Interview with Kathryn Lively

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, KILLING THE KORDOVAS, was inspired by a number of events. If you read the story, you'll pick up on the general frustration with reality television and the people who gain fame through dubious circumstances. I came up with the idea after visiting a comedy club - I had suffered writer's block, and I asked myself what would happen if a frustrated writer, tired of rejection, vents on an amateur night and becomes a hit? What would happen if her emotions become so strong she entertains dangerous thoughts upon learning a reality star got a book deal just for being famous?

KILLING THE KORDOVAS has its share of dark humor. It's a bit of a departure from the cozy mysteries I've written in the past, but as I wrote it I decided I wanted to go bold for a change and see where I could take the story.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I don't really consider myself an indie author - I like to think of myself as an author, period. I have published with small houses in the past, and I have self-published, and when I finish a story there's a different reason for the method of publication.

My first novel, LITTLE FLOWERS, was published by a small press that folded in 2002. I was able to place the work elsewhere, but that house (which mainly pubbed romances) turned out not to be a good fit. I chose to publish it myself to better reach its intended audience.

I published THE GIRL WITH THE MONKEE TATTOO on my own because I wanted the book ready for a specific event. I published KILLING THE KORDOVAS on my own because of its uniqueness. It's not a mystery in the traditional sense, or a horror novel. There is suspense and humor, and I suppose I felt I should see it through the journey every step of the way.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Truthfully, most of my time is spent writing, since it's part of my day job. I write content for a romance community portal and assist authors and publishers with promotional opportunities through All Romance. When I'm not working or writing my own stories, I'm helping my daughter with her homework or reading a great book.

I try to travel when I can as well. We've taken many trips along the East Coast and plan to go further west next year.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote my first story in elementary school, about a girl who meets the ghost of Thomas Jefferson. The eighth graders at my school voted it the best in my class, so you can say the writing bug bit early.

My first paid publication happened at 19. I sold a short story to a Colorado magazine, and I haven't looked back.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, not too far from where NAS Cecil Field was situated. Naturally, I attended school with a number of children from military families - in many cases, when I seemed to bond with some they'd move away. The area of town where I lived is portrayed in my book PITHED - Andy Farmer's school is loosely based on my high school, and in two mysteries I write as LK Ellwood (SAINTS PRESERVE US and PRAY FOR US SINNERS) there are Jacksonville settings.

Living in Jacksonville helped me appreciate living in a warm climate and helped with my patience. In large cities traffic is inevitable, so I've learned to keep my cool.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy for me is when the world around me fades to a mere buzz and I'm in that zone. I write and suddenly word counts no longer matter, and soon I'll look up to see I've written a thousand words. I would love more days like those.
What do your fans mean to you?
Even a short note that says, "I loved your book" makes my whole day. To be honest, I appreciate notes from readers who weren't enamored by my work. It shows that people are reading my stuff! Really, the worst review an author can receive is silence.
How do you discover the eBooks you read?
I have to say social media is a prime resource for book recommendations. I'll see notice of an interesting title on Facebook or Twitter, Goodreads or AReCafe, and soon I'm investigating it. I also subscribe to numerous e-mail newsletters dedicated to free and discounted eBooks, but I find I don't buy as much from them as I do from other sources.

Sometimes if I see an appealing cover or title, or know the author's work, I'll have a look. I also look for books relevant to my interests - music, history, and mystery.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'll read anything. Memoirs, Tudor history, romance, sci-fi...I must have the most varied TBR list ever.
Who are your favorite authors?
Over the years, my list of auto-buy authors has changed. Growing up, I read Lewis Grizzard's humor column religiously, and I've read most of his books. On the mystery side of things, I've enjoyed Dick Francis and James Ellroy, Carl Hiaasen and Janet Evanovich.

Lately, I'm reading a variety of genres and have discovered Jean Plaidy in historical fiction and George R.R. Martin in fantasy.
What are you working on next?
My next work falls under the magic realism genre. I don't want to divulge too much as it's in the planning stages.
Published 2013-09-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Star Collector
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 13,430. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2013 by DLP Books. Category: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
Some rock and roll groupies take pictures, others collect locks of hair or guitar picks to remind them of their conquests. The legendary Chrissie Cuff prefers to take something more personal, much to the reclusive Woody's surprises. Woody doesn't usually take on groupies, but is he willing to make an exception?
Simply the Best
By
Price: Free! Words: 5,640. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2013 by DLP Books. Category: Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
5000 words This story appears in the short story collection, The Girl With the Monkee Tattoo. Is the Best New Artist award a blessing or a curse? Its latest recipient is about to find out.
Rock Til You Drop: A Lerxst Johnston Mystery
By
Series: The Rock and Roll Mysteries, Book Two. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 68,150. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2012 by DLP Books. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
This is the sequel to Rock Deadly, which is free on Smashwords! Lerxst can't stay out of trouble. He's thrown for a loop when his fellow Dead Barchetta band mates want out of the group and the music teaching business they run together. When a body once again turns up at the studio, Lerxst can't decide whether to sympathize with or suspect his old friends.
Rock Deadly, a Mystery (Book One of the Rock and Roll Mysteries)
By
Series: The Rock and Roll Mysteries, Book One. Price: Free! Words: 73,720. Language: English. Published: May 27, 2012 by DLP Books. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Award-winning author Kathryn Lively offers you a rocking mystery! Music tutor by day and tribute band guitarist by night, Matt “Lerxst” Johnston has woman problems. Well, maybe for a musician that's normal. Before Lerxst can find normal, he must learn the truth about his would-be killer, his family, and himself. And what a long, strange trip it is…
Dead Barchetta
By
Price: Free! Words: 73,700. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2010 by DLP Books. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
“Lerxst” Johnston doesn’t have an enemy in the world…so he thinks. Armed only with a guitar and endless questions, Lerxst escapes the discomfort of his beach home and hides out in New York City to learn the true identity of his would-be assailant. Instead he learns more about himself and what he needs to do to survive the next attempt on his life. What a long, strange trip it is.
The Rocky Horror Twitter Show
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 29,260. Language: English. Published: May 23, 2010 by DLP Books. Category: Nonfiction » Computers and Internet » Social networking
Social media is here to stay, and if you have products, services, or other business to promote it's important to gain the savvy to successfully negotiate Twitter, Facebook, and other networks. "The Rocky Horror Twitter Show" is a collection of observances and advice from a seasoned social media specialist who has spent the last decade assisting clients around the US boost their visibility.
Schtick to the Script
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,410. Language: English. Published: January 21, 2010 by DLP Books. Category: Screenplays » Comedy
Performed in 2004 by a regional Florida troupe, these hilarious short skits are perfect for performance in a comedy revue.
How Not to Get Published
By
Price: Free! Words: 3,510. Language: English. Published: January 13, 2010 by DLP Books. Category: Nonfiction » Publishing » Self-publishing
A brief and unconventional guide, this primer for the true beginning author covers ten suggestions to follow when preparing to contact agents and editors. Adapted from a talk give to the Virginia chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Little Flowers
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 98,000. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2009 by DLP Books. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
A doctor known for performing abortions - murdered. A teenage honor student from a good Catholic family - pregnant. A barren young woman soured on relationships - unwilling to love. One bullet, one week changes the lives of so many people. Discover which of life's "little flowers" bloom in the face of adversity and strengthen through hope and forgiveness.