MEOW! My guest today is author Kylie Logan, aka Casey Daniels!
Kylie Logan has been reading and writing as long as she can remember. Her newest book is “The Scent of Murder,” a mystery set in Cleveland that features a cadaver dog handler. Kylie has also written the League of Literary Ladies mysteries and the Ethnic Eats mysteries. As Casey Daniels, she writes the Pepper Martin mysteries about a cemetery tour guide who finds justice for the ghosts she meets on the job. Kylie lives in a suburb of Cleveland with her husband and two dogs, Lucy, a rescue who grew up in a prison training program, and Eliot, a one-year-old Airedale who has never met anything that fits in his mouth that he doesn’t want to eat.
Welcome to the blog, Kylie!
Tell us a little about your background
I started writing back in the Stone Ages when my kids were little and I needed something to keep me busy (and make some money) while I stayed home with them. My first books were historical romances and I’ve also written contemporary romance, young adult horror (great fun!), a childrens book and of course, now mysteries. My newest book is “The Scent of Murder” and it’s a mystery, book #58 for me.
Tell us a bit about your latest book
“The Scent of Murder” is set in my hometown of Cleveland. The heroine is Jazz Ramsey, a young woman who has volunteer work she’s passionate about—Jazz trains and handles cadaver dogs. She’s putting a dog through its paces when she discovers the body of a young woman, once a student at the school where Jazz works. The lead detective on the case is Jazz’s former lover, and like it or not, Jazz is pulled into the mystery—and into the search for the truth.
How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I’m an outliner, definitely. I’ve tried writing without and for me, that means total disaster. I start with the basic idea and just do a sort of stream-of consciousness list, writing down anything I can think of. The next day I go back to it and add. And I do the same thing the next day and the next day and the next. Eventually, I start chopping those blocks of ideas into chapters. I don’t usually know how something’s going to happen in a book, but I know where it needs to happen. For me, this allows me to write faster though I am by no means a fast writer. I know where I’m going in the story. I also think it helps because mysteries rely so much on logic, the story has to make sense, the clues have to follow one after the other. So for me, outlining is the way to go.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
I think the biggest challenge is the industry itself. So much has changed since my first book was published in 1992! If a writer wants to publish and wants to stayed published, I believe it’s imperative to stay agile. As I mentioned, I started out in this business writing historical romances. Then that subgenre got very erotic, and that wasn’t for me. So I switched to contemporary romance. Then to mystery because, honestly, those are the books I love the most. As for what keeps me motivated…this is my job, and it’s what I do. I can’t imagine not writing!
Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?
Over the years, I’ve had six agents, and I won’t share all those stories! I will say that it’s tough to get an agent. I will also say that when a writer is looking for an agent, it’s important to remember that this is a business. An agent will take you on if that agent thinks he/she can sell your work. If you’re rejected, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an awful writer. It does mean that particular agent doesn’t see your work as saleable. Again, it’s all about being agile, all about knowing the markets, about what’s selling and what isn’t. If you’re just writing for yourself (or to self-publish or to leave stories for your children and grandchildren to read), that’s another whole thing. But if you want to traditionally publish and to stay traditionally published, you need to keep on top of the business.
What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I’ve completed the second book in the Jazz Ramsey series. It’s tentatively titled “The Secrets of Bones.” I’m thinking it will have a 2020 release, but I don’t have confirmation on that yet. In the meantime, I’ve started a new cozy series about a heroine who manages a woman’s club. There’s an old speakeasy in the basement…and a ghost who hangs out there! It’s light and funny and great fun to write.
What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
Writing is my fulltime job, so I’m in front of my computer most days, probably 5-6 hours a day at least.
Where can we learn more about you and your books?
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? . Depends what I’m doing, but probably day
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Dog. Definitely.
Beach or Pool? pool
Steak or salad? salad
Favorite Drink? Wine, white, and not too sweet
Favorite Book? Wow, that’s a hard one. Too many to name!
Favorite TV Series? Don’t watch much, but I have fond memories of Buffy
Favorite Movie? Another tough one, though I do love “Casablanca.”
Favorite Actor: Can’t say I have one though I do love the Brits, Branagh and Cumberbatch and Jeremy Brett among many others.
Favorite Actress: None I can think of
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Can it be a dirty martini? And can I choose the vodka? I’m definitely a vodka snob
Hawaii or Alaska? I’ve never been to either and I’d like to see both, so no preference
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be … Dang, that’s a tough one! Agatha Christie. No, no…Arthur Conan Doyle. No, wait . . . Eleanor of Aquitaine. But then there’s . . .
If I had just one wish, it would be the end of all suffering, physical and mental.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be no one. There’s an old saying, “The devil you know if better than the one you don’t know.” So true. Other peoples lives might look perfect from the outside, but we’re all dealing with stuff, maybe not the same stuff, but everyone has their own challenges. I’ll just stick with my own stuff, thank you very much!
Thank you, Kylie
Kylie will give away a copy of “The Scent of Murder.”to one lucky commenter!
To enter, leave your name and email address in our comments section. The winner will be chosen at random by random.org. US entries only, please! Contest ends midnight, May 23