♥♥♥♥♥ You Gotta Read This Book ♥♥♥♥♥
I once had an agent tell me that murder wasn’t funny. Well, maybe not in and of itself, but I thought my book was stinkin’ hilarious. And so is Your Eight O’Clock is Dead by Kat Jorgensen. Becca is a hot mess. Her life has taken a turn for the inconvenient, newly divorced, on double secret probation at work, and living with her grandfather. Things couldn’t get much worse. But they do as the eight appointment at the psychiatrist office where she works is found dead in the waiting room. Murdered. Becca can’t seem to let it go and let the police do their job. Soon she finds herself in a crazy web of mob, murder, and the general mayhem that is her life.
I laughed out loud as Becca gathered clues, located suspects, and went on a manhunt–in more ways than one. Kat Jorgensen has a funny, upbeat voice that is both pleasing and easy to read. I loved Becca and her grandfather, and even his cantankerous cat. As the warmer months approach, Your Eight O’Clock is Dead is a must read. Light-hearted and fun, it’s the perfect summer read–with a little murder thrown in for good measure.
~*~*~*~ About the Author ~*~*~*~
A notorious daydreamer, Kat knew it was only a matter of time before she became a writer. She learned to read by age four and had her first library card before her fifth birthday. To this day, she can lose herself for hours among the books at her local library or neighborhood bookstore. Ebooks and online ordering have made it really easy for her to keep her To Be Read pile from ever going down. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Kat is married with children and has a cranky tuxedo cat named Ben.
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~*~*~*~ But Wait! There’s More ~*~*~*~
I got to sit down (cyber-ly speaking) and ask Kat a few questions about her writing. Here’s what she had to say:
Amie: Tell, us Kat, why did you choose your genre?
Kat: Humorous mystery is my chosen genre.
I wrote suspense for years. Scary suspense. After going through some real life scary issues, I decided to leave scary behind – both in real life and on the page. Well, sometimes we don’t have a choice in life, but I do have a choice in my writing.
Mysteries have always intrigued me, and I’m a long-time mystery reader. And while I still enjoy killing off characters, I’m much happier these days doing it with a comedic twist.
I have to say, I’ve had the best time with The River City Mystery Series, and I hope it comes across to the reader.
Amie: I can totally relate to that life is scary enough. With Your Eight O’Clock is Dead the reader is definitely in for a smart, funny read. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your current career?
Kat: The three dreams I had as a child were writer, star and princess. The last two didn’t work out (I can’t act, and I’ve never met a prince), so the logical choice was writing.
After spending a good chunk of my working life in corporate America and in the mental health field, I decided I needed to honor my writing abilities. In 2001 I began writing novels with a serious goal of publication.
But the desire to write has always been a part of me. It was just a matter of finding my way back to it.
Amie: Honor your writing–That’s a great way to put it. I hope you don’t mind if I borrow that. What do you do for fun?
Kat: I knit. I’m a passionate knitter. It relaxes me and brings me joy and peace. It’s also a time when I let my busy mind take a break. But I know on some level it’s still working. Some of my best plotting happens while I’m knitting. Reading and movies are also ways that I relax.
I’m trying to love exercise. But so far it hasn’t happened.
Amie: I wish I could knit. I keep saying I’m going to learn to crochet, but so far it hasn’t happened. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
Kat: I used to work for psychologists and psychiatrists. They were always referring to their patients by the hour of the appointment instead of the name for privacy purposes. When I started writing the first book in the series, Your Eight O’Clock was the first thing that came to my mind. And then it was all about what was that eight o’clock patient doing. In my book, the client is dead. So the title became Your Eight O’Clock is Dead.
I’m using the word Your as the start to every book in the series. The next book is called Your Time is Up, something else I heard the doctors say.
I tend to go for simple whenever possible.
Amie: The Rule of KISS is always best and an art I have yet to master. Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?
Kat: Not really. My own imagination is very active. However, I haven’t ruled out “ripped from the headlines” for future plots. I have a file that I keep of interesting tidbits I overhear or things I read in the newspaper. You never know when something will be the basis for a scene or even a springboard for a book.
Amie: Whew! Good to know I’m not the only one with a file box like that. How much of your work is real? How much is fantasy?
Kat: I make up all of the events and the characters. My friends have been trying to guess who is who in the series, but the characters are all fictitious – well, except for Higgins the cat. He is Ben, my unlovable tuxedo cat.
The granddad character is based on my dad. My dear husband wanted to know which of the hunks in the story was him. Ah, that would be a no. He’s a hunk in his own right, but he’s not Ryder or Max. They are totally made up from my active imagination.
Becca is based on me taken to the extreme. Younger, thinner and with really great hair. I’m also not as ditzy as she is, but things do happen to me that don’t happen to other people. I have a file on those things, too. And yes, most of them will show up in future books.
So far the situations are all fantasy. The settings are real for the most part. I live in Richmond, Virginia, where series is set and a lot of the places I have Becca visit are real places that I see every day.
Amie: I think there’s a little bit of Becca in all of us. And if there’s not, please don’t tell me. I’m Becca to the max! Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Kat: For me the challenging part is to not let real life intrude on my writing time. The actual writing process isn’t difficult for me.
It might take me a little bit each time I sit down to get into the story. But once I’m back in the plot, I’m totally immersed in the story and I lose all track of time and place. I’m right there in the story with the characters.
Amie: Yep. It’s the writer’s life for me. What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Kat: Take writing classes and attend seminars and conferences. Network with other writers. Find either a critique group or a brainstorming group that you truly feel safe and comfortable with and share your ideas and your work with other writers. Try for a level or two beyond where you are in your process. If you work with people on your level, they will not help you progress as fast as you need. In my opinion, you need to work with people at least two levels ahead of where you are. You always need to challenge yourself and your abilities. This is what professional athletes do. Find a mentor. Listen and learn. And above all – write.
Join local and national writing groups. Knowledge and information are power.
Amie: Great advice. Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?
Kat: This is hard. I have so many favorites and different writers have influenced me at different times. I’d have to say Margaret Mitchell and her Gone with the Wind was one of the early books that captured my attention. I loved her characters and that book is still very vivid in my memory. Scarlett and Melanie are great character studies, as are Ashley and Rhett. Add in the supporting cast and it is a story peopled with interesting characters.
Janet Evanovich is another favorite author of mine. Her early Stephanie Plum books still cause me to laugh out loud.
I’ve also enjoyed Agatha Christie’s books. She was so good with plotting. Her two detectives, Poirot and Miss Marple, were true to who they were and Christie did an amazing job with both the plot and the characters.
Amie: Great mentors, every one. What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Kat: You need a dedicated writing space that is yours and yours alone. You need a computer, of course. Some writers like a computer for their writing without an internet connection. I haven’t found that to be a problem for me. I try to have a set time to write, and I don’t allow anything to distract me when I’m working.
I also have notebooks where I jot down information as it comes to me. I am never without paper and pen. You never know when an idea will come to you.
Speaking of pens, you need some fast pens. I love a good fast pen. One that writes effortlessly and glides across the page. My favorite is a gel pen.
Reference books. I have a ton of reference books. Books on writing, books on my particular interests. Anything to stir my imagination.
I think if you have a passion in life besides writing, you should try to find a way to integrate it into your writing – even if it’s just in tiny bits of information sprinkled here and there.
The really great thing about writing is that there is no one right way to do it. The choice is yours on what to write, how to write it and what tools to use.
Amie: Perfect advice for any writer. Thanks for coming by today and sharing your secrets and Your Eight O’Clock is Dead. Best of luck to you, Kat.
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~*~*~*~ Kat’s Blog Tour ~*~*~*~