Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ten (!) Books


I will have published 10 books by June. Two come out in April, one in June, which means I now have 7 of them out.

When I started writing seriously, I think about 12 or 13 years ago, I fervently wanted to get ONE book published. I worked on that one book for about 10 years, including a few years before the serious full-time stuff began. When I finally had it polished into a literary masterpiece, I started sending it to agents. I was shocked and dismayed at first at the soulless rejections I got back. (In those more gentile days, all agents gave responses to submissions, even if they were one-sentence form letters.)

Hubby and I were moved to a tiny town for the next phase of his life after his ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist church. I quit my programming job and, as I said above, finished creating my masterpiece. What luck that I quickly discovered an online group of mystery writers, the Guppies chapter of Sisters in Crime!

This is where I learned to craft a better query letter, who to query and who not to, how to write a synopsis, and even, through manuscript exchanges, that I should not use the word “little” to describe nearly everything. (Thanks to James M. Jackson.)

Several hundred rejections and several completed manuscripts later, I did get ONE book published, thanks to all the helpful mentoring I received. But was that enough for me? What do you think? I quickly created a sequel to that book (CHOKE), then wrote a book I’d had a hare-brained urge to do (DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE).  After SMOKE AND BROKE, the CHOKE sequels were out there, I finally found a publisher for that first opus, which is now called EINE KLEINE MURDER. (I’m not counting a couple of false starts that turned out to be novella length stinkers.)

The icing on my cake came with a Penguin contract for the FAT CAT series, 2 of which are published.

(Books coming out next year are REQUIEM IN RED, FAT CAT TAKES THE CAKE, and DEATH ON THE TREK.) (Details at

I’m finding out that it’s never enough. There are quite a few more series I would like to do, but there are also sequels to my existing series in my head. I’d have to live another hundred years to write them all. I’m doing what I always dreamed of, published books, watching them actually sell, getting reviews, and writing more books. Life is good.

The picture includes short story anthologies, ARCs, and a couple of large print books. That’s why it’s more than ten.


  1. Kaye, you should be very proud of yourself. Then you should get busy and write ten more. Congratulations, girl!

  2. Thank you, Earl! If I live long enough, I might.

  3. You are amazing, not just for your perseverance and nose-to-grindstone attitude, but for your creativity. You just keep on making up stories. You work on one novel after another, but in the meantime, your short stories pop up in anthologies and periodicals.

    The other amazing thing is that I like you anyway.

    Earl, I expect her to write ten more books, possibly next year.

  4. I probably should just write short stories. I enjoy those the most and no longer have enough time to write enough of them. But I kinda wanna make a tiny bit of cash.

    Kathy, I love you!!!

  5. What fun to see the path you've taken. You certainly have a wide variety of books in series. I'm glad your hard work and talent is paying off!

  6. Thanks! It IS hard work, but also much, much fun.