Category Archives: favorite authors

Life is what happens when you make other plans

Hi everyone.

A lot has been happening in the life of this indie author. I’m not quite sure where to start.

I have finished my Project Management classes. I did reasonably well on the assignments, but there’s s, still one assignment and participation to be graded. I should hear in a couple weeks. The textbook, while extremely dry, I think is the best resource for helping study for the exam.

The exam. I have been studying test questions (there’s an app for that. Actually, there are several), I have a couple of books and I am hoping to be ready to attempt at least the CAPM in March. Wish me luck.

BloodyMurder #3 is on its way to the editor as of Monday. It takes place in January of 2004 and takes Zofia to a few places she doesn’t usually go to. You’ll also find out a bit more about Michael and why his relationship with his dad is strained at best.

I was in the path of Hurricane Sandy, but was extremely lucky. The streets just south and east of us lost power, but we were generally okay. Just to be on the safe side, we put our biggest Rubbermaid plastic container in the freezer for ice, and filled up the tub in the guest bath in case we needed water for flushing. We also at the ice cream, because it might melt.

The week before Thanksgiving, I had surgery, specifically a hysterectomy. I was sent home in a scant 48 hours and have been slowly recovering since. I have a scar that looks like a question mark on my abdomen. I’m not in a lot of pain (yay Percocet!), but that cuts two ways. I keep feeling “all right” and then I move the wrong way. Bending and twisting are not the order of the day, let me tell you. I expect to try and drive again this weekend.

I’ve been neglecting poor Zofia and friends because of narcotic fog and because I am terribly tired all the damnn time. I have made a good start on #5 (#4 is in revision and will be for a while). I have quite a few more stories to tell, and I thank you for sticking with me.

While recovering, I have been doing a lot of reading. I’m back into Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series. Lippman writes deeply real characters and has a talent I’m trying to cultivate–making the scene function almost like a character.Chandler did it with LA in the Philip Marlowe books. Colin Cotteril and Tim Hallinan both do it with Thailand and Laos.

Dani Amore has a new Mary Cooper book out. Buy it.

November was great for other new books as well. I polished off the new Harry Dresden book in two sittings and whipped through the available October Daye books by Seanan McGuire. On tap is Kevin Hearne’s latest in the Iron Druid series. If you like sarcasm, there’s plenty of it in the form of an Irish Wolfhound. Trust me.

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What I’m Reading and What I’m waiting for

May and June have been great months for books so far. I treated myself to another one of Kerry Greenwood’s  Phyrne Fisher novels, this one called Queen of the Flowers. Phyrne and her family are up to their necks in mystery and not a little drama. One of  her adopted daughters goes looking for her biological father, Phyrne is Queen of the Flowers in an annual parade and one of her handmaids disappears. An old love appears, a scandal brews and I can’t wait to see how this one ties together.

May has been a favorite month for a while because May is when John Sandford’s newest Prey book starring Lucas Davenport gets released.  Stolen Prey is a wonderfully  complex mystery, not just a whodunit, but howdunit, and there are conspiracies several levels deep. I love Sandford’s series–the Kidd books and the Virgil Flowers book are wonderful as well.

If you’ll pardon a couple of fangirl moments, I am having a ton of fun with Sabrina Chase’s The Long Way Home, which begins a trilogy with a promise of action, adventure, excitement, really wild things and a big dose of “how did I get eighty years in the future?”

For my other fangirl moment, I am eagerly awaiting Libriomancer,the first in a new series by Jim C. Hines. A magic system based on books, with a secret society going back to Gutenbery. I can’t wait. Hines has great style, his tongue firmly in his cheek and his characters manage to be appropriately wise without being preachy.

Speaking of book magic, at the recommendations of a couple of different people, I started on Jasper Fforde’s Thusday Next series. These are a whirlwind of literary action and espionage. My only complaint here is the Kindle versions are more expensive than the paperbacks.

Back on the mystery front, I recently picked up another Tess Monaghan book by Laura Lippman. Lippman adores Baltimore with the same passion I love New Orleans, and I just love the character of Tess. I’m several books into the series and Tess has managed to grow and change in a realistic fashion while sharpening her skills as an investigator. I’m up to In a Strange City. If you’d like to get started, Baltimore Blues is the first in the series.

A couple of indie authors have caught my eye. I”ll let you know if I consider them a good find in a future entry. Thank you for reading!

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A brief moment of self-indulgence

If you’ve been around the web for the last ten years, you’ve come across some of the memes that tell you what color you are, which superhero you are and just where you might fit inside some of the hopefully iconic pieces of popular culture.  You have to, of course, take these with a grain of salt,  some lime juice and if you’re a drinking sort, a shot of very good tequila.

Last week, I found Who Do You Write Like? I could not just ignore this one. I plugged in a few paragraphs from the beginning of Bloody Murder and got the below results.

<!– Begin I Write Like Badge –>
<div style=”overflow:auto;border:2px solid #ddd;font:20px/1.2 Arial,sans-serif;width:380px;padding:5px; background:#F7F7F7; color:#555″><img src=”http://s.iwl.me/w.png&#8221; style=”float:right” width=”120″><div style=”padding:20px; border-bottom:1px solid #eee; text-shadow:#fff 0 1px”> I write like<br><a href=”http://iwl.me/w/8ccf5154&#8243; style=”font-size:30px;color:#698B22;text-decoration:none”>Kurt Vonnegut</a></div><p style=”font-size:11px; text-align:center; color:#888″><em>I Write Like</em> by Mémoires, <a href=”http://www.codingrobots.com/memoires/&#8221; style=”color:#888″>journal software</a>. <a href=”http://iwl.me&#8221; style=”color:#333; background:#FFFFE0″><b>Analyze your writing!</b></a></p></div>
<!– End I Write Like Badge –>

I am not worthy of such an honor, but it’s fun to think about. My characters do not come unstuck in time, there are no visits from friendly Tralfamadorians, Kilgore Trout is not an author sold in Zofia’s bookstore.

I’ve loved most Vonnegut I’ve read. My favorite is probably The Sirens of Titan, tied with the short story of Harrison Bergeron.  Both are dystopic and highly thought-provoking and are told in not a heavily threatening style like 1984 or Brave New World. Instead, there is a lightness, a flippancy almost, the narrator seems delighted in the world that is being presented.

I can only hope to be so thought-provoking. Flippant, on the other, I think Zofia and I have down pat.

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What I’m reading

I wasn’t really bit on non-fiction as a kid, unless it had to do with animals and nature.  My parents had a Time-Life series of books about the natural world as it was known mumble years ago. I did read some, but mostly I looked at the pictures.

Most recently, at my boyfriend’s urging, I downloaded 1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus which I’m really enjoying. Charles Mann discusses a lot of the history my generation was taught and some new and interesting facts about the native cultures in North, South and Central America. I didn’t know, for example, that the Inka had a road system that covered most of the continent’s west coast. What’s fascinating, is they were built for a culture that used llamas (watch out, they spit), so they could build roads that were literally steps in the mountains. Pizarro and company had a hell of a time leading horses over these.

I’m also on the verge of finishing The Jew in the Lotus, which is a fascinating story of a group of rabbis who travel to India to meet with the Dalai Lama for a sort of cultural exchange. What commonalities were there with these exiled cultures? It’s a great read, no matter what your religion.

For fiction, I’m hanging out in Asia these days. Since I never read the whole series, and in fact lost track of where I was, I stared Laura Joh Rowland’s Sano Ichiro books again. The series takes place in the seventeenth century, mostly in the district of Edo. Sano is a samurai with an academic background who is charged with solving murders. He has to navigate through a world of politics and class distinctions,  and be blunt where normal behavior is very polite and often indirect.

If you want to escape to more modern Asia, there are a variety of ways you can visit Thailand. Google any of the following names; Jimm Juree, Vincent Calvino, Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Adventures galore!

In the fantasy realm, I’m currently reading Mistborn: the Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I really like the metal-based magical system, and the main character who was supposed to be dead at the hands of the Lord Ruler is planning a revolution that just might work. Might. I don’t want to give any spoilers.

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll follow me on Twitter @katekulig. When I reach 100 followers, I will release the title of the second Bloody Murder novel.

Thank you for reading!

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How it all started

I have only vague memories of my mother teaching me to read. To her credit, I don’t know that she had any reference books telling her how to do so. I certainly don’t remember seeing textbooks of any kind around the house. I was probably three or four. I remember feeling so proud that I could carry a book under my arm on my way up the stairs to bed so I could read before I went to sleep. It was probably Dr. Seuss, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

For the first thirteen years of my life, we were living in Wilmington, Mass. I utterly adored the library and we probably went every two weeks. It wasn’t long before I was picking out my own. My heroine when I was first of library age was Pocohontas. I don’t remember who introduced to me Esther Averill, but the Jenny Linsky books were an early favorite. Enid Blyton was probably my first mystery author. I went through the Secret Seven and the Famous Five at a rate of one or two a week. There was Nancy Drew, of course, then the Hardy Boys, and once I went through those, I got to read the Young Adult fiction, even though I was about nine. I was not allowed in the rest of the “adult” library just yet.

My third grade teacher at Shawsheen School was Mrs. Jane Merrill. If you’re out there, Mrs. Merrill, I have to thank you for some perennial favorites. Roald Dahl, Narnia, and Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth all have very special places in my heart. I have been known to buy the last for my adult friends because I think everyone should read it.

Even when we moved to Andover, the next town over, we continued to be patrons of the Wilmington library. It might have been my nana or my mother or one of the librarians or I might have picked her up on my own, but when I found Agatha Christie’s Nemesis, I was hooked on Miss Jane Marple. Hercule Poirot was a natural segue, but my favorites were Tommy and Tuppence. I always wanted more of those.

I wish I could remember the librarian’s name. One evening we were headed out and we were stopped by the librarian. She handed me a grocery bag full of slightly beat-up Agatha Christie novels. They had been considered too damaged to keep on the shelves, and she thought I’d like them.

Of such kindnesses addicts are made. Thank you, ladies.

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