Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Kay Kendall- Twelve Question Tuesday

Today I am excited to welcome writer Kay Kendall to Twelve Question Tuesday. 

1.  Please tell me the three most important things people should know about you.
Half of my family is from Texas, the other from Kansas, and I once lived in Canada for 22 years with my Canadian husband. We’ve been homesteaded happily in Texas since 1990, and he said just yesterday that he calls himself an American. That said, each of us has dual US-Canadian citizenship, as does our son. Gosh, I think that’s more than a mere three things. I lost count.

2.  Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I’m a dog person. I’ve lived with a few cats over the years but am terribly allergic to them anyway. Dogs I can relate to. Cats, not so much, and besides, just thinking about them makes me wheeze and sneeze.

3.  Tea or coffee?
Coffee, big time! When I was in grad school, I remember one day I drank 17 cups of java. I don’t drink that much now but the mugs are bigger. I also try to drink two cups of green tea daily for my health. I’m working on living to 100 and green tea is supposed to help. If you think that I might slosh when I walk around, then you would be correct.

4.  Boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, or commando?
Assuming I know what you mean by the term “boxer-briefs,” those are the ones I prefer on my husband. Commando style makes me want to giggle.

5.  What was the first thing you ever wrote?
I wrote and illustrated my own version of Clement Moore’s wonderful “Night Before Christmas” when I was about age seven.

6.  When did you finally decide to call yourself a writer?
I began writing fiction about twelve years ago. After two years, while shopping at a Whole Foods, I spotted a mug painted with words from Henry David Thoreau, aimed straight at my heart. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” I bought that mug and drank from it for five more years as I wrote and wrote and wrote. It took that long for me to acknowledge that being a writer was my heart’s desire and another year before I could call myself a writer. Now I call myself an author, because my debut mystery was published last spring. That is the best part, being a published author.

7.  Which of your works are you most proud to have written?
I’ve written two novels. One is a literary coming-of-age story, now safely squirreled away in a drawer. The second is my debut mystery Desolation Row. I can’t choose between the two. It’s like trying to choose your favorite child. I love both novels for different reasons.

8.  What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
In college I was riding my bicycle down a path, barreling down a slight hill, when my brakes failed and I couldn’t stop before zooming onto a busy street. There were cars coming toward me on my right, but I whizzed by in time to not get scrunched. Scared me to death.

small_Front Cover Scan Feb 12 2013.jpg9.  How did you end up getting published?
I sent the manuscript of Desolation Row to several agents and three publishers that would take un-agented submissions. Many American agents and some publishers are not keen to take books set outside of the United States, and they definitely didn’t see my Canadian setting as a plus. The publisher I ended up with, however, had already issued books that have Canadian content. Once I saw that on their web page, I knew that Stairway Press of Seattle would be a good fit for my book. The Stairway people are a joy to work with, and because my publisher Ken Coffman runs his operation like a writers’ cooperative, I had input into how my book turned out physically.

10.  Would you be food or fighter if the zombie apocalypse were to happen?
Definitely I’d fight. Nobody or nothing is going to eat ME! I’m the happy eater around here! 

11.  What is the most daring thing you have ever done?
As I am answering these questions, thinking about my life as a writer, I must say that the most daring thing I’ve done is to put myself out into the world as a writer. It takes guts to send your baby/book out into the world, knowing that lots of people will sling mud and say your book is the stupidest thing they’ve ever read. So far my reviews online after been terrific, knock on wood. This week, though, a few worse reviews for the audio version popped up, but those comments sound like they are from younger readers who expected something different from what I write. Anyway, I’ve heard many very famous authors say how down they get about bad comments, so I know I’m in good company and it is well worth the risk.

12.  Would you rather be rich or famous--and you could only have one-- and why?  The fame would be based on something good, not something like being the best serial killer or anything like that.
Forced to pick, I’d much rather be famous. I would go further and choose to be famous for being an author whose books people love to read. Why not rich? That’s easy. Lots of rich people lead very unhappy lives and grow mean and nasty and very, very selfish. Enough said.


In 1968 a young bride from Texas uses her CIA-honed skills to catch the real killer when her husband lands in a Canadian jail for murdering the draft-resisting son of a United States senator.

Alone and ill-equipped to negotiate in a foreign country, Austin launches her own investigation into the murder. Austin must find the real killer or risk losing everything. Her love--and her life--are on the line.



I Tweet from @kaylee_kendall
I blog twice a month from The Stiletto Gang, beginning in November: http://thestilettogang.blogspot.com/

My debut mystery Desolation Row is available in three formats: paperback, E book, and audio book.

My publisher Stairway Press will mail copies of my book ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD FOR FREE. See


Kay Kendall is an international award-winning public relations executive who lives in Texas with her husband, five house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. A fan of historical mysteries, she set her debut mystery during the Vietnam War, a key conflict of last century not overrun with novels. Published by Stairway Press of Seattle, Desolation Row features Austin Starr, a young bride who turns amateur sleuth when her husband is jailed in Canada for murdering the draft-resisting son of a United States senator. Kay is now writing the sequel, Rainy Day Women, that centers on the death of a women’s liberation leader.


Holli Castillo said...

Welcome Kay, and thanks for joining me today.

Kay Kendall said...

Thank you, Holli. I super enjoyed answering your questions. I now blog twice a month (first and third Wednesdays) on the Stiletto Gang blog. I erred when I said it was only once. Again, many thanks for having the opportunity to connect with your readers.

marja said...

Fun interview! Thanks for sharing and letting us know more about yourself.
Marja McGraw

Eileen Obser said...

Nice to meet Kay Kendall here, Holli. I do love getting to know more writers via your 12 Questions!