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Monday, September 3, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Kim Kelly - Guest Post & Giveaway

About Kim Kelly

Kim Kelly is the author of six novels exploring Australia and its history. Her stories shine a bright light on some forgotten corners of the past and tell the tales of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. 

A striking characteristic of Kim’s writing is her ability to lead readers with warmth and lyrical charm into difficult terrain, exploring themes of bigotry, class conflict, disadvantage and violence in our shared history – issues that resonate through the social and political landscape of Australia today.

A widely respected book editor and literary consultant by trade, stories fill her everyday – most nights, too – and it’s love that fuels her intellectual engine. Love between lovers, friends, strangers; love of country; love of story. In fact, she takes love so seriously she once donated a kidney to her husband to prove it, and also to save his life.

Originally from Sydney, today Kim lives on a small rural property in central New South Wales just outside the tiny gold-rush village of Millthorpe, where the ghosts are mostly friendly and her grown sons regularly come home to graze. 


Books by Kim Kelly

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What makes my heart beat faster 
Guest post by Kim Kelly

Too often, plain, stark fear has been the trigger that has set my pulse racing. Anxieties have crowded out joy and confined my courage, boxed in any dare that I might take a risk, to make a dream real.

Once upon a time, I had difficulty even admitting I wanted to be a writer. I kept my yearnings so close, just the thought of letting that secret escape made my heart feel as though it would burst with fear.

But love – in so many forms – has broken through over the years.

Four simple words from my husband, Deano, whenever I’m in doubt – ‘You can do it’ – and I am charged up with possibility. His arms around me at the end of the day, a kiss in the dark, and I can do anything.

The sound of happy excitement in the voices of my children is the charge of sweetest success, especially when they tell me they’ve just taken a risk of their own: going for a new job; booking that plane ticket; asking someone out on a date. I fly with them.

My country, the land I call home, fills me with breathtaking wonder: from the glittering city of Sydney to the mist-shrouded forests of the mountains; the rolling golden hills beyond and beyond them further still the huge blue skies and red dirt roads of the desert edge. Australia’s vastness is awe-inspiring, reminding me of my smallness and elevating all my senses at once, sending me searching into all corners of the past, from the legends of ancient nations, to our modern kaleidoscope of contradictions, asking: what is Australia?

The magic that tingles through all my cells at beginning a new story on the page is like no other. The first time I see a character’s face, hear their voice, sit down and listen to them, I am meeting not only a new friend, but reaching into myself, into all my own darkness and light, where fear and love combine, to take me to places I could never go otherwise.

Across all the novels I’ve now written, my characters have led me onto battlefields, into underground mines and deadly storms, and sent me on the run from the law. In The Blue Mile, my unlikely hero Yo took me up with him to experience the dizzying thrills of working on the construction of Sydney’s famous Harbour Bridge – and yes, of course, I’m frightened of heights.

The characters in all my stories must overcome fear and disapproval to love wholeheartedly, too – to love each other, to find the mettle to follow a desire, to fight an injustice, to right a wrong, to learn a lesson. To live well, for ourselves and for those we love.

My heart thunders for love, for it’s the most terrifying, exhilarating thing we ever do.


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Ten very lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of The Blue Mile by Kim Kelly.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Great guest post. Sydney is a beautiful city.

  2. Love a good guest post, there's plenty here to entertain, so reading this would be an absolute pleasure x

  3. I love the artwork on the book cover of The Blue Mile.

  4. I love Australia, it's a really beautiful country! Nice guest post! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kim, I enjoy reading about Australia!

  6. Australia is an incredible country, I've been twice but Sydney both times and loved it. Wish I'd have been able to see more of the country though.

  7. Thank you Kim for your heart-felt comments.