Meet Kim Love Stump
Kim Love Stump has loved to read and write ever since she can remember. While fiction is her first writing love, she has written everything from equity recommendations for a bank trust department to Bible studies. She’s also a frequent writer of memoir. Whether a snippet of real life or an intricate fantasyland, Kim loves world building through words. The real-life world she has built in Charlotte, North Carolina, she happily shares with her husband of thirty plus years.
Her debut novel, A Clearing in the Forest ~ Journeys from Ayrden, begins as Princess Adriana leaves her beloved Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year. Adriana will risk her life and her heart on this journey that neither she, nor any reader, will ever forget! Kim’s essay, Sounds of Love and Life, will be published later this fall in the anthology Here in the Middle. She is currently working on her second book in the Journeys from Ayrden series and on a shorter, contemporary novel for younger readers.
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A Sample of Kim’s Writing
an excerpt from
A Clearing in the Forest:
Journeys from Ayrden
Kim Love Stump
Not at all sure how the path was supposed to open before her, Adriana cantered Sultan across the vast expanse of lawn. She scanned the woods for any entrance the entire time she rode towards them, but saw nothing. When she finally arrived at their edge, the castle was far in the distance behind her.
She turned Sultan parallel to the forest’s edge and rode alongside it for several minutes, wondering what to do. There was no one to ask now, and over and over she’d merely been assured that the way would open before her.
But there was no path. Her eyes swept the towering trees and the dense underbrush at the edge of what seemed an impenetrable forest and she rode. On and on she rode.
Finally she stopped and rode a distance away from the forest before turning Sultan to directly face it. She sat comfortably, but looked with confusion at her first apparent task of the Journey.
How was she to get the path to open before her? What had she been taught? What lessons had she learned that might apply to this situation? She bit her lip nervously and once again surveyed the line of the forest where it met the cleanly groomed grass of the castle lawn.
“Father said I’ll not make my best decisions if I’m worried,” she muttered under her breath. “Well, I am worried. What if my Journey never begins?” She blew her breath out through pursed lips.
“Today’s outcome need not be the same as the days’ that have gone before,” Emaht had said. Surely she wasn’t to do this day after day, she thought with frustration.
And at just that moment a fragment of her mother’s teaching came to her.
Your belief makes a way.
That might apply. But I did believe it would be here waiting for me, she thought, and there is no path. However, she realized, that wasn’t precisely what she’d been told. The oft-repeated phrase was actually, “The way will open before you.” If I believed that, what would I do? Adriana asked herself.
The answer was suddenly obvious to her and, summoning all the courage she possessed, she urged Sultan to a full gallop straight towards the thick forest. They drew closer and closer and still there was no opening, yet she kept riding. Wasn’t that the point? My belief will make a way, my belief will make a way, she chanted to herself in time to Sultan’s hooves. And just before she absolutely had to make a decision to stop or turn, the way opened.
They were in! Sultan’s stride lengthened and, like a boat plowing through the water, the woods simply gave way and parted in front of them. Adriana rode like this for some distance before glancing over her shoulder to see that just behind them the woods returned to their place, erasing the path on which they were riding.
Could she turn back, even if she wanted to? Fear rose in her throat. How long could they go on like this? Was this what the Journey was supposed to be like?
A Clearing in the Forest is available on Amazon, here.
What Kim says about WordPlay
“As far back in my childhood as I can remember I wanted to own a horse and I wanted to be an author. A wonderful horse trainer named Claude Shiflet helped make the first of those wishes come true in 1972. It was like magic. One moment all I had were wishes and a four leaf clover for luck, then came Squire and Truly and Matt and Bandit among others.
In much the same way—but many years later—my dream of being an author came into full-fledged reality because of the wonderful Maureen Ryan Griffin. For a long time, all I had was an idea, then it became written snippets of a story, then finally, over many months, an actual manuscript. But even at that point my dream to be a published author might have died, if it weren’t for the incredibly encouraging environment that Maureen creates week after week in her Under Construction class. Each class taught me something that I was able to weave into the story to make it better and stronger. Every critique group brought something—better dialogue, more description, or simply the pleas of wanting more of the story. And while a year ago today that manuscript still languished in my computer, today it sits on bookstore shelves, adorns readers’ bedside tables, and is “available for purchase wherever books are sold” as they say. Truly it’s like magic. I’m not sure if Maureen is the magician or the magician’s assistant—but I do know this. It wouldn’t have happened without her!”