Kim Wolterman is a non-fiction author and focuses much of her work on writing about historical research. In this interview she talks about her books, what you should do before you finish your book, and what led her ultimately to starting her own publishing company.
1. Tell me briefly about your books – what are they about and what motivated you to write them?
Like a lot of people, writing a book was on my list of things to do. But I always thought that my first one would be a book for children on the topic of composting. My husband and I owned a large commercial composting facility, and I frequently went into classrooms to talk about the composting process. There are no up-to-date books for children on this topic. But sometimes our books speak to us and demand to be written. That is what happened with my first book, Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed(room)? Researching a St. Louis County, Missouri Home. While researching the history of our home in order to obtain a century home plaque I became very frustrated with the fact that the records in St. Louis County are scattered here, there, and everywhere. I kept wishing for a guide to help me understand where all the documents are located, and where else to look, when I hit a brick wall. Since there was none available I decided to write a book to help other researchers in this area.
When I approached traditional publishing companies with my book proposal, I was told that my audience was too narrow. Even the local publishing company in my community wanted my book to be broader. But I knew that if I made the book generic for all house researchers, then people in St. Louis County would still struggle to find the resources here. So I wrote it my way and made the decision to start my own publishing company in order to get the book published.