Q: What inspired you to write your first book?
Kimmel: I’d been threatening to write a book since my writer pal Dick Lochte wrote his brilliant first mystery, Sleeping Dog. Then, in 2001, I said to myself, 'You have never been a coward about anything in your life, so stop saying you want to write a book forever and just start something right now.' That did the trick, and I immediately began what would become my first novel, Benjamin Kritzer.
It was an amazing, fascinating journey. I called one of my best friends, and she, in essence, became my muse—she read the pages, loved them, and was so supportive and encouraging that on I went. And every30 pages or so, she’d read, encourage, maybe say something like, “What was that person wearing?” or “Describe that place more”—you know, details—God is in the details.
It took nine months. It was the most exhilarating and wonderful feeling to type the final line of that book—I was just walking on air for days.
Q: How many books have you published?
Kimmel: My latest book is my 10th—a book a year. About to start number eleven in January.
Q: How has your career and Hollywood background influenced your writing?
Kimmel: I can’t say that my career has really influenced my writing, but my life certainly has. I always write what I know, and my muse always keeps me on the right road.
Q: You recently released a book about your show-business career. How is the process of writing a memoir different from writing other types of books?
Kimmel: I never thought I’d do a memoir, but the stars aligned, and I was looking for something completely different for my 10th book, and it just happened. The process wasn’t that different because, from the get-go, I didn’t want to write a book that was basically a series of anecdotes. I wanted to tell a very specific story that had me at its center—I think that’s why it’s been getting a nice response, people can relate to the story being told.
Q: How do you stay motivated to complete a manuscript?
Kimmel: I write every day. I always write a little in the morning, then more in the afternoon. I’m always happy if I do three to five pages a day. And I write seven days a week. I love getting lost in the characters and the world of the book—there’s just nothing better.
Q: What made you decide to publish with AuthorHouse more than once?
Kimmel: I had a publisher interested in Writer’s Block, but there was no advance, they were a very small press, and it was going to take a long time; and with that book, AuthorHouse started the returnability program, so I stayed where I was comfortable.
And by that time, there was no point in doing it any other way. The publishing world has changed so drastically and there is no shame in print on demand, and very big authors have done it to retain complete control over their books.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face when you’re writing a book, and how do you overcome it?
Kimmel: It always takes me a while to commit to what the book will be. Once I do, however, I move very quickly with tons of notes and ideas, and then I just start every January 1st, like clockwork.
Q: What have you gotten out of writing and publishing multiple books?
Kimmel: I’ve done a lot of stuff in my life—actor, screenwriter, director (films, TV and stage), record producer—but nothing has given me more happiness than writing these books. No one tells you what to write, no one looks over your shoulder, no one impedes your creativity with stupid and suffocating 'rules' – it’s just so freeing and wonderful.
Q: What advice would you offer to those people who love to write but are on the fence about publishing?
Kimmel: Do it! Finish what you start, no matter what. Show it to people you trust.Then show it to a stranger and see what they think. And then if you believe in what you’ve done, publish it and put your baby out into the world.
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Author Bruce Kimmel was recently featured on ABC News to discuss his career in showbiz and his latest book, There's Mel, There's Woody and There's You: My Life in the Slow Lane.
Other AuthorHouse Titles by Bruce Kimmel
Murder at the Hollywood Historical Society
Murder at the Hollywood Grove
Murder at Hollywood High
How to Write a Dirty Book and Other Stories