It’s wonderful to share a debut year with friends, and when their middle-grade novel is as fun and heart-warming as Kim Tomsic‘s THE 11:11 WISH, it’s delightful. So, we thought it would be fun to interview each other about our books. (My interview will be on her blog later this year, so look out for it.)
Where did you get the idea for THE 11:11 WISH?
When I was a child, my family had cats but never a cat clock. Oh, how I loved those clocks, especially the ticking-tocking eyes and moving tail, so fun and whimsical!
I grew up and didn’t think about the clock for many years. Then when my niece and my daughter where in middle school, they loved announcing wishing time whenever the clock (any clock) ticked to 11:11. That’s when the idea struck me—I needed to write a book about wishing at 11:11, and naturally the magic had to be leveled by the magical cat clock of my memories.
Tell me your favorite “dare” story as it applies to your life:
Haha, you ask this because of the “dare” in THE 11:11 WISH. Okay, every December, my family meets up with my husband’s family at his childhood home in Moab, Utah. All the nieces and nephews love playing a card game called Ninety-Nine. Before the game starts, a dare is decided upon and everyone agrees in advance that the loser of the game has to do the dare. I love playing card games, but I’m also a huge chicken, so I sit on the sidelines when I can’t agree on the dare.
Here are some of the losing consequences: Get on your hands and knees and lap water out of the pig’s bowl (yep, one of the aunts brings her pet pig to Christmas—he’s so cute!); drink mayo and pickle juice through a Twizzler straw; let everyone throw a snowball at your bare skin; feed the animals (dogs and pig) from your mouth; sit under the table for the next round of cards with an ice cube on your back; be the greeter at a church and welcome everyone—that’s the one I had to do.
It was during Christmas Eve services. I had to arrive at the church extra early and stand outside—in a community where I do not live—and welcome everyone. It wasn’t horrible, because I like meeting people, so I stood there and smiled and said, “Welcome! Merry Christmas”. But Moab is a small, tight-knit community, so the embarrassing and tense moment for me was when I greeted the actual church officials. The church officials seemed quite confused, but for some reason they did not question me, I think because I was friendly and everyone appreciated the greeting. Fortunately, that round of cards had two losers and so my niece had to greet people with me!
I know you also write picture books. How do you approach a new story idea so you can go from spark to book?
My picture book GUITAR HERO (Chronicle Books, 2019) is about the true story of Les Paul and his many inventions including the invention of the solid body electric guitar. My initial interested sparked while spending hours and hours shopping with my son for a new guitar. I started with light research and digging, trying to discover anything I could about Les Paul. Every piece of information I uncovered fascinated me, so I dove deeper, read more, watched interviews, and I reached out to one of Les Paul’s closest friends, Sue Baker, who now runs the Les Paul foundation. We spoke on the phone for more than an hour and have since exchanged dozens and dozens of emails. As I learned about young Lester and his wit, tenacity, humor, and perseverance in the face of many “no’s”, I uncovered the frame and how I could write this story as a narrative nonfiction. Lester’s story had to be told.
What drew you to contemporary fantasy, and is it a genre you plan to stay with in the future?
It’s sort of funny to think that my middle-grade novel genre is magical realism/fantasy (THE 11:11 WISH is light fantasy), however my two upcoming picture books are both nonfiction.
I love fantasy, especially when it is firmly grounded in a contemporary middle school setting. When magic takes place in our modern world, it feels like enchanted events could happen to me, too. Possibilities—that’s one of my favorite words!
YES, I plan to stick with that genre! I can’t wait to share the next light fantasy novel I’m working on, but it’s too soon to talk about. Let’s just say, every morning, I’m excited to get out of bed and work on this manuscript, and I can make an easy promise: the magic will be delightful!
Favorite yoga pose (since you teach that too)? Dakasana (airplane pose), I love pretending I’m flying! Oh, and also Garudasana (eagle pose) because I get all that left-right brain crossover and it helps with creativity.
Do you have any pets? TWO sweet dogs—Lucky and Sushi. They sit with me for every word I write, they listen to me read aloud, and they walk with me when it’s time to brainstorm.
Favorite place to write? I write at the kitchen counter ever day. Favorite place I’ve ever written—a little café in Paris, very magical!
Favorite band or music? My son plays the drums, guitar, mandolin, and ukulele, so whatever he is playing in the moment is my favorite!
Snow or Sun? SUN! But I answer this while looking out my window, my front yard covered in a gorgeous layer of snow, the bright sun rising over the snow and ice covered lake, and it’s going to be 64 degrees today in Boulder. Yep, 23 degrees yesterday, 64 today. I am grateful for the beauty, but if I have to choose, I’ll take a sunny beach any day!
Have you ever made a wish at 11:11 and, if yes, did it come true?
Yep, writing, finishing, and publishing THE 11:11 WISH book stayed at the top of my list until I got it done!
Thank you, Kim!
THE 11:11 WISH will be in bookstores on Feb. 13. As a thank you, she’s got a pre-order giveaway. See the details below…
On Feb. 13, celebrate the book’s launch with her Book Birthday Bash, which will be listed here, and don’t miss her giveaway!
If you’re in the Denver area, catch Kim and her wonderful book at these events:
- February 22, 2018 6:30pm – Book Launch Party at Boulder Bookstore, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder, CO
- March 3, 2018 1:30pm – Denver Book Launch Party at BookBar Denver, 4280 Tennyson Street, Denver, CO
- March 10, 2018 – Tattered Cover Books, children’s writing workshop, Denver CO
Now, here’s Kim’s pre-order thank you details:
What: The 11:11 Wish Preorder Party!
When: From January 26, 2018-February 13, 2018
Why: It’s my debut novel, ya’ll! I’m excited to promote The 11:11 Wish! Please note, the bookseller you choose will provide you with your book. I will separately mail your fun, free stuff. All you need to do is contact me with your address and the name of the store where you placed your pre-order (see how below). Easy peasy!
How: Pre-order a copy of The 11:11 Wish from your favorite bookseller or from my list of favorite booksellers listed below. Place your order by February 13, 2018 and contact me no later than February 13, 2018. Once you’ve placed your pre-order, reach out to me at the “contact me” portion of my website, www.KimTomsic.com.
NOTE: Feel free to type hellos on this blog, but please don’t put your contact information here (let’s keep that private). Instead, go to my website, www.KimTomsic.com, and provide answers to the following four questions by typing your answers on my contact form:
- Your name
- Who’s getting the swag? You can keep this fun stuff, or you can ask me to mail it as a gift to someone else. Feel free to type hellos on this blog, but please don’t put your contact information here (I want your information to remain private). Instead, go to my website, www.KimTomsic.com, and when you’re on the contact page, scroll down to the purple form and provide the name and complete mailing address (including zip code!) of the person to whom you would like the free stuff delivered.
- Please provide me with the name of the bookseller where you placed your pre-order along with city and state of the bookseller i.e. Second Star to the Right, Denver. If you order with Amazon, you can simply say “Amazon” and add your order number.
- Chat me up with any special comments or requests. I’m guessing this might mean many of you will write a request, hoping for a certain color watch—I feel you. I can’t guarantee which cat ears or cat watch you’ll receive, but you’re welcome to add a comment like, “I’d really love if you’d send the purple watch”. 😻 I promise, I’ll do my best!
What you can expect:
♥ I’ll email you back…probably within 24 hours, since that’s how I roll. But if I don’t emailed you back within four days, please reach out again, because that can only mean one thing: the internet swallowed your original message.
♥ I’ll let you know what grouping you’re in within the preorder, so you can know what to expect (see grouping details below on who gets what swag).
♥ Those who contact me before February 8 should expect to receive their SWAG before 💙Valentine’s Day!💙 Another reason why The 11:11 Wish is a great 💙Valentine’s day💙 gift!
Who gets what?
The first group of 11 people to contact me at with information on their preorder will receive: Cat Ears, Cat Watch, Signed Bookplate, two Large Round Sticker, two Small Round Sticker, two Bookmarks.
CONTACT LINK: http://kimtomsic.com/contact/
The second group of 11 people to ccontact me will receive: Cat Ears Cat Watch, Bookplate, one Large Round Sticker, one Small Round Sticker, one Bookmark
The third group of 11 people to contact me will receive: Cat Watch, Bookplate, one Large Round Sticker, one Small Round Sticker, one bookmark
The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh group of 11 people to contact me will receive: Bookplate, one Large Round Sticker, one Small Round Sticker, one bookmark
The seventh through eleventh group of 11 people to contact me will receive one bookplate, one sticker, and one bookmark.
Okay, remember, contact me at www.KimTomsic.com or click here http://kimtomsic.com/contact/ and make sure you provide answers to my four questions above!
A few pesky rules:
- Items must be shipping to a mailing address within the 48 contiguous United States
- Preorder by February 13, 2018
- One per mailing address
- Colors can’t be guaranteed, but I’ll do my best to accommodate requests per inventory