I want to say a few words about our special guest today.
Kathy Bennett and I became acquainted on March of 2005 when we responded to Clues-n- News e-mails to be critique partners. When we read each other's manuscripts, it was spooky over the similarities of our books. She went on to publish A Dozen Deadly Roses and Deadly Blessings is in the works to come to us.
I am so pleased that Kathy and I are much more than critique partners. We became friends who’ve weathered family crisis to job changes and overall life. I treasure our friendship.Please welcome Kathy Bennett…. Tell us about yourself. How long have you been writing? I’ve written most of my life – although my early ‘works’ were newsletters for my family. In the eighth grade, I did an assignment that the teacher read to the class. I left the story with a hook and when the class moaned because the story was over, a writer was born.
I joined the Romance Writers of America in 1996. I didn’t seriously start writing until about 1998--I’m a late bloomer ;-)
How did you get from your day job to writing romance? At the time, my day job was working as a LAPD officer. I met my husband on the job…it wasn’t a far stretch.
Who is your favorite author(s) and why? Gosh…I’d start with James Patterson because he tells great stories and does so in a way that keeps me turning pages. Next, I’d say Jackie Collins. I love her characters and I like her style of writing. Lastly, (but not least) Joseph Wambaugh. No one can write LAPD characters like him.
Tell us about your new book.
My next book is called A Deadly Blessing. It’s a lightening-fast suspense featuring LAPD detective Maddie Divine. It’s the first in a series, and I expect it to be release in February of next year. Here’s a peek at the beginning.
“Maddie, do not hang up the phone.”
“Travis, I’m working. I can’t talk right now.”
“You’re always working. What’s more important, our marriage or your job?”
My partner, Darius Cutter, plucked my cell phone from my hand. “Hey, dude, she’ll call you later. The chief and the mayor are waiting for us.” He snapped my cell shut and handed it back to me. “Let’s go.”
“You shouldn’t have done that.” Immediately, the phone vibrated in my hand. The display showed a smiling photo of my husband; a photo taken when Travis was okay and normal. A pang of sorrow invaded in my chest.
“Ignore it,” Darius said, referring to the quivering phone. “Call him back when we’re out of our meeting.” He led the way out of the noisy detective squad room to the foyer where we’d catch the elevator.
I knew Darius was right. When the chief of police calls and orders you to a meeting with the mayor, you hustle your ass to get there. But my husband was on edge, to say the least. Guilt weighed heavy on me for putting work ahead of him, but I rationalized that Travis was a cop and knew sometimes it was necessary. Meanwhile, I followed my partner while we traversed through the new Police Administration Building and then over to City Hall.
It’s not every day a girl gets to meet both the chief of police and the mayor of Los Angeles. I wondered why today was my day.
What is the appeal of writing mystery/suspense genre? I write in the mystery/suspense genre because I grew up reading Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mysteries. People getting into trouble and then being found out interest me.
What kind of writing turns you off? I’m a reality, ‘give me the facts’ kind of girl. I’m not into Sci-fi, Fantasy, Vampires, or anything not based in existence.
What stops you from writing? Family. I have a mother with Alzheimer’s Disease, whom I adore, and I drive over 70 miles three times a week to visit her. Currently, I’m dealing with handling her affairs which takes an incredible amount of time. Throw in some ‘difficult’ family members and life gets complicated very fast.
How have you shocked your readers? Maybe by giving them insights into the workings of the LAPD through my writing. I don’t think the average citizen has any idea how police work is really handled…it’s not like you see on TV and in the movies.
How do you get your ideas? What is your writing day like? With my first book, A Dozen Deadly Roses, I held a plotting party with several writer friends. I had the basic premise and then we plotted major plot point to the rest of the book.
For A Deadly Blessing, I honestly don’t remember how I came up with the idea. But there are some parallels to ‘real-life’ events, so I’d guess off a news story. Oh, as for the style of A Deadly Blessing…it’s written in the style of my favorite James Patterson book.
Can you share three writing tips? Find a good critique group. My two smart partners have helped me shine my ‘diamond in the rough’ stories into shiny gems.
Pay attention to the writing world. Things are changing so fast it’s hard to keep up. But…
Be true to yourself. There are many ways to publish your book and there is no one right way or wrong way. Choose the path that works for you.
Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous no matter what I looked like…he’d love me for being me. Oh, wait – I’m married to that guy!
What's your favorite dessert? I love most sweets, but I’d have to say French Apple Pie – yum!
I want to thank the Plotting Princesses for having me today. Through the miracle of the internet, I ‘know’ several members of this group and they are fantastic!