Lisa here, chirping in to announce that Kaitlyn Dunnett, a/k/a Kathy Emerson, is visiting us here on Chicks today—and offering a giveaway of A FATAL FICTION, the latest title in her Deadly Edits series. Take it away, Kaitlyn!
In my “Deadly Edits” series, my amateur sleuth starts out as a woman in her late sixties, and she’s seventy in the most recent entry, A Fatal Fiction. As I have reason to know, since I’m seventy-two, the older some women get, the less troubled they are by what other people think of them.
I mean that in a good way. My fictional Mikki Lincoln, a retired language arts teacher, feels she now has much greater freedom to express her opinions than she did when she was accountable to a rural school board and conservative parents. Although she’s not insensitive to other people’s sensibilities, she’s not afraid to speak up, either. Since she’s only responsible for herself, she’s also willing to take physical risks, attempting things she’d never have dreamed of trying when she was younger.
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t worry about possible outcomes, or create worst-case scenarios in her head. But those ingrained habits no longer hold her back if it’s important to go forward.
In Crime & Punctuation, the first book in the series, Mikki is newly returned to her old home town, Lenape Hollow, New York, after more than fifty years of living in Maine. She was a recent widow when she was invited back for a class reunion. Tempted to attend, she googled Lenape Hollow and discovered that the house she grew up in was for sale. On impulse, she bought it. Well, why not? She’d already decided she didn’t want to remain in the home she and her husband shared, constantly reminded of her loss. Besides, since that house is way out in the country, she’d have had to learn to operate the John Deere in order to plow herself out in the winter. She was not looking forward to that prospect.
So, bag, baggage, and a calico cat named Calpurnia, Mikki returns to Lenape Hollow. It doesn’t take her long to realize that her old house needs expensive repairs, and that her pension and social security aren’t going to stretch far enough to cover them. To earn extra money, she starts a new business as a freelance editor, calling herself the Write Right Wright.
I didn’t think about it too much when I was creating Mikki, but in almost everything she does, from renewing old friendships, to going on a date, to dealing with the suspicious death of one of her first clients, she’s taking risks. Some are greater than others, like questioning someone she thinks may be a cold-blooded killer. Others are challenges only in her own mind, like the Mikki-pumps-her-own-gas-for-the-first-time scene that opens A Fatal Fiction. (For those who may not know, Maine still has full-service gas stations with attendants who fill the tank and wash your windshield; New York State, at least in the town that was the model for Lenape Hollow, does not.)
In Clause & Effect, the second book in the series, Mikki takes even more personal and professional risks. It isn’t that she’s unaware of them. It’s just that she’s old enough to consider that they’re worth taking. Common sense has her installing a security system in her new home, but she refuses to stay safely inside, even when others in her life are insisting that she should.
In A Fatal Fiction, to the consternation of her visiting nephew, Mikki is acting impulsively and “out of character” and he’s worried about her. Since she doesn’t want to alarm him, she resorts to behavior that is even more impulsive. She’s fully aware of the absurdity of sneaking out of her own house to do some late-night sleuthing, but the risk seems worthwhile if it will keep family friction at a minimum. It’s sneaking back in that’s the trick. She has to borrow a ladder from her next-door neighbor so she can climb back up to the little balcony attached to her second-floor office.
I hope readers will find such antics realistic as well as amusing. I can certainly see myself, were I in the same situation, doing just what Mikki does. For those who remember watching The Golden Girls, think of Sophia. She didn’t have any filter on saying what she thought. At least Mikki stops and thinks before she just blurts something out . . . most of the time.
How about you, readers? Are you a cautious person, or a bit more on the impulsive side? Let Kaitlyn/Kathy know in the comments, and you could win a copy of A FATAL FICTION! ***UPDATE: Kaitlyn’s winner is Lisa Brock. Congratulations, Lisa!!
About the Book:
For more info re: A FATAL FICTION, please visit: https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496726865/a-fatal-fiction/
About the Author:
With the October 6, 2020 publication of The Finder of Lost Things, Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett has had sixty-three books traditionally published. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. Currently she writes the contemporary “Deadly Edits” series (A Fatal Fiction) as Kaitlyn. As Kathy, her most recent book is a standalone historical mystery, The Finder of Lost Things. She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. A third, at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, contains over 2000 mini-biographies of sixteenth-century Englishwomen.