First Day of School

As I sipped my coffee this morning, browsing through Facebook at all the back-to-school pictures, I recalled that feeling of mixed anticipation and trepidation. How I yearned to impress new friends, but in reality ended up embarrassing myself in such a manner that I am still teased today. (Exhibit A: The time I burned my a** by sitting on a curling iron.)

Ahem, I digress …

First Day of SchoolI realized I share something with those wide-eyed children wearing backpacks filled with No. 2 pencils.

Yesterday, my friends, I went back to school by starting a brand new novel. New in the sense that this is completely independent of the Phoenix trilogy. Brand new cast of characters in a brand new setting with brand new conflict.

And I’m facing every bit of fear and excitement that I’m sure several scholars felt: will they like me? Will they be nice to me? Which one is going to give me a wedgie?

So far, I’ve met my protagonist and, of course, I really like her. She’s smart, brave, a bit myopic, but also someone who cares and nurtures those she loves (putting her dog in a bicycle helmet for protection, for example, and yes, he let her). And, I’ve had my other main character chatter to me all day today … we’re going to have to talk about leaving momma alone while she’s at work, but I think it’s just because he’s eager to tell me his story.

It’s still early to tell you much else about the story. I’m somewhat superstitious like that. Until I’m sure this story won’t break up with me after making out under the bleachers, I’m going to keep quiet for a little bit longer.

I’ve got my No. 2 pencil ready though, and I’m excited about the promise of what a new school year novel may bring me. Writers (and readers), what do you most look forward to with a new novel?

Happy First Day of School!



About Kimberly Packard

Kimberly Packard is an award-winning author of women’s fiction. She began visiting her spot on the shelves at libraries and bookstores at a young age, gazing between the Os and the Qs. Kimberly received a degree in journalism from the University of North Texas, and has worked in public relations and communications for nearly 20 years. When she isn’t writing, she can be found rollerblading, doing a poor imitation of yoga or curled up with a book. She resides in North Texas with her husband Colby, Oliver the cat and a 75-pound lap dog named Charlie. Her debut novel, Phoenix, was awarded as Best General Fiction of 2013 by the Texas Association of Authors.
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