Today we sit down for a chat with mystery and romantic suspense author A.R. Kennedy. Learn more about AR and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I’ve always had stories in my head. About ten years ago, I started thinking about writing them down. In 2011, I attended a week-long course (Late Victorian and Edwardian Ghost Stories) at Christchurch College in Oxford, England. I met an author, from Germany, there—Beate Sauer. I asked her for advice and she delivered! She told me 2 things.
1- Take a writing class.
When I returned to the US, I signed up for a class and the Nathan Miccoli mystery series was started.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Where do you write?
In my living room, on the couch, with one little dog on my lap and the other one running around (and sometimes biting my toes).
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
It depends on my mood. Sometimes I write in silence. Sometimes I write while baseball games are playing on the TV. If I’m trying the channel certain characters of the Nathan Miccoli mystery series, it’s adult alternative or classical.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
For Saving Ferris, there is nothing from my life but my love of dogs. Cecilia is fashionable, tech savvy, and lives in the country in a large home.
For the Nathan Miccoli series, the starting point (a single woman who is a physical therapist living in Long Beach who enjoys the occasional Samuel Adams beer) is drawn from my life. Everything from there is imagination.
Describe your process for naming your character?
It depend. Some names are just ones I like (or don’t like). For the Nathan Miccoli series, favorite characters, villains and characters we’re not too sure about are named from past Mets and Yankee rosters. Characters who are to be questioned (think Dr. Leiter) are named from players who played for both the Mets and Yankees.
Real settings or fictional towns?
The setting of Saving Ferris is a fictional town, Foley. The settings of the Nathan Miccoli series are real settings, Long Beach, New York and Queen, New York.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Ferris chasing his tail.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Some would say there are too many to mention.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
In regards to my writing, I wish my current editor, Lourdes Venard, had edited all of the Nathan Miccoli series.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
My pups, a Kindle, stocked with a never ending supply of books, and radio (or TV) to listen to (or watch) my Mets
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I’ll take the 5th on that.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
The Gunslinger, Stephen King
Ocean or mountains?
I live in Long Beach, NY so I think I’m obligated to say ocean.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I can live anywhere (and have). I’ve lived all over the country and find ways to enjoy a bustling city or a serene countryside.
What’s on the horizon for you?
I’m attending the Writers’ Police Academy August 1-4 for research for my next novels.
The Nathan Miccoli mystery series finale is expected in 2019. (I’m contemplating a spin-off. If interested, readers better let me know!)
I’m working on a cozy mystery series, The Traveling Detective. Naomi travels the world—each book is a different international locale with a different family member. Family drama and solving murder are always involved.
I’m seeking representation for the first in the series, Sleuth on Safari. Naomi, and her sister, Charlotte, are off on a trip of a lifetime—an African safari, a bucket list trip for Naomi on which she got a last-minute deal. But she gets more adventure than she bargained for when one of their fellow travelers, the unlikable Dr. Higgins, is killed.
The locales for each of the novels are inspired by my travels. Future books are planned for Iceland, Australia, Israel, and more.
After Cecilia’s husband dies, she’s forced to become Ferris’s caregiver, something she does not immediately warm to. But when his life is threatened by an intruder, she shoots the intruder to save the golden retriever. Police Chief Holden Owens thinks Cecilia acted lawfully, but few agree. The prosecutor feels that Cecilia has committed murder, not self defense. In the eyes of the law, one can use lethal force to protect themselves and others, but not property. Pets are considered property. Holden loses his fight with the prosecutor, and is now in a new fight—his undeniable attraction to Cecilia. Celebrity defense attorney Wyatt Sewell identifies a sympathetic defendant, a case he can win, and a way to garner more acclaim. When he learns of Cecilia’s motive, to save Ferris, he sees a blockbuster case that can set legal precedent. He forces the jurors to ask themselves— Is your pet property or family?Will saving Ferris's life cost Cecilia her freedom? And a second chance at love?