Thank you!

Thank you for all the support you've given the Climbing Rose Young Adult line of The Wild Rose Press. Our stories are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active. We thank you again for the time you spent with us and invite you to visit our Climbing Rose bookstore.

Interview with Kimberlee R. Mendoza

Hi, Kimberlee! Thanks for stopping by the blog! I'm totally in love with the Russell family series, so tell me about it. Why did you want to write a series?

I originally wrote, Love thy Sister, Guard thy Man--the first book in the series--in high school. It was the first novel I ever wrote. It's about a young girl who falls in love, only to have her sister rip him away from her. When I turned it in to The Wild Rose Press, the editor loved it, but at the time, they didn't have a young adult line, so she rejected it. A few months later, she contacted me and said they wanted to launch a YA line with "Sister." After that, my editor asked me if I would consider writing a sequel. The idea came to me to write each story from the point-of-view of each sibling. So, each book focuses on one of the Russell family siblings.
Is there a real-life Russell family?

No, though a lot of me is in these books. I am a child of divorce and could identify with their pain and struggles. I would say I'm most like Melena. Thank goodness, I'm NOT Cassi :) (For those who haven't read the books, Cassi is the evil sister in book one. Her story is in book three, Seek Ye First My Heart. And I promise, you'll like her by the end.)
What was your road to publishing?

I started writing when I was 12 years old. Finished my first novel by 16. Tried to get published for 15 years. Published a few poems here and there, and then a play in 2000. But it wasn't until I joined a critique group that the winds changed. My first novel was published by Booklocker within months of joining, and then The Wild Rose Press picked up my book, Reveille of the Heart, a few months later. Since then I've published 10 novels, 4 e-books, 1 non-fiction book, and 6 plays. I also have several in the works. I highly recommend critique groups to anyone interested in publishing. My own 12 year old son has just joined mine. So, maybe he won't have to wait 15 years to get published.
Why do you write YA?

No matter how hard I try, I write young. I direct a youth drama team and a lot of my good friends are under the age of 20. (Or maybe I'm must immature.) I adore teens and the way they view the world. I like to help them any way I can. Each of my Russell Family books deals with issues that teens deal with.
What's going on around you when you write?

Peace. No distractions. Boys are asleep or I'm at work in a closed office.
Do you like to read YA? Any YA books that you love?

Yes! Janette Rallison is my favorite YA author. Love her book, Fame,
Glory, and Other Things on My To-Do List
What books do you have coming out in the future?

Fried, Scrambled & Unequally Yoked (the fourth in the Russell Series) comes out in print this January. I just turned in a short story called, Wish Upon A Rock Star that is being considered for an anthology called, Summer Lovin'. And I have a book coming out called, Taps to the Soul. (A sequel to Reveille of the Heart.)
Thanks for letting me babble on about myself. It's been fun. Have a wonderful day :)

Thanks, Kimberlee! And, hey, if you want to check out Kimberlee's stuff, look for her free download, The After School Question, available from The Wild Rose Press or check out Kimberlee's website!


Janette Rallison said...

I'm so flattered to be on your favorite list. I'll definitely have to read your books.

We must be on the same wavelength because one of my next novels was almost called: When You Wish Upon a Movie Star. The marketing department ended up calling it Just One Wish instead.

christine M said...

Great interview!

Cate Masters said...

Wow, your book inspired an entire new Wild Rose line? Very inspiring! The YA line is so important to keep those young readers hooked so they'll grow into ravenous adult readers! Congrats!

Cindy K. Green said...

Loved the interview, Kim. I didn't realize your wrote Melena's story while still in hs. I don't think I finished one ms while in hs. :)

Kitty Keswick said...

Wow! Awesome interview Kimberlee! What a great inspiration for teens who are discovering writing... that maybe someday with a little perseverance you can get things done. (I think I might have just quoted Corey Hart...LOL.)

Pastor Berlee said...

Janette, wow! I'm a bit star struck! Thanks for stopping by. I'm a huge fan! I'm always recommending your books to people.

Thanks, Christine & Cate. (I recognize that cover, Christine. Very cool :)

Cindy, some girls played with dolls, I wrote. Started at age 7. Wrote my first short story about a paperboy. Wish I still had it. :)

Yes, Kitty. All it takes is one cup of dream, and one cup of perseverance. Mix and win!

Anonymous said...

Well, we were asked to pick our favorite cover, but it's way too hard to choose. I love them all!


Laurie J. Edwards said...

Wow, Kim, it was fun to read about your journey. You must have been an amazing kid to have started writing so young. Glad you did. And it's great to have you as part of the Summer Lovin' anthology.