Gay Yellen: Spotlight on Kathryn Lane

Today, I interview our own Stiletto Gang-sister, Kathryn Lane, award-winning author of the Nikki Garcia Mysteries. Missing in Miami, her fourth book in the series, has just been released.

Kathryn is a woman of many parts: artist, writer, and former international corporate executive, all of which provides rich background for her stories. What is it like to be a world traveler who solves crimes? Read on…

Gay: Kathryn, when your series begins, Nikki Garcia is a crackerjack forensic accountant, a rather nontraditional kind of sleuth. And yet, you managed to turn the investigation into a riveting read. As the series progresses, Nikki picks up other skills, and by the time we get to the new book, which takes place in Cuba as well as Florida—she’s almost a full-blown spy. Did you plan this character progression from the start?

Kathryn: I’d love to answer with a resounding, “Yes, of course I planned it that way!” But when I wrote the first book, I did not know I’d be writing a series until my publisher insisted I create other books with Nikki as protagonist. Being a pantser (a writer who doesn’t pre-outline) I developed her into a sleuth, thinking it would otherwise get boring if she was always investigating corporate fraud around the world.

Gay: I see similarities between you and Nikki: a love for travel and good food, and a background in corporate finance. How is she different from you?

Kathryn: I’m not nearly as brave as Nikki!

Gay: The character of Eduardo, a Colombian physician, is a dreamboat: romantic, wealthy, and kind. Did you pattern him after a real person, or is he simply a dream?

Kathryn: I was single when I wrote the first book, so maybe Eduardo represents my dream man. He is purely fictional, as are all my characters, except for some mentions of real or historical persons. After completing the first book, I met Bob, who is now my husband and who shares three of Eduardo’s characteristics: he is immensely supportive of my work, he’s kind, and he has a romantic streak—he lights a candle for our dinner every night we eat at home. The one trait he’s missing is that he’s not wealthy, doggone it! 

Gay: In the new book, you mention a novel I happen to be reading right now: Klara and the Sun, by Kazuro Ishiguro. What was behind that choice?

Kathryn: In every mystery I’ve written, I’ve mentioned another author or visual artist whose work I admire. As I was writing Missing in Miami, I read Klara. In that story, a girl named Josie suffers from an illness that is never fully defined. I mentioned the book because Andrea, the missing girl in my novel, also has an illness. I don’t expect many readers to catch the comparison, but the connection sparks my own creative juices.

Gay: I’m fascinated by your world travels to… is it over ninety countries? Each of your books is set in a different location, and they each seem to offer a bit of a traveler’s guide for the area. Having been to so many places, how do you decide where Nikki Garcia will go next?

Kathryn Lane
Kathryn: I’ve traveled to ninety-four countries. As a child, one of my dreams was to travel. I have accomplished that by working for Johnson & Johnson, even though I had also traveled before my corporate job. For my novels, I pick locations that I like, and more importantly, that fit the story. I like to think that the reader is walking the streets of a location with Nikki as she carries out her investigation.

Gay: Thank you, Kathryn, for giving us a peek behind the scenes! Readers, you can find out more about the Nikki Garcia Series on Amazon, on BookBub, or at Kathryn’s website.

Wow, the places Kathryn has traveled! What about you, readers? What foreign lands have you visited?


GAY YELLEN writes the award-winning Samantha Newman Mysteries, including The Body Business, The Body Next Door, and the soon to be released Body in the News. Gay would love to hear from you in the comments below, on Facebook, or BookBub, or via her website.




17 replies
  1. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    What a great interview! Two authors I admire, wonderful questions, and fascinating answers. Nikki Garcia is definitely on my playlist!

  2. Donnell Ann Bell
    Donnell Ann Bell says:

    Holy moley, Gay and Kathryn: What a fantastic interview. I own Missing in Miami. I'm doing three (count them three) beta reads in addition to copy edits. Missing in Miami is first on my TBR list. I'm particularly intrigued by this book as my great grandmother and my relatives, of course, emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba.

    • Gay Yellen
      Gay Yellen says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Donnell. I know what you mean about your TBR list. So many books! So little time!

  3. Debra H. Goldstein
    Debra H. Goldstein says:

    Fascinating interview as it added to what I already know about you and have gleaned reading the Nikki mysteries — but I don't think I always got the book connection… duh. I share your love of travel, but have not visited anywhere near the number of countries you have.

  4. Kathryn Lane
    Kathryn Lane says:

    Gay, it was so much fun to do this interview with you. Thank you for all the wonderful stuff you brought out.


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