Kathy’s A Dozen Deadly Roses hit both Barnes & Nobles and Amazon top 100 lists for her best selling debut novel. It is listed as one of the top cop dramas and police procedural mysteries to come along in quite a while.
Due out next month, her second book, A Deadly Blessing promises to be another great read.
Kathy, I have to gush here for a minute. I read A Dozen Deadly Roses and became an instant fan.
Thank you so much! It’s good to know that my words connect with readers.
So I’m excited that your second book A Deadly Blessing is due out soon. I can’t wait to read it.
I had hoped to have A Deadly Blessing out in February, but some revision issues slowed me down. I’m fairly certain the book will release in early April. (Kathy says while crossing her fingers.)
1 1.) Okay, gushing’s over. I know it’s been a year since your retirement from the LAPD. In that time, did you find more time to write or did you have to schedule your writing time because life took over?
I have quickly learned that I’m doing retirement all wrong!
Prior to retirement, I already knew I’d be devoting about 20 hours a week to my mother who has Alzheimer’s disease. I’m doing that and I love the time I get to spend with my mom.
I also self-published A Dozen Deadly Roses. There was a tremendous learning curve in how to go about the mechanics of getting a book up for sale. Once the book was available at all major e-book retailers, I had to get the word out. For several months, I was at my computer twelve to fourteen hours a day – promoting my book and my name. I was prepared for the time spent with my mom, but had no idea I’d be spending so much time trying to get people to ‘know’ Kathy Bennett. I’ve spoken at various conferences, taught several online classes, done a number of guest blogs, and joined the board of directors of my local RWA chapter.
Couple that with the regular stuff that goes on in a household, cooking, cleaning, shopping, errands and the list goes on and on. Oh, and my daughter is getting married this summer so there are all kinds of wedding details and events to sort out. There are never enough hours in the day.
2.) I know your second novel A Deadly Blessing is due out next month, is it a continuation of your first book or is the story totally independent of the first?
Well, it’s not a continuation per se…but it’s not totally independent either. If I had to choose one answer, I’d say it’s more independent. Is that confusing enough?
3.) I need to ask, I sure you’re tired of this question by now, but why did you self-publish? I never get tired of this question. First, let me say that there are so many choices for authors today. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to publish a book.
I chose to self-publish my book because it allowed me complete control over my career. Imagine that – a former cop who wants complete control 😉 I liked the idea that I would be able to keep the title I’d thought of for my book, that I’d be able to have a cover that I loved (and had final say on design,) and I loved the idea that if I did well, it was through my hard work. If my book tanked, I had no one but myself to blame.
Self-publishing worked well for me. That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone.
4.) How much time each day do you spend promoting your books as opposed to writing?
I think the period after a book’s release is crazy time. Once A Deadly Blessing is released I can see me spending twelve hours a day on the computer again.
However, I’ve also learned what works for me and what doesn’t. With that said, the publishing industry is changing so quickly, what worked for me 9 months ago, might be a total waste of time at the present time.
5.) What do you like best about your main character in A Dozen Deadly Roses? Her strength or her vulnerability?
I’d have to say, I like Jade’s vulnerability as a police officer and woman. When I first conceived the idea for A Dozen Deadly Roses, I wanted to write a story about street cops. One of my pet peeves with police procedural novels is that the women police characters are often portrayed hard as nails and always with a sassy, witty remark to any given situation.
6.) What do you like about main character in A Deadly Blessing?
The main protagonist in A Deadly Blessing is LAPD Detective Maddie Divine. I like the fact that Maddie is a very strong woman. She has to be – she’s got a lot on her plate. She’s recovering from a life-changing event in her life, all the while her husband is struggling after a traumatic incident as a SWAT officer. To top it off, she’s involved in the biggest case in her career and, during the investigation she learns her partner might be involved in the crime.
7.) I always think cop equals tough—but Jade is not only the heroine, but also a victim in A Dozen Deadly Roses who over comes most obstacles. I guess my question is she is portrayed as an everyday individual who has a unique job. Would that be your assessment of your career and your characters? Wow! You’re making me see things about my own book I didn’t realize. But I think you are right.
Jade is a single-mother who struggles to get through the day-to-day details of life – just like many women in the world do. The difference between Jade and the every-day woman is the fact that Jade can take away someone’s freedom – or even end their life…in a matter of seconds. But if you take Jade out of the uniform, she’s woman and a mother just like many women in the world.
8.) Do people treat you differently when they learn you were an officer of the law?
Ha! Not really. I do think many people are surprised when they learn of my former profession. I’m generally very quiet and reserved – not the image most people have of a police officer. However, if the situation calls for it, I have no problem morphing into my police persona.
If I may, I’d like to tell a quick story that illustrates this point. About five years ago I was at the RWA National Conference in Washington D.C. I was a student in a workshop at the host hotel when the fire alarms began to sound. The room I was in was on a lower floor. At first, I don’t think anyone took the alarm seriously, until a hotel employee came and told everyone to get out and to NOT take the elevators or the escalators.
I began to bark out orders about which way we should exit the building and recruiting some people to help me with a woman who was handicapped. I’m sure more than one person thought, ‘Who is this loud-mouth red-headed woman leading us through the loading dock?’ Bottom line – we all got out of the building safely. That really wasn’t that much of an accomplishment though…it was a false alarm!
This question is for me. Are you working on your third book and if so when would it be released?
I’m currently working on the next book in the Maddie Divine series. In these early stages, it’s hard to know where the characters will take me. If I could release the story early next year, I’d be thrilled.
Kathy Bennett is no stranger to murder and mayhem. After twenty-one years as a Los Angeles police officer, this retired cop’s authentic crime experience results in arresting stories.
As a police officer, most of Kathy’s career was spent working patrol in a black and white police car. Prior to retirement, Kathy was assigned as a Senior Lead Officer, with approximately five square miles in the City of Los Angeles her responsibility. Kathy also served as a Firearms Instructor at the LAPD Police Academy, a crime analyst in the ‘War Room’, a Field Training Officer, and worked undercover in various assignments. She was named Officer of the Quarter twice, and Officer of the Year once.
In June of 2011, Kathy self-published her debut novel, A Dozen Deadly Roses. The e-book climbed the charts becoming one of the best-sellers at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. In April of 2012, Kathy will published her second full-length suspense novel, A Deadly Blessing, and is currently working on her third book.
She’s married to a Los Angeles Police Officer, Rick and they have one daughter and one granddaughter.
Kathy likes to go hiking with Rick and their three Labrador Retrievers, incorporating photography into many of their adventures. Attempting to recapture some of the excitement of working the streets, Kathy can periodically be found in Las Vegas risking a few bucks on slot machines, blackjack or craps tables.
“Maddie, do not hang up the phone.”
“Travis, I’m working. I can’t talk right now.”
“You’re always working. What’s more important, our marriage or your job?”
My partner, Darius Cutter, plucked my cell phone from my hand. “Hey, dude, she’ll call you later. The chief and the mayor are waiting for us.” He snapped my cell shut and handed it back to me. “Let’s go.”
“You shouldn’t have done that.” Immediately, the phone vibrated in my hand. The display showed a smiling photo of my husband – a photo taken when Travis was okay and normal. A pang of sorrow invaded in my chest.
“Ignore it,” Darius said, referring to the quivering phone. “Call him back when we’re out of our meeting.” He led the way out of the noisy detective squad room to the foyer where we’d catch the elevator.
I knew Darius was right. When the Chief of Police calls and orders you to a meeting with the mayor, you hustle your ass to get there. But my husband was on edge, to say the least. Guilt weighed heavy on me for putting work ahead of him, but I rationalized that Travis was a cop and knew sometimes it was necessary. Meanwhile, I followed my partner while we traversed through the new Police Administration Building and then over to City Hall.
It’s not every day a girl gets to meet both the chief of police and the mayor of Los Angeles. I wondered why today was my day.
Kathy, thank you so much for being my guest today. I’m looking foward to reading about Maddie in A Deadly Blessing. Marian