Interview With 2019 Debut Kimberly Gabriel!

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!
Last year, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Kimberly Gabriel and her novel EVERY STOLEN BREATH, and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Kimberly on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Kimberly! 
Kimberly Gabriel
Kimberly Gabriel is an English teacher who writes every chance she gets and struggles with laundry avoidance issues. When she’s not teaching or writing, she’s enjoying life with her husband, her three beautiful children, and a seriously beautiful boxer in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
Keep up with Kimberly: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Instagram / Facebook


The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Kimberly: Thank you so much! This year has held moments of pure elation and celebration, especially when I think of my 10 year-old self declaring that one day I wanted to be an author and publish a book with HarperCollins. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there’s been plenty of moments of stress, anxiety, self-doubt, and worry wondering if I’m doing enough or doing it right. But at the end of the day, I’m so grateful for the journey and the opportunity.
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what is the best part of the writing process? What is the hardest?
Kimberly: The hardest part for me is drafting. While I enjoy creating and I get really excited about sketching out my ideas, I don’t have any patience writing drafting them. It’s also really difficult for me to move forward without going back to fix and restructure everything until it’s perfect (or even passable). My favorite part of the process is revising. I have all the patience in the world for revising, tweaking, and polishing over and over again as many times as it takes to get it right. The more my writing fees like a book, the more time I’m willing to pour into it.

The Book Bratz: What gave you the idea for EVERY STOLEN BREATH?
Kimberly: In 2011, I was pregnant with my second child when a string of “flash mob attacks” broke out in Chicago. These planned and coordinated attacks would occur anytime and anywhere—often in busy areas during the day. Once the target was chosen, teens would emerge from the crowd and descend on a single victim to beat and mug. Then they’d be gone before authorities could intervene. My family and I lived in Chicago at the time, and I remember being very worried about my husband whenever he was walking in the city by himself. The concept of those attacks terrified me and eventually became the unpredictable and constant threat in my plot.

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest?
Kimberly: My favorite character is Adam, hands down. He’s a gay teen-hacker who’s exceptionally bright and a little arrogant with a sarcastic voice. I love writing witty dialogue, and Adam has some of my favorite one-liners in the book. On the flip side, the hardest character to write initially was Lia, my MC. Her voice and her character kept evolving in my early drafts until she really crystalized later in the process. Her perspective and background kept shifting until it clicked, and I knew exactly who she was.

The Book Bratz: In EVERY STOLEN BREATH, social media -- and a mob, swarm-like mentality -- plays a crucial role in the violence and damage of the victims. Was there a significance in you choosing to make this decision?
Kimberly: My decision to use social media was based largely on the real-life flash-mob disturbances that hit Chicago. For many of them, large groups of teens used Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets to organize themselves and orchestrate these attacks. Because of it, I examine different perspectives on social media in my story. There are characters who are drawn to the media spotlight and social media; some are even border-line obsessed with it. Lia, my MC, on the other hand initially despises all forms of social media, but without giving too much away, she’s eventually able to see the positives and benefits of social media.

The Book Bratz: What do you hope readers will take away from EVERY STOLEN BREATH?
Kimberly:Strength is one of my themes in EVERY STOLEN BREATH. I suppose I’d love for readers to see that mental strength is often more powerful than physical strength, and that even people who are perceived as weak can be incredibly strong when they need to be. That said, I really wrote this book to simply entertain. Reading for me is an escape. More important to me than taking something away from my book, I hope readers are able to escape in a story they enjoy.

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of EVERY STOLEN BREATH in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?
Kimberly: I’m going to miss the characters of ESB, but right now I'm working on a new thriller that begins with a dead girl, a gamer, and a bus stop bench. And from there it spirals out of control with secrets, revenge, social media, regret, denial, and, of course, murder. Set in Chicago, this one has a slight paranormal twist to it, which I'm excited about. 


Title: Every Stolen Breath
Author: Kimberly Gabriel
Publisher: Blink
Publication Date: November 5th, 2019

Summary: Two years after her father’s murder, Lia Finch is the only one left still pursuing his killers. In downtown Chicago, teenagers have been attacking their victims in packs. Sharing the coordinates of their targets through social media, the Swarm emerges from the crowd and descends on a single person, with each member landing a blow until the victim is dead. Local authorities dismiss it as gang violence they can’t control. But Lia is convinced these attacks are politically motivated and controlled by a syndicate of organized crime that thrives on power and intimidation. Desperate to prevent another death, Lia teams up with a teen hacker, a fame-hungry reporter, and the mysterious boy who might have been the cause of her father’s murder. But by the time Lia realizes the deadly consequences behind her obsession, she’s already become the swarm’s next target. Inspired by the real-life “flash mob” violence that hit Chicago in 2011, EVERY STOLEN BREATH is a fast-paced, immersive thriller, which looks at just how hard one girl will fight back against the crowd knowing any breath might be her last.

Thank you so much to Kimberly for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about EVERY STOLEN BREATH and can't wait for it to be out in the world on November 5th! 

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