Today I welcome Kathy Bennet to my blog. Kathy is a very successful indie-published writer of crime novels and I'm delighted to have her here.
I think I first thought of writing commercially when I was in junior high school (ages 13 – 15). My English teacher assigned each student in the class to write a story.
I wrote a story and ended it with an ambiguous ending. The teacher must have thought the story was good because she read it aloud to the class. When she got to the end of the story the entire class groaned in disappointment that I hadn't 'told' them how the story ended…A suspense writer was born in that instant.
What books did you love growing up?
The first series of books that I loved were the Trixie Belden mysteries. The series featured thirteen-year-old Trixie and her best friend Honey Wheeler, and Trixie's brothers too. I was about nine when I started reading them. Every weekend my mother would give me the money to ride my bicycle to the store to buy another 'Trixie' book.
As I got older, I read the book Gone With the Wind. That was my first taste of a book with a romance. I've read Scarlett and Rhett's story at least sixteen times…and seen the film even more times.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
They are ALL hard for different reasons.
When it comes to getting published, you're relying on a small amount of people to 'think you're good enough.' It's very difficult to get a small group of people to agree that what you've written has merit and is salable.
In regards to writing, distractions are my bugaboo. With all the family responsibilities, and social media obligations it can be hard to focus.
Marketing is a whole other animal. There is no way to know for sure if your marketing efforts are successful. Additionally, one author will have success with one method and tell everyone else, and then many authors are doing the same things which makes them all less effective.
What marketing works for you?
I've seen the best results from my Facebook page (please join me at https://www.facebook.com/KathyWritesLAPD ) and talking to people on an individual basis. Of course, writing the next book is a sure winner too.
Is your family supportive ? Do your friends support you?
My family is extraordinarily supportive. My husband cooks, cleans, and does laundry so I can write. Oh, and he works full time too. My daughter assists me with administrative tasks, like being sure I get paid the right amount.
When you're not writing, how do you like to relax?
My mother has Alzheimer's disease and lives in an assisted living facility about thirty-five miles away. I go visit her three times a week and teach gentle exercises to the residents who live there. Most of the residents are in their seventies, eighties, and nineties. There are even a few women in my classes who are over one hundred-years-old. I love the time I spend with my mom and her fellow residents. It's good for my soul.
Another way I relax is my not-so-secret vice of reality TV. I like to tell myself I'm studying people's character, but the truth is I'm fascinated by people are so clueless to how they're appearing to the rest of the world, and how little they seem to care about the world's perception of them.
How often do you write? When is your most productive time?
I've been in a dry spell as of late. My mother-in-law passed away last week after a month-long illness. She lived about 300 miles away from us, and my husband and I were taking turns going back and forth to look after her.
Excluding special circumstances, I try to write every day. I've found the best time for me to write is about 9:00 p.m. to about 2:00 a.m. Unfortunately, this doesn't go over so well with my husband who is still working as a police officer and gets up early in the morning.
Do you have a writing schedule?
Each book I've written I've had a different kind of schedule. I've found trying to write to a particular number of words a day my best motivator.
Have you ever had writer's block? If so, how did you get over it?
Sure I've had it. Usually when I've been away from writing for more than two days I really struggle to get back into it. The situation can be made even harder when you're not sure where your story is going when you do get to writing. You just have to put your fanny in the chair and go to work.
What are you working on now and when will it be published?
I just released the second book in my LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. The book is called A Deadly Justice, a fast-paced suspense story with threads of different crimes woven into an intricate web of suspicion, lies, and betrayal. The investigation of those crimes could expose one of Maddie's darkest secrets, forcing her to confront a truth she's tried desperately to bury.
Blurb – A Deadly Justice
A brutal murder. A rash of sophisticated burglaries. A serial rapist.
Little does veteran LAPD Detective Maddie Divine and her new partner, Jade Donovan, realize that a single thread tie the crimes together. But as their investigation digs deeper and the cases begin to unravel, they threaten to expose one of Maddie’s darkest secrets and force her to confront a truth she’s tried desperately to bury.
Harley Elliot: The sleazy broken-down owner of a trendy pizzaria pays his employees well above minimum wage. What’s in it for him, and if he gets caught, will he go to jail?
The Saunders Brothers:
Blake - A cunning manipulator who knows he’s devised the perfect crime.
Logan – The hot-tempered middle brother whose careless misadventure made him a perfect target.
Jeremy – The peacekeeper for his older brothers and the calculating voice of reason in their dysfunctional trio.
Shelbie Saunders: The adopted little sister of the wild Saunder’s boys is trying to find her place in the family as she blossoms into a young woman. Trying to keep up with her new brothers is her first mistake.
Zak Murdock: The brawny sergeant of police has a troubling history with Maddie’s partner, Jade. When he’s assigned to detectives, he puts Maddie and Jade in his sights.
Walt Lamb: The hard-working bartender at Harley’s pizzaria keeps a low profile to protect his ‘side job,’ yet he misses nothing.
Kathy Bennett – Bio
Kathy Bennett served twenty-one years as a sworn police officer with the LAPD. Most of her career was spent in patrol, but she’s also been a Firearms Instructor, a crime analyst in the “War Room”, a Field Training Officer, and worked undercover. Kathy was honored to be named Officer of the Year in 1997.
In June of 2011, Kathy self-published her debut novel, A Dozen Deadly Roses. The e-book climbed the charts becoming a bestseller at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
In April of 2012, Kathy published her second full-length suspense novel, A Deadly Blessing. That book is the first in the series featuring LAPD Detective Maddie Divine. A Deadly Blessing also became a bestseller at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. In fact, Barnes and Noble chose the book as a Best Nook Book Original for 2012.
Kathy's third book, A Deadly Justice released in September of 2013. She is currently working on the next book in the series, A Deadly Denial.