When I was eight or nine years old, I took small rocks out into the middle of the cul-de-sac where we lived and I smashed them to pieces with bigger rocks. Why? Because Ramona Quimby did, in Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary.
When I was about twelve I spent a summer with a notebook, devising a business plan for a kid-run business called Kidz, Inc. We (the kids) would go around our neighborhood doing odd jobs and getting paid for it, things like cleaning up yards or houses or babysitting or washing dogs. I never followed through, but I had the business plan laid out. Why? Because of The Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin, and the Best Friends series by Hilda Stahl, and the Twelve Candles Club series by Elaine Schulte. All those books featured 12-year-olds starting businesses.
My mom had my baby brother when I was about to turn twelve. On the very day she went into labor I was reading Happy Birth Day by Jane Sorenson for the hundredth time, a story where the protagonist Katie Hooper, who just happened to be about my age, experienced the birth of her baby sister. It was like magic the way her story and my life lined up.
I’ll stop embarrassing myself by telling you all the things I did as a kid because I read them in a book. The point is, I read all the time. I read books over and over and over. I still have most of them, and their pages are dog-eared and yellow and often falling out. Some of them are water damaged because I liked to read in the bathtub and I dropped a few in the water. But they were readable once their pages dried out, and so I read them again.
Stories have such power in a child’s life. I love that kids are full of such wonder, before they are jaded by the world or learn the unfortunate art of being self-conscious. If stories are read at the right time, sometimes that self-consciousness can be delayed or eased as the spark of story keeps truth and curiosity alive. I also know that sometimes during those middle school/early teen years finding friends can be hard, and making friends through the pages of a book can be a welcome balm to ease that awkward pain.
I have always dreamed of writing those kinds of stories for kids and young teens. The kind of stories where kids maybe tried out something they read in a book, and the kind of stories where girls read them in the bathtub and accidentally dropped them in the water but then dried them out so they could read them again. It has taken me longer than I want to admit to work up the courage to actually do it, but I have done it. And it feels like a piece of my life is truer than it has ever been.
Next year I get to introduce the world to The Choir Girls: Summer McKidd, Maddie Ryland, Brittany Welsh, and Cammie Dunn. These four friends experience quite a few ups and downs during their 7th grade year, and I hope that there are some girls out there who find encouragement and enjoyment as they read their stories. It will all start with Summer in Soprano Trouble, as Summer is faced with some tough decisions she should make about her friends.
Victoria is a wife, a mom to three girls, a full-fledged homebody, a so-so housekeeper, a mediocre musician, and has dreamed of writing her whole life. She lives at the foot of the Rockies in Littleton, Colorado and she will never take that for granted. She has spent most of her life living in Colorado, with a brief six-year hiatus to live in Nebraska to attend college and get married. She is mostly a stay-at-home mom, but dabbles in a variety of other odd jobs, such as being the nursery director at church, doing admin work and crocheting beard hats in the winter. She loves meat and potatoes, superhero TV shows and movies, and when the weather stays between 70 and 80 degrees. She could probably love the beach if she ever spent any time there.
Victoria spent her childhood reading and making friends with the characters in her favorite books. She never grew out of that. After many years of wondering, she decided it was time to write the stories she had always dreamed of writing. She hopes that her stories model an active Christian lifestyle, while feeding the insatiable sense of wonder and adventure that everyone has deep inside. Her thoughts live at www.victoriakimble.com.