Today we Chicks are delighted to welcome back guest author Kathy Lynn Emerson, a/k/a Kaitlyn Dunnett, who has an exciting new book and venture to share with us. Take it away, Kathy!
Me, Myself, and I Come Out To Play
Over the years I’ve written under several names. I’ve written two contemporary cozy series as Kaitlyn Dunnett, six historical novels as Kate Emerson, and just about everything else as Kathy Lynn Emerson. My experiences under all three names have been the subject of a great many blogs, which leads me to the topic for this one—the collection of “essays” I recently self-published under the title I Kill People for a Living.
I’ve always been a great one for recycling ideas and when I realized I’d written almost two hundred and fifty posts for Maine Crime Writers, it occurred to me that I really ought to do something with all that material. Thus the idea for collecting and publishing some of the ones I liked best was born.
When I reread the two hundred and fifty blogs, I had to admit that they weren’t all gems. I ended up sorting a hundred and fifteen blogs into nine categories, ranging from essays about writing books and short stories (Cozy Mysteries, Historical Novels, Miscellaneous Thoughts on Writing) to more personal topics (My Life in Books, Climbing the Family Tree) to pieces on people (real and fictional) and places that influenced me or my writing or both. My personal favorite in the writing categories is a little number titled “Some Thoughts on Cussing in Cozies,” inspired by a critical e-mail from one of my readers. I grouped material that didn’t quite fit anywhere else under Odds and Ends. And, of course, there was one other topic that rated it’s own section, since I do (mostly) write cozy mysteries. There are eight essays devoted entirely to cats.
During last year’s Covid lockdown, I started experimenting with self-publishing. I’d already turned in Murder, She Edited, the fourth and last book in my contact for the Deadly Edits Mysteries.
Sadly, the signs were pretty clear that my publisher wasn’t going to want more. My Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries, also written as Kaitlyn Dunnett, had already been dropped after thirteen entries. So, I had time for a new project, and I have had plenty of experience reinventing myself. Before long, I’d produced e-book and print editions of several of my backlist titles plus e-book and paperback originals of a couple of books I wrote early in my career and was never able to sell to a commercial publisher. One is a biography of my grandfather. Others were written for young readers. Along the way, I discovered that self-publishing, although not particularly remunerative, is great fun. The best parts of the writing process remain intact. It was a no-brainer to decide to self-publish my collection of essays.
Fortunately, I’ve always enjoyed the revising, because some of the original blogs were incredibly wordy. The “essays” are much better written! Although some were first posted a decade ago (I include the date of the original blog with each one), I felt they held up well in 2021, but to make sure, I sent the manuscript to a freelance editor (shades of my protagonist in the Deadly Edits books!). I also hired a professional to create the cover, using photographs I sent to him.
Whether readers want to consider I Kill People for a Living a book on writing, a memoir, or simply “a collection of essays by a writer of cozy mysteries,” I think I can safely say it has a little something for everyone.
About the Author:
Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett has had sixty-four books traditionally published and has self published several children’s books and three works of nonfiction. 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. Her newest books are Murder, She Edited (the fourth book in the contemporary “Deadly Edits” series, written as Kaitlyn) and, as Kathy, I Kill People for a Living: A Collection of Essays by a Writer of Cozy Mysteries. She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. A third, at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, is the gateway to over 2300 mini-biographies of sixteenth-century Englishwomen, now available in e-book format.
Readers, have you ever created something brand new from a past project–or gone back and made something even better? Let us know in the comments!