I Kill People For A Living

Hello. My name is Kaitlyn and I kill people for a living. I also have three separate personalities. Fortunately, two of them are crime writers, which helps to explain that first statement.

Since this is my first blog at Maine Crime Writers, I’d like to spend it introducing all three of me, even though the only regular blogger among us will be Kaitlyn Dunnett. My real name is Kathy. Really. It’s not short for anything. But to confuse the issue, my parents gave me the middle name Lynn. When I decided to use a pseudonym, I opted for Kaitlyn, which I always thought was a much cooler name than Kathy Lynn.

As Kathy Lynn Emerson, I started writing my first novel in 1976. In the years since, I’ve written both nonfiction and fiction in several genres and under several names. My forty-fifth book to be published by a traditional print publisher will be in stores in October. In the mystery field, I wrote two mysteries for middle-grades readers (THE MYSTERY OF HILLIARD’S CASTLE and THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BAGPIPES, both set in Maine) and, for grown-ups, the Face Down series of ten novels and a collection of short stories featuring Susanna Appleton, a sixteenth-century English gentlewoman, herbalist, and sleuth. Under the same name I also wrote the Diana Spaulding 1888 Quartet, featuring a female scandal sheet journalist and her love interest, a physician from Bangor, Maine. Two of the four books, DEADLIER THAN THE PEN and LETHAL LEGEND, are set mostly in Maine. My historical mystery-writing career led to the publication of the Agatha-award winning HOW TO WRITE KILLER HISTORICAL MYSTERIES: THE ART AND ADVENTURE OF SLEUTHING THROUGH THE PAST in 2008. You can find out more about all the Kathy Lynn Emerson books at http://www.kathylynnemerson.com.

Kate Emerson is my non-mystery historical writing name. Under that pseudonym I’ve written four books in the SECRETS OF THE TUDOR COURT series. The fourth, AT THE KING’S PLEASURE, will be in stores August 23. They are not romance novels, but rather historical novels in the tradition of Anya Seton and Margaret Campbell Barnes. And, okay, Philippa Gregory. In each I focus on a different little-known woman at the court of Henry VIII. All of these women have been accused of being Henry’s mistresses. Most of them were not. For more information on these books, you can go to http://www.KateEmersonHistoricals.com.

That brings me back to Kaitlyn Dunnett. Kaitlyn’s books, the Liss MacCrimmon Scottish-American Heritage Mysteries, are set in the Western Maine mountains. This is very convenient, since that’s where I live. The books are set in the present and feature an amateur sleuth, Liss MacCrimmon, former professional Scottish dancer (think RIVERDANCE, only Scottish). When a knee injury ends that career, she returns to her hometown of Moosetookalook, Maine (yes, I made that up) to work in her aunt’s store, Moosetookalook Scottish Emporium. And, of course, there is a murder. The first book in the seires, KILT DEAD, came out in 2007, followed by SCONE COLD DEAD, A WEE CHRISTMAS HOMICIDE, and THE CORPSE WORE TARTAN. The fifth in the series, SCOTCHED, will be out in October. The stories are on the “cozy” end of the mystery spectrum and written with a light touch, full of eccentric characters and situations that I hope readers find amusing. It’s not that I don’t take murder seriously, but I know, from being married to a man in law enforcement for over forty years, that a) criminals do really stupid things and b) normal people react in truly ridiculous ways to the unexpected.

Looking back at what I’ve written here, my first thought is to hope I haven’t bored you. I haven’t had a lot of experience with blogging. With luck, I’ll get better at it, and hit on some topics that you find interesting. In the meantime, I’m extremely grateful to Kate Flora, who came up with the idea for this group blog and has done a fantastic job of pulling it together. It’s a known fact (and I’m not the first to say it) that getting a bunch of writers to do anything in an organized fashion is like herding kittens.

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6 Responses to I Kill People For A Living

  1. MCWriTers says:

    I’m not bored at all. I had no idea you’d written so many books. It makes my output seem so paltry. Going to my desk write now…oops…right now…to right…uh…write…another novel before lunch.

    BTW, was in the mountains of Western Maine yesterday. What a gorgeous part of the state. I hope you’ll take us touring through some of your local towns.

  2. Annette says:

    WOW, I just discovered this blog through Facebook.
    I love your books as Kaitlyn Dunnett. I recently visited Maine on vacation, the eastern part of the state. I mentioned Moosetookalook several times. I look forward to reading this blog. You have a great lineup of authors. Good luck!

  3. You know the best thing about writing? It legitimizes having multiple identities and imaginary friends!

  4. Gerry Boyle says:

    Wow. Impressive output but also impressive that you can switch gears, styles, centuries like that. I have to make an effort to make my two series seem different, that they don’t slide toward the middle, common ground. I guess my task isn’t so difficult, after all.

  5. Carol-Lynn Rössel says:

    Good work girlfriend. You’ve come so far since our days in “CAW.” I’m so proud of you!

  6. Coco Ihle says:

    Hi Kathy, It was great getting the chance to meet you at Malice Domestic in April. I love your Scottish books and look forward to reading your other ones, as well. I guess I’d better plan on living a looong time. Great luck with all your writing projects!

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