Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Kate Eileen Shannon.
I know Kate through a email list called CrimeSceneWriter. You can look them up on Yahoo Groups and ask the Moderators to Join the Group. She is very successfully self published. She is also very patient. I am running a few weeks behind on these Writerly Wednesday Posts.
1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?
To be honest, I hate marketing. No matter how many sales it gets me. Since I have sold real estate for years, you would think selling would be easy for me. But this, selling my book, isn’t. But blogging I enjoy. It is writing. I know it gets sales but it doesn’t feel like selling to me.
2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?
I’m a bit odd. I had a publisher that wanted my series. But when it came time to sign on the dotted line, I couldn’t do it. It was that whole life of the copyright business. I saw one author go through a very tough time to get her rights back from her publisher and I knew I never wanted to go through that. I was not letting anyone else ‘own’ my characters for any length of time. So I decided to self publish. I would go with a publisher for another book or series, just not this one.
3. What do you have under your bed?
As a cozy mystery writer, I wish I could say something more exciting, like a body, but a collapsible picnic table. It happens to be the same height and width of our dining room table so for large family dinners, it gets brought out so we have a table that goes through the dining room into the living room. Right now we have a lot of other stuff looking for a permanent spot because we downsized from a house to a condo, but the picnic table has always been there. I’m a big fan of bed skirts – they hide a lot!
4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
Panster. I knew the story for the first four books in the series before I wrote the first one. And when a scene for any one of them comes to me, I write it and put it in a folder for that book. But I am not an outline kind of person. I wrote a great scene for the fourth book the other night but book two isn’t quite finished yet.
5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?
I wish I had a real bubble! I hate knowing someone else is even in the house when I am writing. I like to talk out loud as I am writing. Sometimes I type as I talk and sometimes I use Dragon Naturally Speaking. So anyone in the house knows what I am doing and I’m very self conscious about it. I really don’t like to talk my ideas out with anyone else so a group does not work for me. My sister was originally proofreading for me but she made one suggestion and she was gone! She said I had too many Irish names. Hey, we are Irish. To shut her up I changed one name. The character Patricia was originally Siobhan.
6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?
Anytime or anywhere. I carry a notebook with me for very detailed ideas or I may whip out the cell phone and text or email an idea to myself. Napkins have been known to come in handy.
7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?
Microsoft Word 2010. I bought Scrivener recently but I am just not getting it. I am big on notebooks. There are six stacked by my laptop. One is my ‘character bible’. Each character has a page with date of birth, physical description, relationship to other characters, personality traits and other stuff. That’s the important one. I read a series once where a secondary character in the first book was very petite and when she reappeared some books later, she was an amazon. Can’t let that happen. The other notebooks are just because I see a notebook and like how it looks or feels. It is very disorganized when I go to look up my notes – a real search mission. Oh, and pens, lots of real fat pens.
Kate Eileen Shannon is a Writer, Artist, and sometimes Real Estate Agent – as she says, ‘a purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle’. Trifles. Little things. Here today, gone tomorrow. In other words, a little of this, a bit of that. She has had three husbands and two children; lived in Ireland, Rhode Island, and Florida; owned a brake repair shop, an art gallery, a farm, and a boat building business; been a Realtor, a title examiner, a real estate closer, and a government employee which led her straight to being unemployed, laid off, made redundant. Kate is currently living in Rhode Island overlooking the water and a lighthouse; with her husband, Dick Thomas (who won’t let her have a cat); where she spends her time painting, drawing, and of course working on the next book in the Brigid Kildare mystery series, MEDITATED MURDER.
Email, FB, Twitter links or addresses here…
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Brigid Kildare is not your typical hard boiled private eye. But she doesn’t pretend to be. No matrimonial. No child custody. No bodyguard or surveillance work. No process serving. Brigid is strictly data. Asset searches, background searches, computer security, pre-employment screening, and basically any type of records research is what she deals in. And you really could not expect anything else. After all, your average five foot tall, blue eyed, blond (one friend describes her as looking like a Christmas tree angel) is rarely the person you would send out after a bail jumper. Oh, and there is that whole one leg thing – ADA aside, most people don’t think of an amputee as the go to person for a security job. But in SOCIAL INSECURITY, the first in the Brigid Kildare Mystery Series, professional PI, Brigid Kildare, turns amateur sleuth when old ladies in the Federal Hill area of Providence start to go missing and she can’t get the police to believe her. As her assistant and long time friend, Kevin, puts it: “Honey, if an old lady like Jessica Fletcher can do it, a one-legged PI and her gay PA can do it too!” Brigid solves the mystery, along with an odd cast of friends and family, but not before four old ladies have died, she has caught the eye of a handsome Providence detective, and she discovers that not everyone who is close to her is what they appear to be.
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“Damn, damn, DAMN!” Brigid looked back down the steps as all her groceries came through the bottom of the bag. She let out a dramatic sigh, flopped down on the top step, put her head on her knees and tossed her long, blond curls over so they hung down almost to her feet. Deep cleansing breath. Brigid wasn’t lazy but there was no point going into the house and getting a new bag to put the groceries in. She knew her brother, Damien, and her best friend, Aisling, had both seen her come in and one or the other would have the job done by the time she got back outside. Suddenly, she caught a movement out of the corner of her eye. A large black hand was reaching for a can of tuna. Brigid quickly moved her left foot and stomped down on the hand.
“Ow! Why did you do that?”
Flipping her hair back, Brigid sat upright and said, “Who are you and how the heck did you get in here? Has anyone ever told you you look like Rick Fox?”
“Gee, you sure know how to stay on topic. Frankly, I think I am better looking than Rick Fox. Now. My hand. Please.”
“You haven’t told me who you are or how you came to be in here on this side of that locked gate over there.”
“I’ll gladly shake your hand and introduce myself like a proper gentleman, just as soon as I get my hand back to shake with.”
“Answer my questions first.”
“Look, I am trying to be nice here and help you out but you are just rude. You realize I could just yank my hand out and probably send you ass over teakettle but…”
“You would what?”
Aisling came running over, flushed and out of breath. “Here’s a bag Brigid, I saw what happened. Hey Earl, all settled in?” She caught her breath and then noticed what was going on. “Brigid, why are you stepping on Earl’s hand?”
Brigid blushed, moved her foot and stood up. “Sorry, Earl, I didn’t know you were one of Aisling’s friends.”
Aisling looked confused. “Brigid, Earl is your new tenant…”
Earl started to back away, “Ladies, I’ll leave you to straighten out any confusion.” He started jogging backwards toward his house, “Blondie, meet me out here in an hour and I’ll take you to dinner.” Then he turned, took his front steps two at a time and disappeared through his front door.
Brigid’s mouth dropped open. Aisling started to laugh, “Obviously, Earl will have to learn that no one calls you Blondie!”
Brigid shook her head, “No. No one calls me Blondie more than once. Except for one person. Aisling, I think that’s Dagwood!”
Aisling patted her shoulder, “No, Brigid, that’s Earl. Earl Greene. He’s a detective in your father’s department.”
Brigid started to answer but her mother, Patricia, walked out onto the porch. Brigid went up on her tiptoes on her left foot to give her mother a hug and a kiss. “Mom, is that Earl Greene person Dagwood?”
Patricia unconsciously started pulling her fingers through Brigid’s hair, pulling out the snarls. “Of course he is. Didn’t your father tell you about it? I’ll fill you in later. Kevin called me. He said you weren’t answering your cell and he wants you at the office.”
Aisling started to giggle, “Brigid was a bit tied up with attacking her new tenant.”
“Well, Aisling, come in for tea and you can tell me about that. Now off with you Brigid, before Kevin is on the phone to me again.”
Buy Links again and contact links again as well.
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Also available on Amazon in all other countries.
Include anything you wish I had asked.
The Brigid Kildare Mysteries are really more of a serial because I am cutting out a lot of the repetition needed that make series books work as stand alones – you know, the background stuff we are skimming by the third book. I was used to reading serialized stories British women’s magazines used to carry. This is one series you have to read in order or you might not have the background to know what is going on.
The character Brigid Kildare is named after my late daughter, also Brigid Kildare (as her middle name) and an amputee, because if she was here she would demand a starring role. So anyone who doubts a high heel wearing, horseback riding, runner, etc. amputee is realistic; you are wrong.
Thank you Kate for letting me do this to you. I hope to have you back here soon.
Till next week, don’t touch anything sharp.