Kaye George is a short story writer and novelist who has been nominated for three Agatha awards and has been a finalist for the Silver Falchion. She is the author of four mystery series: the Imogene Duckworthy humorous Texas series, the Cressa Carraway musical mystery series, the FAT CAT cozy series (coming in 2014), and The People of the Wind Neanderthal series.
Her short stories can be found in her collection, A PATCHWORK OF STORIES, as well as in several anthologies, various online and print magazines. She reviews for “Suspense Magazine”, writes for several newsletters and blogs, and gives workshops on short story writing and promotion. Kaye lives in Knoxville, TN.
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PJ: How long have you been writing?
Kaye: All my life, since before I could form words on paper. Full time, I’ve been writing about 12 years.
PJ: At what point did you reach a place where you felt successful as a writer?
Kaye: My first huge moment was when my first short story was accepted. That same story later won an award. Just last week, I had a compliment on it. I’m so happy that Flash Mob has held up for a few years. When I wrote it, I thought that it had better get accepted soon or I would trash it, not knowing that flash mobs would be around for a long time yet.
PJ: Is the writing life what you expected when you started out? If not, how is it different?
Kaye: Everything I expected and more! I always knew I wanted to write and never really expected to get published. I’ve made my way from self-publishing to small press to a Penguin imprint (Berkley Prime Crime), surprising myself no end! Every time someone accepts one of my projects, I’m still astounded.
PJ: The general public seems to think authors are relatively wealthy. Without prying too much, has your writing income lived up to expectations?
Kaye: I didn’t have any expectations of money, so I guess it has. I reported IRS losses for 10 years and made a teensy (3 figure) profit last year. I do hope my income keeps heading in that direction, but I’m happy just to be published and have people reading what I write.
PJ: Early on, so much focus is given to getting published. Now that you’re published, how has your focus changed?
Kaye: Very much so. I thought that when I got published, that would bit it. I would have arrived. But there’s always another horizon. Get an award (or nomination), start another series, get another publisher, sell more books. The promotion takes much more time than I’d like, but I’ve learned that nothing happens unless I made it happen. People don’t come seeking my work. That would be nice, but I don’t think it will ever happen.
PJ: How long did it take you to get published the first time?
Kaye: After I started writing full time, in novel form, about 10 years. I succeeded with short stories much sooner. That was about 5 years.
PJ: Writing new material, rewriting, submitting new work, waiting, promoting published work…the list is large. How do you manage to divvy up your time to give adequate attention to all needed areas?
Kaye: I’m not sure that I do that. I try, but I sure don’t so everything I’d like to. I’ll never live long enough to write all the ideas I have. If there were 50 hours in a day, I might do all the promotion I’d like to do. I’m a big believer in doing what you can do. That’s all you can do!
PJ: What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?
Kaye: I’ll pass on the advice that was given to me. Don’t quit five minutes before you succeed. In other words, persist! Persist some more and keep persisting. The main difference between a publisher writer and an unpublished one is that the published one didn’t quit.
PJ: Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:
I’ll give you the novels since the short story list (happily) is quite long.
Imogene Duckworthy series (humorous Texas mysteryes)
Eine Kleine Murder, #1 in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mystery series
Coming very soon:
Fat Cat at Large, #1 in the Fat Cat mystery series (9/2/14)
Requiem for Red, #2 in the Cressa Carraway series
Coming some day:
Stroke, #4 in the Duckworthy sries
Death on the Trek, #2 in the People of the Wind series
(God willing and the crick don’t rise.)
PJ: Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:
Fat Cat at Large: When she’s not dreaming up irresistible dessert bars for her Minneapolis treatery, Bar None, Charity “Chase” Oliver is running after her cat, Quincy—a tubby tabby with a gift for sniffing out edibles. But what happens when this cat burglar leads Chase to the scene of a real crime?
PJ: Where can we buy it?
Available for preorder now
PJ: What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?
Kaye: I’ve always wanted to write a gorgeous, lyric literary short story. If not that, then the Great American Novel. But I’m having so much fun writing genre fiction that I can’t quit.