This month’s FMAM Spotlight catches up with author K.T. Roberts. Let’s see what she’s up to!
What inspired you to write mystery books?
KT: I’ve enjoyed this genre in both movies and books for as long as I can remember. I honestly believe I must have been in law enforcement in another life, or maybe I was the criminal. I don’t know, but the genre comes easy to me in terms of story ideas. I currently have a series of three in the Kensington/Gerard Detective series.
What style of mystery novel is your favorite (police procedural, cozy, etc.)?
KT: My first series, The Last Witness, Elusive Justice, and Deadly Obsessions can be classified in two subgenres: police procedural and romantic suspense. I enjoy adding a little bit of romance to my stories because I want my readers to focus on both the whodunit and what will happen with the relationship between my male and female partners. The last in the series, Deadly Obsessions, is classified as three crossover genres: police procedural, romantic suspense and thriller.
Soon, I will be embarking on my first cozy mystery series that will feature Glitzy Nash. She’s a southern sleuth who comes to New York to start a new life. She was raised on a farm and all she knows about are farm animals and county fairs. The first cozy begins with Glitzy’s desperation for a job where she convinces a restauranteur, whose business is failing and has a month left before he goes into bankruptcy, to let her turn it into a bakery. She claims to be a professional baker. but she’s not. The only training she’s had is watching her mama bake pies for the county fair. When a customer becomes deathly ill from eating one of her pies, she becomes a person of interest, and she’s out to prove she had nothing to do with it.
When you start a new mystery, do you plot it all out from the start (all the clues and red herrings) or does the story evolve as you write it?
KT: I’d answer this question with a yes and a no. I’ll start with the “no” first. While knowing every detail and writing the story according to a plan sounds wonderful and makes for a productive day, there are times when the story will suddenly take an unexpected turn.
After developing my characters, although my original idea sounded great on paper, once I really get to know them on a personal level, sometimes what I had planned doesn’t match the characters’ personalities. That’s when I find myself saying, “Wait a minute, she wouldn’t do that.” Being flexible is important so long as you don’t make a drastic change and wind up having to rewrite the entire story. My basic storyline always remains the same.
Now comes the ‘yes’. For me, the importance of plotting my story is absolutely essential for many reasons. I remember when I first began writing contemporary romance, I would write them by the ‘seat of my pants’ and that always seemed to work fairly well. However, it didn’t work very well when I began writing my first mystery/suspense novel because the story was all over the place.
Do you prefer to write mystery series books or stand-alones?
KT: Although I've written stand alone novels, I prefer series, and I think most readers do as well. As a reader, I like knowing I’m going to find out what happens to the characters from one book to the next. Characters not only become friends, but in some cases, it's like revisiting with family.
Do you have a favorite character from your books?
KT: As of now, Jessie and Zach are my favorite characters in my series. They've been partners in the NYPD Homicide division for many years. Zach's in love with her and wants to date despite it being against the rules, even going so far as to promise to be discreet, or leave the department, but she's afraid to risk it. And that doesn't have so much to do with following the rules as it does with her commitment issues. She's been down this road before when she got involved with her partner during her rookie years on the force, who, by the way, just so happens to be her boss. He broke off their relationship when a one-night stand became a pregnancy. That, coupled with her father walking out on the family when she was very young, leaves her feeling that men just don't have a good track record. But as the stories develop, so does Jessie and Zach’s relationship, and you know Zach is weakening her defenses.
More about K. T. Roberts
K. T. Roberts writes romantic suspense with sass and brass, and is feverishly working on her next series. This one, in the cozy mystery genre, that will feature Glitzy Nash. She’s an amateur sleuth, but please don’t tell her—she thinks she’s a pro.
K. T. is an author with Montlake Romance, an imprint of Amazon. In 2012 she decided to try her hand at self-publishing and wrote her first mystery series, the Kensington-Gerard Detective Series. The Last Witness (Book One), Elusive Justice (Book Two), and Deadly Obsessions (Book Three) are all available in digital and paperback editions.
Blind Retribution is her first romantic suspense published by Montlake Romance Publishing and will be released in 2016.
Originally a Jersey Girl, K. T. lives with her real-life hero, Bob, in Arizona. They have four children. Although she’s a former chef, whipping up a gastronomic treat for family and friends has been relegated to the weekends because during the week, she’s in front of her computer writing her next great novel.
She has memberships in Romance Writers of American, Valley of the Sun Romance Writers and Sisters in Crime.
For more information about K. T.’s books, visit her website at http://ktrobertsmysteries.com and sign-up for her monthly newsletter K. T’s Jersey Girl Musings. A sample can be found on her website. Be the first to receive exciting news about releases, noteworthy events and chances to win prizes. Don’t miss out on the fun! And while you're at it, drop her a note. She loves to hear from her readers.
K.T. also blogs on two weekly blogs:
It’s Murder in the First - http://itsmurderinfthefirst.blogspot.com
Cozy Capers - http://cozycaperswordpress.org
And can be found online at: