Kim Cash Tate went from law partner to novelist when her first book, Heavenly Places, was published in 2008. Her second novel, Faithful, has just been released by Thomas Nelson and tells the story of three successful best friends facing personal, work and romantic challenges. Tate took the time to answer a few questions about writing from her home in St. Louis.
What's the best writing advice you've ever gotten?
I think the best writing advice I’ve gotten is to write from the heart. It can be tempting to look around and see what’s hot and trending, and try to conform. But true passion and satisfaction flow when I write the stories of my heart.
Of all the characters you've ever written, which one is your favorite?
My favorite character is Treva from my novel, Heavenly Places [read our review]. I had such a heart for her because I knew women like her, women who’d been treated in an inferior manner by their mothers and grew up trying to find self-worth wherever they could. I loved taking her on a journey where she would begin to see herself, not through her mother’s eyes, but through God’s eyes. And it was just plain ol’ fun writing her because she had attitude and would say things that many of us might think but never give voice to.
The proudest moment of my writing career thus far was being signed by Thomas Nelson Fiction. I had always admired them as a premier publisher, but because I didn’t see any fiction by African-American authors coming from them, I didn’t think it was a “natural” path for me. When they expressed an interest in signing me, I was elated! And the experience of partnering with them has far surpassed what I imagined.
Name one book you think everyone should read.
Definitely the Bible. That’s the one book that has completely changed my life. I’m also a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan. I love the epic story of good versus evil, of the unlikeliest of people being used to do great things. There are so many life nuggets I’ve taken away from that story. But I admit I kind of cheated—that story is actually contained in three books.
What book are you embarrassed NOT to have read?
The Help is staring at me right now, so that’s what comes to mind. So many have told me that I need to read it, and I’ve had it in eye-shot for the longest. Admitting my embarrassment might be the very motivation I need to crack it open!
How would you earn a living if you weren't a writer?
I practiced law for a number of years as a civil litigator, so if I had to earn a living outside of writing, I’d probably return to that. Or not. I’ve always wanted to start my own business, so maybe I’d throw caution to the wind and make some crafty little thing and sell it . . . except I’ve never really been the artsy-crafty type. Hmm . . . guess I’d better hope this writing thing works out.
What are you working on now?
I’m editing my Fall 2011 release, Cherished, and beginning work on the novel that will follow that one. I’m really excited about what’s on the horizon.