I remember being on a camping trip when we were young, in a rented RV. I can’t recall a time that a trip with a rented RV went smoothly; meaning, I can’t recall a time that the RV didn’t break down.
It’s funny how you recall small moments from childhood, never big excursions or monumental events in their entirety but instead short little bursts. Glimpses, if you will. Like recalling the first house you lived in when you were arguably not even old enough to remember but somehow you have this hauntingly clear recollection from within its walls, almost more of a feeling than an actual memory.
That’s the first memory I have of my sister writing; we were on one of our summer trips, in one of those rented RVs, and I can remember flipping through her novels which – at that time – were nothing more than pieces of white paper stapled together down the center to give it a binding-like appearance. Because she was older, I idolized everything she did. And yet, I remember flipping through those early books and thinking it wasn’t even worth trying to compete; it was something so innate within her that I knew I never stood a chance. I was competitive on many fronts, always eager to fill the shoes only a big sister can, but writing and making books? I never touched that.
The books only got longer and more sophisticated. Writing, for her, was an evolutionary process. There were essays and short stories and novels; novels my parents would read – a pile of computer paper stacked on their nightstands that, to me, looked like it would take a lifetime to read. Maybe two. I oftentimes felt distant from her as I sat in my room and picked the nail polish off my toe nails in an effort to procrastinate writing a 5 page paper for school on a book I only read the Cliff Notes version of.
I remember one year for Christmas when other kids were asking for a new pair of Sketchers and she was asking for a fire proof safe to keep her work in.
Then came the rejections. Oh the rejections. I remember her telling me once that there was a writer that used to save the rejection letters and glue them to his wall as wallpaper; alluding to the fact that there were so many that an entire room or more would be covered. Over the years, I witnessed just how difficult it was to get published. That despite how much there is out there published independently and how much there is out there in form of blogs or websites that are also self-published, that seeking to strike a deal with an actual publisher boarders on being downright masochistic.
And after years of what I’ve decided to refer to as self-torture, it’s happened. My sister is having a book published. Let me rephrase that, her book has been published and can be found, today – at this very moment – at the neighborhood Barnes & Noble.
I always knew there would be relief and pride coming from her when this day came, but I never imagined sharing in the relief and pride to the degree that I am.
I have a copy of the book, the “Advance Uncorrected Proof” version and as I flipped each page, “Kim Hooper” lining the top of the left page and “People Who Knew Me” lining the top of the right, a flood of pride washed over me. Two hundred and ninety four pages later and those words, “Kim Hooper” and “People Who Knew Me”, and the pride associated with such, never wore off.
It’s with great pride and love that I introduce you to my sister’s first novel, “People Who Knew Me“. A synopsis:
Everything was fine fourteen years after she left New York.
Until suddenly, one day, it wasn’t.
Emily Morris got her happily-ever-after earlier than most. Married at a young age to a man she loved passionately, she was building the life she always wanted. But when enormous stress threatened her marriage, Emily made some rash decisions. That’s when she fell in love with someone else. That’s when she got pregnant.
Resolved to tell her husband of the affair and to leave him for the father of her child, Emily’s plans are thwarted when the world is suddenly split open on 9/11. It’s amid terrible tragedy that she finds her freedom, as she leaves New York City to start a new life. It’s not easy, but Emily—now Connie Prynne―forges a new happily-ever-after in California. But when a life-threatening diagnosis upends her life, she is forced to rethink her life for the good of her thirteen-year-old daughter.
A riveting debut in which a woman must confront her own past in order to secure the future of her daughter, Kim Hooper’s People Who Knew Me asks: “What would you do?”
You can find her book on Amazon (here) and read her blog (here).
Love you, Kim. So proud.