Hello Kathleen. Welcome to Day Reader Reviews. Tell us about your book.
"Him The Coastal Killer" is the name of my first book that I self published in December 2014.
I was a lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana until 2003 (moved to Tennessee). In the late 90's and early 2000's, there was a serial killer stalking women in Baton Rouge. Everyone thought there was only one serial killer running around, turned out there were three. Derrick Todd Lee was caught in 2003 and later the other two serial killers were caught and convicted.
The normal errands such as leaving your house to the grocery store, dry cleaners, anywhere became major events shrouded in fear. I had always dreamed of writing a book and I enjoyed the crime fiction genre so, during the time this was going on, I was making a mental file folder in my mind. This would be the book I would write.
HIM does not portray what was actually going on in Baton Rouge during this time but it is peppered with bits and pieces of what took place there. I decided to take the story further south in Louisiana around the Grande Isle area.
What authors have inspired you?
John Grisham, hands down, my absolute favorite author. I just began reading Greg Iles and I am liking his writing as well. Back to Grisham, I can read three pages of a Grisham novel and I am ready to write. My two favorite works of Grisham are A Time To Kill and Sycamore Row. I don't normally keep books. My library is small. But A Time To Kill and Sycamore Row are two worthy books to be on my shelve.
James Patterson is also a favorite of mine. I love his style, short chapters, easy flow.
What is your next project?
#2 in the Quinn Donnelly Series, The Three Killer. It will be out in July.
How important are names to you? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
When I wrote HIM, some of the names I chose were of people I personally knew. For instance Carol Mays, a victim of HIM, I took her name from my niece. I had to call and tell my sister I was killing her daughter off in the book. She was a good sport about it. Actually, Carol did die a very violent death. I also used Carol's brother as Deputy David Taylor and at one point I was going to kill him off also and my sister then said, "No I am not letting you kill off both my kids." (I know, she's no fun.) Lenny Turner, the town drunk, I also named him after a nephew of mine who is not
a drunk btw. I just liked the name Lenny. I used the name Camille for Camille Andrepont, another victim because I remembered being young when Hurricane Camille hit Mississippi and was always fascinated by the story. I used a lot of french names both first names and sir names I grew up hearing. Other names such as Quinn Donnelly d Cal O'Connor and Cash Landry were all just names that popped into my head.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I want to have made it, kicking butts and taking names. Seriously, I want to be known even if I am still an indie author. I want to be selling books, getting rave reviews and writing all day. I want to be living back in Louisiana, buy a modest home. One day I will walk into my house, lean back against the door, close my eyes and sigh. That would be making it for me.
What are your pet peeves?
People who are wear pajamas in public, the height of laziness. Sitting under a redlight forever. Going to Walmart on a Saturday evening with 50,000 people in the store and 2 lines open. I know that is everyone's pet peeve. People who are oblivious to their surroundings which brings me to people on phones in the checkout line telling their business and their kids are running all over the store. Reviewers that give a review and wind up giving the book away in the review. That really irks me. It also makes me mad when author's rat on other authors. Constructive criticism is always a good thing but to just throw someone under the bus that is quite a different thing.
What writing advice would you give to other aspiring authors?
Learn to say NO.
Do you read your reviews?
Do you respond to them good or bad?
No, I don't respond. If they are bad, I try to learn from them and do better in the next book.
Do you have advice on how to deal with the bad?
You need to psyche yourself up when you get a bad review. First thing, even before you begin to get reviews, pick out some well known authors and read their reviews. Some of the most popular authors ever have some horrible reviews. Pick out anyone and just go to their books and read the reviews, believe me, they are not all glowing. I do this every now and then just so I know it can happen to anyone. The thing about these authors, they keep on writing and selling. I have read authors books where the reviews were so bad on a particular book but people keep buy it regardless of the reviews. In the end, reviews are important but they are not the end all.
The best advice I can give you is to have a support system, someone you can vent to. In my case, I have my husband who is a fantastic listener and gives great advice. I also call my sister and bounce things off her. Family or friend, you need to have someone who will support you and build you up.
What is the wierdest thing you have ever eaten?
Growing up in Louisiana, we use to go to Cajun cookouts where you always didn’t know what you were eating.
I have had alligator which is delicious and I may have had snake which I heard is also delicious. I once ate some kinda meat at a cookout and it was wonderful. I asked one of the men cooking what is was and he looked at me and said, “You don’t want to know.”
What is the wallpaper on your computer?
The cover of my next book, The Three Killer. It reminds me every day to keep writing.
Writing has always been something that I wanted to do but chose other paths instead. So thankful that I now have the opportunity to now do what I was always meant to do.
I became interested in the Baton Rouge serial killings in the late 90's and early 2000's. During that period, after seeing first hand what it is like to live in fear, I began to think of writing a fictional account of a serial killer terrorizing an area in Louisiana. Because I have always been fascinated by Cajuns, I wanted to also bring the Cajun Culture into the story. Believe it or not, not everyone in Baton Rouge is Cajun or talks with an accent.
That is why I took the story south to places like New Orleans and smaller towns further south where the real Cajuns are. My future books will most likely take place in Louisiana as well.
I hope you will enjoy my books and learn from them about the great people and the great State of Louisiana.
My husband Ken and I with along with our spoiled dachshound, Daisy, live in Chattanooga, TN. I have a daughter and Ken has a son and we have two beautiful granddaughters.