Don't forget our Spooktacular Hop through Nov 1!
Read the blog/enter the giveaway HERE
And now....We welcome Kylie Logan/Casey Daniels!
My guest today is author Kylie Logan, aka Casey Daniels:
Casey Daniels once applied for a job as a tour guide at a historic cemetery. She didn’t get the job, but she did get the idea for the Pepper Martin mysteries. Pepper works in a cemetery and solves mysteries for the ghosts there. Pepper’s latest adventure is book #9 in the series, “Supernatural Born Killers.” Casey’s alter ego, Kylie Logan, writes three different series. The newest Button Box mystery is “Panic Button.” “Buttoned Up” will be published in December. The first book in that series is “Mayhem at the Orient Express and the Chili Cook-off series starts with “Chili Con Carnage.” Casey lives in the Cleveland area near where the Pepper books and the League of Literary Ladies series are set. She began her career as a romance writer and her book, “Devil’s Diamond” was nominated for a RITA award as best historical romance of the year by Romance Writers of America.
R: Welcome, Kylie! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
K: Wow, that’s a tough question because I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I wrote a few stories then majored in English in college. At the time, I wasn’t writing any fiction. In fact, when I graduated, I got a job doing corporate communications, writing non-fiction things like employee newspapers, speeches, brochures, etc. That’s when I started thinking about fiction writing. As for why I got interested in the first place, that’s easy—reading! I’ve always loved to read and all those stories I enjoyed for so many years lured me into writing.
R: Tell us how you conceived the idea for the “League of Literary Ladies” mysteries, and which character is your favorite so far?
K: The idea for League grew out of a conversation I had with my agent. We were talking about books, what’s popular, what sells well, etc. and she said that books about books are doing really well. “Where would you set a book about books?” she asked. I explained that since I have lived in northeast Ohio all my life, there aren’t many places other than Ohio that I know about. “Of course,” I mentioned, “there are the Lake Erie islands.” She perked right up. She didn’t know there were islands in this part of the world and said it would be an intriguing setting. She was right! South Bass Island is a fabulous place, half Key West, half historic treasure trove. It’s the perfect setting for my Ladies! As to who’s my favorite . . . Bea Cartwright is the main character in the books so I’d have to say she’s my favorite, but the others have their plusses, too. There’s Chandra, the island tarot reader and New Age crackpot, Kate, the uptight winery owner, and Luella, the crusty lake fishing charter captain. All ladies I would love for friends!
R: Tell us about your new series, “Chili Cook Off”. Can we assume from the title that chili is a favorite food of yours?
K: I do like chili. That’s mostly because my husband, David, makes the best chili in the whole world! As for the series, it’s about a woman named Maxie who is called to work at the Chili Showdown (a traveling cook-off show) because her dad, Texas Jack Pierce, is missing and someone needs to sell his chili peppers and spice mixes. Too bad her half-sister, Sylvia, is there, too, because Maxie and Sylvia have never gotten along. But when one of the show roadies is killed and Sylvia is arrested for the murder, Maxie has to jump in and do some sleuthing. The first book is “Chili Con Carnage” and it’s set in Taos, a town I’ve visited a few times, so that was a lot of fun. And the traveling Showdown crew is a great cast of characters. All in all, a fun series.
R: Under the name Casey Daniels, you’ve also written one of our favorite series, the Pepper Martin series! Volume 9 ended (spoiler alert!) with Pepper about to walk down the aisle….can we expect any more adventures from Pepper?
K: Even as we speak, I’m working on a Pepper novella that I’ll e-publish. Hoping to have it online by the beginning of the year. Will let you know for sure when that happens. As for the wedding . . .sorry, you’re just going to have to wait and see! I can tell you that Pepper takes a case from an annoying ghost specifically to avoid her mother who is hot to go to every bridal fair she can find!
R: Do you have an “how I got my agent” story you’d like to share? How did you feel when you got the call your first novel had sold?
K: I got the agent I have now by talking to a whole bunch of agents and doing a lot of thinking about who was going to be best for me and for my career. You know, when I was looking, a lot of agents asked to see the new ideas I had, the ones I wanted to sell. This agent didn’t. What she said was, “Send me some of your books so I can see what kind of writer you are.” That’s when I knew she was the one for me!
As for that first sale . . . it was back in the Stone Ages! But yes, I do remember. My husband was out of town and this was back before cell phones were common so I couldn’t get in touch with him right away. I remember the first people I told about the sale were my kids who were maybe 5 and 11 at the time. I’m not sure they understood what it meant, but they sure could see how excited Mom was!
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
K: Peace and quiet! I can’t write if there’s a TV on, that’s for sure. Or if there’s music with lyrics playing. I find that too distracting. The quieter, the better, and a cup of tea doesn’t hurt, either!
R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
K: A lot of people think an author’s life is pretty glamorous. Truth is, it’s pretty dull! I sit in front of a computer all day, every day. Usually 5 days a week, sometimes 7 if I have a deadline looming. This is my fulltime job and it’s a lot of hard work. Not much glamour involved!
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
K: Oh my! See above. I’ve done plenty of fun and wonderful things, but I can’t think of anything crazy I’ve ever done. Not anything I want to make public, anyway!
R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
K: A few hours of relaxation and a couple laughs and characters they care about and stories they remember. That’s enough for me!
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
K: I am definitely a plotter. I work from an outline and to get that outline, I work for weeks and weeks, starting with an idea, adding to it, over and over and over. I eventually end up with 20-30 pages broken up into chapters. I don’t always know how something’s going to happen, but I know when it’s going to happen within the book. To me, this is important, especially for mysteries. They need to be logical and the clues need to lead to a conclusion that’s believable, surprising yet when the reader thinks about it, completely expected. I can’t do that by the seat of my pants. I need to safety net of an outline.
R: What do you do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies or party tricks? :)
K: To have party tricks, one must have parties! I don’t do much partying, but I do have hobbies. I’m a knitter and a weaver. I am a beekeeper (I have two hives and harvest about 8 gallons of honey every year). I like to explore old cemeteries. Of course, I love to read and I like doing things with the family. I have two dogs, a Jack Russell named Oscar who came here as a foster dog 11 years ago and has never left, and an Airedale named Ernie.
R: Where can we find out more about you and your work?
K: You can check either of my websites:
Every 5th of the month, I also blog over at Killer Characters
And the Wednesdays I remember that it’s actually Wednesday, I blog over at:
Both Casey and Kylie also have Facebook pages so readers can find me there.
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
K: Oh my, yes. Plenty! First of all, remember that nobody just wakes up one morning, decides they’re going to be an author, sits down and does it. Like everything else, there’s a learning curve to writing. Unfortunately I think a lot of people try writing once or twice, think they’re not very good at it, and give up. It doesn’t work that way! Writing takes practice. And this business takes patience. It’s not for wussies, that’s for sure.
R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
K: I love history and research and volunteer at my local county archives. If I wasn’t a writer, I’d love to be an archivist.
R: What are you working on now? What sort of adventures can your readers look forward to in your various series?
K:Lots going on. Right now, “Chili Con Carnage” (Chili Cook-off #1) has just come out and I’m working on book #2, “Death by Devil’s Breath.”
In February, League of Literary Ladies #2 will be out. It’s “A Tale of Two Biddies.”
And I’ve got a new series coming. Haven’t started writing the first book yet, so I’m going to keep that info under wraps.
Then there’s the Pepper novella, of course, and a short story I want to write, and (long story!) the treatment for a TV series. Always too much to do and not enough hours in the day!
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Day
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Dog
Beach or Pool? Pool
Steak or salad? salad
Favorite Drink? A nice Reisling
Favorite Book? Too hard to answer! Maybe “Lord of the Rings.” Or “The Game of Kings.” Or a million others!
Favorite TV Series? Sherlock Holmes
Favorite Movie? Casablanca
Favorite Actor: Can’t say I have one.
Favorite Actress: Ditto
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Alaska, but not in the winter
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be King Arthur___________________
If I had just one wish, it would be to travel the islands to the north and west of Scotland._________________________________________
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be absolutely no one. The grass is never greener and things are pretty fine right where I am. _______
Thank you for a great interview!
Kylie will be giving a copy of ‘Chili Con Carnage’ to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment below with your email address to enter. The winner will be chosen at random using random.org. For extra entries, you can:
Friend Kylie/Casey on Facebook
Friend the Human, Toni Lotempio, on Facebook
Follow moi on Twitter @RoccoBlogger
Tweet, FB or post about this interview contest on your blog (3 extra entries!)
Be sure to list all that you’ve done in your comment! Contest ends midnight, Oct. 20!Good luck, meow!\
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