Author Interviews

Laughing Through Life’s Disasters With Kim Duke’s New Release A FINE MESS

When life gets you down, Kim Duke knows what to do! Below, she shares more on her humorous style and how her personal fine mess inspired her new novel A Fine Mess.

“Kim Duke brings snappy wit and humor to the situations, like cancer in her case, we may face in life in A Fine Mess. She points out wittily that there is always some lesson to learn from any setback in life and that realizing this we “carve out” our lives. Pragmatic and down to earth.”

— Carol MacArthur, NetGalley Reviewer

About A Fine Mess: Kim Duke knows all about it…

Is life getting you down? Does it feel like one bad experience after another? Are you ready to fight back? Then arm yourself with Kim Duke’s latest book as she shares gritty, funny, and odd advice about life’s ups and downs with snarky tongue-in-check wisdom. Filled with amusing photos and quotes about life, you’ll soon be laughing at any fine mess that life throw’s your way.

International writer, speaker, and author Kim Duke knows a thing or two about fine messes. When she was fifty, she was hit by a fine mess called breast cancer. She’s known for her easy, humorous style when talking about the tough stuff. She’s been covered by Cosmopolitan, NBC News, CTV, and CBC and her work has been featured on The Globe and Mail and the internet sensation,

  1. You’ve experienced your own fine mess. Tell us more about it. Is this what inspired you to write your book?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 and it hit me like a tornado. At times, I was completely flattened and I needed something to inspire me. I love to read but my attention span was short due to stress, lack of sleep, and chemo. I desperately needed short reads of inspiration. And I decided that once I was through my own fine mess, I would write a short book for people who are in tough times.

  1. You’re known for your tongue-in-check sense of humor and have a very unique approach with using it in the face of a crisis. How has this helped you in life?

Humor does many things for you when you’re stressed. It allows you to face reality head-on. It helps gives you control over your attitude. And strangely, it also gives you strength as you rise above your circumstances and poke fun at it.

  1. Tell us about the positive experiences you had during your own fine mess.

There were so many beautiful experiences! Love showed up in many forms–people brought food, laughter, and I even put my wig on my dog. He didn’t care for the style or color.

  1. Your book features many interesting photos and images. Which is your favorite and why?

My favorite is the picture of a woman sitting on a pile of rubble during the WWII Blitz in London, England. I think her cup of tea gave her strength. And inner strength is what you need to dig deep for when you’re in a fine mess.

Reprinted by permission of Royston Leonard/mediadrumimages. All rights reserved.
  1. What is your favorite inspirational quote and why?

“Look closely. The beautiful may be small.” — Immanuel Kant. So often we think that our lives need bigger, better, and more. I agree with Kant. We overlook that the most beautiful components of our lives are right under our noses.

  1. You’re also an international writer and speaker. What do you enjoy the most about this?

Meeting new people from around the world. I’ve made so many friends and it has helped me to grow in immeasurable ways. And I get to eat delicious cheese from every country!

  1. Your website is dedicated to simpler living. Why is simple living important to you?

Because I’ve learned we actually get more from less. You certainly don’t need to raise chickens or live in a tiny house or only have 5 things. But when you look closely at where you spend your money and time–it is an eye-opener. If we all just slowed down a bit, cooked at home at little more, left time for our own hobbies that give us joy and didn’t buy every new thing we see on TV? People could then work less and have more. Most people dream of leaving their job and downsizing to a simpler life. I did it and I know how much joy it brings to my life. And most importantly? FREEDOM.

  1. What advice would you give to someone experiencing their own fine mess?

As Katherine Hepburn once said, “In life, be the willow and not the oak. The willow can bend in a storm and the oak only breaks.” You have to face what has happened in your life, adapt to it and not compare to how things were before your Fine Mess. And that all takes time.

  1. Any words of wisdom to help with the current pandemic everyone is facing?

Be kind. Be willing to care for the common good of all. Be willing to adapt. And do know that somehow, there is a silver lining in all of this–we just don’t know it yet.

  1. What’s next for Kim Duke? Are you currently working on a new book?

I am working on a couple of book concepts–one is about the joys of simpler living and the other is a children’s book about the Boreal Forest. I am excited about both projects and I’ve been asked to do a podcast as well, so that idea is simmering.

About the Author:

International writer, speaker and entrepreneur, Kim Duke is famous for her easy, humorous style when talking about tough stuff.

Kim’s been featured in national media like Cosmopolitan, NBC, CTV, CBC throughout Canada and internationally. Her personal essays have been featured in the national Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail and the international French sensation, Story Machine.

She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and slightly nutty dog. 

Check out her website for more information on her life, blog, and products!

Available Formats & Purchasing Information:

Hardcover: 978-1-64397-097-4

Softcover: 978-1-947727-76-2

Ebook: 978-1-948540-30-8

LCCN: 2018948477

Visit our website for more retailers and purchasing options.

Purchase direct from our online store at and help support your local independent bookstores!

Booksellers, Librarians, and Retailers can purchase copies though Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bertrams, Overdrive, and Perma-Bound. BHC Press also offers attractive pricing and discounts to booksellers, libraries, and retailers. Visit our website to learn more about available retail/library partnership programs.

Visit our website to learn more about A Fine Mess and other titles available from BHC Press.

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