You’ve Really Read My Book?

Kate Flora: Last week was a busy one. Along with closing up our cottage for the winter,

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Barbara Ross, Kate Flora, and John Clark at the Shots Fired book launch

there was the book launch for Shots Fired on Thursday, and then I spent the weekend at a craft fair in Waterville with Barbara Ross and Lea Wait. Doing any book event with fellow writers is fun, because it gives us a chance to catch up–and Maine crime writers tend to be good friends. We talk about agents and editors, about plotting, and writing schedules, and where in the process we are, and sometimes other authors will drop in to chat, as Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett did on Saturday.

Doing a book with event with authors who have series mysteries with nicely matched8209672E-F82A-41E4-86D4-1671B4E71A88 covers and an appealing price point when my trade paper books are more expensive and have a mishmash of cover styles? Well, that’s more like being the clumsy kid who hopes to not be the last one picked for a team. This is especially hard when so many people are devouring their series books.


Despite my many years in the writing biz, I have never successfully conquered my Eeyore tendencies. You may find this hard to believe, but I am still amazed when someone looks at my array of books, points to them one by one, and says, “I’ve read this, and this, and this, and I’m waiting for you to write some more.” I am always tempted at that point to flee from the table, jump in my car, and head back to my office so I can give my readers what they want.

It’s even more amazing when someone has read all of my nonfiction–Finding Amy, Death Dealer, and A Good Man with a Dog and can discuss them in detail. But that happened on Sunday. So, even though I didn’t have it out on display, one woman knew so much about my work that I pulled out a copy of Shots Fired and showed her that. “I want it. I will definitely buy it.” And she actually went home to get some money. Obviously, this Eeyore was smiling.

As a female writer, even one who writes books as dark and gritty as the Joe Burgess


Miramichi, New Brunswick Deputy Chief Brian Cummings with his copy of Shots Fired

police procedurals, I still expect that most of my readers will be female. I’ve even joked that I should have changed my name before publishing the Burgess books, since statistics show that male readers are more likely to limit their reading to books by men. But cops who’ve read the Burgess series say they think I understand the cop’s life better than some cops they know, so when a guy is browsing the table, I tend to steer him toward the Burgess books.

But, in yet another in a lifetime of lessons about not making assumptions about people, on Sunday a couple approached and looked at my books and asked if I was really Kate Flora. Eeyore admitted that she was, and the woman said that her husband was devouring my Thea Kozak series. He was as excited to meet the author as I was to meet the reader. (I wish I’d taken his picture, but he’s shy…) So he went away with a copy of A Good Man with a Dog, and I was left smiling. He goes in the “what a great guy” column along with the guy at a signing a few years ago who shyly told me that his wife had given him permission to date Thea.

So, for those of you out there who may think that you’re annoying authors by sending them e-mails or remarking on Facebook or Twitter that you’re loving their books–you are NOT annoying. You are giving your favorite author a much appreciated gift. We love photos of you with our books, like this one of Miramichi, New Brunswick Deputy Chief Brian Cummings with his copy of Shots Fired.

And now, for one of you who comments on this post, I have a gift for you–a bundle of three Level Best Crime story anthologies, a pumpkin cookie cutter, and the very special, reusable bag with the Kate Flora logo.


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10 Responses to You’ve Really Read My Book?

  1. crys101497 says:

    Loved good man with a dog. What a good book that was, so inspiring. I do not have ptsd but have bipolar disorder and really enjoyed Rogers story. Thanks for that. Have read Led Astray and loved it. Have another Joe Burgess in my tbr pile. Want to read more of the Joe Burgess series. You write great books. Will have to get some of the nonfiction too.

  2. kaitlynkathy says:

    Hey, Kate. It was great to see all three of you on Saturday and even better to see so many craft fair customers stopping to look, chat, and BUY. I think we all wonder sometimes if anyone is reading what we’ve written, but as it happens, as I was reading Lea’s new book during the power outage, there was a character reading a Kate Flora novel! Does that count? And of course, I read Kate Flora novels and short stories too.

  3. Vida Antolin-Jenkins says:

    Let me assure you that I have read Thea, Joe, and your incredible “Good Man with a Dog.” Loved them! They are in the category of great read, and marvelously re-readable (when I want to revisit). Thank you for transporting me away!

  4. More incentive, Vida, to get cracking and finish this new Thea so I can write a new Joe Burgess, right?


  5. Cheryl Worcester says:

    Kate, I’ve read and loved all your Thea Kozak books and am moving on to Joe Burgess. Thanks for sharing yourself in so many ways with your delighted readers!

  6. You got a big round of applause yesterday when I dropped off the copy of Shots Fired at the Pittsfield Library and told them a copy of the Obama Inheritance would arrive as soon as I read it. I’ve mage a number of friends among authors who like my reviews of their work and knowing reviews are valued and appreciated is a very warm feeling.

    • Looking forward to your reactions to TOI…someone at the Waterville craft fair came by, glanced, stopped, came back, snared her husband, and said, “This is exactly what you want to read on our cruise.” You never know what will catch a reader’s eye.

  7. gailwood says:

    I’ve been reading this blog for awhile, reading the books. I’m currently reading the Thea Kozak series. I Love them. Now I’m going to look at your nonfiction. Best wishes and happy writing

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