Kim Richardson is the award-winning author of the bestselling SOUL GUARDIANS series. She lives in the eastern part of Canada with her husband, two dogs and a very old cat.
She is the author of the SOUL GUARDIANS series, the MYSTICS series, and the DIVIDED REALMS series. Kim’s books are available in print editions, and translations are available in over 7 languages.
TDBW: When did you start writing?
Kim: I started writing seriously in 2010. It took about a year to complete my first book, Marked.
TDBW: What was the first story you remember writing?
Kim: I wrote a horror short story back in high school. It was awful.
TDBW: What genre is your most preferred?
Kim: I would have to say YA fantasy, but I love all different genres of fiction.
Soul Guardians Book 1
Sixteen-year-old Kara Nightingale is unpopular, awkward and positively ordinary—that is until one day she is struck by a bus and dies…
Within moments her life changes from ordinary to extraordinary when she wakes up in a mysterious world with a new career
TDBW: What challenges you the most in your writing?
Kim: Finding the time to write. There are so many daily distractions, it’s not always easy to find a quiet spot to work.
TDBW: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Kim: Creating stories.
TDBW: What do you like least about being an author?
Kim: Marketing. As an indie author, you have to be able to market your books. I know the importance of marketing, but I’m just not very good at it.
TDBW: How many books do you currently have available?
Kim: 16 books
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Visit Kim Richardson’s Amazon author page for more exciting books
TDBW: What projects are you currently working on?
Kim: I’m working on The City of Flame and Shadow, book 3 of the Horizon Chronicles. Should be ready this summer.
TDBW: Do you have any books coming out soon?
Kim: The City of Flame and Shadow.
TDBW: Which book, or series, is your favorite?
Kim: The Soul Guardians is my favorite. I wrote the first book after my mother passed away, and it’s just very dear to me.
TDBW: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Kim: Neil Gaiman, J.K Rowling, Rick Riordan, Philip Pullman, Tamora Pierce… just to name a few
TDBW: Which book(s) inspire you the most?
Kim: All books inspire me 😊
TDBW: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?
Kim: Sometimes. If I do, it’s only instrumental. Usually movie scores, like the best of John Williams.
TDBW: Any hobbies?
Kim: Gardening, working outside, taking long walks with my dogs.
TDBW: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:
My website: www.kimrichardsonbooks.com
The Soul Thief
ALEXA KNEW SHE WAS DEAD when she saw the bright light.
It was just like those near-death experiences she’d read about: the tunnel, the white light, the feeling of peace. She felt her physical body detach like the shedding of skin. Floating in total serenity, secure and warm, she soared towards the overwhelming light. She was drawn up into a beam of sunlight like a speck of dust.
The air was cool and thick, humid and salty, like a sea breeze. The pain of the accident had melted away, and the light welcomed her.
Deep down, Alexa knew she should be afraid. She should be terrified. But for the first time in her life she wasn’t afraid.
She saw a pinpoint of dark shadow in the distance. As she drifted towards it, she could see it was the entrance to a tunnel. No. Not a tunnel, but an elevator. Suddenly she was riding in an elevator.
She did not speak to the ape-like creature that operated the elevator. She spread her arms and looked down at her hands. She could see the floor through her hands. She wasn’t solid.
Still, she wasn’t afraid.
The elevator rocked, and the doors slid open. As she stepped out, the creature muttered something that sounded a lot like, Orientation, level one.
She knew that animals couldn’t speak. She wouldn’t be surprised if she were delusional. It would have been totally acceptable under the circumstances. She was dead.
Maybe her brain didn’t function the same way anymore. Maybe nothing did.
The elevator seemed to have disappeared, and Alexa stood in an infinitely long white corridor. She could hear thousands of voices murmuring, and she began to feel anxious.
Alexa had never seen so many people all at once. It looked as if every ethnic group from the human race was milling around busily in a maze of offices and corridors. And for the first time since she’d died, she felt frightened again.
She tried to hide the terror that shook her as she followed the crowds.
Within a few minutes she arrived at an ancient building with a mammoth oak door. A neon sign zapped and crackled above it.
Oracle Division # 998-4589. Orientation.
Orientation. It was the same word she thought she’d heard on the elevator. Perhaps the creature had spoken. Where was she?
Alexa wished she were back in the elevator with the light and that feeling of protective warmth. She had felt safe there. Dread gripped her now.
She braced herself, pulled open the door, and stepped inside.
She stood in a large library-like room with corridors and passageways that led to smaller offices. Books and filing cabinets were stacked precariously all the way to the ceiling. The air was thick with the same salty ocean fragrance she had smelled earlier, and she could hear what sounded like pebbles rolling on a smooth marble floor.
A door touched her behind as it opened, and she froze.
Huge glass spheres with tiny bare-foot old men balancing on top of them like circus acrobats rolled into the library. The tiny men wore silver gowns, and their long white beards flowed behind them as they maneuvered the balls between the piles of books and files. It was the most incredible sight.
She was transfixed.
They were so preoccupied with their work that they didn’t appear to notice her at all. If she wasn’t important to them, she knew wherever she was couldn’t be so bad. It certainly wasn’t as bad as dying.
Alexa could see what appeared to be another smaller office to her right. Cabinets were stacked on top of each other in there as well, and what looked like a five-foot round pool was mounted in the back corner. Another one of those tiny men sat on a large crystal ball behind a semi-circular wooden desk.
“Come in, come in, Alexa Dawson,” he said in a strange, high-pitched voice, a voice that sounded like he had inhaled helium from a balloon.
Alexa tried to ignore the creepy fact that this stranger knew her name. But her apprehension faded as soon as she saw the man’s cheerful face. Still, she approached him carefully, and as she did she noticed a soft, silver light radiating all around him.
Finally, she found her voice. “Is this—” She cleared her throat and felt relieved that her voice sounded the same. It was her voice. “Is this heaven?”
Back in life, she had never given any real thought to heaven, or even the possibility of an afterlife. She had just never imagined she’d be dead at seventeen.
The man’s face lit up, and his blue eyes sparkled. “Horizon has many names. Heaven is one, yes, just like Utopia, or Shangri-La, or Zion. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what name you choose. They all mean the same thing. It’s where everything originated, and the place to which mortals return in the afterlife.”
“The afterlife,” repeated Alexa, testing the words on her mouth. “I’m dead. Truly dead.”
“I knew it, you know, that I was dead. It’s just strange to hear it. To say it out loud.” Alexa reached up and touched her face, her neck, checking to make sure she was there. Her face was just as solid as the rest of her. But there was something missing. And when it came to her, she thought she must have been stupid not to have noticed before.
The rhythmic beating in her chest that had accompanied her throughout her life was silent. She had no heart.
When she looked up, she found the man’s eyes showed his concern for her.
“You’ll be fine,” he said. His gentle tone was strangely comforting. “Mind you, it takes a bit of adjusting in the beginning. But sooner or later, every soul adjusts, and you’ll be as right as rain in no time. I promise you.”
Alexa focused on his smiling face and did her best to keep her fears from showing. She would keep her cool. She would not freak out. Not yet.
The tiny man clapped his hands together. “A mortal death is never the end…just the beginning of something more exciting.” He spoke as if her mortal death was the best news ever, a great revelation.
While Alexa’s anxiety subsided a bit, her curiosity increased. She couldn’t help it. It was her nature to want to know about things, especially when they concerned the great mysteries of life.
“Are you an angel?”
The man chuckled at that. “Yes and no. I’ll keep it simple for you. I’m an oracle. Archangels, guardian angels, oracles, and other ethereal beings dwell here in Horizon. It is home and headquarters for the immortals who govern and protect the mortal world from evil.”
While this revelation should have energized her, Alexa mourned the loss of her mortal life. All the what-ifs and dreams she’d hoped one day to accomplish had been for nothing. She could see that the oracle sensed her discomfort.
“Tell me, Alexa,” he asked her gently, “what’s the last thing you remember?”
Images flashed in her mind’s eye. “I was at school,” replied Alexa. Her mind began to clear, and images began moving and coming together of their own volition, forming solid, real memories. “I remember falling. That’s right. I remember now. I was carrying my laptop with a stack of books and must have missed a step… I fell down the stairs, and I heard something snap. Then nothing. And then I woke up here.”
The fall had killed her. She’d died at school during lunch. It had been the worst possible time because everyone would have been out of class. Her entire high school would have witnessed her death.
She felt a rush of humiliation pass through her. It was a cold, prickly sensation. What must she have looked like! …on the floor, with the entire school looking at her dead body, her neck bent at an unnatural angle. She was horrified.
But her embarrassment was nothing compared to the sadness she now felt.
Her best friend Emma Middletown had moved away last summer, and she had made no other friends. No one would remember her. No one cared that she was dead. Not her deadbeat father, who liked his new family better. Nor her mother, who would probably have been too drunk to notice she was missing.
The fact of the matter was, not a single soul would miss her…
“It’ll be all right, Alicia,” said the oracle. His high-pitched voice was reassuring, and his whole face beamed.
Alexa opened her mouth to correct his mistake about her name but then thought better of it. She had the unnerving feeling that somehow the oracle had read her mind.
The oracle leaned forward on his desk. “Every single thing that happened in your life was to prepare you for what’s to come. Remember that.” He raised his hands. “For this.”
Alexa shrugged. “But I’m only seventeen. It’s not like I’ve had lots of life experiences. Apart from having had a textbook case of a dysfunctional family, which I have loads of experience with, by the way, and which would have made me an excellent guidance counselor, I haven’t achieved anything. I’m not even out of my teens, and sometimes I secretly wish I were twelve again. I can’t even cook an omelet without burning the eggs.” She paused when she realized that she was prattling on. “Prepare me for what exactly?”
The oracle’s brilliant teeth shone like stars when he smiled. “Because today, young lady, you’ll begin your training as a guardian angel.”