We lord ourselves and we find ourselves, and then we know whom we are. Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm was born to Dr. Robert Wayne Klemm and Casandra Lee McKenzie in 1970 on a United States Air Force Base in Arizona that no longer exists. Much of her childhood was spent moving around the United States of America. Her cultural identity was formed from a mixture of Mid-Western and Southern USA values. She has lived in Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Alabama, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Her childhood family included two brothers, born two years and seven years younger with birthplaces in Michigan and Texas respectively. Family continuity in living mobility as a child created a voracious reader in Kimberly until she reached the age of fifteen.
In the fifth grade, public school teachers put together opportunities for Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm to begin exploring the endeavors of a writer. One of her first short stories at that age was read over the school intercom at break time. In junior high school. Kimberly continued to focus on writing in English classes and won a DAR essay contest for the region. High school opened up opportunities to explore various aspects of career oriented writing and Kimberly joined the high school newspaper, the Creative Writing club, and participated in Speech Team competitions for Original Oratory among other categories. One of her high school short stories “Perfection Demands Perfection” won a state award.
At the age of seventeen, Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm graduated from Morris Community High School in Morris, Illinois six months early and worked at several part time jobs before attending college at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. She returned to Morris for her formal graduation to walk with her classmates. Her education at the University of Alabama was awarded a National Merit Scholarship and a Presidential Scholarship. Sophomore year of college, Kimberly worked the last half of the year on the University newspaper, The Crimson White. Leaving the University of Alabama her Junior year, Kimberly returned to her family in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. It would take sixteen years, one divorce and several serious life events before Kimberly returned to education and finished her degree, a BS in Business Management given at Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina.
Throughout her twenties, Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm found basic job skill developments in attending full service gas, working various customer service jobs and continuing to struggle to establish her writer’s commitment to the craft. She shared an apartment with her eldest younger brother, Robert Wayne Klemm II, for a few years and dabbled in theatre with professional acting classes as she forged forward without abandoning poetry and short stories. Creative writing classes at the junior college level fell short of meeting her development needs. Kimberly was diagnosed with a Bipolar II disorder at the age of twenty-two and found it difficult to continue toward a degree with attempts at West Chester University while establishing life balance requirements. When her family decided to move from Pennsylvania to Georgia, Kimberly abandoned her attempts at theatre and left acting classes behind her with the certainty that writing was her gift to pursue.
In the year 2000, at the age of thirty, Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm met her now ex-husband, John Allen Wallace Jr. while she was living in Augusta, Georgia and working in a Learning Disabilities Center for Reading Challenged children. Her personal writing endeavors at that point in time focused completely on poetry with a few published verses and camaraderie in a local group of poets performing once a month at Barnes and Nobles (and then later at Books-A-Million).
Once she married, Kimberly moved to Denmark, South Carolina and gave up writing for two years. After a year of marriage, Kimberly and John moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Finding a need to re-establish her poetry and prose, Kimberly began crafting short stories on Zoetrope and supporting a poetry group in the Mesa, Arizona area. She worked in several jobs, including a short term at the Arizona State University Bookstore in office work for Thesis and Dissertation binding. Some of her short story work began publishing with smaller circulation publications. Her marriage ended at the age of thirty-five, childless, and she returned to her family in Evans, Georgia to finalize her divorce.
After her divorce, Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm worked for her father’s contracting company as a technical writing development editor and for the next four and a half years, Kimberly developed her professional skills and certifications as a technical writer and video editor. She completed her BS and continued to find some success with her short stories. During this time, Kimberly started her second attempt at her first book. Her youngest brother, Benjamin Lee Klemm died at the age of thirty-one from the life-long disease of juvenile onset diabetes and her father’s business folded for needs facing his own retirement age approaching.
With her degree completed and set on a new career as a technical writer/process developer, Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm moved to Charleston, South Carolina for an independent contractor’s position and lived in a motel during the week, journeying home one weekends to her rented duplex in Evans. Giving the choice due consideration, Kimberly decided to move permanently to Charleston and bought her first house around the same year as she published her first book, The Rest Room. South Carolina became the setting for all three books in the Kervila Cramer trilogy: The Rest Room, The Dream of Keriye, and Rise Times Souls Love. In between the publication of the first and second trilogy books, Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm also released a book of short stories, Growing Past.
Currently, at forty-six years of age, Kimberly A. McKenzie-Klemm is still living in Charleston, South Carolina and working for her own independent company to establish in the technical writing field. The lifetime she took to travel the winding paths of words has filled her world with writing work that will last the time of life.
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Henry Wren Publications
5 thoughts on “Meet Guest Author Kimberly A. McKenzie…”
Thank you. I am honored that you chose to re-blog.
I am encouraged to participate as a part of writers’ community in the broad sense of our profession and craft, (readers comprising the other half of the writing community participants).
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An interesting upbringing and life story..
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Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere.
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Thanks for re-blogging, Charles 😀