Currently live where? Phoenix, AZ
Anything else, like website/blog/Twitter you are ok sharing?
Twitter = https://twitter.com/bkshelfdetectiv
Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/kim.tomsic
Instagram = https://www.instagram.com/kimtomsic/
What do you do when you’re not working on packets? Hike! Yoga! Spoil my dog, Sushi! Watch Project Runway and Survivor and then claim it’s for character study.
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program? SCBWI + Elana K. Arnold
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program? Published
What do you especially remember about your first residency? Mirror of Korea bibimbop bowls with Ari, Elana, and Caitlin! Kelly Barnhill & Claire Rudolph Murphy’s animated workshop and the regular mention of the Turkey City Lexicon! Exhaustion. Running into Laura Ruby in the bathroom and thinking—oh my gosh, THERE’S Laura Ruby! Making picture book dummies in the hotel lobby with Lisa Jahn Clough. The “literal” support I received from everyone in my cohort—I didn’t pack snow boots, so they had to hold me up when I walked across icy/snowy paths .
Have you focused on any one form (PB, novel, nonfiction, graphic novel) or age group in your writing? Tried a form you never thought you’d try? Yes! Thanks to Meg Medina’s encouragement to stretch and be playful, I tried a new form that I thought I’d never try—verse! The next semester, I was blessed by the sorting fairies and had the fortune to work with poet Laurel Snyder who gently held my hand on this journey.
Tell us about your Creative Thesis. It’s February 1861, and eight-year-old Tad Lincoln is up to his elbows in pranks and hijinks. He has a cleft lip and talks with a lisp, so neighborhood boys make fun of him, and superstitious adults avoid him. But Tad’s pa has just been elected president of the United States, so good riddance Springfield. Before he departs for D.C., the town’s witch yanks Tad aside and tells him that he is the chosen one and has important work ahead. She portends a ghost at the White House that Tad must help. Tad thinks she’s made a mistake—it’s his 10-year-old brother Willie who’s the good one. Willie is smart, and kind, and everyone’s favorite. But the witch insists that the spirits trust Tad, and the difficult journey ahead will be his to navigate. Tad has never been the chosen one, and this just might be his big chance to make his parents proud.
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
I think A LOT A LOT more actively about the interstitials and also connecting the “because of this then that” pieces early in a draft, rather than saving that work for the revision phase like I had in the past. This has helped me write smarter, more efficient drafts. I think more about the five senses. I think more about clever ways to reveal information to the reader and about the beauty of spending time on word choice. I think about balancing various craft elements and paying attention to patterns. And I think about poetry in a way that I’ve never explored in the past.
Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program? Do it! You deserve to treat yourself and your craft like a professional.