When Kaye George first lays eyes on the HOT SEAT, her face goes red and she starts to make strange noises. It’s almost as if she’s choking – choking on fear.
Let the games begin. 😀
What genre(s) do you write, Kaye?
I write mostly mystery, my first love. When I was younger I wrote mainstream short stories and I’ve returned to that for a few pieces. I’ve also done some horror stories lately and had great fun with them. One mystery short story ended up with a paranormal element and it’s possible a novel will contain something paranormal in the future, too. It’s hard to stay inside the box!
[CJ: You know what they say – variety is the spice of life!]
Tell us about your recently completed book, Choke… in a limerick!
There was a young Texan who spoke
Of her Private Eye dreams to her folk.
Immy told a big fib,
She glibly adlibbed,
And Huey on sausage did Choke!
[CJ: Tee hee hee. Sounds like fun!]
Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
Lately, promoting CHOKE. (When Uncle Huey is found murdered in his diner in tiny Saltlick, TX, a half-frozen package of mesquite-smoked sausage stuffed down his throat, Imogene Duckworthy, a single mother who longs to be a PI, gets her chance to solve a real crime.)
[CJ: Ahhh. Now I understand the sausage reference!]
Hey, it’s not easy to limerick a novel! And, apparently, make it coherent.
With the extra spare minutes, I’m currently conducting our church choir while the real conductor is having health problems. My family is spread across the country and my husband and I make huge efforts to see them when we can. I love to travel, visit national parks, and hike in the woods and the mountains. Every once in awhile we do a trip like that.
[CJ: I love bush walking. If you ever visit Australia, make sure you put some time aside for that. We’ve got some beautiful rain forests.]
Tell us a little about your writing process.
I never quite know what that means. I’m not sure I have a process. I just sit at the computer and write stuff. I’m a night person and can’t be creative before noon, so I knock out social networking stuff in the morning. I tend to get stuck and spend too much time there (tell me to stop and get to work if you see me there!).
[CJ: Will do!]
To tell the truth, I’m having a hard time finding time to write while promoting my first novel. I’m also promoting the Guppy anthology that contains one of my stories, my own short story collection, and I love to tell people about the stories I have at Untreed Reads and Sniplits. I have stories in two more anthologies that will come out this fall, too. An embarrassment of publications! But how can I promote all that stuff and still write?
[CJ: Definitely a difficult balance to strike. I find it tricky to balance blog writing and novel writing – mainly because blogging is easier and sometimes more fun.]
Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?
Other writers who have faced years of rejections and haven’t quit. The ones I know the best are fellow members of the Guppies Sisters in Crime chapter (of which I’m currently president). I’ve seen them slogging away in the trenches to emerge victorious. Avery Aames comes to mind. She pitched book after book and finally landed a three book contract. She tells the story about deciding to quit, give it all up and do something else completely different, then getting the contract. Moral: Never give up. The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished one is that the published one has persisted long enough.
[CJ: I heard someone say once that it takes years of work to become an ‘overnight success’. I think that’s very true for authors.]
You got that right! It’s important for new writers to know that, too. Don’t quit your job yet!
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
Getting published! Really, it’s darn hard! I was delighted to achieve some success with short stories and believe that I’m better at those than novels. But, for some reason, I still wanted a novel out there. Of course, now that I have that, I want more, more, more. I want a series, I want three series (serieses? serii?), and I want the NYT best seller list. Seriously, I do want to know that I’ve entertained someone and made them laugh, or think, or forget about their troubles for awhile. That’s all any writer can wish for.
[CJ: Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Most of us secretly dream of achieving all of those things too. You’ve got to have dreams, right?]
Time for the HOT SEAT questions!
If you could only read the work of three authors for the rest of your life, which authors would you choose?
Yikes! Three?? But how can I leave out the other 300?
[CJ: Were you expecting these questions to be easy? :-D]
Hm, what authors do I turn to? When I’m depressed I reread PG Wodehouse. He makes me laugh until my stomach hurts (so does David Sedaris and James Thurber and Douglas Addams). When I want short story inspiration I reread O. Henry (and sometimes Mark Twain or HP Lovecraft). And when I need to study my craft, I use more modern writers, like Harlan Coban (and, if he’s not available, Laura Lippman or Dick Francis or Aaron Elkins or Lisa Gardner or–about a dozen others). OK, there are my three.
[CJ: Tsk tsk tsk. That’s a very sneaky way to include more than three, Kaye. For my delightful readers, I’ve highlighted the ‘three’ in case you were having trouble identifying them!]
Finish this sentence from your character Imogene’s perspective.
Life would be a lot easier if.. I were a private detective and had my own office, with my name on the door in fancy script, with an ornate I for Imogene and an even bigger, fancier D for Duckworthy.
Now finish the same sentence from your own perspective.
Life would be a lot easier if.. Imogene would write these books herself. Or at least this interview! She’s always fooling around, dreaming up cases to solve, trying to be something more than a diner waitress who lives with her mother in a single wide with her three-year-old daughter, Nancy Drew Duckworthy. Of course, if she hadn’t quit her job, and her Uncle Huey hadn’t been murdered, and her mother hadn’t been hauled in to the Saltlick police station for questioning, I wouldn’t be here–there wouldn’t be a mystery book.
[CJ: Great answer. Love it.]
If you’d like a turn in the HOT SEAT, let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀