Recently I had a chance to sit down and interview Kate Dyer-Seeley who has written the book First Degree Mudder. Thank you Kate for stopping by Community Bookstop!
What genre do you write?
I write modern mysteries featuring a young journalist who wants to be a serious investigative reporter, but she can’t get a job because newspapers are dying so she bills herself as an outdoor adventurer in order to land a job writing for Northwest Extreme Magazine. Only in reality she loves all things pink, vintage fashion, and her idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.
I really enjoying getting to take a bit of a new slant on the genre by incorporating the outdoors. Each book in the series includes an adventure guide and scenic tour so that readers can actually visit the places in the books. You don’t have to be an extreme athlete to read the series. Armchair adventurers are very welcome!
How did you come to write cozy mysteries?
I grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. One summer when I was twelve or thirteen I read all of Agatha Christie’s books, so mysteries have always been my favorite. My dad was an English teacher and used to edit every story or article I wrote with his red pen. I would think that I had written something wonderful. However when he handed back my work it was bloodied with red pen. I used to get so frustrated with his red pen, but now I appreciate that he was my first editor and really helped strengthen my writing from a young age.
I had always wanted to write a mystery, but knew that I had to write what I know. One summer my family and I were hiking in the Columbia River Gorge and bumped into a young woman wearing bright pink hiking boots. She was totally out of place on the trail with a bunch of burly, bearded hiking men. I couldn’t get her out of my head, so eventually she became Meg. I’m very familiar with the outdoors and have lived in the Pacific Northwest for my entire life so it felt natural to set a mystery here.
Who is your favorite character to write about?
Meg has a very wise grandmother, Gam, who is her mentor and spiritual advisor in the books. Gam is a Reiki healer and communes with nature and the animals. She helps ground Meg and gives her gentle nudging when Meg stumbles. I love getting to explore their relationship. There’s something so special about a grandmother and granddaughter. It’s not just a one-way relationship either. They have things to learn and teach one another and I’m looking forward to developing that even more as the series continues.
Who inspires your books?
The Pacific Northwest! It’s such a stunning and unique part of the world. I literally simply have to step outside to get inspiration. When I’m working on a new book I’ll often take a notebook, pen, and my camera and spend a few days jotting down how the forest smells or snapping pictures of the gorge and mountains.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I love to hike. We are surrounded by forests and parks here in this corner of the world, so I spend a lot of time outside. I also love to swim, bake, and read. Portland, Oregon is known for its coffee and microbrew culture which I have weaved into the books. That means you can also find me sipping a cold beer or a steaming latte. All in the name of research, of course.
If you were stuck on a deserted island what three things would you take?
The complete works of Jane Austen
A lifetime supply of coffee