Welcome to author Bailee Abbott who has been busy working on her next series set on the shore of Lake Chautauqua, NY to answer a few questions for us.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Anywhere from four months to a year. It depends on so many things. What type of book I’m writing; how much research is needed (because I do a good deal of the research as I write); how much my personal life interferes because it IS messy and complicated and demanding; and finally, how ambitious I am. Oh yes, I can be a lazy writer at times and not the most self-disciplined. Setting down even a mere five-hundred words can be a challenge when I feel like that.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I had finished a second book in what I’d hoped would be an ongoing series, a traditional mystery titled, Played by Death. However, issues with the publisher of the first book, Buried in Sin, brought that plan to a halt. Now, I’m faced with deciding whether to self-publish the second, or trying to find a publisher willing to pick up a book in the middle of a series (not many out there, I’m sure), or leaving the manuscript in the drawer. It’s painful to abandon one of your book babies.
Another series I wrote but never published is hard to classify as a genre. A mix of suspense, romance, action, and adventure, Don’t Judge a Con by Her Cover is about a teacher who moonlights as a con artist with a partner who only carries out con jobs to help those in need. Appropriate since the partner is supposedly a descendant of Robin Hood. I even wrote a second book to continue the series which I titled Think Twice Before You Cross a Con. Maybe someday those will find a home.
Do you write under a pseudonym?
Yes, I write under both my real name, Kathryn Long, and a pseudonym, Bailee Abbott. People often ask, why have a pseudonym? In my case, it was the publisher’s decision. Sometimes, publishers like for their newly contracted authors to have a “fresh start” with no sales history of previous works. Whatever their reasons, many publishers find this strategy suits them.
Can you hear your characters talking?
True confession: I often act out character dialog by reading it aloud. And sometimes I’ll hear a certain actor from a show speaking in my head. For instance, in my Sierra Pines B&B series, the creation of the character Florence Greeley was influenced by the actress Catherine Disher who plays Mayor Martha Tinsdale in the Good Witch. I can picture her in every scene I write as if she’s right beside me, cheering me on.
What kind of research do you do for a book?
So far, in the books I’ve written, the research done beforehand has been from primary sources, that is, those in real life. For the Paint by Murder series, I have two resources—trips to Bemus Point, NY inspired the setting, giving me plenty of descriptive details; visits to Painting with a Twist for paint parties inspired my choice for a hook and how to operate the characters’ business.
In the B&B series, countless hours and years of watching classic movies filled me with loads of movie trivia and inspired the idea of creating characters with a show biz connection and a B&B with a movie star theme.
Other research comes from online sources and occasionally people. One example was when I began the B&B series which takes place in the California foothills below Lake Tahoe. I asked an acquaintance who lives in Folsom about the geography, the weather, even about the tire chains that drivers must put on their car in the winter. Asking little details like that from a person who knows saves time.
What happens when readers don’t like one of your characters?
I had to write about this because it’s been commented on lately. Poor Izzie Abbington, one of the main characters in A Brush with Murder, has been hit with a lot of criticism. “She’s too bossy, she’s neglectful of her business, she’s irritating, totally unlikeable,” and so on. I get it. I try to keep my characters real, and yes, Izzie can be a pain. She’s everybody’s relative, the one you can’t stand at times, then want to hug the next minute. She’s got an attitude with her snarkiness and she tests your patience with her constant worrying that things won’t go well, but underneath, she loves you to pieces and will stand up for you when you need her. Izzie Abbington’s actions and words show she’s human. You see warts and all. So, I say stick around. The more you get to know her, the better you’ll like her…or at least some of you might. Happy reading!
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. She’s worn many hats over the years – bookseller, teacher, mom, wife, and author.
When writing and the creative muse take a break, and maybe to find a little inspiration, Kathryn loves to travel to a sunny beach or a mountain retreat. Kathryn lives in the City of Green located in northeast Ohio with her husband and little pooch, Max.