Featured Interview With Kimberly Burnstein
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
Hi there! I’m a retired airline pilot for United Airlines. I was forced to retire early when I started experiencing recurrent vertigo (turns out that’s a pretty bad combination). But, I did get to see the world. I will miss layovers in Paris, London, Hawaii and many others.
Currently, I live in Las Vegas with my husband, two rescues dogs, and three horses. All of them spoiled. Las Vegas is a pretty good mix of my former homes. I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and, previously, Fresno, California. When I talk about being from Fresno I usually add, “don’t be jealous.” If you’ve ever been there, you’ll know I’m kidding. Las Vegas has all the fine dining and shows you could ask for, but also boast great outdoor activities (when it’s not crazy hot), easy, free parking, and lots of small ‘mom and pop’ restaurants. It’s a great place to live.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was always an avid reader. As I kid, I absolutely loved Stephen King’s books. It wasn’t until my early twenties, when I started flying for a major airline, that I truly became a voracious reader. I would read at least three books a week. There was so much down time: on layovers, between flights, at the gym, and even on the flight when on break. I must admit that if you ask me about a book I’ve read, I’ll remember if I liked it or not, but likely not much else. There are just too many to remember!
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I’m really drawn to women’s fiction. Give me a strong female lead and I’m sucked in. I love a good twist or revenge at the end (who doesn’t?). I also enjoy thrillers. I love a fast paced book that I can’t put down and accidentally stay up until 3am because I have to finish it.
There are many books that inspired my writing of The Katrina Witness. The flawed protagonists from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Girl on the train. The lead that gets knocked down a million times but keeps going in The Alchemist. The Butterfly Garden gave me permission to go really dark. These are just a few examples of many.
I’m a huge fan of Alice Hoffman. I would say The Katrina Witness is sort of Alice Hoffman meets Colleen Hoover. It has little bit of both worlds as far as genres.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
This is thriller that crosses over into women’s fiction. It is set during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Clair and her dog are trapped on a roof while churning water continues to rise. They are “rescued” by two men with the perfect opportunity. It starts out very dark (trigger warnings galore) but ends bright. There are elements of revenge, romantic tension and a couple surprising twists toward the end.
I started this book nearly ten years ago. We had waited for my dog, Pepper, to cross over the rainbow bridge before going on our honeymoon in Spain. On the flight over, I read an article about Hurricane Sandy. The article mentioned that they had made a huge effort to save pets, because during Katrina they did not and there were people who refused to evacuate without their beloved animals. In one district, they supposedly shot a couple pets to get the residents to leave. I was horrified.
As I lay jet lagged in bed, the entire story came to me; almost like from a muse. I had never had any thought of writing, but I absolutely had to write this. I have written, and rewritten this novel probably about fifty times. It was worth the time and effort, it’s a thrilling story of survival, redemption, and revenge. I hope you love it.