Recently, a copy of LIGHTHOUSE BAY was sent to me so I could read and review. Not being familiar with Kimberly Freeman’s other book, WILDFLOWER HILL, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I recieved LIGHTHOUSE BAY. Within a few pages, I learned to expect a nice story, characters that are interesting- flawed, but well-meaning; with their own hidden stories just waiting to be revealed. The more I read, the more I wanted to know the backstory, how Kimberly Freeman created these characters, this setting. Luckily for me, an opportunity presented itself and I was able to ask Kimberly Freeman a few questions about writing process, the characters of LIGHTHOUSE BAY, and more.
Interview with Kimberly Freeman:
1. The characters in Lighthouse Bay- were any based on people you know in real life? Or were they just characters you created?
They were all characters I created except one. Lady Berenice is based on a friend of mine. She has such a big heart, and she doesn’t suffer fools gladly, that I thought she’d make an excellent character in a book. I sometimes think that Matthew, the lighthouse keeper, is a little bit based on my boyfriend though they’ve nothing much in common than a lovely steady maleness (and beards! they both have beards!). Isabella is like nobody I know, and she was quite difficult to spend time with, as she had such a wildness about her.
2. How long did it take you to write Lighthouse Bay -from the beginning of the idea to publication date?
About eighteen months. I wrote Lighthouse Bay during one of the worst years of my life. My marriage had broken down, I was recalibrating my duties towards my two young children, and I had to take on extra work because divorce is so expensive. So I was terribly distracted while writing it. But at the same time, it was also one of the best years of my life. I met a lovely new man and I spent a lot of time at the Sunshine Coast, looking at the sea, and writing down ideas for the story. So there was a lot of emotional ups and downs writing it. I’m a lot calmer now, and can write a lot quicker.
3. When I read author interviews, most speak of having a routine to their writing. Do you, Kimberly, have a writing routine that you would care to share?
I used to, but my life is very full and busy and I have a 10 year old and a 6 year old, so my routine is write whenever I find the time. If I waited around for long stretches of free time, I wouldn’t write another thing.
4. If Lighthouse Bay was to be made into a movie, do you have any ideas about the cast? Would you prefer to have famous actors or unknown ones?
I never picture actors as my characters because actors are all so perfect and beautiful, and I always think of my characters as being more real, with flaws, imperfections, texture. Having said that, if a big Hollywood studio wanted to give me money to make a movie, I would happily take the money and buy a lot of great shoes.
5. Have we, the readers, heard the last from Juliet and Libby? Or might they be featured in another book one day?
No, I’m done with them. We had a great time, but now they are going to get on with life and I have new imaginary friends to play with.
6. What is next on the agenda as far as writing? Do you have any ideas for another book?
I have just finished the first draft of a novel called “Ember Island”, about a young woman who becomes the governess to a prison superintendent’s daughter in the 1890s. There is intrigue, crumbling manor houses, a feisty little girl with a big imagination, and a wooden cat named Pangur Ban.
A special thanks to Kimberly Freeman for answering the questions and to Saraciea for presenting the opportunity to interview.