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Warts and All: An Interview with Kimberly Van Sickle, author of Assassins Are Us

Kimberly Van Sickle

My name is Kimberly Van Sickle, a retired educator and plot junkie. Books, movies, short stories, television programs, even poetry…if it has a compelling storyline, I’m in! I attempt to write that which grabs my attention when I read.

You can buy Assassins Are Us here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.


Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

The title of the book came to me when I was watching a movie on a non-cable channel many years ago. The movie was Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a spy-fi movie about a married couple who, unbeknownst to each other, were each assassins for hire but lived an idyllic life in suburban Connecticut. I thought, “What a clever concept, and wouldn’t it be more interesting if they had a family of little assassins to raise?” Then a commercial for Toys R Us came on, and the idea just gelled.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

“My Dysfunctional Family Song” by Tory Ross, “Murder Incorporated” by Bruce Springsteen, “Terrible Things” by April Smith, “Hitler Only Has One Ball” by John Jones, “Sibling Rivalry” by The Simpsons, “Choke” by I DON’T KNOW HOW THEY FOUND ME, “The Knife Flip Song” by Rusty Cage, “Under My Skin” by Jukebox the Ghost, “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads, “Killer” by The Hoosiers, “This Is Love” by Air Traffic Control, and “The Dismemberment Song” by Blue Kid.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

The one aspect I hope my readers take away from Assassins Are Us is that no family is perfect, nor is any one person. Love your family, warts and all.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I am currently writing a horror novel-in-rhyme titled The Many Souls of Azazel, which I hope to finish in 2024, so this is my current writing passion. I would also like to revisit a historical fiction book I self-published eight years ago titled Placement. As I have a content editor now, I really feel I could bring more to the story’s arc. But I have to say, my husband, others who have read the book, and even some professional reviews have suggested that Hedy’s adventures need to continue on, so I have a notion about how I would like to pen that sequel, but it is only a notion at this point. In the meantime, I just keep on writing!

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

I wanted to get my book published, and in the hands of its appropriate audience, and Atmosphere Press did that and more. I could not have asked for a better content editor than Bryce Wilson, as he helped with my struggling third act. The countless grammar, continuity, and syntax revision editors really aided in my weaker areas. And Hayla and Cameron have gone above and beyond to promote my book. I have been lined up for interviews, reviews, podcasts, and book competitions (to date, I have received a Book Fest Award for 2023!). Atmosphere Press has made my lifelong dream a reality.


You can buy Assassins Are Us here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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