An Interview with Jesse Kimmel-Freeman

Please help me welcome my friend, Jesse Kimmel-Freeman to my blog today. Be sure and leave a comment for Jesse. One lucky commenter will win a surprise gift from Jesse.

Hey everyone! First I want to thank Cindy for having me on her site! THANK YOU, CINDY! It’s a pleasure to be here.

1. What genre(s) do you write in and why?

I tried to figure this out the other day. I write all over the place. I write young adult with generally a crossover aspect, paranormal romance- sometimes with a hint of erotic aspects, and I do kids books. The YA crossover because that’s the genre I love to read. So when I decided to write a book, I chose the genre I am most familiar with. I wrote the book I wanted to read. Paranormal romance seems to just happen with me. It’s in my YA books, it’s in my adult books. I just love the paranormal too much to leave it out of my books and it looks like I tend to write romance books without even realizing it. The kids books started because I wanted books that my children could look at and be like “Mama did that for me…”, so that’s what I did. I wrote Brody and the Skypirates for my son and then What is a Rue-Rue? for my daughter, and then I kinda blended the two with Brody Saves Rue. I’ve been asked by fans to continue the storyline and also some special requests for unusual topic children’s books.

2. Tell us about your current series.

Well, the Bella Vampires series follows the storyline of Emma Hutchinson. She starts out as 17 and a regular teen dealing with growing up in a small town. But things change quickly for her. We’re talking the supernatural world drops into her lap and into her backyard, while bringing a completely new way of life. The first book in the series is Bella Notte, released November 2011. The sequel will be out in the next few months, Bella Vita, and it picks up right where BN left off. I’m working on the third, and it’s kinda fun to see all the characters develop and change. And I get to include some special characters from a few contest winners! The Kat Purrowells series follows Kat Purrowells as she works for P.N.I., Paranormal Investigations- think FBI but way cooler. She’s a trained anthropologist that spent her academic career studying supernatural communities and that got her the job of her dreams. The first book follows her on her first up close and personal dangerous case. It’s the kind of case that might get her killed. I’m working on the sequel, Fur the Record. I expect to release it this year too. I kinda already mentioned the Brody and the Skypirates, but that follows a little boy named Brody on his adventures as he encounters the skypirates. They are fun books for kids, great bedtime stories.

3. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?

To be honest, a lot of my ideas come from dreams. I have several files on my computer of ideas just sitting, waiting for me to have time to write them into complete stories. It was really helpful when I was working for Chainbooks and doing starter chapters for them. I think in 3 months I did over 100 starter chapters.

4. What is your typical day like?

Chaos. I know a lot of writers say that, but a lot of people just say things without meaning them. I have a four year son and a ten month old daughter. Those two alone can steal an entire day. *snap, gone* I also have two cats and three dogs. I swear my neighbors must think we are a small zoo sometimes. Then there’s my hubby. I also run several online communities. Fitting writing in somewhere is a must, but sometimes doesn’t happen. My days are chaos. As I write this, I’m sitting at the computer (obviously) with my daughter asleep in my lap- where she fell asleep last night, and I’ve yet to go to bed because I know that if I got up she’d wake up. It’s now 8 in the morning. Can you imagine how tired I am? I need some coffee. LOL!

5. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?

This one is easy for me to answer. LOVE SCENES! OMG they are SO hard to write. Did I mention that they are hard to write?! This is what happens, I write out what first comes flowing to mind (like I do normally while writing) and then a little voice in the back of my head goes, “are you really going to say _________?” causing me to stop writing and go back and try to find a better way of saying whatever the heck I was trying to say in the first place. I generally get caught up on words. Should it be penis, rod, cock, love tickler? Did he carry her, lift her, stroll to her? WHY IS IT SO HARD? Oh, and let’s not mention the fact that I often revert to a thirteen year old boy while I am writing these scenes. It is one of the most difficult things I have found in writing.

6. What are you currently working on?

I’m working on illustrations for a children’s book about artificial insemination. It’s kinda a fiction verses fact approach, allowing the parent to decide what they want to tell their kid. The general topic was a special request, so I just tried to spin it in a way that was good for everyone. I’m writing the sequel to Dead to Bites, Fur the Record, and the third installment in the Bella Vampires series, Bella Tristezza. Oh, and I keep meaning to start the idea that’s sticking with me, but I have to find time.

7. What do you have planned for the future?

Lots! I’m planning on finishing the four books in the BV series, continuing Kat’s story as long as it needs to go. I want to do a few more tie ins for the BV books. More kids books. I’m looking at turning Bella Notte and Dead to Bites into audio books. Oh, and it looks like I am going to officially get the name of my “publishing” company done- allowing me to offer more services to the Indie community!

8. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

I never got that first contract. Nope. No one wanted to take a chance on a no-name writing about vampires in a market full of VAMPIRES. That was all they had to tell me. I understood, but it sucked. Don’t give up. I spent three years marketing Bella Notte, I got HUNDREDS of rejections, and I didn’t give up. Sometimes the market is just too full of one thing and they can’t see the diamond that is sparkling before them. So, take your diamond and do it yourself. Showcase it. And love that you get to be a writer.

Sorry for the babbling… I’m a little tired. No rest for the writer. If you feel like connecting with me, you can like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, check out my blog, check out my website, or grab some of my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other fine retailers. :0)

Oh, and if you come by my blog August 8-14 there is a blog hop going on to score some YA books. Or come by August 31-September 3, for some romance and some very cool giveaways.

Thanks again for having me, Cindy! It has been blast!

Dead to Bites Excerpt:

My name is Kat Purrowells, when I was five years old, I was bitten by a vampire.

Perhaps, I should say, I believe I was bitten. I went to sleep on my Step-dad’s living room floor on an egg crate mattress. When I woke up in the morning I had two perfect circular scabs on my collar bone. I might have easily dismissed them or accounted it to one of the numerous reptiles he had living with him at the time, except my sister told me that I was bitten by a vampire. Needless to say, my five year old mind adsorbed that information and it stuck with me ever since.

I am an occult cultural anthropologist. Basically that is just a fancy way of saying that I like to study the oddball cultures. Wanna guess what my flavor of choice is? That’s right, vampires.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking there are no such thing as vampires, let alone their culture. But you would be sadly mistaken. Vampires exist as much as anyone. All it takes is believing in something for it to be true.

It was another bumpy ass plane ride. It wasn’t the first time I was on a red-eye headed to another city. I had been to London, Atlanta, and Vegas all in the last six months. This shitty plane was headed to Burbank airport in the San Fernando Valley- a small hub of Los Angeles. I had requested they land at Van Nuys, but apparently they wanted the official clearance.

I leaned back in the uncomfortable seat and sipped on my whiskey. I was twenty-two last summer and I was probably on my way out sooner rather than later. My end could come in the form of a plane crash from my constant travels, my drinking that helped to keep me calm up in the air, or by being attacked by some occult being that most people believed only existed in fairytales and myths.

But I’m not one of the norm, never have been. I am Kat, yes my parents named a girl that, Purrowells. I studied Anthropology going through college, my focus- the supernatural. I was a cultural anthropologist to begin with, but we all must find our calling- mine was vampires.

The Valley was infested by a particularly mean branch of vamps, or so I was told. The local cops had decided it was gang activity. Nothing uncommon for the SFV. It was a place I was familiar with from my younger days. Days when the bogey monster was under my bed and not trying to get into it. When I still believed that the click of a light could make all the bad things in the world disappear. Not that I’m saying all the beings in the world that would defined as ‘monsters’ are necessarily bad or evil, shit most of them aren’t even mean. I’ve met quite a few normal people that have given me nightmares.

I bet you’re wondering what a cultural anthropologist was doing chasing monsters and murders? Nothing sane and normal, I can tell you that much. After I graduated two years early with high honors, I went and got my Master’s degree. I’m a bona fide monster expert. You can say that I’m a little odd and I don’t relate as well as I should to normal people. The thought of trying to work with them- that just makes me cringe, especially since I’m not what you’d call “normal,” but more on that later.

When I graduated with high honors once again with my Master’s, people took notice. I had been set to start teaching paranormal anthropology at the school- I couldn’t think of anything else to do with my new found expertise. Two days after I had my diploma in my hot little hand, my cell rang. Nothing odd about that, except that no one had that cell’s number. The conversation went like this:

“Hello?” I crouched down and answered in a confused voice.

“Miss Purrowells?” A deep male voice responded.

“Yes?” Somehow everything came out in a question, like it was a test.

“This is Agent Black…” I snorted as he was about to continue.

“You’re kidding right? Who is this? Is this Paul? How did you even get this number? It’s my emergency phone.” I laughed at my phone, still not realizing what was going on.

“No, Miss Purrowells, this is Agent Samuel Black. This is not a joke. As for how we got the number, we have our ways.” He answered very coded.
My mind briefly blanked.

“Why are you calling me, Agent Black?” I was still unsure as to what the heck was going on.

“Ma’am, we need you to come in to our headquarters to help us with a problem.” His voice told me he was uncomfortable with the topic.

“First of all, I’m not a ma’am, second, what kind of problem?” My annoyance was growing- if it was a joke it was not funny.

“Miss Purrowells, I am not at liberty to discuss any aspects of this issue. I was handed a number and told to get you on the next plane to Colorado.” He told me.

“And I am just supposed to agree to this?” The thought of getting on a plane without any information did not seem appealing.

“Miss Purrowells, there will be a car waiting for you in about an hour. It will arrive at your residence. Please have a bag packed.” He continued.

“Dude, I’ve not even said I was going anywhere.” I protested.

“I’m sorry, ma’am. Orders are orders. Have a nice day.” He hung up.

I remember my shock and confusion. I also remember throwing a bag quickly together and waiting outside my house like a kid waiting for Santa. It was like the Gods had decided to liven up my life. I took the chance with both feet. It was my first real leap of blind faith.

A year later, I was chasing down the big bad monsters of the world. I had been brought into an elite secret group, a side of the F.B.I., we were called the P.N.I. Yes, take a minute, get it out. I know I sure as hell did. Only I was not as gracious as you are, trying to laugh behind your hand. I looked my boss in the face and blurted out, “We’re a bunch of cocks!” and the giggling that followed caused many sterns looks and “blah, blah, blah, not taking this seriously…”

Since then, I’ve become known in every circle across the United States. The people I had studied before were now the people I worked with. My job was to infiltrate the problem areas and help to identify the threat. I never got to arrest people or anything, I just reported to people that paid me a fat check for doing what I loved- hanging out with freaks- my people.

Bella Notte Excerpt:


The sky was growing dark crimson over the clearing in the forest behind our house as I drifted across the glen toward the edge of the trees. I walked as if I knew exactly what it was I was looking for, and where I was going to find it as well.

A small crackling noise caused me to stop halfway across the field. I turned to look in the direction the sound came from- that’s when I saw him.
Those dark green eyes and his dark auburn spikes were so familiar after seeing them for the past fourteen years, that it was always a relief to see him.

He walked towards me, and stopped at my side. The dry winter grass beneath our feet was barely audible as we took a step forward, lacing our fingers together.

The sky was no longer crimson, but had transformed into a deep indigo and a slight breeze had picked up. The hairs on my arms rose as the chill in the air assaulted my body. I moved closer to him out of instinct. His body temperature seemed to be so much higher than mine that just being near him kept me warm, strangely from the inside out. The moon had risen. The color was a frightening shade of blood red and the wind strewn clouds blew across the face of the cratered orb. He held suddenly, very still, as the breeze brought scents from across the clearing. With his eyes closed, he breathed in deeply. Those dark emeralds popped back into view and carried the fear that the grimace on his face displayed.

That’s when we heard it- the howl. The sound was terrifying, like a large wolf. Somehow, inside, I knew it wasn’t a wolf, at least not in the conventional sense, and that scared me more than anything. My body froze and my mind blanked with fear. I watched his grimace change to a visible snarl and those beautiful green eyes flash a dangerous shade of ruby. The next thing I knew he was pushing me out of the field and into the cover of the trees.

I wanted to plead to him, but no words would form with my dry tongue sticking to every ridge in my mouth. He grabbed hold of me and whispered “run” very softly into my ear- then he was gone. It took me a minute to get over the shock, but then my feet moved as quickly as possible.

I could not escape the sound of his scream as the forest closed its arms around me.

I knew it was a dream, not any dream but the dream. The dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. Every scene was memorized from beginning to end, and I again knew the sting of the silent tears that cascaded down my hot, flushed cheeks.


Jesse now lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere. She moved from the chaos of Los Angeles. Yes, she misses it. It is not uncommon for her to be asked why she moved from such a busy place to the one horse town- the answer is simply to allow her kids to grow up with their grandparents.

Jesse has studied anthropology and used her “education” as an excuse to hang out with vampires- her masters’ thesis was going to be modern vampire culture. They really do exist. Vampires have been her obsession since she was about five years old when she swears she was bitten by one.

She enjoys reading and writing. But most importantly being a crazy mom to her son, new daughter, and ever growing pet family. Singing silly songs at the top of her lungs and embarrassing her son is one of her favorite activities. She considers herself to be an odd duck.

10 thoughts on “An Interview with Jesse Kimmel-Freeman

  1. I have great admiration for women like you, raising children, handling a husband, and taking care of animals. I know your heart is full, which is a good thing, but the chaos that is your world must make focusing on writing all the more difficult. My life is quite the opposite. I live alone, have one little dog for company, and my college town is the quintessential one-horse town. Even without your daily distractions, I sometimes can’t find the time to write. So, keep it going!

  2. Hey Cindy! Thanks for having me. Thank you Kathleen about the cover! I had fun making it. Elysa, my schedule is chaos and can be very tiring, but it;s worth it. Becky, I didn’t really start writing until I was pregnant with my son, so I guess it;s my kids that brought out my inner muse. :0) There are moments when I wish I didn’t have quite soooooo much chaos, but then my son will says something, my daughter will smile, the dogs will do something goofy and I remember how lucky I am. Thank you all for stopping by!

  3. Wow, it does sound as if you have a busy life. It just goes to show that if a person has a writing gene if forces itself out no matter what 🙂

    I also have to say I’m envious of your dreams. I never remember mine.

    • Thanks for commenting! I love it. I think there is a certain point in everyone’s life when you decide to follow your dreams, even the ones that you get while sleeping. Being a writer wasn’t one of my dreams when I was little actually, it was my sister’s. Of course, since she was my big sister I wanted to be just like her. But I also wanted to study dinosaurs. I ended up with a degree in Anthropology (can you wonder where Kat got her education choice from? LOL) and I took writing classes to fill space in my schedule. I loved reading- never thought I could write a book. I’ve got 5, soon to be 6 on the 8th, books under my belt and I love it.

  4. Great interview. I totally understand the LOVE SCENE issues. Such great advice about going for it with your work. It’s a hard choice, but once made, no regrets to be found. Good luck with the new release.

  5. Wow I Cant Wait To Read This Book It Sounds So Awesome. I Have Writers Block My Self I Started My First Book And Im Stuck Already Sigh.

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