11 October 2012

University of Queensland writer, Dr Kim Wilkins, celebrated her 2,000,000 written word recently, with the publication of her latest novel Lighthouse Bay.

Lighthouse Bay (2012), which tipped Dr Wilkins over the two millionth mark, is written under her popular pseudonym of Kimberley Freeman.

Dr Wilkins’ biography includes more than 20 novels for adults and young adults, children’s books, short fiction, scholarly publications, conference proceeding, reviews and non-fiction pieces. Her full biography can be found here.

“This is a significant milestone for Kim to have reached in such a short time span,” Head of the School of English, Media Studies and Art History, Professor Joanne Tompkins said.

“It is even more remarkable to think that she’s achieved it while teaching at the University," she said.

The accomplishment of 2,000,000 words has taken Dr Wilkins just 15 years to write.

“I published my first book when I was an undergraduate student,” Dr Wilkins said.

“Sometimes I feel I must know everything there is to know about writing,” she said.

“But then I find myself continuing to learn about the writing process.

“My ability to write is like an extra emotion. Everyone’s got anger and joy and love and so on, but I feel I have an extra one called ‘story’.

"It’s through the sense of ‘story’ that I express myself through books."

Dr Wilkins began her publishing career in 1997 and has since either won or been nominated for 20 international literary awards, including winner of the Australian 2008 Romantic Book of the Year Award and the 2009 American Library Association RUSA Reading List Award (for fantasy).

One of Kim’s favourite words amongst the 2,000,000 is ‘lightless’.

“Being a creative writer, I’m always looking for synonyms for ‘dark’," she said.

Her novels have been published in Australia, the United States, the UK, France, Russia, Greece, Italy and Germany, with forthcoming editions in Hungary, Latvia, and Poland.

“Creative writing is in my DNA. It’s not a choice I made. I wrote my first book at 5."

Dr Wilkins says the creative process for writing a book is a constant cycle of writing, and conceptualising the story and editing.

"Creative writing – is writing with an extra element of imagination. Creative writers spend a lot of time with imaginary friends," she said.

“People communicate through imaginative storytelling. It’s a way of showing human ideals and it connects people with ideas.

“All my novels have centred on women facing moral dilemmas that may affect them for the rest of their lives."

Dr Wilkins is also embarking on two new novels in her Kimberley Freeman series, a collection of novellas titled: The Year of Ancient Ghosts and another fantasy novel.

Media: Kim Wilkins, 07 3365 2589 or k.wilkins@uq.edu.au