Monday, October 29, 2012

Interview with mystery author Kaye George

A hearty welcome to today's guest, mystery author Kaye George. She's here to talk a bit about her multiple series and in particular, the newest Imogene Duckworthy mystery, an Agatha Nominee, Broke.

Kaye George is a short story writer and novelist who has been nominated for Agatha awards twice. She is the author of three mystery series, the Imogene Duckworthy humorous Texas series, the Cressa Carraway musical mystery series, and the FAT CAT cozy series with Berkley Prime Crime. The last two will debut in 2013.

Her short stories can be found in her collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, as well as in FISH TALES: The Guppy Anthology, ALL THINGS DARK AND DASTARDLY, GRIMM TALES and in various online and print magazines. She reviews for "Suspense Magazine", writes for several newsletters and blogs, and gives workshops on short story writing and promotion. Kaye is agented by Kim Lionetti at BookEnds Literary and lives in Texas, near Waco.

Welcome, Kaye. Please tell us about your current release, Broke.
Imogene Duckworthy is twenty-two and has a job (PI assistant) and a new car (used). She loves her mother, but it's time she was on her own. The problem is her daughter Nancy Drew Duckworthy’s pet potbelly. Not a lot of rentals in Wymee Falls will permit a pig, even one as cute and charming as Marshmallow. Jersey Shorr of Shorr Realty manages to find something but there are rumors that the house is haunted. Immy tells herself she doesn’t believe in ghosts. She signs the contract and plans to move in before Halloween. What she doesn’t plan on is the very real, very dead body in the bathtub. And the fact that the most logical murder suspect is her Uncle Dewey, fresh out of prison. Immy can’t allow her long-lost relative to be railroaded for a crime he (possibly) didn’t commit, can she?

What inspired you to write this book?
It's a continuation of Immy's adventures and was high time to get her out of Saltlick. This gave me a chance to introduce some new characters, including a long-lost uncle who was alluded to in an earlier book. Since I set it in October, both Immy's four-year-old daughter Drew (Nancy Drew Duckworthy) and Drew's pet potbelly pit, Marshmallow, had to have costumes. Thinking of costumes got me to thinking about ghosts. Also, if Immy were trying to find a new place to live for her and Drew and Marshmallow, I had to think about what kind of land lord would want a pig in the rental house. October, ghosts--a haunted house, of course!

What exciting story are you working on next?
I'm presently working on two projects, one for Barking Rain Press (BRP) and one for Berkley Prime Crime (BPC). For BRP, I'm doing final edits on Eine Kleine Murder . A bit about that book: When aspiring conductor Cressa Carraway arrives at her grandmother's resort home, she finds Gram dead. When Gram's best friend drowns in the same place, Cressa knows something sinister is at work in this idyllic setting.

I'm excited to be getting this book published since the sleuth is a musician, like me, and I was able to include material about the classical music world. If this series continues, Cressa will become a conductor and I can do lots more with that subject.

The project for BPC is the first book of the FAT CAT series, set in Minneapolis, as yet untitled, and still in first draft. This series will feature a pudgy, adorable, clever cat named Quincy who is always trying to find more to eat, since his owner has put him on a diet. When he escapes, he finds all sorts of things, including dead bodies. His owner, Chastity (Chase) Oliver is the co-owner of a dessert bar shop and the books will feature dessert bar and diet cat treat recipes.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In public? In 2005 when I got my first short story published in FMAM. However, I've made up stories since before I could write. I've had publication ambitions since high school, but the only thing that saw print then was a letter to the editor in the local paper.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I was able to retire from programming about 11 years ago and have been writing full time since then. I usually clear emails, write blogs, and do other administrivia at the beginning of the day, since I'm not a morning person. After lunch I sometimes run errands, then write after that. But on good days, I'm able to write after lunch. However, I do some of my best work after the 10:00 news.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm, I don't know that my writing is quirky, or would be that interesting to watch. I do prefer absolute quiet, so I like a room with a door I can shut. I can't work at all if a neighbor dog is barking, so I got myself a Super Bark Free from the Sky Mall catalog. It's a life saver! I can aim that thing at a neighbor dog and it emits a high-frequency noise, audible only to the dog. I'll bet the neighbors wonder why their dogs become so well-behaved everywhere we live.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember wanted to be a garbage collector. We used to follow the truck up the alley, me and the neighbor kids. We didn't own a TV until I was 7, so we played outside a lot. It seemed to be romantic and exciting, jumping on and off the truck, hanging onto the rail while it drove all over the town. I now know that they don't make bad money and it's a steady job and probably beats some of the jobs I have had.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I'd like to emphasize that, while I'm currently working on 3 series all of a sudden, and may look like an overnight success from the outside, it has taken me years and years of writing, improving my craft, studying other writers and taking courses, networking and making connections, and hard work to get my babies into the light of day.

Please visit my webpage and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or at one of the blogs I write for.

Thanks so much for the interview, Lisa! Great questions.

You're quite welcome. It's been a pleasure hosting you. Happy writing!


Dru said...

Great interview and I'm looking forward to reading Broke and your two new series.

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview. Sounds like a great read.


Kaye George said...

Thanks for coming by, Dru and Ingeborg!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kaye and Lisa,
So you like quiet when you write, Kaye. Me too. Some people thrive on a lot of noise. To each her own.

Kaye George said...

I know many writers get inspired by certain music. I have to stop and listen!