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Creative Careers : Kimberly Richardson Interview

Creative Careers in the Arts Interviews

Viridian Books Owner & Author Kimberly Richardson

By Molly Anderson-Childers

Welcome back, fellow freaks and wordoholics! This month, I'm interviewing Kimberly Richardson, the owner and Resident Muse of Viridian Books, "The Bookstore for the Strange and nusual Reader." Ms. Richardson is also a poet and author in her own right. The Rusty Typewriter, a book of poetry, was recently published by FootHills Press and The Bookstore Bus, a children's book, is currently placed with an agent! More exciting news —- Kimberly's book of short stories, Tales of a Goth Librarian, was just picked up by Kerlak. Congratulations, Kimberly! She also writes book reviews for The Lamplighter, a newspaper published in her hometown, Memphis, Tennessee. She's here today to dish the dirt about faeries, freaks, and the fine points of poetry.

Q: What inspired you to open Viridian Books?

A: Wow. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a true bibliophile — I am all about books… it just seemed like the natural thing to do. I enjoyed other bookstores, but I never found one that spoke to the real me. It all happened during the summer of last year — my roommate at the time was a bookstore owner. Earlier, I had toyed with the idea of creating an online bookstore that would carry titles for the freak reader, but never put it into action. One night, while we were eating Chinese food, I told him of my plan. He listened, and said he liked the idea. He helped me with website design, and gave me bookselling pointers. I took off from there.

My goals are to be a full time writer, bookseller and all-around bibliophile. I believe that Memphis has the potential to become a literary city, and although my roommate gave up and moved away, I refuse to do so.

Q: How did you choose this unusual name? What does it mean?

A: Viridian is a bluish green color occurring after oxidation. I don't know if you've ever seen it; it's beautiful. It is a bookstore for the strange and unusual reader. I wanted to give a little bit of myself to the book world. I wanted to cater to the Goth people, the gamers, the strange folk, the person who asks for a random book on Irish faeries.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about the path that led you to this career?

A: I was born in Columbus, Georgia, and moved to Memphis with my mother when I was one year old. The only time I have ever left the South was for prep school, at Phillips Academy Andover, and for university. I studied at American University in Washington D.C.

My goal, at one point, was to become an attorney, but my true passion was books and poetry. After spending some time as a paralegal, I realized that it was NOT the life I wanted. Something was missing, and I finally figured out what it was: writing and reading. Although I currently work for a major securities firm in Memphis, I spend more time writing poems and short stories now more than ever.

Q: Would you talk about some of the ways you deal with the challenges of balancing your day job and your dream job?

A: For years I had to worry about balancing. I didn't want to get too corporate and lose my creative side… but I need a day job to pay my bills. I have a rigorous schedule. What I do is get up at 5:00 a.m. and for an hour I either write or work on the bookstore, or something else in that (creative) realm. I also write before bed. That balances out the time I spend at my day job. I had to do a lot of inner searching — I needed a day job, but I need my creative time, too.

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