Guest Blogger: Kimberley Troutte

15 Jul

My Twenty Year Novel

Hello, Gem State Writers!

Big squeezy hug to Carley Ash for inviting me to visit.  Thank you. Isn’t it wonderful that such a beautiful group of people all banded together to discuss what they are passionate about—writing?

When I first started out I was terrified to call myself a writer. That’s what I was, for sure. I mean a person doesn’t put pen to paper nearly every day and not be a true writer. But it scared me to admit the thing out loud. What if someone read what I scribbled and found it to be horrible? What if my deep desire to become a published author was nothing more than a silly little girl’s dream?

When I became a mom all that nonsense changed. I wanted my kids to have big dreams and the courage to go after them. After all, how can you succeed if you don’t put yourself out there and go for it?

So I did. I had an idea for a novel set in Spain that included a 15th Century ghost with memory disorder, a woman with anxiety disorder and a gorgeous Spaniard doctor trying to protect his loved ones from by a psychopathic killer.

I researched the historical period and worked hard on my craft. I wrote. And I wrote some more.  I must have completely rewritten that manuscript ten times (felt like fifty) over the course of twenty years before I sold it.

Yes, you heard that right—twenty years.

Oh, I wrote other things too. Articles, poetry, a novella called Soul Stealer, a few kid’s books, a biography and a nonfiction parenting book. But Catch Me in Castile was my first novel and I wanted it to be great. Plus, people don’t realize how long it can take for a writer to get her groove on.  My groove, apparently, was years in the making.

Now, don’t let me scare you. It might not take you as long as it took me, but do give yourself time.  The goal should be to write stories that readers cherish. You want to be proud of your work, don’t you?

So…If you want to succeed in this publishing biz, I suggest that you study, learn, grow and improve. Take writing classes or join critique groups. Read, read, read. Work on your craft and bolster your courage.  If you are dedicated and persistent anything is possible. Many people give up too soon. You’re not like that. You can be great. Be prepared to give it time and stay positive, focused. Don’t stop.

On the flip side of that coin, there are a several people out there who dream only of seeing their name on a bright and beautiful book cover.  They’re not prepared for what it takes to get there. I can’t tell you how many people have said to me, “You’re an author? I’ve always wanted write a book.”

I get all excited because I love meeting other writers (and readers). But after chatting a while, I realize that the person hasn’t STARTED to write the book. They have a good idea, or two, but they haven’t done a thing about it. They don’t write. They don’t read.

It would be like me saying, “I’ve always wanted to run marathons.


I don’t really have the spare time to work out, I’m not a very good runner, I haven’t studied the techniques and skills of other great marathoners, I haven’t gone to any classes or had any special training, I don’t want to pay for good shoes (or any other tools I might need to improve), and running hurts!  Come to think of it, I don’t really like to run at all. Hearing the crowd cheer for me when I cross the finishing line would be cool, though.”

You get the point. So here’s the two-part question of the day:

Have you always dreamed of writing a book? If so, what are you going to do about it?

Best to all!


Kimberley Troutte has been a substitute teacher, caterer, financial analyst for a major defense contractor, aerobics instructor, real-estate broker, freelance writer, homework corrector and caregiver to all the creatures the kids/hubby/dog drag in. She lives with her husband, two sons, one dog and three snakes in Southern California. Her published books at Samhain Publishing include Catch Me in Castile and Soul Stealer.

Please visit her at


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27 responses to “Guest Blogger: Kimberley Troutte

  1. Johanna Harness

    July 15, 2011 at 6:07 AM

    I love the marathon analogy! Thanks so much for this post.

  2. Carley Ash

    July 15, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    This has been very motivational Kimberley. I agree with you. I’d rather take more time to write something fantastic, then to just pump out manuscripts. Thank you for blogging today.

  3. Janis

    July 15, 2011 at 7:40 AM

    Kimberly, such a lesson in perseverence! Thanks so much for visiting Gem State Writers.

  4. Kimberley Troutte

    July 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM

    Thanks, Johanna.
    I really wish I could run, but it hurts me. LOL.

  5. Kimberley Troutte

    July 15, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    and you are an awesome writier. I know. Thank you for inviting me to blog today.

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 15, 2011 at 8:16 AM

      My fingers must not be fully awake yet this morn. That should have been “writer” not writier. LOL. Got to get my coffee and open my eyes.

  6. Kimberley Troutte

    July 15, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    you are more than welcome!

  7. Liz Fredericks

    July 15, 2011 at 8:21 AM

    Hey Kimberley – Thank you for blogging with us today. I’m with Johanna on the marathon analogy. I’ve not heard a better comparison! Your story is important for all of us to remember. Some people appear to have an ‘instant’ road to success, but every artist I’ve truly enjoyed recounts years of work culminating in an achievement that merely seems effortless. Carley is absolutely correct on quality preempting quantity. That might not be the mark of a culture demanding instant gratification, but a sustainable system demands it.

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 15, 2011 at 8:32 AM

      It is hard. What writer doesn’t want to see her books out there in the world? But, sticking with the marathon story, we need to remember being an author is not a sprint. Quality books stick around in the minds of readers, quantitiy books don’t. I want my stories to mean something, to make a difference in the world, make me proud. For me, writing is a beautiful journey, not a mad dash.

      • C.C. Wiley

        July 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        I love this statement. “Quality books stick around in the minds of readers, quantity books don’t. I want my stories to mean something, to make a difference in the world, make me proud. For me, writing is a beautiful journey, not a mad dash.”
        You’ve helped me regain my focus on what is truly important on my writer’s journey.
        Thank you! Thank you!

  8. Meredith Conner

    July 15, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Thanks for stopping by Kimberley! I love your story and how you went after your dream to make it the best you could! And I’m with you on the running – ouch.

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 15, 2011 at 8:33 AM

      Thank you, Meredith. Still working on that dream. But I’ll leave the running to others.

  9. Kimberley Troutte

    July 15, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    Excuse me, ladies. I’ve got to get some coffee to stop these fingers from hitting the wrong letters. It’s still a bit early in my town and socked in fog. It is July, right? Don’t know what happened to the summer weather we were having. Are you having summer in the Gem State?

  10. Kimberley Troutte

    July 15, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    I’m still here if anyone has any writing questions or comments, but before I forget, I wanted to thank you all again for having me. It’s a lovely place to be.

  11. Kimberley Troutte

    July 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Thank you, C.C. Wiley. Happy you stopped by!

  12. Peggy Staggs

    July 15, 2011 at 7:21 PM

    What a great blog. I struggle with thinking my stuff isn’t good enough to put out there. I always want the quality to be better. I love the premise of your book. A ghost with a memory disorder. It’s my next Kindle purchase. I wish I could come up with ideas like that.

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 16, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      Peggy, sometimes I wrestle with the “is it good enough to send yet?” as well. It’s a tough call, because you do want to stop polishing at some point and hit send. Someties you can polish forever. Best of luck with your work. Thank you for the kind words about mypremise. I hope you like the book.

  13. Lynn Mapp

    July 15, 2011 at 7:45 PM

    Kimberley, you sound like you’re every woman. I loved your point. I’ve always wanted to be a dancer, except…I’m too old, too fat, too…fill in the blank. If it’s someone you want you have to make the time to work for it.
    Thank you for sharing,

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 16, 2011 at 10:00 AM

      Lynn, thank you. I agree, if you want something bad enough you will go for it. Whether it’s dancing, running, or writing, we all have the same amount of hours in the day. It’s the determination that varies.

  14. crbwrites

    July 16, 2011 at 5:16 AM

    Twenty years! If that’s what it takes, it’s worth it. I’ve only got 6 in my current MS, and what a wild 6 it’s been. I’ve started Catch Me in Castile–it hits so many buttons for me. Broker, stress, Spain, ghost, mystery. Best wishes!

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 16, 2011 at 10:02 AM

      Yay CB! Glad to see you here.And I’m thrilled you are enjoying Catch Me in Castile. Good luck with your wild adventure!

  15. Clarissa Southwick

    July 16, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Congratulations on the big sale. I think some of the big classics were like that, books that took years to finish. I think it’s a question every author must ask. Is it better to be prolific or to write one truly excellent novel? Thanks for guest blogging for us and good luck on the next one 🙂

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 16, 2011 at 5:29 PM

      Clarissa, wouldn’t that cool to be a big classic author? Every writer’s dream. I really enjoyed being a guest blogger. Thanks for having me.

  16. jeff7salter

    July 16, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Great column, Kimberley. Like you, I’ve had conversations with those folks who say that same thing. It always makes me cringe. I think your analogy with the runner gives it perfect clarity. I had only thought of it in artistic terms [such as “I’ve always wanted to be a painter” “What do you paint?” “Oh, I’ve never painted anything.”]
    In one way it truly trivializes (in their eyes) what we spend hours a day grinding out of our typewriters or computers.
    Now on the flip side, if I told a friend on a farm, “I’ve always wanted to try driving a tractor” — (A) I’d really mean it, (B) if he was willing, he could show me how, and (C) I would probably use that experience in a story/novel somewhere. And mine does NOT trivialize what he does for a living.

    • Kimberley Troutte

      July 16, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      Hey, Jeff! I agree with you and I totally would love to drive a tractor too. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Terribly dangerous, for me and the entire world, but way cool. Thanks for commenting!

  17. Mary Vine

    July 18, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Loved your blog. I was exactly like you at the beginning until my neighbor, a retired English teacher, gave me hope. It took me years to get going too, and now I have 3 published books out there. Thanks!

  18. Kimberley Troutte

    July 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    That is so wonderful that you were encouraged by a teacher. Sometimes all we need is a little hope. Congratulations on your books!


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