Literarily Speaking Presents This is Your Life with Kim Antieau

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This is Your Life! is Literarily Speaking’s newest feature. Here we spotlight different authors to find out who they really are. Where were they born? What’s their family life like? What did they play with as a child? All these things mold them into the talented authors they are today. Today’s guest is Kim Antieau, author of the mainstream action adventure novel, Her Frozen Wild . Enjoy!

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Thank you so much for this interview, Kim.  Can we begin by telling us a little bit about where you were born?

I was born in Bossier City, Louisiana. My parents were from Michigan, but my dad was in the Air Force and he was stationed there. I don’t remember anything about it. He was stationed in Texas next, I believe. Eventually we went back to Michigan, and that’s where I grew up.

Did you have sisters and brothers?

I have four sisters. Three are younger and one is older.

What was your life like growing up?

I had a fairly idyllic childhood. I grew up in Michigan, out in the country down the road from my grandparents’ farm. I spent a lot of time out of doors. I was a wild child. I loved animals, I loved trees, I loved running around outside all day. My mother became ill when I was young, and a couple of years later my grandfather committed suicide. Those events put a pall over my younger years, but I always had books, my animals, and my stories. I started writing stories when I was very young.

Who was your first crush?

I don’t remember! I wasn’t very fond of boys for a long time. I much preferred spending time with my girlfriends. But then in junior high I did get a crush on a boy. I had long hair then. I remember thinking he’d probably like me better if I cut my hair because I’d be more modern, more grown-up. I got my hair cut and cried for days! I wasn’t much interested in that boy after that. I think I learned from that not to try to change myself to please anyone else.

What TV shows did you watch as a child?

I loved Lost in Space. Later, I liked Dark Shadows. When I was a teen, I loved soap operas, especially One Life to Live and All My Children. I liked anything that was a little strange, so I loved Twilight Zone and One Step Beyond.

What was your favorite thing to do as a child?  Favorite games? Favorite toys?

I loved being outside. I played in the woods a lot. I rode my bike. I rode my pony. I loved climbing trees. I just loved running around outside. I loved playing baseball and badminton. As far as toys go, I wasn’t a very girlie girl. I liked trucks and trains for toys. My parents got me a printing press, and I loved that. I did have one doll I actually enjoyed. She was called Charmin’ Chatty, I think. She had glasses, and she had records that you put in her side to get her to talk. She was considered smart, and I liked that.

Where did you and your family go on vacations?

We usually went up north in Michigan to get away from the heat. Once we went to Niagara Falls. My parents had five daughters, and that’s a lot of family, so we didn’t go a lot of places together.

How did you celebrate your birthdays as a child?

Usually we’d celebrate it on the weekends with a cake and a present. I remember one birthday my parents spent it just with me. I don’t know if I was having trouble then, or if they were just trying to spend some quality time with each child. They took me out to eat at a German restaurant in Ann Arbor, which was about a twenty minute drive from our house. Either before or after they took me to the movie, Sword in the Stone. I had such a great time.

Growing up, were you more of a leader or a follower?

I can’t remember ever being a follower. I was always a leader.

Were there any signs you would be a writer one day?

I made stories from pictures I drew before I could write. Then I began writing stories almost as soon as I could write.

Do you remember your first date?

No, I don’t!

What did you do after you left high school?

I spent the summer backpacking across Europe. Then I came home and started college, quit college a few days later, ran away from home, and then started working the midnight shift at a restaurant. A few months later, I went home again and started college.

Did you have any mentors while growing up?

Not that I can remember. My mother and father were always very encouraging. My mother told me to always write in ink because pencil faded and ink lasted and one day people would want to read what I wrote. As a kid, that really impressed me!

Looking back, what is your fondest memory?

I have many fond memories. Skating on the flood frozen marsh when I was a kid. Being in the woods, sitting on the soft moss, listening to the birds and watching the ants crawl around. Years later, meeting my husband (to-be) at a writing workshop. Walking on the beach for hours when we lived on the coast, plotting novels.

If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

The things I would change are things I have no control over, so it wouldn’t do any good to try to change them.

How is your life different now than in the past?

I started out living a fairly conventional ordinary middle class life. When I graduated from high school, I was dating my high school sweetheart. We had talked about getting married. Then I went backpacking through Europe with a friend. When I came home, I was supposed to start college. I went for a few days and I quit. Soon after that, I ran away from home—if one can run away from home when one is 18 years old. I was homeless for a while. What this meant is I slept on couches at various houses and trailers for a while. I broke up with my high school boyfriend. A few months later, I started college again. This time I stayed, and I got an apartment near the school. By this time, I knew I wanted a different kind of life. I didn’t want to stay in my small town and become someone’s wife and have that be my life. At the end of my college years, I went to a six week writing workshop where I met Mario Milosevic. We fell in love and decided to be writers together. And that’s what we did. It has not always been easy, but we’ve lived the life we wanted to live.

Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us, Kim. Would you like to leave us with some final words?

I was just reminded of one of my favorite quotes. It’s from Muriel Rukeyser. I’ll end with that. She said, “The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.

Learn more about Kim and her writing at www.kimantieau.com.

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