THE BIG INCH
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Date of Publication: January 19, 2017
Number of Pages: 344
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Kimberly Fish’s debut novel, The Big Inch, was released in February, 2017 and it reveals the lengths to which Texas oilmen, state, and federal governments would go to get Texas crude oil to the troops fighting their first mechanized war. With Nazi threats (and a steady stream of oil tankers sunk by German submarines) speed was necessary, as was OSS intelligence. The Office of Strategic Services was often staffed with female spies and Longview’s World War II efforts were critical for success.
Lane Mercer, sent to Longview, Texas in July 1942, is part of a select group of women working undercover for the fledgling federal agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Assigned to protect the man carrying out President Roosevelt’s initiative to build the nation’s first overland pipeline to hurry East Texas crude to the troops, she discovers there’s more to Longview than the dossiers implied. There’s intrigue, mayhem, and danger. Shamed from a botched OSS mission in France, Lane struggles to fulfill her mission and keep from drowning in guilt. Getting involved in local life is out of the question. Between family, do-gooders, and Nazi threats, she’s knitted into a series of events that unravel all of her carefully constructed, plans, realizing that sometimes the life one has to save, is one’s own.
PRAISE FOR THE BIG INCH:
“With an eye for detail, Kimberly Fish weaves a compelling story of a war widow who finds herself in Longview, Texas in 1942. Reading Kimberly’s novel was a bit like going back to a cloak and dagger time, and I enjoyed the local references. Longview was an amazing place to be during WWII.” — Van Craddock, Longview News Journal, Columnist
“Kimberly Fish’s unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character’s life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can’t wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish.” — Vickie Phelps Author of Moved, Left No Address
Author Interview 2 – Kimberly Fish
What do you think most characterizes your writing? Color, texture, and sound. I hope people think the chapters play like a film.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book? Interviewing people who knew of Longview’s old stories, and hearing them told without the filter of political correctness.
Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured if your book? As in many places in the south (and East Texas has a lot of Southern culture,) the issues of black and white residents in the 1940s was quite disparate. I shed light on some of that, and a way through that some might have taken.
Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work? I read many authors who wrote about this area, about the oilmen who defined a new era in East Texas, and those who wrote memoirs of their life in Texas. Don Carleton’s biography of J.R. Parten, A Breed So Rare, was invaluable, as was James Clark’s and Michel Halbouty’s book, The Last Boom.
What literary character is most like you? The Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig. I’d LOVE to waltz into any one of her novels.
What did you find most useful in learning to write for publication? Rejection is a powerful learning tool. It grew grit.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing? I’m a full-time novelist when I don’t have freelance writing jobs on my desk. I’m working to limit volunteer obligations that interfere with my writing time. I can’t say I’ve mastered that yet.
What are some day jobs that you have held? Have any of them impacted your writing? In high school, I worked in a bookstore. Shocking, I know. Since I graduated college, writing and turning ideas into products has been a part of every job I’ve had—even when I was in apartment management, I started creating marketing materials to improve outcomes. Because we lived overseas the first few years of our marriage, and then I stayed home with our children, the bulk of my professional work has been as a freelance writer.
How has your formal education influenced or impacted your writing? Going away to college was essential to helping me understand that I was not the center of my universe. I fell in love with the big, wide world that was out there, and the crazy, beautiful people who came from paths totally different from my own.
What do your plans for future projects include? I intend to release the contemporary novels I wrote that are set in one of my favorite Hill Country nooks, Comfort, Texas.
What is something you want to accomplish before you die? Ride in a hot air balloon.
What question do you wish someone would ask about your book, but nobody yet has? What would the government have done had the pipeline not worked out?
If you had a superpower, what would it be? I’d really like to heal sick people.
What’s your funniest flaw? Well, I over-think things ALL THE TIME. Is that funny?
Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won a Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats, She lives with her family in East Texas.
Amazon Author Page
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One Winner wins a signed copy of The Big Inch
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March 8 – 22, 2017
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