing the frozen pansies out, he sat them in the sun.

Now take a look:

FOT5D5

These flowers are an example of how I’ve felt the past few months.

The cold/flu/crud threatened to take me out for weeks.

having a cold

But during that time, I sat myself in the Son.

I read my Bible. I renewed my prayer time.

I had faith that this season would pass.

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And it has.

Today Christians everywhere will celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus.

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But we really should be celebrating that joy each and every day!

His triumph over the grave gives us new life!

This winter has been a hard one for many of us, whether we’ve been sick, suffered a loss,

or been just plain cold.

snowtrees

As spring slowly fights its way back through the last stronghold of winter,

I’d like to remind you to not only enjoy some time in the sun,

But spend some time with the Son.

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Renew your strength in the warmth of His love and the power of His word!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

An Easter Giveaway!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 2nd, 2014 by author — Comments Off on An Easter Giveaway!

As my Easter gift to 5 lucky people, I’m giving away copies of my book through GoodReads! Click on the link below and enter!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Woman of Flames by Kim Stokely

Woman of Flames

by Kim Stokely

Giveaway ends April 13, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Another Blog Hop

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24th, 2014 by author — 2 Comments

So my friend and brilliantly funny writer, Rhonda Hall, invited me to participate in a blog hop. Since I’m working on some new things, I thought it would be fun. Check out Rhonda’s blog at http://rhondamhall.wordpress.com/. And keep an eye out for her name. I’ve never met an author with such a gift for humor. Her characters are so realistic and her dialogue leaves you crying from laughter.

Okay, here are this “hop’s” questions and my (hopefully) brilliant answers.

1. What are you working on? I’ve got several irons in the proverbial fire. I’m sending my contemporary Christian novel, Winter Trees, out to get copyedited. Once that’s done, I’ll be putting it up through Createspace and Amazon. I’d like to finish my NaNoWriMo novel even though it’s a little darker than I usually write. I like the protagonist, a grieving teen named Leia, with a lot of family and school turmoil to overcome. I may never publish that one, but I need to finish it so I know what happens to her! Next, I’ve got to finish my YA trilogy, The Portals of Ayden. I’m stuck in the third novel, not wanting write out the mega-battle I know has to take place. I think I’m afraid because I know characters have to die and I don’t want to let them go. And finally, I want to start a novella on the prophetess, Anna. All this is between a spring marketing push for Woman of Flames.

I’m a little overwhelmed writing it all out. Think I’ll go get another cup of coffee…DSCN0110

 

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre? I’m really trying to walk a fine line between fiction that honors my faith, but will be enjoyed by people with no faith. I don’t want to preach to anyone, but I want my characters to serve as an example. I want someone who is hurting, who maybe has been hurt by organized religion, to still identify with my characters and their trials.

3) Why do I write what I do? To be honest, because I couldn’t find many novels whose characters were like me. I’m a mess. I have a lot of wonderful, messy friends. But we have a strong faith. Traditional Christian novels seem neater. There’s one “mess” and many “together” people. And then there’s a  section that hits me over the head with THE TRUTH. I don’t want to hammer a sermon into my readers’ brain. I see myself as planting seeds. What happens after my story is up to the reader and God.

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4) How does your writing process work? First I need to be inspired by a character or scene. Woman of Flames came about from the research I’d done when I performed a monologue about Deborah, the prophet. Other times, I’ll be free thinking (usually in the shower, go figure) and a scene will appear in my mind like a mini-movie. It’s usually some horribly traumatic scene–a woman grieving the loss of her fiancé (Winter Trees) or a modern teen thrown into a medieval jail (The Portals of Ayden trilogy.) The weirdest one was my contemporary YA. The opening line popped into my head one day, “If my father’s infidelity hadn’t already killed my mother, the endless rolling nothing of the Iowa landscape would have pushed her over the edge.” The line immediately drew me into this girl’s story.

After inspiration hits, it’s a process of sitting in front of my computer and spewing out the story. This involves a lot of coffee and my pajamas. I like to be comfy when I write and normal clothes constrict my creativity (don’t judge.) I don’t outline until the middle of story, until then, I free flow it. At some point however, I hit a wall and need to scratch out the bones of the ending.

Now for the next Blog Hop!

It’s my pleasure to introduce 3 authors I’m honored to call my friends. Steve Parlato’s YA novel, The Namesake, won the Tassy award. Chuck Grossart’s The Menegele Effect is a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest and Angela Meyer’s novel, Where Hope Starts is a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards. Check out their bio’s and follow their links below! Thanks!

SteveBookLaunchSteven Parlato is a writer, illustrator and Assistant Professor of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Connecticut. An occasional actor, he’s played roles including MacBeth, The Scarecrow and Bambi’s dad, the Great Prince of the Forest. Steve’s poetry appears in journals including MARGIE, Borderlands, Freshwater, CT River Review and Peregrine. His debut YA manuscript, JUNIOR, winner of the 2011 Tassy Walden Award for New Voices, was released January 18, 2013 by Merit Press as The Namesake. Recently, Kirkus called the novel a “memorable, disturbing story, carefully wrought.” Represented for fiction by Victoria Marini of Gelfman-Schneider Literary Agency, Steven is at work on his next YA novel. He’s a member of a YA author collective, Uncommon YA. You can also find him online at http://www.stevenparlato.com or on Twitter: @parlatowrites

387084_457579070940203_1670040779_nAngela D. Meyer lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of more than 22 years. She homeschools their daughter and recently graduated their son who is now off to the Marines. She has taught Bible class for over 35 years and served for almost three years on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. She loves God, her family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.   www.facebook.com/AuthorAngelaDMeyer  www.angeladmeyer.com

1070041_680052482011377_1742231728_nChuck Grossart is a retired United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel originally from the Denver, Colorado area. After serving his country for twenty years as a missile launch officer, space operator and strike planner, he settled his family outside of Omaha, Nebraska, where he continues to serve as a strategic plans analyst for the Department of the Air Force. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Northern Colorado, and a MSHRM from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. His first novel, THE COMING, was a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) contest. His second novel, THE MENGELE EFFECT, was selected as a top-three finalist in Audio-ON’s 2013 Aspiring Authors Contest. Chuck is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild, and the  Nebraska Writers Workshop. http://cvgrossart.wix.com/chuck-grossart