INTERVIEW WITH —
AUTHOR, KIMBERLY A. GORDON BIDDLE
Welcome, Kimberly. Thanks for the interview! It is so nice to meet you.
Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle was raised in a small village in Illinois by a single parent in poverty. She currently lives in a suburb in California. Her nose was always in a book as a child. She began writing fiction some time ago, but her first book was published in 2017. She mostly writes picture books, but is venturing into middle grade novels. She writes realistic, contemporary fiction. She taught college students for 28 years. She received career awards from her alma maters University of Redlands and Stanford University. Her first fiction book, LaDonna Plays Hoops, was a finalist in the 2019 American Fiction Awards. Her second fiction book, LaDonna’s Easter in Paris, was released in 2020. Her third one, Darlene’s Double Dutch Dreams, was released in 2021. Both of these books won Purple Dragon Fly Awards. She has benefitted tremendously from being a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Black Creators Headquarters, the Middle Grade Hub, and Inked Voices. She is a wife and mother of one son. She has a pet cat named Pumpkin.
Where do you live? I live in North/Central California.
Are you active in your community? I am an Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Development at Sacramento State in California, after having taught college for 28 years. Professionally, I am a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the American Educational Research Association, and the American Psychological Association, in addition to the organizations listed above.
What was your inspiration for writing? I write to give all children a glimpse into the world of African-American families and life. I want all children to see the joy in these families and the variations and the similarities. This is something I wished for as a child.
LaDonna Plays Hoops: This is an inspirational and contemporary story of a young, African-American girl who goes to visit her grandma for a family reunion. While there, she tries to become the family hoops star. She wonders if she has the skill and the will. The story presents subtle, everyday events that teach life lessons.
Darlene’s Double Dutch Dreams: Darlene and her sisters alway enter the local double Dutch contest. Darlene and Loretta always twirl and Venesha always jumps. Big sister, Trina, always cheers for them. Mom and Dad always watch. The routine is always the same and the chant is the same, too. However, this year everything is different. All books contain sheet music.
LaDonna’s Easter in Paris: In LaDonna’s second adventure she is traveling. Due to an unexpected business trip, LaDonna’s mom wants to spend Easter in Paris. LaDonna is reluctant at first and faces some challenges, however she comes to understand the universality of hope and love. This book has some French phrases that are understandable or translated in the story. All books contain sheet music.
What else do you write: I write textbooks. I am lead author on two co-authored and published textbooks. Early Childhood Education is published by SAGE. Careers in Child and Adolescent Development is published by Taylor and Francis. I am also the second co‐editor of a third textbook, Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum and Instruction. It is also published by Taylor and Francis.
I’m trying to write MG novels. I hope to write novels for adults one day, too. I write music, as well. I have written poetry, mostly free verse, since I was a child. I don’t share that much. It is more personal.
Do you remember the time you actually said, “I’m an author!” What was that feeling like? The first book I wrote was a textbook. I co-authored it. I have also authored journal articles in academia. All authorships and publication projects give me a sense of accomplishment.
When did you know you wanted to become a writer? When I was in graduate school at Stanford University Graduate School of Education.
What has been the most challenging for you as a writer? The subjective nature of fiction writing is challenging to me. I am trained to be a social scientist and be objective and follow the rules. I cannot grasp the rules of fiction writing. There are lots of exceptions. I am not sure when the rules can be broken.
How many picture-book rough drafts do you have? I currently have 4 picture book manuscripts.
What do you like to do in your free time? I like to go for walks, visual art creation, cook, sing, volunteer. Be a good wife and mother.
What’s next for you? I am querying and hope to get an agent.
Anything else you want your readers to know? Reaching readers is the most important aspect of writing to me. Interacting with readers is the most enjoyable part. I love my readers.
One last question, tell us something that no one knows—something about you that isn’t posted anywhere on your website or social media. I have lived in 5 states (Illinois, Nevada, California, Virginia, Ohio).
If you would like to reach out to Kimberly, below is her contact information.
Website – www.pinkpearlwriting.com
Twitter – @KimberlyBiddle4
Karen Olson won Kimberly A. Gordon Biddle’s book!
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