If you go
What: Book signing with author Kimberly “Kim” Diede
When: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 25
Where: Sapphire Gallery, 109 1st St. W, Jamestown
Details: Diede will sign/sell copies of her books; people may bring their copies of her books for her to sign as well.
Jamestown native Kimberly “Kim” Diede will sign copies of her books on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Sapphire Gallery in Jamestown.
Diede is the author of the Celia’s Gifts series consisting of six books inspired by her great-aunt who lived in Jamestown. Diede hopes to have the last expected book in the series, “Celia’s Legacy,” out before the holidays.
Diede writes, according to her website, contemporary and historical novels that weave together family, hope and romance. She writes family sagas, suspense and women’s fiction.
She said the series is about “the importance of family, finding meaningful work, and the legacy we leave.”
Diede, a Jamestown High School graduate who lives in the Fargo-Moorhead area, said she works in banking as an accountant but has enjoyed writing for years.
“I kind of call myself a later-in-life author,” Diede said.
She and her husband, Rick, have three children, and Diede’s work to become a self-published author wouldn’t come until later in her life.
“I was starting to dread the empty nest,” she said.
With the kids growing up and heading off to college, she thought writing could become a hobby after they were gone since it was something she had been doing for some time, including playing around with the idea of a fiction novel.
So in 2016, she said she felt comfortable enough giving the story that she had been working on to her parents, Linda and Larry Hansted, a brother, Jon, and Yvonne Fuglestad, an English teacher at Jamestown High School.
She said her brother called after reading it and said she should do something with the story.
“I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to try to figure this out,’” she said.
With her mother also ill, it became important to move the work forward, she said.
“I really wanted to get my story to the point that it was a real book she could hold in her hands,” Diede said.
She took online courses, got a professional editor/book coach and self-published the completed book, “Whispering Pines,” in September 2017. Her mother passed away in December 2017.
“I never did try to place it with a traditional publisher … by then I was about 50 and I felt all these urgencies to get the book out,” she said.
“Whispering Pines” is the story about a young woman, Renee Clement, who returns to Whispering Pines, where her late aunt Celia lived and Renee spent her summers as a young girl. Renee’s life is in turmoil, with her 20-year career in disarray and being a single parent. Mysterious events begin happening around her children. Can she keep her children safe? Is love possible again? Can she find the courage to change everything?
“My great-aunt (Mary Nierling) lived her whole life in Jamestown and she was really the inspiration behind Celia, who is kind of the backbone of the whole series,” Diede said.
Nierling never married and was very successful in her career, Diede said, having a business, W.H. Noel Construction. She also served as state president of the North Dakota Highway Contractors Association in 1937.
“It was really fun to base my stories … roughly on Aunt Mary and how she was such a woman before her time,” she said.
She said the series evolved to the first books being about Celia’s nieces and nephew and what they did with their inheritance from Celia.
“And then I threw in a Christmas book, I love Christmas,” Diede said.
“Celia’s Gift,” the sixth book, is Celia’s story and will be followed by “Celia’s Legacy.”
“It’s really been fun and I love all the tie-ins to Jamestown,” Diede said.
She said the Jamestown area has been supportive of her books, which are now starting to find international readers as well as in the U.S., something she says has “been really exciting to see and there’s really no limit.”
Diede says books will be available on consignment so if people can’t attend the book signing in Jamestown, they can still purchase them at Sapphire Gallery.
What’s next after Celia’s Gifts series? Diede says a new series is likely on the horizon.
“I really feel like I’ve hit the major items I wanted to with this family - I kind of think of it as a family saga,” she said. But it’s possible there will be tie-ins to the Celia’s Gifts series, she said.
Diede has a blog on her website, which she says is a fun way to connect with readers. Learn more at https://www.kimberlydiedeauthor.com.