The Power of Connection, part 14

This month’s spotlight is on Kimberly Kessler. Her name may sound familiar as her book, According to Plan: A Novel, is my favorite so far from the The Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2020 Reading Challenge. In addition to reading her book, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her at a Story Grid conference and working with her on developmental editing for My Best Mistake.

When Kim was growing up, her answer to the proverbial “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question was an author. She took an indirect route to writing and ended up in banking for a few years. Then one day, a friend showed up at a meeting with a giant three-ring binder. Kim was hooked when she found out the binder held her friend’s novel.

“I had never met anyone who had written a novel so I was instantly energized and begged her to let me read it.”

With the encouragement of her friend, Kim started writing.

“On my journey to write my own novel, I got stuck – a lot.”

She turned to books like James Scott Bell’s Write Your Novel from the Middle, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat and Lara Willard’s 8C’s of Plotting. But when she found The Story Grid Podcast, it changed her life.

“I jumped in face-first and now work full time as a Story Grid Certified Editor, helping writers craft meaningful stories that deeply connect readers.”

Kim specializes in building authentic character arcs and using humor to cope with tragedy, both of which make her novel a joy to read!

Her favorite thing about stories is the power they have. By reading books and then writing her own, she’s not only been challenged, but she has grown as a person. The insights she gathers from writing have come in handy and have helped her in some interesting ways.

“The more we understand about it (story), the more we can leverage it.”

Fun fact: Kim gave a TEDx talk in 2016 entitled I’m a Villain in Disguise, which is worth a watch, if I do say so myself!

There are some downsides to writing, though.

“I’m no good on my own.” Kim thrives on collaboration and idea-exchange. Working in isolation zaps her energy and enthusiasm so she prefers to work with others as early in the creative process as possible.

One way to avoid isolation is to work with like minded people in a community. Kim recommends the Story Grid Guild as a place for writers who’re looking to get the word out about their books.

To find out more about Kim, her book or her editing services, check her out

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this author Spotlight. You can reach me at

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Author photo provided by Kim Kessler