Kimberly Brock Books bio picture
  • The River Witch

    " Kimberly Brock has an amazing voice and a huge heart; The River Witch welcomes the reader to a haunted landscape, authentically Southern, where the tragedies of the past and the most fragile, gorgeous kind of love-soaked hope are equally alive. This is one debut that you absolutely should not
    miss."

    ~~ Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints

  • Georgia Author of the Year 2013
    The River Witch is available wherever books are sold

What We Wish For

My life broke.

That’s the best way I know to explain the past nine months. I’d been going ninety to nothing, publishing my first novel, loving my family hard, raising three kids, each in a different school, managing aging parents, aging pets, peanut allergies and a husband whose work kept him out of town for a good portion of every week. And I was managing. I was moving. I was shaking. I was paying attention. I was doing everything right. And then…I woke up one day and the people in my life started dropping like flies.

In truth, no one actually died, but every person who was significant went into their own personal crisis and I was the last (wo)man standing. I’d been a celebrated teacher, an award winning author, a beloved wife and mother and daughter – that didn’t stop the breaking. It was more than I could manage. And it was nothing I could mend. As the ones I loved struggled, I felt my foundations tremble. My hands were completely tied, my heart was broken, and I’d never been so alone. So here’s what I did: I went into my closet and shut the door.

The thing is, I love my closet. It is my nest. It is my metaphorical womb. It is my most favorite place. And because I have my closet, all my life I’ve been a person who persists. I’ve been a survivor. I’ve been the person who is grounded. I’ve been able to turn inward and find what I need because I lived a rich, creative, thoughtful, faith-filled life. I believe in miracles. I believe in magic.  I like to act like I’m all rational and worldly, but truthfully I am a die-hard optimist in a pessimist’s clothing. But that day in January when I went into my closet and I shut my eyes and went to gather my strength and belief in good, good things, a terrible thing happened.

I was empty. Depleted. Exhausted. Where I’d always been able to come out of that closet refreshed, with a plan, ready to take on what came next, suddenly I couldn’t even bring myself to open the door. And I kept thinking the same things over and over. Mostly, I’d catch myself thinking one thing, an unfinished thought: I wish…I wish…I wish…

And when I turned to my work, the thing I thought would get me out of my mess – writing – I discovered every creative person’s nightmare. I was blocked to the bone.

What happened to me? Life broke. And the pieces created a great big dam.

For the past few months I’ve been floundering and questioning. I’ve been wandering around, blinking like a mole, picking up pieces and tucking them into my pockets. I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping because it’s hard to get out of bed. I’ve been eating lots of carbs and reading lots of books and taking care of my house and not answering the phone at all. I’ve been fighting cynicism. I’ve been afraid. Of so many things. Of having nothing special to offer the world. Of being ordinary. Of days passing and watching them go by without being inspired…or inspiring someone else.

Friends and family have watched me, uneasy. It’s scary for them, too, I think. They’ve never seen me…well…stop. I mean really, seriously STOP. But I did. And something new started to happen. I realized this: creativity – the source that has always been the soul-restoring energy available to me in that nest-closet of mine – is like any other thing on this earth that FLOWS. It needs a clear path.

If I wanted to continue to survive – and especially to come back from trauma – it was going to be up to me to learn how to take care of my creativity. And that started with taking care of myself. I started by taking care of myself in all the extravagant, thoughtful ways I wished to be cared for. (Which also gave me the renewed strength to care for those around me.) I worked in ways that felt good instead of exhausting, clearing a path for my creativity. (I learned to say no to a lot of things, too. I’ve never had a problem saying no. But I did have a problem saying yes to the wrong things.) And then I allowed myself to enjoy all the unexpected ways that recovering my creativity brought well-being and purpose and joy back into my life.

Sound like I’ve gone all Oprah? Well. Not really. Half the time I’m still guessing. I don’t live in Chicago or know everything. I know very little, actually. And I like it that way. I like that I’m learning from so many women who are also on this path. So when I started looking around at the women in my life, the girls I see at the grocery store or the school meetings, ladies who sit beside me at church or on airplanes, or book clubs, I started to notice so many of them are whispering things to me.

I’m lost. I’m burnt out. I don’t even have time. I don’t even remember myself. And…I wish. LOTS of I wish.

Tinderbox Writers Workshop came out of I WISH.

I’m calling it a writers workshop, but really it’s a creativity workshop. I believe stories are the surest path to our source – our hearts. Stories teach us how to speak our truth. Stories change everything. Stories teach us about our wishes. Stories are the home of every creative effort, no matter the form.

I’m a believer that if you want something in life, you should create it. And then you should share it. I wished I could create the life I wanted each day. I wished I could create a space for women who are blocked, who are stuck, who are silenced or depleted or just searching for a safe place to discover or recover or express their gifts. I wished for a space for women to share and explore and CREATE and celebrate their stories and voices. I wished to nurture my own soul and the souls of sisters and daughters. I wished for a sanctuary where women can learn to live fully, joyously, passionately – lives lived from our creative core.

I hope you’ll join me.

Discover your story. Recover your voice. What do you wish?

September 30, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Jaime Boler - Thank you for this. I have felt so alone over the past few months. I want to write about it, but it’s just so personal. I feel broken and it helps to know you’ve been there.

September 30, 2014 - 9:09 pm

admin - Love you, Jaime Boler. Lots of support here any time you need it! xo

October 1, 2014 - 12:46 am

kim drake - Personally I crawl up in the fetal positon in my closet and sit there until God helps me get up and restores my hope. I too have walked through yet another diffult season in life feeling that I wouldn’t survive. God showed up, gave me momentum when I believed Him for supernatural favor.Thanks for your transparency and courage.

October 1, 2014 - 1:13 am

admin - For me, that creative energy comes from/is the Creator, Kim. I love what you shared here about being given momentum.

October 1, 2014 - 2:24 pm

Adam - Hey, I read this because a friend posted it on Facebook. Coincidentally, I’m in the middle of reading “Affluenza” a book about the need for simplicity in our lives for both our sake, and the planet’s. It might be worth a read-through, as it’s made me realize I need to step back from some of my work and school obligations to focus on what I really need in life, which is both SPACE and my personal relationships.
-Cheers :)

October 1, 2014 - 3:23 pm

Leslie - Oh, I so get this, Kim. Spending more time “wishing” (or praying, or just being) is probably the right prescription for what ails so many of us women who find ourselves overcommitting to too many things. So happy for you that you’re finding a creative way out of the darkness! XO

October 1, 2014 - 4:19 pm

admin - You’re right on the money, Adam. “Affluenza” is rampant in our culture. Thanks for the book recommendation.

October 1, 2014 - 4:22 pm

admin - Leslie, your humor does so many women a world of good every day! I think what you bring to the table is priceless. Anybody needing a really irreverent giggle ought to check out InthePowderRoom.com for women laughing their heads off through this crazy life. xo

October 1, 2014 - 11:58 pm

Pat - What a fabulous entry.

Are You Living From Your Creative Core? Join my Tinderbox Workshop for Georgia Writer’s Association

What would you write if you knew you could not fail?

If you gave up all your excuses?

If you didn’t let fear get between you and your writing?

If you could just get out of your own way?

Is this a photo of your inner editor?

photo credit: apnatimepass.com

Click this link to join me this Saturday for a workshop at the September meeting for the Georgia Writer’s Association.

“A tinderbox is a collection of all the tools needed to spark a fire and that’s just what every person carries inside them, a little something dangerous, something with the power to bring the house down, to transform. We all have a story to tell and a unique voice with which to express that story with power and authority and authenticity. Our stories create the reality in which we live. In other words, our stories change the world! Because of that, the truth is, writing is a risky business. All writers are afraid of setting that crazy spark loose on the page. Worse, we’re afraid what we express won’t matter or that we’ll express ourselves all wrong. This is the best news! It means we’re exactly the same as every other human being who ever existed. It means we can stop waiting to be unafraid.” ~ Kimberly Brock

In this workshop, Kimberly Brock, author of The River Witch, will share with attendees her success with writing with her fear. Kimberly will share tips for overcoming common struggles for writers and inspiration from her own battle with writer’s block, the internal pressure to succeed and fears about doing the story justice. Workshop attendees
will also learn how writing from their tinderbox – with their fear – can lead to a powerful connection with the
reader.

September 9, 2014 - 11:52 am

Kerry Ann Morgan - I wish I lived closer. This sounds exactly like what I need now. Best wishes for a successful workshop!

September 30, 2014 - 6:27 pm

admin - I wish you lived closer, too!! But email me anytime. Lots of support here! xoxo

Points North Magazine December 2013 Includes THE RIVER WITCH in “Suggested Gifts for the Ladies!”

The River Witch is included in “Suggested Gifts for the Ladies” from North Points Magazine December 2013!

I think The River Witch makes a GREAT gift for the ladies in your life! And apparently, North Points Magazine thinks so, too. Click here for any easy link to buy the book! Or if you’d like the audio book version, click here for a quick listen.

Contact me with your address and I’ll be happy to mail autographed book plates!

Merry Christmas and Happy Reading! xo

Team Color of Team Clear? The BIG DEBATE!!

I’m guest blogging TODAY over at Book-alicious Mama! Come join this BIG and IMPORTANT debate as part of the 12 Days of Holiday-licious! Oh, dear reader. Come let me lead you to the path of…er…enlightenment.:)

Are you a purist like me? Do you love Little White Lights? Or have you, sadly, fallen for the blinding lie that is a string of multi-colored Christmas lights?? Visit Book-alicious Mama’s site and leave a comment! GO WHITE LIGHTS!!!

Where All the Cool Kids Will Be on Saturday!

SCAD Atlanta Writers Boot Camp

On Saturday, December 7, 2013, I will be speaking about stories and snake oil – otherwise known as social media and bloggers and e-books, OH, MY (and Lord knows where that will lead!!). I’m excited to share and to learn from three other VERY SMART and savvy writers and digital marketing experts at the SCAD Atlanta Writers Boot Camp. Buy your ticket online here. Below are the session descriptions and other details from the website.

Take a peek! Sign your self UP! And let me know what you might want to talk about. What are your burning questions about writing in the digital age?

1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

NON-FICTION: YOUR STORY-YOUR BRAND Once upon a time, writers wrote, and played small parts in the business of promoting and selling non-fiction. Today, marketing and publicity budgets are miniscule even for established authors. The writer must create and sell a personal brand to support and sell the book. Author publicist and media consultant Alison Law shares timelines and tools of nonfiction marketing campaigns. She demystifies the “platform” – the social media presence that should be in place before submitting a book proposal or query letter. Learn how to connect with readers, booksellers and supporters, ultimately, to sell your book. Alison Law, writer, marketing and social media consultant, advises published authors, book publicity firms, public relations and advertising agencies, and a variety of businesses. Law was the assistant program director of the 2013 AJC Decatur Book Festival. In 2012, she launched SouthernSpines.com, an online community dedicated to celebrating and promoting southern writers, songwriters and poets, and “Books with Backbone.” Alison is a member and site publicist of the She Reads Book Blogger network. She is pursuing a master’s degree in English with a concentration in literary studies at Georgia State University.

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

PUBLISHING NOW – AND BEYOND! Today’s publishing revolution surprisingly offers more opportunities than ever before. But how to sort through the maze – and cost – of options, such as traditional publishing houses, small independent presses and online opportunities, such as e-books and Amazon? How does a writer lucky enough to be published, form an innovative marketing strategy, based on the publishing model? Ramsdell will discuss opportunities and pitfalls, as well as high- and low-tech marketing, from book trailers to local writers groups, public readings and other tools that generate sales.

Catherine Ramsdell has taught new media, promotional, business and professional writing at SCAD since 2001.

She is a staff writer for the online magazine Popmatters.com., a speaker and lecturer. She has a Ph.D. from Auburn University.

4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

STORIES AND SNAKE OIL – HOW FICTION WRITERS LEVERAGE ONLINE PRESENCE

It’s easy to see why non-fiction writers and journalists need online platforms, but how can fiction writers benefit in tangible, measurable ways? Brock will discuss the e-book revolution, the use and value of social media pre- and post-publication, virtual chats, savvy networking, connecting with online book clubs and the book blogger community, and how professional storytellers can successfully establish an authentic presence in a virtual world.

Kimberly Brock is the author of The River Witch and recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award 2013. Her short works can be found in the anthologies Summer in Mossy Creek, and Sweeter Than Tea, and as a featured guest blogger on sites such as Writer Unboxed, Writer’s in the Storm, It’s Only a Novel and Psychology Today. She is currently the Blog Network Coordinator for She Reads, a national online book club.

5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

YOU CAN DO IT! How to build your own platform and extend your reach. For writers, a digital media presence is a must. But how and where do you start? For everyone, including the technology-challenged, this hands-on session will teach everything you need to know to get started, maintain and extend your platform.

Steve Aishman is a professional photographer, writer and curator in addition to serving as a SCAD Atlanta’s Dean of Academic Services.

WHERE: SCAD Digital Media Center, 1611 W. Peachtree St., Atlanta, Georgia, 30309.

COST: $65 at the door, cash, check or credit. $55 for early registration (payment received no later than Nov. 23.) Checks should be made to Ivy Hall-the SCAD Writing Center. Mail to: Attention Georgia Lee, Ivy Hall-SCAD Atlanta 1600 Peachtree St., 30357

* SPACE IS LIMITED. Early registration encouraged. For more information, contact glee@scad.edu. 404-253-3206.

P r a i s e
  • " The River Witch welcomes the reader to a haunted landscape, authentically Southern, where the tragedies of the past and the most fragile, gorgeous kind of love-soaked hope are equally alive. This is one debut that you absolutely should not
    miss."

    ~~ Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Backseat Saints

    "Kimberly Brock’s The River Witch achieves what splendid writing ought to achieve – story and character that linger in the reader’s consciousness. Tender and intriguing, often dazzling in its prose, this is a mature work of fiction worthy of the celebration of praise."

    ~~ Terry Kay, Honored Georgia author of To Dance With the White Dog

A d d   t o   g o o d r e a d s
  • goodreads add book

    The River Witch


M o r e   p r a i s e
  • "There is magic and wonder in The River Witch, but the real enchantment here is the strength of the characters Roslyn and Damascus. Their voices are the current that carries the reader along in this compelling tale of healing and discovery."

    ~~ Sharyn McCrumb, New York Times bestselling author of The Ballad of Tom Dooley.

    "With lyrical prose, Kimberly Brock explores the hidden places of the heart. The River Witch is a magical and bewitching story that, like a river, winds its way through the soul. In the voices of her wounded characters, Brock takes us through both the breaking and the healing of a life."

    ~~ Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Driftwood Summer