by Sparkle Abbey
We’re thrilled to share that Kathleen Kaska has joined The Stiletto Gang group and will
be blogging on the first Friday of the month starting tomorrow! So we thought we’d
take this opportunity to introduce the award-winning mystery author and learn more about her.
Q: What do you write?
I write mysteries: mainly cozies, but also traditional
and police procedurals, and some nonfiction. I like to try different styles of
I write the Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series set in the
1950s. This is lighthearted and humorous in the style of Janet Evanovich’s
Stephanie Plump series. Each book takes place in a different historic hotel. I
also write the Kate Caraway Animal Right’s Mystery Series. I just finished a
hardboiled detective mystery set in 1945 Manhattan and am halfway through a
zany British detective story set on the North Cornish Coast.
Q: What got you started on your writing journey?
I knew I wanted to write mysteries but didn’t know how
to start, so I joined the Austin Writer’s League, now the Writer’s League of
Texas, and started taking creative writing classes. I collected how-to writing
books, subscribed to writer’s magazines, and joined a critique group. In doing
so, I tried my hand at different things. Travel writing, articles about
education (I was teaching at the time), and even became the editor of a local
wildlife organization’s newsletter.
Within a short time, I was asked to be a staff writer
of an outdoor adventure and fitness magazine. A textbook publisher contacted me
to contribute to middle school science textbooks. This didn’t help in writing
mysteries, but I knew I had to start somewhere. Breaking into the world of
fiction writing, and getting published, was not going to be easy, so I started
with nonfiction, writing three mystery trivia books. I landed an agent, and all
three books sold. Only then did I start writing my own mysteries.
Q: Are you a “spoiler” and read the end of the book
before you finish it or do you read cover to cover?
I’m a cover-to-cover reader. I read slowly, often
rereading my favorite passages. If I miss the meaning of a sentence, I read it
over until I understand. I read from the perspective of a reader and a writer.
Q: Did you have a favorite author as a child?
I wasn’t an avid reader as a child until I read The Island of the Blue Dolphins, followed
by The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Then I picked up Agatha Christie. Little did I know that I’d eventually write a
book about Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie.
Q. What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a
I’m a runner and put in several miles every week. This
is my quiet, contemplation time where I work out plot issues in my novels and
design scenes and conversations between my characters. I am also a birder and
enjoy being outdoors with my friends and family. My passion for birds led to
the publication of the biography, The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The
Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida).
Q. What are you working on now?
This year will be a busy, exciting year. I’ve started a
new mystery series, I’m just barely into it, and I have a publisher eager to
see it when finished. I have another publisher who’s interested in picking up
and reissuing my Sydney Lockhart series. And I hope my third Kate Caraway
mystery will be released by the end of the year; that’s a big hope.
One of my mystery trivia books, The Sherlock Holmes
Quiz Book, was picked up, updated, and reissued on November 1, 2020.
I have podcast interviews coming up in the next few
weeks. My website lists the podcast interviews and YouTube interviews,
scheduled in the next few weeks, as well as previous events.
Where can readers connect with you?
Connect with Sparkle Abbey
About Kathleen Kaska
I’m a Texas gal. Except for an eighteen-month hiatus living
in New York City after college, I lived in the Lone Star State continuously for
fifty years. Since then Texas has been hit and miss—a little hit, but a heck of
a lot of miss. There was a time when I thought I would happily die in Austin,
Texas. But circumstances and
weather—especially weather—changed that. Now I spend most of the year on
Fidalgo Island in Washington State with a view of the bay and the mountains.
When I get homesick, my husband and I listen to Willie Nelson. Soon we are
dancing the two-step, imagining we are at our favorite honky-tonk in Tokyo,
Texas where the mayor is believed to be a dog. Who wouldn’t miss that?
I write the awarding-winning mystery series: the Sydney
Lockhart Mystery Series set in the 1950s and the Classic Triviography Mystery
Series, which includes The Sherlock
Holmes Quiz Book, which was updated and released by Lyons Press on November
1, 2020. My Kate Caraway
animal-rights mystery series includes Run
Dog Run (2017) and A Two Horse Town
(2019). Eagle Crossing is scheduled
for release in 2021. On my website, you can also find my Five-Minute Writing
Tips and blog posts about publishing, marketing, birding, and quirky things
that come to mind.