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Interview with Kathryn Long, author of A Bride, A Groom, and Happily Never After

Cozy Mystery
Date Published: APRIL 18, 2017

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It’s wedding bell blues and disaster when murder comes to the Paulmona Winery and Villa. Mystery author and part time snoop, Lilly Millenovanovich is the unlucky bride-to-be, but she gladly exchanges her wedding dress for gumshoes and brushes off her bag of spy tricks to solve the crime. After all, family obligation takes priority. Lilly and her zany trio of elderly aunties, must do their part to prove Cousin Mona didn’t kill groomsman Lenny Brioli with a corkscrew wine opener. Trouble is, the evidence keeps pointing in one direction with Mona as murder suspect number one. Detective Grezzo has his sleuthing hands full while handling the case on his own. Jake Kline, Lilly’s fiancé, obviously can’t work the case since Lenny is his best friend. That is, until Lilly convinces him to join her and snoop on the sly. Mona’s life and happiness depends on it. Will it be happily never after for the unlucky couple? Or can Lilly save the date and her wedding dress for another day? It’s a murderous and crazy adventure in this fourth and final episode of the Lilly M Mysteries.

Interview with Kathryn Long, author of A Bride, A Groom, and Happily Never After.

Hi! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello! So very glad to be here. And thank you for inviting me. J I’m a retired school teacher, and now, spend most of my days writing. I devour mystery novels and love chocolate, often indulging in both of those simultaneously. Lol. I recently became a grandparent and live the quiet life with my husband and pooch, Max. NCIS, The Catch, Big Band Theory, and Life in Pieces are a few of my favorite programs. I really miss Castle, though. Beach vacations are the best. Someday I’d love to visit the French Riviera, drink wine, and eat cheese.

Do you write an outline before starting a book or just write?

First I compose a rather jumbled, rambling synopsis of the story idea. Yeah, it’s really a mess, one I alone could decipher. Then, I take that and by some miracle, I organize the details into chapter summaries. Sometimes, I use tons of sticky notes, which help me keep my timeline organized, and plaster them all over my office. Again, a mess that makes total sense to me! Of course, all of this will be tweaked, adjusted, shuffled, torn apart as I write, until I’m satisfied that this is the very best I can do.

Is there an author or book that influenced you or your writing in any way growing up or as an adult?

I’d have to say plenty of romantic suspense writers made an impact, especially Mary Stewart. I wanted to write stories with that kind of suspense, romance, and mystery. Stories that take readers away to places they’d enjoy visiting, to meet those characters, maybe fall in love with them.  

I know authors get asked this a lot but do you have any advice that you would give to aspiring writers?

Do your homework. In other words, write that first book, then set it aside and write a second, maybe a third, before you decide to put it out there. However, you may want to read some books on writing beforehand. My faves include Stephen King’s ON WRITING and James Scott Bell’s series of books which focus on each of the elements of novels – plot, characters, narration, dialog, etc. When you decide to get your precious babies published, whether you choose to go directly to submitting to publishers or to find an agent, again, do your homework. Learn to write a query letter, research those you want to query, prepare well.

Can you tell us, in your own words not the book description, a little about your book?

Lilly Millenovanovich and family are inspired by my mom and aunts. Being very ethnic – plenty of Serbian cooking and baking and lots of gatherings to celebrate and eat – gave me plenty of fodder to work with. The town of Barton is a close description of my hometown; the three aunts are somewhat similar to my mom’s sisters, though none of them are as risqué as Fran. Jake reminds me of my brother the cop, and Lilly? She’s one of a kind!  

Are you working on anything at the moment?

Currently, I’m working on acquiring an agent for my Con Artist Series, light crime capers with plenty of cons, heists, adventure, and a touch of mystery. Think THE HEIST SOCIETY or FOX AND O’HARE. Hopefully, things will happen soon.

Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

To all the readers, thank you! Sometimes, or should I say most times, writing is such a solitary thing that it’s easy to feel lonely and wonder if anyone really cares about the stories I create. But when I get a kind note or review from someone who enjoyed reading my work, letting me know what they felt, how it affected them, then it’s worth it. THAT, wonderful readers, is true validation of what I do.

Random Quickies!

Pepsi or coke? – Iced tea!

Favorite kind of chocolate? – Hershey Kisses with nuts

Cats or dogs? - Dogs

Hardback/Paperback or eReader? – It’s a tie – I alternate PB and eReader

Do you own a laptop or desktop computer? laptop

What book are you reading today?

Just finished STILLHOUSE LAKE by Rachel Caine. Highly recommend this thriller.

Have you ever been out of the state where you live?

Yes. I’ve been to most of the eastern states and the southwest. Once or twice to Canada, but never across the ocean. 

About the Author

Kathryn Long’s passion is writing mysteries, creating the intricate details and weaving them together into the clues which the reader will enjoy collecting to solve the crime. Many of her works include Native American elements and hints of the paranormal. She loves a scary ghost story!

Her writing inspiration began with reading about Nancy Drew and the heroines of romantic suspense authors such as Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. Her first creations were short stories meant to entertain anyone who’d listen or read. Playing the guitar led to song lyrics, which she insists taught her the rhythm and pace of writing prose.

Writing took a serious turn several years ago when she had her first book published. To date readers can find her self-published cozy Lilly M Mysteries, and her traditionally published work: paranormal mystery, Dying to Dream, and latest, a romantic suspense, A Deadly Deed Grows at online retailers and in bookstores.

When writing and the creative muse take a break, this author loves to travel, watch Castle, and of course, read mysteries. Oh, and there’s always an author event or two she will attend in order to – you got it – talk about mystery. Kathryn lives in the City of Green located in northeast Ohio with her husband and little pooch, Max. 

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