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Joanne Kimes is the author of the “Sucks” book series whose titles include Pregnancy Sucks, Dating Sucks, Dieting Sucks, Grammar Sucks, Potty Training Sucks, Breastfeeding Sucks, Menopause Sucks, Bedtime Sucks and Christmas Sucks.

Joanne Kimes makes me laugh out loud. She’s my neighbor and over the years we have walked together and zumba-ed together and in this age of social distancing sat on her front lawn and caught up together.

When I realized that she was the writer of Pregnancy Sucks (and the whole line of “Sucks” books) it made total sense to me. Her smart, sharp, witty sensibilities keep me laughing after I had my kids. Now, she has written a new novel, Finding Paris, about a new female friendship and the stresses and adventure of the two friends when they travel to France.

Her career has been so varied, it’s been great learning about Joanne Kimes’ books and inspirations.

Here’s Joanne :

Joanne Kimes

Writing What You Know

What started you on the path of writing books?

When I was pregnant, I was miserable and couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a book out there that delved into the perils of procreation. So I read a book about how to get published, wrote a proposal called “Pregnancy Sucks” and sent it out to a handful of publishing houses.

Then, at the lowest point in any woman’s year, when trying on bathing suits at the mall, I got a call from an editor saying they wanted to publish it! That book became a best-seller and led to a dozen titles in my “Sucks” book series. They’re kind of the like the “Dummies” series, but with humor.

Who gave you support early on?

When I was about 25, I went to the taping of, “Family Ties” and the audience warm up guy was actually the show producer, Michael J. Weithorn. I went up to him afterwards and said how much I’d like to write for TV and he told me to write a script and he’d be happy to read it. So I did, and while he didn’t buy that awkward first attempt, he did tell me I had talent which gave me the confidence to continue.

Joanne Kimes: artist of the month

Joanne Kimes is the author of the “Sucks” book series whose titles include Pregnancy Sucks, Dating Sucks, Dieting Sucks, Grammar Sucks, Potty Training Sucks, Breastfeeding Sucks, Menopause Sucks, Bedtime Sucks and Christmas Sucks.

You’ve switched from writing a TV series, to writing a series of books to writing a novel. Could you talk about that a bit and tell us what type of books are you interested in writing now, and why?

I loved writing for TV but I wanted to take a year off when I had my daughter. Then came the book series which kept me at my computer for about a dozen years, and, when it ended, life got busy so took a break from writing altogether. But last year, I had an idea for a novel and thought I’d strap on my writing boots once again and give it a shot.

Fiction is a whole different beast but I loved it! I could create anything I wanted instead of recounting something that happened. It was like a blank piece of paper instead of a paint by numbers set. I found it both incredibly challenging and rewarding and think I’ll stick with writing fiction for now.

How has the writing industry changed over the time you’ve been involved?

It’s night and day actually. Even my first editor, the one that found my first submission in her slush pile, said she’d never be able to offer me a book deal today. Now, if you don’t have a popular blog or a large social media presence, your chances of getting a publishing deal are much more slim. But on the other hand, there wasn’t the option to self-publish back then so now anyone can put out a book.

Author Joanne Kimes newest novel, Finding Paris

“Going to Paris had always been a dream for Julia and Kathy, two women who meet at a beginning French class and become fast friends….Paris teaches both women lessons they desperately needed to learn while having an adventure of a lifetime!”

Learn more about Joanne Kimes newest novel, Finding Paris, here.

Where do you get your ideas?

For “Finding Paris: The Novel” the idea came to me while I was sitting in the library with my weekly French group. There are about a dozen of us who do our best not to butcher the language while a teacher tries hard not to laugh at us (we don’t do a very good job). I thought a French class seemed like an interesting way for the two characters to meet, and Paris is always a good idea as far as I’m concerned.

As for the details of the conflicts they’d have, the romances and adventures they’d encounter, and the lessons they’d learn, those idea seemed to come to me when I was either walking or driving. I’d never sit at my desk until those problems were worked out and I knew what I’d be writing that day. This is why, in all the years I’ve been an author, I’ve never had writer’s block.

Who or what inspires you now a days?

I’m inspired by anyone that takes a big chance in life, maybe go after a new career or move to an exciting city. I’ve never been that brave. I’ve always talked about moving abroad for a year, but here I am, just a few miles from my elementary school.

What do you consider success?

The biggest success I can possibly have is when someone tells me they like my book. If I get a call from a friend who read it, or better yet, a positive review from a stranger on amazon or goodreads, it makes me so happy! No royalty check could ever come close to that feeling of accomplishment.

What’s been a real high-point in your career and or life?

That’s easy. Being on the Today show! It was for my book, “Christmas Sucks” and they invited me to do a segment about the stress of the holidays. I had a limo pick me up, a driver meet me at the airport holding a sign with MY name on it and I even got my hair and make up done. I felt like a Kardashian!

What’s been the best piece of advice given to you?

My eleventh grade english teacher told us, “Write what you know.” I have a dozen books in my “Sucks” book series, and if I didn’t experience the topic first-hand, I’d use a co-author. For me, a good book is all in the details, and I couldn’t imagine writing about an experience I didn’t have. For “Finding Paris”, I visited all the locations the characters went to so I knew how hollow their voice would sound in a stone cave or how their side would cramp up if they’d walked up the Eiffel Tower. You can’t get that stuff from a google search.

What’s next for you?

I was thinking “Finding Paris” could turn into a fabulous series. How does, “Finding Provence” sound? Actually, who cares? I know I’d have a great time doing the research!

What makes you laugh?

Okay…this is going to sound horrible, but I think it’s hysterical when old people fall. Not in real life…that’s horrible…but in movies or TV, it never fails to make me giggle. I know. I’m sick.

Pie, Cake or Ice Cream?

All three, please. I’ll turn them into some tur-duck-en kind of thing.

Interested in learning more about Joanne Kimes and her books?

Visit Joanne Kimes website Here and check out her new novel, Finding Paris, Here

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