Friday, October 14, 2011

If It's Monday It Must Be Murder

Welcome to the very first Fan Friday. I'm honored to have author Kathleen S. Allen to start things off. So let's get right to it, shall we?

1. You’ve been writing your entire life. As someone who started writing for publication later in life, I find this fascinating. Were you able to make a living at it right off, or did you have to have other jobs, on the side. If so, what did you do?

No, I’ve only been able to make some monies in the past year when I put my books up on Kindle. I would say that I’ve only been serious about trying to make a living from writing since 2004 when I decided to get a Master’s in English to improve my writing. I took all the creative writing classes they offered!

I’ve done a variety of jobs since I was eighteen. Waitress, factory worker, bookstore clerk, bakery clerk, office worker, document translator from French to English, costume shop manager, college professor, high school teacher, tutor, substitute teacher, nurse, actress, movie extra, editor. I probably forgot one or two! I am not yet at the point where I can quit my day job and just be a writer full-time. Right now I am teaching online as an income supplement. My dream job would be to teach creative writing at a college. BTW I have seven degrees, two bachelor degrees (education and nursing), four Master’s (education, social work, nursing and English) and one doctorate (in nursing). I recently started a MFA program and hope to complete that so I can find the teaching job I want.

2. At your level of experience, you can probably write anywhere, but what would make a writing day perfect for you? Do you prefer a specific place or atmosphere before you can write?

 I usually write at home on my laptop at the kitchen table. I have a great view of some trees (although I wish I was looking at the ocean or at least a lake). I like to write at cafes, too, especially during NaNoWriMo (more on this later in the interview) at the write-ins.

3. Over years, has writing gotten any easier? If so, how? Are there things you still struggle with?

I wouldn’t say easier, different and better. I started out writing poetry and progressed to short stories from there. When I first sat down to write a novel (at the age of 17-a gothic romance) I had no idea if I could do it. It seemed so daunting to put all those words down on paper!!! It took me a while, but I did it. Once I wrote that first novel I realized that determination is a big part of writing. Well, that and talent! LOL. I remember my seventh grade English teacher (Mrs. Mahoney—wherever you are, thank you) telling me I could be a writer. I never forgot that even when life circumstances got in the way of my writing. I’ve learned a lot about what not to do and that is valuable. I also learned that I like doing other parts of writing besides just the writing, making book trailers, designing covers, promoting and marketing my books are all things I enjoy doing. I started out as a theatre major as an undergraduate and have been in many plays so being on stage---so to speak---doesn’t faze me. Plus when you lecture in front of 200 students you get over stage fright pretty fast!

4. You have an awesome writing resume. I stand in awe. You write Young Adult fantasy, poetry, adult fiction, flash fiction, short stories and lyric essays. Is there anything at all that you haven’t written yet, that you’d like to write?

Thank you. I like to challenge myself so that’s why I try different genres. I haven’t written a hard-core Science Fiction novel yet. A couple of short stories but no novel. I’d love to do one and may yet. I haven’t done a biography or memoir either but have no interest in either of those.

5. When not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Take care of two very high maintenance cats!!!! I read a lot and have my favourite TV shows. I am a huge Joss Whedon fan and love to watch anything he does or did. Firefly is still one of my favourite shows! And, of course, Buffy. Other faves include Blood Ties (Tanya Huff), Dark Angel, Wonderfalls and anything on BBC America. I’m also a Dr. Who fan (David Tennant is the “real” Doctor), Being Human (miss Aidan Turner-*sniff*), Torchwood (John Barrowman is my celebrity crush!!! He’s so awesome, he melts my heart every time I hear him sing). Here’s a link to my fave song by him I Owe it All to You:

YouTubeLink     It even has a photo montage!!! *swoons*

I am also a fan of Masterpiece Mystery and am watching the Inspector Lewis shows. I like the way BBC does Jane Austen and have all those to watch, over and over and over. Especially Persuasion.

6. Most authors are avid readers. Which author is at the top of your auto-buy list?

I read a novel every night before bed. I love to read cozy mysteries, especially those set in England. The latest ones I am reading are the Cotswold mysteries by Rebecca Tope. I just finished reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s YA novel, Fever 1793. I have a pile of books on my nightstand most of them are YA. I read the cozies on my iPhone with the Kindle app.

7. Would you tell us about your latest release? By the way, I love the title.

Thanks. Sure, since I read mysteries I wanted to try and write one. It took me two years to finish it and I put it away for a few months because I was stuck. I got it back out and was able to revise it so it was a much better book. Here’s the info on it:

Murder mystery from Gypsy Shadow Publishing!

Mel, a former cop shot in the back now lives in constant pain. When her best friend's daughter is missing, Mel is asked to help find her. When the girl is found dead at the bottom of a tall building, the cops believe she jumped. Did she? Or is it murder?
8. What inspired this particular book?

I was inspired to write a mystery because I love reading the cop mysteries where the main character is a female detective or private investigator. I wanted to try my hand at one.

Excuse my interruption, Kathleen, but while we're on the subject of your current release, here's my review:

Being a cop is not only what you do, it’s who you are.

Because of her injuries, Mel is forced to give up her day job. But she still acts and thinks, like a cop. So when her best friend’s daughter turns up dead, it only seems natural for Cindy to ask Mel to look into things.

Although she’s not privy to the formal investigative details and still recovering from her own injuries, Mel manages to make things happen. Much to the dismay of her former partner, who is currently assigned by the police department to handle the enquiry into the matter of the young girl’s death.

Ms. Allen has crafted a tale ripe with twists, turns, and red-herrings that will keep you guessing. It’s filled with fully drawn characters woven into complex emotional situations they can’t just walk away from, but must deal with. And how they do it makes this story a very entertaining read. If you’re looking for a well written whodunit to add to your reading pleasure, this book is it.

Now let's continue our interrogation, er, interview.

9. What’s next for Kathleen S. Allen?

I am in the process of editing my faeries v. humans novel, LORE OF FEI that is being published by Muse It Up Publishing in April, 2012. I just finished the first edit and sent it off to the editor. As soon as I get a cover I’ll do a book trailer for it. I am getting ready for NaNoWriMo, this is the competition that has you write a 50,000 word novel for the month of November. I did it for the first time last year (LORE OF FEI) and loved it. I already have my outline for my book. In NaNoWriMo you are allowed to plot out your book ahead of time but not write it. Here’s my outline: 19th Century woman falls in love with a man who may or may not be a vampire. Ta Dah!

I am also working on a YA historical novel. I finished it but I have to edit it yet. I did another YA historical novel about the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England called Fitzroy: The Boy Who Would be King and I enjoyed doing the research for it. It’s the first time I wrote from a male point of view and I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on it. Here’s the link to it on Kindle along with the book trailer:

FITZROY: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING(210 pages)-YA historical.

The life and tragic death of the illegitimate son of Henry VIII of England.

Check out the book trailer here                Buy It Here

My agent is shopping around a contemporary novel for me. It’s about a high school senior girl who feels invisible and she tries to make herself more visible with humorous consequences! It’s the first time I’ve written “funny” and it turned out better than I hoped! Fingers crossed that an editor/publisher falls in love with it! Or at least wants to publish it!!!

10. Where can we find you?
My website is: which has all of my current news and books.
I am on Twitter as: @kathleea
I am on Facebook as: Witch Hunter!/pages/Witch-Hunter/142372955812353
Guest blogger every Wednesday on
Literary Agent: Nancy Knight of Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency

Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed, it was fun!

And thank you for spending time with us today, Kathleen. We wish you much success with your books!


  1. An interview AND a review! How very cool. Thank you, Sutton, for interviewing Kathleen and sharing your review. Kathleen, you sound like such an amazing person. Keep up the good work!

  2. Nice interview. With 2 fascinating people participating. :)

  3. Hi, Dawn! Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed the interview. :)