Ask the Author with Maddie M. White

Ask the Author: Kimberly Palmucci

What would you like readers to know about you? 

I started my career as a reporter before shifting into digital media. Writing has always been a passion of mine, but my journey as an author began with my love of animals. I adopted my best friend, Meesta, from my local animal shelter in 2011. He is a sweet orange tabby cat, funny, smart—a true gentleman—and he has three legs. He is purr-fect and able in every way, but was passed up because he is different. Inspired by his story, I wrote my first book and have continued my creative journey ever since. I don’t believe I’ve reached the “crazy cat lady” status yet, but the sheer amount of cat posts on my social media pages may suggest otherwise. I am passionate about our animals and believe that one person can make a world of difference. 

What is the Purr-fectly series about for those who haven’t read it? 

My first book, Purr-fectly Lucky, is inspired by the real life story of Meesta, a three-legged cat with boundless strength, spirit, and love. The book tells the story of a young cat in a shelter, Lucky, who is passed up because he is different. As the story progresses, it shares a narrative of positivity about shelter pets and the need to celebrate our unique qualities.

The second book in the series, Purr-fectly Wise, is a prequel to the first story and follows the journey of the Wise Cat, a character from book one who readers grew to love for his kindness and wisdom. Featuring such themes as overcoming loss and hardship, the book shares positive messaging about the joy senior pets can bring to our lives. Purr-fectly Wise was inspired by my own two dogs who I watched grow from energetic puppies into wise senior pets who offered endless love and loyalty at all stages of their lives.

Book three in the series, Purr-fectly Home, is being released in June. I’m super excited about this one—it is the sequel to Purr-fectly Lucky and follows Lucky years after he was adopted…as well as a new friend who comes into his life, another three-legged cat named Princess! This book brings the series full circle. 

What has been your inspiration for writing? 

My inspiration for the books would be my own pets and their beautiful stories. However, my inspiration for writing itself is my brother, Kevin Flanders, who is a published author. He writes novels—horror, mystery, techno-thriller, suspense—and I have watched him for more than ten years refining his craft. We have had so many late-night conversations about his plots and characters, and from those conversations, I am able to see how the characters develop and almost take on a life of their own on the pages. I asked him why he writes one day, and he simply said, “I write because I love to write.” That stuck with me; he never wrote his books for the accolades, recognition, or awards…he just loves writing. That always inspired me to share my own stories. 

What was your favorite scene or part of the Purr-fectly series to write? 

My favorite scene to date would be from Purr-fectly Wise; it is a scene inside the animal shelter when the Wise Cat first arrives. Up until this point, the book tells the backstory of the Wise Cat and how he ended up in the shelter, but this is the exact point both books overlap with their timelines. In book one, we see Lucky’s timeline, and then he meets the Wise Cat. The two have a very positive conversation about being different. In book two, the roles are reversed, and I chose to write the exact same scene from a different character’s perspective. It was really rewarding for me to write this scene from two different points of view; readers get to learn a little more about why and how the Wise Cat had such profound words to offer, and his own mindset when he made the decision to reach out and help Lucky. This scene significantly broadens readers’ understanding of the plot, emphasizing how our kindness each day can impact others. 

What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

I have to give another shout out to Kevin Flanders here. One of his first books, “Burn, Do Not Read!” truly inspired me. I recall very vividly the conversation we had that plotted out this book; it was at about 3:00 a.m., an hour of the day where things tend to get creepy regardless, and he had a short story already written based on a house deep in the woods in which our grandparents had once lived. Everyone in our direct family thought that house was haunted, and we were throwing scary ideas back and forth, expanding on the short story. The book really started coming to life before our eyes; seeing him be able to translate what we had talked about into a cohesive, character-driven novel was so inspirational. I wanted to give life to my own characters like that, and I enjoy sharing their stories with readers of all ages. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

Write your story! Share it with everyone you know; we each offer such amazing and different perspectives to the world, and writing, for me, is cathartic. It’s a way to express myself, an outlet to spread a narrative of positivity, and a way to connect with readers through creating relatable characters. My advice to anyone is that you matter, your voice matters, your stories are meaningful, and you can inspire others through your words, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what makes you special and different. 

Anything else you’d like readers to know? 

I wrote my books with the intention of not only spreading positive messaging, but also raising donations for non-profits that support children and animals. I donate one third of my sales and will continue to do that always. I have worked with so many beautiful groups that make such a profound difference in the world but are funded solely through donations. If my books can help these groups financially in any way, that is success to me. So as readers, every time you purchase one of my books, you are also making a donation to a non-profit, including local animal rescues and organizations that benefit kids!

Readers can follow me on Facebook @kimberlypalmucci for author events and latest news and on Instagram @kimberlypalmucci for event photos and…cats. Lots of cats. 

Read the original interview here on Maddie M. White’s website