Sunday, January 18, 2015

ROCCO welcomes “Dream Club” author MARY KENNEDY to the blog!


 
Meow, this week I’m pleased to have “Dream Club” author Mary Kennedy as my guest!

Mary Kennedy is the national bestselling author of more than forty novels, including The Dream Club Mysteries and the Talk Radio Mysteries. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice and lives with her husband and eight neurotic cats on the East Coast. Both husband and cats have resisted her attempts to psychoanalyze them but she remains optimistic

 

R:  Hello, Mary! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.

       Thanks so much for having me as a guest!  I wrote my first YA a long, long time ago! I didn’t submit a manuscript, an editor from Scholastic contacted me and asked if I’d like to write a YA for them. Of course, I said yes.  I’d worked as a radio copywriter, a television news writer and had just taken a job as PR Director of a travel company.  I went on to write 33 more books for Scholastic. And then I wrote some YA for Penguin before moving to cozy mysteries. These books will be back as e-books very soon.

R: What writers in your genre would you say have made the greatest influence on your writing? Now that I’m writing cozy mysteries, I’d have to say Carolyn Hart, and all my fellow Cozy Chicks, Lorraine Bartlett, Kate Collins, Leann Sweeney, Ellery Adams, Maggie Sefton, Duffy Brown and Mary Jane Maffini.

R: Tell us about your Dream club mystery series. How did you get the idea for that? I’ve always been fascinated by dreams and since I’m a clinical psychologist I know that dreams can reveal a lot of information about a client’s most hidden thoughts, fears and desires. I thought it would be interesting to use a “Dream Club” as a setting and have the members try to solve crimes using clues from their dreams. (plus some old-fashioned detective work).

 R:  Who came up with the title, Nightmares can be murder?  And are you a dream interpretation enthusiast? I came up with it, but my editor came up with the title for Book  2, DREAM A LITTLE SCREAM that will be released in June.

 R: You’ve also written a “Talk Radio” mystery series. Can you tell us about that? The Talk Radio series is a fun series about Dr. Maggie Walsh, a New York psychologist who left Manhattan, moved to sunny Florida and became a radio talk show host.  (like Frasier from the TV show.) She solves a murder in every book (like Jessica Fletcher) and my agent pitched it as “Frasier Meets Murder She Wrote.” Book one, DEAD AIR, is up as an e-book and this is a great time to try the series!

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? I guess my case was fairly unusual in that they called me. Once I had seven novels under my belt, I decided it was time to get an agent.

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process? I’ve written under such crazy conditions--in hospitals, on planes, in waiting rooms.  At midnight or three in the morning.  When I don’t have my laptop with me, I used a legal pad. I really can write anytime, anyplace.  I could write with a crayon on a paper towel if I had to. I think it’s a necessity in this business. I’d written and sold 44 books and the deadlines roll around like tsunamis.

R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you? That I want to study Mandarin and Russian.  I know both languages are incredibly challenging but I hope to take classes at the local university.

R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done? When I was studying at the University of Grenoble, in the French Alps, I found myself stranded on a mountaintop with a few friends. We’d finished skiing for the day and didn’t realize the last bus had been cancelled because of a blizzard.  I really thought we were going to freeze to death and then someone remembered there was an Abbey nearby and we hiked over there in knee-deep snow. The monks took us in, gave us dinner and arranged for transportation for us. It was an exciting experience and it turned out well.

 R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing? I hope they’ll be entertained by the characters and will enjoy solving the mystery.

R: What are you working on at the moment / next? I’m working hard on more releases in the Talk Radio Mysteries. It’s a fun series set in Florida, which is one of my favourite places on earth. And the second in the DREAM CLUB series, DREAM A LITTLE SCREAM, is coming out in June.

R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?  Definitely a plotter. We’re required to submit a detailed synopsis to Penguin before starting work on the books. Plus, it’s nice to have a road map. I never get “lost” in the manuscript, I know exactly where I am and what has to happen when I sit down at the computer every day.

R: Where can we find out more about you and your work? My website is www.marykennedy.net


 Twitter: @marykennedybook

I also blog every Saturday on the Cozy Chicks. www.cozychicksblog.com

R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers? Find the book that only you can write, the book you were meant to write. Take a long hard look at the marketplace and see what’s selling, then capitalize on your strengths and see where you fit in.

Just for Fun:

Night or Day?  I’m a night owl

Dog or Cat? (answer carefully)  I have to say cats because I have 8 rescued cats and my husband is allergic to dogs. (we love dogs, though.)

Beach or Pool?   The beach, always the beach. I keep a photo of the Ft. Lauderdale beachfront condo on my desk for inspiration. It gets me through the long dreary days in the northeast.

Steak or salad?  Salad (I’m a vegetarian.)

Favorite Drink?  Club soda with a twist of lemon or lime. I used to drink diet sodas and ditched them all.

Favorite Book?  Hemingway’s THE SUN ALSO RISES

Favorite TV Series?  House of Cards.

Favorite Movie?  Annie Hall

Favorite Actor: Kevin Spacey

Favorite Actress: Keri Russell in The Americans

Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada

Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii, definitely.

Finish this sentence:  If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be ___Oscar Wilde________________

If I had just one wish, it would be that everyone became a vegetarian and stopped wearing fur coats.________________________________________

If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be… I couldn’t trade places with anyone because then I’d lose my family and friends and cats!____

Thanks for a great interview, Mary! Folks, here’s where you can find out all about Mary:



Twitter @marykennedybook

www.cozychicks blog.com.

 


Mary will giveaway either choice of a 16 ounce “Crazy Cat Lady Mug” or a Native American dreamcather, to one lucky commenter! Just leave a comment stating which you’d like to win in our comments section along with your email address so we can contact you!  For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:


* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
https://twitter.com/RoccoBlogger)
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:
https://www.facebook.com/ToniLotempio)#!/

* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

 Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.  Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Contest ends midnight, Jan. 25. Good luck!

 

 

44 comments:

  1. Hi Rocco, thanks for interviewing me, you're the best!!

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  2. Great interview. I would love the mug! And now I need to check out the Talk Radio series, that one is new to me. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sallycootie@gmail.com

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    1. HI Grandma Cootie, I am in the process of putting book one, DEAD AIR, up there myself. Books 2 and 3 are currently available from Penguin but they dropped book one, so I snatched up the rights. Thanks for stopping by

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  3. Hi Mary and Rocco. Great interview - Rocco, you are a very accomplished interviewer. I have read and enjoyed Mary's Talk Radio series (and listened to them in audio), and I love her new Dream Club series - can't wait for the 2nd one to come out in June (and for the 1st one to come out in audio). I also enjoyed the companion booklet - Dream Interpretation (with proceeds going to an animal shelter). I love the beach, too, and I'm also a crazy cat lady (like Mary...ha, ha) so the cup would be awesome. I only have 2 inside cats of my own, but I have 6 stray/feral cats outside and I foster for the County shelter and a feline rescue group - so Mary and I have a lot in common. Although Mary has me beat on experiences - she has lived a very interesting life (I hadn't heard the story about the Abbey in the Alps). Oh, and I "friended" Toni on FB. Have a nice day!

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    1. I bet Rocco is wildly impressed by one, Lynda, as I am! You are a friend to all cats.

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    2. Oops - I forgot my email: MYSTUFF_LST@yahoo.com

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  4. I enjoyed the interview. I'd like to win the since I already have a dreamcatcher that my late mother-in-law made for me. I follow you by email, facebook, and GFC. Thanks for the contest.

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    1. Hi Sue, so glad Rocco interviewed me, I knew it would be fun, and it was!

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    2. Meow, Mary, it was a blast interviewing you!

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    3. Thanks, Rocco. I feel like I should sent you a cartoon of canned tuna! Loved it!!!

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    4. Rocco, you have a very talented human,and I am so excited over Toni's new release, MEOW IF IT'S MURDER. What a cool title, and what a fabulous book.

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  5. Hi Mary and Rocco, really enjoyed the interview. Love to win the mug for my daughter who is also a "crazy cat lady". I always tease her that there is a sign cats read that directs them to her house when they need a home. kphans08@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Kiki, that is funny that you mentioned a sign. One of my friend said I must have a "chalk mark" on the driveway that alerts cats to my house. Thanks for stopping by.

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  6. Rocco, you are an excellent interviewer! I am now following your blog, following you on twitter, and hoping you'll accept my friend request on FB. I, too, would prefer the cat mug.

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  7. dreamcatcher - maggie.king@yahoo.com

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  8. Hello, Rocco and Mary! I thoroughly enjoyed the interview. I'm reading " Nightmares Can Be Murder " right now. I borrowed it from my township library in Jersey. I don't have any cats - my son is allergic. I do have two friends that call themselves " Crazy Cat Lady. " If I'm lucky enough to win the MUG, I'm going to give it to one of them. The difficult part is trying to decide which one I'm going to give it to. I'm really looking forward to reading more of your books, Mary.

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    1. HI Ruth, thank you so much. This has been one of the most fun interviews ever!! Rocco is a great interviewer, I can see a long career in journalism ahead of him! :-)

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  9. I can't wait to read this book. I would love to win the mug. My family calls me the crazy cat lady. Lol. Thank you. I friend you on fb.
    Candace7399@aol.com

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    1. Sounds like we are kindred spirits, Candace, with 8 rescued cats, I have definitely crossed over into "Crazy Cat Lady" territory.

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  10. I have to begin this series! grammyd01@comcast.net a mug would be great!

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    1. HI Gram, I think you will like it. Almost everyone is interested in dreams (I'm happy to say!) Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. I am stalking both of you.
    Wow- great interview. I learned a lot.

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    1. Hi LJ, I think we are friends on FB, I hope so!! Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. Such fun reading this interview. Being an animal lover I love reading any book that has an animal as part of it. I love the coffee mugs shown. It is very appropriate for this Crazy Cat Lady. robeader53@yahoo.com

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    1. HI Robin, there are so many cat lovers among us, it warms my heart!! Thank you for stopping by.

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  13. Hi Mary,
    Thank you for a fun interview. :-) I have four cats. One I rescued off the street myself and the others are all from shelters - including two that are special needs kitties.

    Cats rule!

    I'd love a Crazy Cat Lady mug. :-) (could ya guess?)
    pearl.r.meaker@gmail.com

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    1. Hi Pearl, we are kindred spirits. So glad you are helping the kitties!

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  14. Would love a mug. Nothing better than to be curled up in bed with Mobil, tea, and cats and dogs!Oneponychick66@hotmail.com

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    1. Your are so right!! Sounds heavenly to me!

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  15. Replies
    1. Hi Linda, thanks for stopping by, have a great week-end!

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  16. Crazy Cat Lady here

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

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    1. It's also good to meet another Crazy Cat Lady!

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  17. Hi Mary,
    I love reading cat books and your book is on my TBR list near the top. Looking forward to reading it.
    http://idahobluebird50.wordpress.com

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    1. HI Betty, thanks so much. I love mysteries with cats, too. Although I did have a dog (Pugsley) in the Talk Radio series and he was pretty cute!

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  18. i really love the way you are doing a great job, feeling great to see such kind of outstanding stuff Lost and found

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    1. HI Liama, thanks for stopping by, have a great week-end!

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  19. I am definitely a crazy cat lady...it runs in the family.My brother is even a crazy cat man!
    I wish you continued success , Mary! You sound like a wonderful person.
    Tonette
    I tweeted,
    I shared,
    I'm a friend
    and follow on Twitter and the blog

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    1. Hi Tonette, I think we should form a Crazy Cat Lady club! All my friends are cat lovers and are involved in rescuing cats, fostering them, etc.

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  20. Very nice interview I look forward to discovering more of your books. I shared, I tweeted and I follow on FB. I love the mug because after all, one can never have to much tea or to many cats!

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    1. Hi Lexie, so true! I have a plaque in the kitchen that says, "Cats are like potato chips, you can't have just one!"

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