Kathi Daley interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Oct 7, 2016 2:43:12 PM
Kathi Daley interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from her website: Kathi lives in the beautiful alpine community of Lake Tahoe with her husband Ken and dog Echo. When she's not writing she enjoys hanging out on the beach with her children and grandchildren. During the summer she enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, wakeboarding, and sunset cruises on the lake. During the winter she enjoys cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and curling up by a fire with a good book.
Kathi uses her mountain home as inspiration for her books, all which include appearances by the wildlife she shares her life with.
Note: A list of her books is found after the interview.
1. Where are you currently living?
Lake Tahoe California
2. What is the most important thing that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I guess that the most important thing I’ve learned is to trust my process and not overthink things. I don’t plot my books. I simply sit down and write. There are moments when I have this little voice that whispers that writing a book where I usually never know who the killer is until the last chapter or two is nuts, but I’m about to publish my 50th book in November and it has worked out every time so far so when the little whisper of doubt rears its ugly head I just remind myself to trust the process that has gotten me to where I am today and not to make things more complicated than they need to be.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing, publishing, editing or illustrating quirk?
I’m not sure that this is a quirk exactly but in all my books I like to leave the reader with something to feel. I always end with a touching, heartwarming, shocking, or even sometimes sad, final scene.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
I write 5 series. I currently self-publish 4 and trade publish one. I have had amazing success as a self-published author. I wrote my first book on a whim and uploaded it to Amazon in September 2013 hoping to sell it to a few people. I sold several thousand copies the first month, a 100,000 copies the first year, and from there I kept writing and my career continued to grow. At the beginning of 2016 I realized that in spite of my success in self-publishing there are doors that are open to those who have traditional publishing contracts that are not open to self-publishers so I decided to take one series main stream and hooked up with Henery Press. I love working with them so at this point I really feel I am able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
a. Who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
Henery Press – Frisco Texas
5. Any insights eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I sell 95 eBooks for every paperback I sell. I think even hardcore ‘book’ lovers are finding that eBooks are a cost effective way to try out a lot of different authors. I love bookstores and hope they continue to thrive well into the future, but when it comes to practical considerations such as cost, eBooks are the way to go. And while I love my publisher and can see that self-publishing is not for everyone, I do think you will see the trend shift in this direction as well.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
Build your platform. There are a lot of really fantastic authors out there. When competing for a traditional publishing contract the publisher will of course take the quality of the manuscript into account, but if they have ten really good choices and only have room for one book, they are going to choose the author that already has established a brand and a strong following. I spend a LOT of time on social media and I give a lot of stuff away. I have contests and events that draw people to my social media sites which has made all the difference in terms of name recognition.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
I don’t have an agent so I can’t help you with this one but if I did decide I wanted or needed an agent I’d ask my writers friends to make recommendations.
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Build your brand and your platform. This is as important as writing an awesome book. And if you self-publish don’t skimp on editing or cover design. People who say you can’t judge a book by its cover may be correct but I absolutely guarantee you that you can sell a book by its cover. Also reach out to other authors and become part of the community. There a quite a few groups you can join to meet people and chances are if you don’t know how to deal with something there is someone in the group who has the exact answer you need.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned your creative process with your books, editing, publishing or illustrating?
When I started off as a writer my intention was to entertain. The thing that surprised me the most were the number of letters and emails I received from readers telling me how my books have comforted them, encouraged them, lifted them up, and generally made a huge impression in their lives. I can remember my first letter very well. It was from a man I had never met or even heard of who told me that his wife had recently died after a long struggle with cancer. He told me that in the end my books were the only thing that would bring a smile to her face. When she could no longer read them herself he’d read them to her. Of course I cried like a baby when I read this, but this letter helped me make a shift as to how I view my books. I write mysteries and not self-help books so this wasn’t a benefit I expected, but as I’ve met these amazing people who read and enjoy my books, and I witness how much the books mean to them, I find I have found a new purpose in my writing which I believe has made all the difference.
10. How many books have you written?
11. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Honestly no. I am not a qualified author. Really. I’ve never even taken a single writing class. I just jot down whatever random thoughts are stomping around in my head at the time and people seem to like that. I am certain that my process would not work for most as I never plot or have a plan I just sit down, decide on an opening paragraph, and keep writing until I am done. I like to let the characters tell the story and I am always amazed and surprised at what they come up with, but I feel it would be an injustice to recommend this style of writing to anyone else.
12. Do you have any suggestions for providing twists in a good story?
Again I don’t plot but I do think a twist should make sense. I hate a book that has a twist at the end that leaves the reader thinking, “What? Where did that come from?” A good twist is one you don’t see coming but once revealed leaves you saying, “Of course. That makes perfect sense. Why didn’t I see that?”
13. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
I write characters with complex and often complicated lives. My books are full of people struggling with personal issues and relationships who are doing their best to live their lives to the fullest. In the course of doing this they just happen to stumble across a mystery. My mysteries are people centered and I know my readers come back time after time because they care about the characters and want to know what is going on in their full and sometimes messy lives.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I do a ton of social media and I also attend live events where I can actually chat with and meet readers. If I had to attribute one thing to my success as a writer it is the relationships I’ve built along the way.
15. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing or editing or publishing or illustrating) and why?
I wouldn’t change a single thing. Every decision I’ve made, mistake I’ve suffered through, and accomplishment I’ve enjoyed, has brought me to this point, which I have to say, is a pretty great place to be.
16. What saying or mantra do you live by?
“Go with the flow. Life is too short to live it struggling against the current.”
17. Anything else you would like to say?
No I think you covered it.
Kathi Daley Book List:
Zoe Donovan Cozy Mystery:
The Trouble With Turkeys
Big Bunny Bump-off
Beach Blanket Barbie
Turkeys, Tuxes, and Tabbies
Candy Cane Caper - October 2016
The New Normal
Zoe Donovan Cookbook
Ashton Falls Cozy Cookbook
Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery:
Romeow and Juliet
The Mad Catter
Grimm's Furry Tail
Much Ado About Felines
The Legend of Tabby Hollow
The Cat of Christmas Past
Tail of Two Tabbies
The Great Catsby
Count Catula - September 2016
The Cat of Christmas Present - November 2016
Sand and Sea Hawaiian Mystery
Murder at Dolphin Bay
Murder at Sunrise
Murder at the Witching Hour
Seacliff High Teen Mystery: