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I’m back home after my first TINY event at Rediscovered Books in Boise. Thank you to everyone who came out. It was a good time! I love, love, love talking with readers. I could talk books all day, every day.

My next event is at Newport Beach Public Library this Saturday at 3pm. Hope to see you there.

Here are some launch week links you may want to check out:

Literary Hub: Kim Hooper on the Heavy Toll of Miscarriage on a Marriage

Electric Literature: 7 Weirdest Houses in Literature

Idaho Press: “Big Emotions Can Come From Something Tiny”–interview with Jeanne Huff

Having Read That: Interview with Brian Vakulskas (podcast)

Necessary Fiction: Research Notes

Orange County Readers: Interview with Jaymi Couch

The post TINY happenings appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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Go order it so we can talk about it! That’s why I write, after all. Writing is the introvert’s best way to communicate.

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Target

The post TINY is here! appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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My daughter selected 2 names out of a hat this morning! I’ll be sending you your copies of TINY tomorrow. Thanks for playing, everyone!

Watch the video of the drawing on my Instagram page.

The post And the winners are… appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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Well, time has flown and it’s already June! TINY comes out in just 11 days. To celebrate, I’m giving away 2 copies of the book. To enter the drawing, send me an email (kimhooperwrites@gmail.com) or leave a comment here. My daughter will pick 2 names out of a hat next week (I’ll take a video). Happy reading!

If you’re not a winner, you can order the book at all the usual places. Here are some links for you:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Target

The post It’s TINY month! appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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Here’s a glimpse into some recent (and upcoming) happenings!

This past weekend, I was honored to be a speaker at the AAUW Author Luncheon in Seal Beach. These types of events are always great because I get to 1) meet other authors (Hollie Overton and Matt Coyle were also there), and 2) interact with readers. Hollie and Matt were hilarious, and the audience had some great questions. 

Side note: This year, the AAUW is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. It’s so hard to believe that women voting is a fairly recent practice in the grand scheme of things. 

I’ve done a couple fun interviews:

Washington Independent Review of Books (Adriana Delgado)
Book Club Babble (Maribel Garcia)

Another side note: I highly recommend Maribel Garcia’s book, Profound and Perfect Things. It comes out next month!

I’ve been on a roll with good reads. Here are a few I’ve loved lately:

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Editor by Steven Rowley
No Happy Endings: A Memoir by Nora McInerney

I have some exciting things coming up:

Tiny comes out on June 11!

I’ll be at Rediscovered Books in Boise on June 13.

I’ll be celebrating Tiny and kicking off the Summer Reading Program at the Newport Beach Public Library on June 22.

That’s all for now!

The post Catching up appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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Two weeks ago, my little family moved into a new house. Actually, it was a construction zone at the time we moved in, but it’s starting to feel like a home.

One of my first priorities after setting up my daughter’s room was my office. Yes, my very own office! In our previous house, my husband and I shared an office, our two desks crammed together, one of us annoyed at all times. This new space of my own feels so luxurious. Technically, it doubles as a guest bedroom, but the only occupant of the bed so far has been the cat. He doesn’t bother me.

I’ve been so busy with getting the new house organized (and safe…our baby has become a toddler) that I haven’t had much time to actually sit at my desk and write. I did some final edits for TINY the other day (it comes out in exactly 3 months!), and I felt so happy just staring out the window. Tomorrow, I go back to my full-time job after taking 2 weeks off, so it will be a while before I have more time in my little office. But at least I know it’s here. At least I can daydream about it.

All this got me curious about famous writers’ work spaces. I found some cool photos online. Here are my favorites (sourced from here):

Anne Sexton
Dylan Thomas
Ernest Hemingway
George Bernard Shaw
George Plimpton
Henry Miller
James Patterson
Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne
Kurt Vonnegut
Margaret Mitchell
Simone de Beauvoir
Stephen King
Susan Sontag
Virginia Woolf


The post A Room of One’s Own appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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Me, staring out a window in Japan.

I’ve had a Post-It in my day planner for at least 3 weeks that says, “Write blog post about quiet time.” Ironically, I have not had enough quiet time to actually write a blog post about quiet time. This is…troubling. And, according to Alan Lightman, a physicist and writer, it’s a sign of the times.

In a TED-Ed post entitled “Why We Owe It to Ourselves to Spend Quiet Time Alone Every Day,” Lightman says: 

“The loss of slowness, of time for reflection and contemplation, of privacy and solitude, of silence, of the ability to sit quietly in a chair for fifteen minutes without external stimulation — all have happened quickly and almost invisibly…

The situation is dire. Just as with global warming, we may already be near the point of no return. Invisibly, almost without notice, we are losing ourselves. We are losing our ability to know who we are and what is important to us. We are creating a global machine in which each of us is a mindless and reflexive cog, relentlessly driven by the speed, noise, and artificial urgency of the wired world.”

Lightman likens this destruction of quiet time to global warming, thereby putting it in the category of Modern-Day Catastrophes. He puts into words what’s been nagging at me for several years now. I’ve been aware of this loss of quiet time; I just wasn’t able to articulate my concerns as eloquently as Lightman.

Recently, I’ve started paying attention to the weekly notifications on my phone that report my screen time. The first one I saw said, “1 hour and 45 minutes,” and I thought, “Oh, that’s not bad.” I thought it was for the whole week. That was my daily average. Meaning, per week, I spend roughly 14 hours on my phone. 14 HOURS!

What did I used to do with those hours before smart phones? It’s hard to remember. I know I read more. I always had a book with me. Now, if I’m waiting for an appointment or whatever, I scroll through social media. I’ve been making a point of putting a book back in my purse.

I’m sure I wrote more, too. Or at least wrote with more concentration and fewer distractions. My writing process has become very…piecemeal. A paragraph here and there. I rarely get the hours of flow that I used to love. I mean, I have a kid, so that’s a big part of it. But changes in society are a big part of it, too. There is so much distraction and so much urgency now. There are multiple news cycles per day, making you feel like you’re missing out if you’re not constantly refreshing CNN.com. Most of us are bombarded with hundreds of Facebook and Instagram posts per day. Text messages pop up all the time. The workplace is run by emails (I was away from my computer for an hour the other day and came back to 60 emails in my inbox). It’s impossible to keep up, but we try, and in doing so, we sacrifice any quiet time.

I do not like this. For obvious reasons. I’m a writer. I need quiet time. I need it not just to produce stories, but for my sanity. I’m also a reader. I don’t think anything quite compares to sitting down with a book (or an e-reader, if you like). It requires a dedicated effort. It requires closing the door on a thousand other things you could be doing. That choice is so indulgent and empowering and amazing.

I admit that I’ve been listening to more and more books in recent years, because then I’m killing 2 proverbial birds with 1 stone. Our modern world mandates efficiency and I’ve taken that to heart without even realizing it. With audio books, I can go for a run and “read.” I can drive to work and “read.” To me, this doesn’t count as “quiet time.” This is more “filling time,” another example of how technology has made us all addicted to being stimulated every moment of the day. That said, I enjoy listening to books, so I’ll still do it. But I don’t ever want to give up the time I spend just reading either. 

Now that I have a kid, I think a lot about how younger generations are growing up and what they consider “normal.” Will my daughter even enjoy quiet time? Or will it be totally odd to her because she was born into a world of constant noise? Is the desire for quiet time innate in us as humans? If it is, how do we encourage young people to carve out that time for themselves? What’s the risk if we don’t–an epidemic of depression and anxiety? 

I know, for me, quiet time is absolutely necessary. I’m a classic introvert. I get incredibly anxious if I don’t have time to organize my thoughts and just be. And, seeing how I’ve given up quiet time almost without realizing (to the tune of 14 hours a week), I’m making more of an effort to get it back. I told a friend a little while ago, “I feel like I have no internal life anymore.” I often say I’m “stressed” or “feeling scattered.” For me, this is all symptomatic of not having enough quiet time, so I’ll see if things improve as I reclaim some.

Beyond myself, I would argue that quiet time is necessary for all of us. All of us can benefit from setting time aside to think, to “know who we are and what is important to us,” as Lightman says. Otherwise, we’re just clicking and tapping and reacting to the thousands of stimuli we receive every day. And that can’t be good, right?

How important is quiet time to you? What are your tips for maintaining quiet time in today’s world? 

The post The importance of quiet time appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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I’m so excited to announce that my third book, Tiny, will be published by Turner on June 11. You can pre-order it now.

A brief synopsis:

Nate and Annie Forester are faced with every parent’s worst nightmare when their three-year-old daughter, Penelope, is hit by a car right before their eyes. In the aftermath of her death, the distance between them grows. Nate just wants to move on and return to some version of normal, while Annie finds herself stuck in the quicksand of her grief.

Josh, 22 years old – third party to the nightmare – was behind the wheel on the fateful day Penny ran into the middle of the street. Unable to stop thinking about Nate and Annie, Josh has started to stalk them, thinking up ways to approach them and apologize. One morning, he is sitting in his car, in front of their house, when he sees Annie leave, suitcase in tow. Hours later, he witnesses Nate in a frenzy of worry. His wife has disappeared and he is left only with a vague note.

Tiny follows the harrowing journeys of Nate, Annie, and Josh―three people unwillingly tied together by tragedy. There is Nate, staying strong on the surface, but slowly losing his mind as he faces the suspicions of Annie’s family and the police in the wake of Annie’s disappearance. There is Annie, attempting to start a secret brand new life in a 100-square-foot house in the middle of nowhere. And there is Josh, who desperately wants forgiveness and, ultimately, finds himself responsible for reuniting the people whose lives he changed forever.

The story behind the story
I’ll write a detailed post about what motivated me to write this story but, for now, I’ll just say this is the most personal book I’ve written. For me, the past several years have been a lot about navigating grief, and writing has been my savior. More soon… 

The post Book #3: Coming this June! appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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This is always one of my favorite posts of the year because I get to look back on my year of reading and do a grand tally. This year, I read…drum roll, please…75 books! I’m a little surprised I read that many because this year was so hectic–a newborn, going back to my full-time job, publishing a book and working on edits for the next one. I did get through a lot of books while breastfeeding when I was on maternity leave. I’m guessing that’s what got me to my total. Did you read any of the same books as me? What were your favorites of this year?

Good ol’ fiction:
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man by Joseph Heller
This Was Not the Plan by Cristina Alger
Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown
You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
The Ten-Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
P.S. I Miss You by Jen Petro-Roy
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch
Girls in Trouble by Caroline Leavitt
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn
Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin
Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
Hag by Kathleen Kaufman
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult
Profound and Perfect Things by Maribel Garcia (advance copy)
The Leavers by Lisa Ko (still working on this one, but I’m counting it)

Nonfiction:
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell
It’s Messy: On Boys, Boobs, and Badass Women by Amanda de Cadenet
The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham
People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished From the Streets of Tokyo–and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up by Richard Lloyd Parry
The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find–and Keep–Love by Amir Levine, MD and Rachel SF Heller, MA
Everything is Horrible and Wonderful: A Tragicomic Memoir of Genius, Heroin, Love, and Loss by Stephanie Wittels Wachs
Apocalypse Child: A Life in End Times by Flor Edwards
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman
The Long Run: A Memoir of Loss and Life in Motion by Catriona Menzies-Pike
Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences by Jeffrey Long, MD
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression–and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
How Animals Grieve by Barbara J. King
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union
Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden
Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give by Ada Calhoun
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel
Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Healing the Impact of Loss by Claire Bidwell Smith
A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold
This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps
The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp Black
Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
The Angel in My Pocket: A Story of Love, Loss, and Life After Death by Sukey Forbes
The Girl With Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee
A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal by Jen Waite
Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens by Eddie Izzard
Becoming by Michelle Obama

Mom books:
The Wonder Weeks: How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward by Frans X. Plooij and Hetty van de Rijt
Achtung Baby: An American Mom on the German Art of Raising Self-Reliant Children by Sara Zaske
How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth, MD
The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep by Harvey Karp, MD
The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley
Precious Little Sleep: The Complete Baby Sleep Guide for Modern Parents by Alexis Dubief

The post Books I read in 2018 appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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First of all, if you haven’t been to the Newport Beach Public Library, you should go. It’s one of the best libraries I’ve ever been to. I just wish I lived closer. I’d be there all the time.

Thank you to everyone who came out to hear me talk about Cherry Blossoms. When I finished reading and talking, I looked at the clock and saw that only 20 minutes had passed (it always feels so much longer when I’m the center of attention), so I wasn’t sure if we’d fill the full hour. But we did! There were so many thoughtful and interesting questions. Thank you, again, to everyone who came.

I saved the event poster, thinking, “Maybe one day my daughter will think this is cool.” Then my friend brought me back to Earth and said, “Probably not.” Ha.

The post Cherry Blossoms Event: Newport Beach Public Library appeared first on Fiction Writing Blog.

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