Meet The Author
WHO IS KIM VERMAAK
Kim Vermaak is an author and brand builder who has been an entrepreneur for almost 20 years. Her super power is to craft stories that not only transport her readers into the hearts and worlds of the characters she creates, but also to create a culture of wisdom.
Although Kim always had a pen in her hand, whether doodling, writing or planning, it was not until South Africa had its first load shedding that she discovered the power of her stories. When the lights went out, it was winter and she and her family found themselves unprepared. With no candles or gas cooker, and a frightened daughter, she used her words to inspire courage.
Kim had to overcome a few fears of her own to take the first tentative steps to becoming an author. But when she saw the power that books had to transform a family, she vowed to help other authors to create a better life for themselves by embracing their creative talents.
This author writes in the medieval period because she believes that this time of history embraces the full complexity of the human condition. It was a period where politics, religion, murder, love and mythology all blended into daily life.
People had to create lives of their own within a brutal and unforgiving landscape. In Kim’s early life she felt like the medieval characters from her books. The plans and schemes of authorities over which she had no control over trapped her. You will find little hints of her life woven into the book series.
Kim found her way to her beloved adoptive parents after being abused and abandoned. It was there that she found the gift of new beginnings. Her adoptive family were her first heroes, and it was within this family that she learned her love of reading.
Books helped Kim found her courage. They were a place where characters who faced severe trials could rise and create a new way of life. It is this gift of courage that drives her to create the stories that inspires others to create their own legacy.
Life at Home
Kim is married and has three natural children, aged 18, 8 and 5 years. She also has three adult step children. She lives in Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng in South Africa, although she spent most of her childhood in Port Elizabeth, in the Province of the Eastern Cape.
As a family they love movies, day hikes, cards, playing charades or snuggling with a kitty. Home life is a noisy, busy affair full of adventure and they spend Sunday mornings at the church that they have been with for over 15 years. They typically enjoy supper at the table with a ritual of celebrating their wins for the day. While having friends over is a rare occurrence because of the sheer magnitude of coordinating the family into some sense of order, they love to have people over to celebrate life together.
In winter you will find mattresses on the floor of the lounge with everyone bundled under the duvet with a bowl of popcorn and favourite DVD. But it is not just play. Kim is committed to rearing her family with an entrepreneurial spirit and so they make time to watch webinars or YouTube training to fuel the family’s goals to the future.
Kim’s love of event coordination comes into play at Christmas, Easter and birthdays, She loves to colour coordinate these celebrations and makes sure that each person feels special.
On Easter morning you will find Kim in a gown and slippers lurking around in the dark finding secret hideouts for the Easter eggs, This tradition does not diminish as the children get older.
It is is not just fun and rituals. Kim devised her own family quiz that she brings out every Christmas to remind the family of the true purpose of Christmas.
Ask an Author
What medieval character are you?
If I look at popular characters, I would say that I most identify with Daenerys Targaryen. I have not watched all the Game of Thrones episodes. But of the few I watched, I like the fact that she developed from a more timid person to a woman of substance that was not afraid to speak her mind.
She had a strong sense of fairness and was not afraid to make tough decisions. She defended the weak and worked to uplift the downtrodden. In medieval life men dominated women, but Daenerys Targaryen earned respect from the men with whom she interacted.
I found Game of Thrones too brutal and cruel for my tastes, so I did not continue watching it. But as a medieval fantasy author, I did research the Daenerys Targaryen’s character evolution and found that there were qualities that I could align myself with.
What are your writing goals? What can your readers expect from you?
Once The Chronicles of Nadine series is complete. I will write a series with Maireid.
Maireid is Nadine’s sister and featured in The Last of the Silver Wings. In book 2, The Fire Within the Storm, Mary’s father asks Maireid to find his missing daughter.
This process led Maireid in to the sinister under word of deception and exploitation. Maireid’s talents to uncover secrets thrusts her into a world of the forgotten. This medieval fantasy will play out in the world my readers will recognise. Without the skills of Dragon whispering, Maireid will have to rely on her own talents and the team that she will build in this epic fantasy series.
If you thought of yourself writing a genre other than Fantasy, what genre would that be?
A tough question because so many of the things I love are built into medieval fantasy novels.
There is drama, politics, love, murder and depending on your taste, religion. But if forced to step outside of medieval fantasy, I may write medical mysteries or thrillers.
It would take a lot of research, but I think I could do it. There is also a motivational book idea that I have been sitting with for a long time. But there are a few things that I need to achieve before that one starts.
Who is your favorite fictional couple, and why?
This is so far removed from Medieval fantasy, but my favourite couple would be from Clive Cussler’s Fargo Adventures novels.
The series focuses on Sam and Remi Fargo, a married couple who are professional treasure hunters.
I love the sense of adventure and how they compliment each other with their skills. They respect each other, but have a quirky relationship full of wry humour. When the chips are down, they pull together to overcome obstacles.Clive Cussler always started his novels (or at least the ones I have read) with a prologue that is a slice of ancient history about the artifact that the Frago’s are looking for. I used this style in my medieval fantasy series, The Chronicles of Nadine. However, the couples in my series have some very different struggles of the Fargos.
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
The most recent book still falls within the Chronicles of Nadine. However, each book deals with some human condition that people still struggle with. In book 2, The Fire Within the Storm I deal with women who face the predatory nature of some men.
Predators have an uncanny ability to sense the vulnerability of women who suffer from low self-esteem. The book reflects the relationships choices that women make when they have had a troubled relationship with their father. I have had some experience and so this book is very personal to me. Although I did not make the same choice as Mary did not this medieval fantasy story, I have a deep routed empathy for her.
I researched the methodical planning that predators on this nature took. It was a special skill used in countless political strategies.
What keeps you motivated to write when you are feeling down?
If I feel down, I keep on doing some book related activity. Whether it is marketing or watching genre specific YouTube content. That way I get to make progress, even if I am not writing.
I promised each of my children that I would write a medieval fantasy series with them in mind. It will be my legacy for them. So on days when I don’t feel like working, I remember my promise to them.
Long after I am gone, they will still have the books and the knowledge that they were my true that kept me going through the hard times.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
I have three bits of advice.
1. Begin with the end in mind. Know why you want to be a writer and let that be your motivator that you keep returning to.
2. Build a routine as soon as possible. Even if you feel blocked, keep working at the same time every day. You will program your brain to work at a certain time.
3. Build a network of friends who are also authors. Some of your friends and family will not understand your journey. They will try to talk you out of it, because they don’t want you to fail. That does not make them wrong. It just means that they don’t understand the process. Get a team that will encourage you and guide you based on their personal experience.
What’s the best thing about being a writer?
I have a passion for research. I have always researched quirky things that are meaningless to others, but stimulate me.
A successful writer’s super power when it comes to world building is research. As a writer, I get to explore new worlds and facts, and as a writer I now have an excellent excuse for it.
What books are on your summer reading list this year?
My husband has recommended Andy McDermott to me. Andy McDermott is the bestselling author of the Nina Wilde/Eddie Chase series of adventure thrillers, which have been sold in over 30 countries and 20 languages.
His debut novel, The Hunt For Atlantis, was published in the UK in 2008.Apparently Andy’s novels have received critical acclaim for their epic globetrotting scope and non-stop thrills, described as “pulse-racing adventure” (Northern Echo) with action scenes that “explode off the page” (Daily Express), while Andy himself has been called “a new master of the genre” (Le Figaro) and “a writer of rare cinematic talent” (Daily Express).
My husband has a copy of Empire of Gold, and I think I may give that one a try. I have some archeology in my medieval fantasy series, the Chronicles of Nadine, so reading these books will relax me without moving me too far away from my current mind set.
I also want to reread Harlan Coben’s Promise Me. Again this book serves the same purpose, a mental break, but also with the pace and mystery that I need to keep my writing senses honed. With over 75 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the #1 New York Times author of thirty-one novels His books are published in 45 languages around the globe.