from author’s website

A personal hello from Kim:

Hi, there! I’m Kim Fairley, a memoirist.

My journey began when I wrote stories for my children so they would have an understanding of their father who had passed away when they were young. Once I began writing, I realized these were universal themes that people relate to and felt it was important to share the stories, especially ones that nobody wanted to talk about.

I am fascinated by the countless ways people tell their stories (tattoos, graffiti, fashion, architecture, art, and live storytelling, to name just a few).

I come from a family of storytellers. My parents were both traveling sales reps, who mastered the art as part of their sales strategy. As kids, we would sit at the dining room table and take turns interrupting each other with details of what had happened while they were away.

With a huge extrovert for a father—who could tell a great story—and a mother who provided unwavering support of our creative pursuits, storytelling has always been a part of my life. Even as a young child, I made art about my life and family history.

My first book, Boreal Ties: Photographs and Two Diaries of the 1901 Peary Relief Expedition, began after grad school. I had been creating collages about my great grandfather’s Arctic expedition in 1901 and decided to compile the material that had been handed down in the family. The book is filled with extraordinary images of icebergs and the Inuit, taken in the Thule region of northern Greenland at the turn of the century.

The making of Boreal Ties inspired me to begin the process of telling my own story. My first memoir, Shooting Out the Lights, is my real-life mystery story about the first summer of my marriage when I was twenty-five, pregnant, living in Hillsboro–a scenic town in southwestern Ohio–and how the arrival of a disturbed young boy threatened to tear apart the marriage. It will be published July 27, 2021 by She Writes Press.

I have a BFA from the University of Southern California and an MFA from the University of Michigan. I recently finished my second memoir, which is about my childhood as a swimmer during the early years of Title IX. I currently am working on a series of short nonfiction pieces.

I am a member of NFAA (Nonfiction Authors Association), NAMW (National Association of Memoir Writers), The Authors Guild, and the Ann Arbor Area Writers.

You can follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.


Kim Fairley was twenty-four when she fell in love with and married a man who was fifty-seven. Something about Vern―his quirkiness, his humor, his devilish smile―made her feel an immediate connection with him. She quickly became pregnant, but instead of the idyllic interlude she’d imagined as she settled into married life and planned for their family, their love was soon tested by the ghosts of Vern’s past―a town, a house, a family, a memory.

Shooting Out the Lights is a real-life mystery that explores the challenges faced in a loving marriage, the ongoing, wrenching aftermath of gun violence and the healing that comes with confronting the past.

Purchase your copy here.


“. . . riveting and absorbing . . .”―Phillip Lopate, author of A Mother’s Tale

“A riveting book that builds ominously.”―Jerry S. Walden, MD, founder of Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence

“Fairley scores a bull’s-eye with her rich and complex memoir, Shooting Out the Lights. Fairley’s gift of mesmerizing storytelling and intimately crafted characters make the reader feel as if they are sitting at her kitchen table. Shooting Out the Lights is a compelling memoir that will have the reader thinking about it long after turning the last page.”―Renee Hodges, author of Saving Bobby

“At its best, the author’s writing is evocative, and her story is both unique and intriguing. . . . this is a book that many readers will find difficult to put down. A captivating family account that delivers compelling, acutely observant writing.”―Kirkus Reviews

Shooting Out the Lights is an exquisite memoir that analyzes what brought a couple together to face loss and their shattered hopes with enduring love.”―Foreword Reviews


Author visits with Kim Fairley are available via