News From Kate Emerson
December 2013 News
12/3/13: It’s Christmas
tree season here on the Christmas tree farm, which means very little writing is
done until after the holidays. Here’s a picture taken our first season.
Five years later, there are plenty of taller trees, too. We put one fifteen
footer through the netter over this past weekend. Happy Holidays everyone!
11/2/13: There’s not too
much to report this month. I’m hard at work on a new historical mystery
but I don’t have a contract for it so I have no idea when it might be
published. We’re getting ready for Christmas tree season here on the
Christmas Tree farm, so that will take up most of December. Meanwhile, as I
have time, I continue to add to “A Who’s Who of Tudor Women”
at this site.
and Blogging News
10/11/13: In addition to my regular blogging as Kaitlyn Dunnett at Maine
Crime Writers I’ve recently done a radio interview as Kathy Lynn
Emerson/Kate Emerson (at www.blogtalkradio.com/literarynewengland
) that aired October 7th. I'm the "and more" in the
lineup. The author of Eat, Pray, Love and two other writers are up
first, but I hope that if you download the interview or stream it, you'll
listen all the way to the end to get to me. A little easier to access is my
guest post as Kathy Lynn Emerson at http://trace-evidence.net/ (the
blog of Linda Landrigan, editor of Alfred
Hitchcock Mystery Magazine).
Also, for anyone attending the New England Library Association Conference
in Portland Maine, I’ll be at the Sisters in Crime Booth, giving away
free Kaitlyn Dunnett books, from 3:30-4:30 on Monday,
October 21st. I’ll probably be at the booth a bit earlier than
that. Also there that afternoon to sell and sign their books will be fellow
Maine Crime Writers Kate Flora, Barb Ross, and Lea Wait.
to go with Royal Inheritance
9/18/13: I’ll be doing some
blogging about Royal Inheritance around the publication date of September 24th.
Already up is a piece about how the entire “Secrets of the Tudor
Court” series got started. You can find it at http://xoxoafterdark.com/2013/09/18/kate-emerson-philippa-gregory-genre
Also look for a blog about the mysteries of researching and writing
historical fiction at http://www.MaineCrimeWriters.com
on September 26th.
Looking for a quick link to buy Royal
Inheritance? Just scroll down this page to find all your favorite online
And for those of you who also enjoy the historical mysteries I write as
Kathy Lynn Emerson, there is a new Lady Appleton short story in the December Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, on
sale in October.
For a new interview plus an
excerpt from Royal Inheritance, click
(as of July 9, 2013)
One of the things I've
learned over the years is that research is never-ending. Another is that historical
"facts" are not set in stone. This was recently brought home to me
when I borrowed an obscure biography of a sixteenth-century nobleman via
Inter-library Loan. I'd seen it listed in a bibliography in another book and
was curious to find out if it contained any additional information on a bit of
background I was looking into for my current historical mystery project. And,
as always, I was on the lookout for more material for my A Who's Who of Tudor Women, the collection of
mini-biographies I maintain (currently at 1862 entries) online. David McKeen's A Memory of Honour: the life of William Brooke, Lord Cobham (1986) delivered all that . . . and more.
Boy, do I wish I'd heard of
this book before I wrote my third "Secrets of the Tudor Court"
historical novel, By Royal Decree.
The heroine of By Royal Decree is
Elizabeth Brooke, William Brooke's sister, a major player in court politics
from about 1543 until her death in 1565. The novel covers the years 1542-1558.
I did a great deal of research, but as far as I know I never came across a
reference to McKeen's book. I assumed, as I set up my
plot, that I could make up the events during certain periods because there
didn't seem to be any records of what the real people who are characters in the
novel were doing. Hah!
It's a good thing By Royal Decree is a novel and is
therefore allowed a certain amount of poetic license. I suppose I didn't get
anything horribly wrong, but now that I've read the McKeen
book (two volumes, 762 pages), I know I had Bess Brooke's parents in the wrong
place (heck, the wrong country) at least once, may have misinterpreted their
reactions to the rumors that she was involved with the married man she later
wed, and totally messed up the ages of her sisters and younger brothers because
I wrongly assumed that no one knew how old they were.
Firm rule of writing fiction:
never assume anything! It's always the things you don't bother checking because
you're sure they're right that get you into trouble. Almost everyone who's ever
written a novel can come up with a example from their own work. Bloopers
abound, but if we're lucky, most readers don't catch them. After all, it's a
pretty good bet that if I didn't find this book until years after the fact, not
too many other people will, either. In one way that's a shame, because it's an
interesting read. But in another, all I can say is "whew!"
As for my online opus, I made
a decision early on that it's never going to be published as a print book. This
way, any time I find more information, I can add it. I can add as many new
Tudor women as I like, whenever I like. And if, in hindsight, I discover that
I've gotten some of the historical facts wrong, I can correct them.
for June 2013
Good news for those Kate Emerson
fans who also like the mysteries I write as Kathy Lynn Emerson. My Face Down
series, featuring gentlewoman, herbalist and sleuth Susanna, Lady Appleton, is
set in Elizabethan times. A new Lady Appleton short story, “A Wondrous
Violent Motion” will be included in the December Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. I’ll add to this
post when I have the date the magazine will be in stores. I’m
particularly excited about this because it is the first thing I’ve had
published under my own name for quite some time. The “wondrous violent
motion” of the title is an earthquake, a real one that shook the entire
southern coast of England in 1580 and caused a fair amount of damage in London.
At Leigh Abbey, falling masonry reveals the remains of a murder victim and our
intrepid heroine must not only find out what happened to him and who dunnit, she also has to discover who he was and what he was
doing hiding out in her family home.
Has A Nose!!
Just received—the final
cover for Royal Inheritance.
I’m so pleased to see that, at long last, the model’s entire head
is shown. The earlier version of the cover, shown on the left below, showed
more than on my other covers but still cut off her nose. The one on the right
is the one that will be on the actual book and you may notice that there is one
other change, too. My name is now above the title. This is supposed to be
significant in the publishing world. I’ve never figured out exactly why,
but I’m always happy when it happens.
Audio News and links to Royal Inheritance
The remaining Kate Emerson historical
novels are now available from Audible.com, again read by Alison Larkin. At the King’s Pleasure runs ten
hours and fifty-nine minutes and The
King’s Damsel is nine hours and ten minutes in length.
The next entry, Royal Inheritance, will be in stores in
trade paperback September 24th and will also be available as an ebook and an audio download. I’m working on putting
an excerpt up at this site. Check the main page to find that, as well as more
information on the story and characters. Meanwhile, if you want to preorder a
copy, the following links, sent to me by my publisher, should take you directly
to the book at your favorite online bookstore:
Simon & Schuster (publisher): http://books.simonandschuster.com/Royal-Inheritance/Kate-Emerson/9781451661514
Barnes & Noble : http://click.linksynergy.com/deeplink?mid=36889&id=PwUJvmDcu1U&murl=http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookSearch/isbnInquiry.asp%3Fr%3D1%26ISBN%3D9781451661514
on Kate’s Audio Books and Video News
Breaking news on the Audible.com
front: three of the Kate Emerson historical novels are now available. The
reader on all three is Alison Larkin. She has a pleasant voice and a British
accent, but I’ve only listened to a little bit of one book. I don’t
have anything on which to download audiobooks except for my computer and the
last place I want to sit and listen for any extended period of time is in my
office!!! True confession here: I only listen to audiobooks when I’m
driving and my car doesn’t even have a CD player. I’m still
listening to audiocassettes.
For those more up to date, the
three Kate Emerson novels available as downloads are The Pleasure Palace (11 hours 11 minutes), available since February
19, 2013, Between Two Queens (12
hours 8 minutes), available since March 8, 2013, and By Royal Decree (10 hours 32 minutes), available since March 23,
2013. I had no control over production or the selection of the performer, so I
can only hope that the results will please readers who enjoy hearing books read
There is one small error in the
listings at Audible.com and Amazon.com. This probably doesn’t matter to
anyone but me, but in both places they give copyright information and it reads
“© Kathy Lee Emerson.” Now, you all know that Kate Emerson is
a pseudonym, but my real name is Kathy LYNN Emerson, not Kathy LEE.
Unfortunately, a lot of people, especially those who were fans of Regis and Kathy Lee, make this mistake.
It is really, really annoying!!! I’m pretty easy going as a rule.
I’ll answer to Kathy, Kate, Kaitlyn (my other pseudonym), Sandy (my
husband’s name), and even to Hey, You, but I draw the line at Kathy Lee!
In other news, my video interview
is now up at the publisher’s website. I’m talking about The King’s Damsel. You can see it
by clicking here:
for March 2013
Sorry to have been so slow to
post news, but there isn’t a lot to report just now. Royal Inheritance is making its way through the editorial process.
I should be getting the copy edits soon, combined with the line edits. After
that come “first pass page proofs” and finally actual copies of the
In the meantime, I continue to
blog at Maine Crime Writers under my Kaitlyn Dunnett
pseudonym. The most recent post is here:
As Kathy Lynn Emerson (my real
name), I have exciting news on the short story front. “A Wondrous Violent
Motion” features my series character Susanna, Lady Appleton from the Face
Down series. The contract is signed. I’ve even received payment. Now
I’m just waiting to learn when the story will appear in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. This
is the first new fiction from the world of the Face Down novels since the last
short story, “Lady Appleton and the Yuletide Hogglers”
was issued in a limited edition as the Christmas card from short story
publisher Crippen & Landru
in 2010. The last to appear in AHMM was “Any Means Short of Murder” in the
January/February 2009 issue. In case it isn’t obvious, it takes me a
while to write a short story. Longer, in fact, than it does to write some of my
Related to that, I’ve been
putting together my auction item for the annual charity auction at Malice
Domestic in May. It will feature original framed artwork by Linda Weatherly
from one of my earlier short stories in AHMM, “The Curse of the Figure Flinger,” plus a
copy of that issue of the magazine, plus a copy of the Crippen
& Landru anthology, Murders and Other Confusions (one of the signed and numbered
hardcover editions), plus an offprint of “Lady Appleton and the Yuletide Hogglers.” I’m registered at Malice as Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson and am scheduled to appear on a
panel on Saturday afternoon on writing more than one series at a time. You can
find out more about Malice Domestic at Malice
And from the blurb-o-sphere, I
have just given a quote (as Kathy Lynn Emerson) to new writer E. A. Allen for
his historical mystery, When Beggars Die.
Set in France in the reign of Edward VII, it introduces a detective who is a
cross between Sherlock Homes and James Bond. Coming up, I’ve agreed to
read two more historical novels for quotes. One is Eleanor Sullivan’s
second mystery set in the 1830s, Graven
Images. The other is a non-mystery historical by Kim Ostrom
set at the court of Charles I of England. The title of that one is The Royal Menagerie and the point of
view character is the royal fool. I’m looking forward to reading both.
Year’s News and Notes
Happy New Year everyone.
Here’s a first look at a draft of the cover for Royal Inheritance, which has a publication date of September 24,
In other news, I’ve been
cleaning house at my webpages, eliminating sections no one ever visits and
freshening up others. And, of course, I’m still adding to “A
Who’s Who of Tudor Women.” When I put up the next batch of new
entries, the total number will hit 1750.
For 2013, I have two writing
projects. The first is a historical mystery/suspense novel set in Elizabethan
times. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be writing it as Kate Emerson
or under my real name, Kathy Lynn Emerson. The latter makes sense because I
wrote two other historical mystery series under that name. On the other hand,
I’m better known these days as Kate. When I decide, I’ll post that
information here, along with other progress reports. Meanwhile, when I need a
break from Tudor times, I’ll be working on the eighth Liss
MacCrimmon mystery, written under my other pseudonym,
Kaitlyn Dunnett. This one takes place on a Christmas
tree farm and will be my fiftieth published book when it comes out in the fall
“Historical” interest (and other updates)
I’m blogging today
on the inspiration for my very first publication as a professional (ie. they paid me money!) writer, waaaay
back in 1984. As for current writing, I’m pretty much taking the month of
December off, since our cut-your-own Christmas tree farm is open and
time-consuming even though all we have to do is “net” the trees and
collect the $30 plus tax for each tree. I have the copy edited pages of the 7th
Liss MacCrimmon novel
(written as Kaitlyn Dunnett) to go through before
January 4th. Then I’ll return to that historical mystery
proposal I’ve been working on and start Liss
#8, which is due September 1, 2013, just about the time #7, a Halloween story
titled Vampires, Bones, and Treacle
Scones, hits stores. Royal
Inheritance will be out then, too.
Emerson, Video Star
The week before Hurricane Sandy came to town, I was in Manhattan to meet with
my editor at Gallery Books and to make a short promotional video that will be
used at the Simon and Schuster website to promote The King’s Damsel and next year’s Royal Inheritance. I’ll post information here about where to
find it as soon as I have it. As you can imagine, folks in New York City have
had more to worry about this past week than updating websites. For those
wanting a break from news of the super storm’s aftermath, however, here
follows a brief account of my experience in front of the camera.
I have to admit to a little
nervousness going in. In the past I’ve been interviewed on local TV news
and been filmed presenting programs and on panels, but I haven’t had a
lot of experience in front of a video camera. I certainly don’t think of
myself as particularly photogenic! Nor am I the glitz and glitter type. I
don’t even wear makeup. So, what you’ll see if you watch the
interview is the real me, wearing “business casual” with the stress
on casual and looking the way I always do, except maybe a tad more neat.
Simon and Schuster has their own
mini-studio in the same building with their editorial offices. A two-person
team handled lights and camera while my publicist, with whom I’ve
exchanged emails for ages but had never met until that day, read off the
questions we’d prepared in advance. I’d thought of answers in
advance, too, but that doesn’t mean I stuck to the script. To tell you
the truth, I won’t know exactly what I said until I see the video myself.
They tell me I sounded fine, so at this point I’m taking their word for
The instructions were simple
enough. First, look at the camera, not at the person asking the questions.
Second, try to work the question into the answer, since only my voice will be
on the finished product. I was seated on a high stool with one of those tiny
microphones clipped to the neck of my blouse. There were two huge lights, one
on either side of the camera, so I really couldn’t see much. The reassuring
news was that everything would be edited and I could have a do-over if I needed
Let’s face it, for a
writer, talking about her books and writing in general isn’t a hardship.
I had no trouble babbling on in response to the questions. The only thing that
needed to be re-done was right at the end. My editor, who had been sitting in
the background, pointed out that I’d never mentioned the title of next
year’s book. I added a bit to do that, and then promptly started
laughing. I have no idea why. Probably from relief, since there isn’t
anything inherently funny about the title. Anyway, we re-did that bit, without
the guffaws, and that was it. I was off to enjoy a very nice lunch with my
editor and I now await, belatedly nervous, the result of my video interview.
of The King’s Damsel
The reviews for The King’s Damsel
have been very gratifying. A few folks, of course, don’t care for the
story or the characters, but the positive comments by far outweigh the negative
ones. Some of my favorites are these:
From FreshFiction.com—“the compelling story of a young
woman who uses her intelligence and her body to gain some power over her own
life . . . a vivid picture of life
in a royal household, from the pageantry of traveling with the king to the
day-to-day drudgery of servitude to the princess.”
From Burton Book
Review—“I love love love
love love Kate Emerson! That’s five loves for each of her books in the
Secrets of the Tudor Court series that I’ve read . . . the novels are
Obsessed—“Rich in historical
detail and featuring a wealth of bonus material, The King’s Damsel is sure to keep readers coming back for
more in this exciting series.”
in the Future
For those of you who like listening to novels, my agent has just sold all of
the Tudor Court books, including the one that won't be out until next year, to
Audible.com. It will take awhile for them to be produced, but look for the
first one within the year. At this point I don't know what order they will be
recorded in, but I'll post more information here as soon as I have it.
In other news, I've completed the rough draft of next year's book and am in
the revising stage. Titled ROYAL INHERITANCE, it is the story of Audrey Malte, believed by some to have been the illegitimate
daughter of Henry VIII by a laundress at Windsor Castle. Whether she was or
not, she led an interesting life.
I also write as Kathy Lynn Emerson and as Kaitlyn Dunnett
and I blog three or four times at month at Maine Crime Writers under my
Kaitlyn Dunnett pseudonym. Those posts, however,
aren't always about mystery writing. Sometimes "Kate Emerson" makes
an appearance to talk about how the next historical is coming along. The nine
other writers who blog there have some interesting things to say as well. I
hope you'll visit us and that you'll post comments if something takes your
King’s Damsel in stores August 7
It's still a month and a half until The King's Damsel is in stores, but
already things are gearing up. I was recently sent this handy dandy list of
links to pre-order the book from assorted online bookstores:
Blogs and E-Books and Other Things
I blogged recently at Maine Crime
Writers about the work in progress, Royal Inheritance. The book is barely
started and won't be in stores until late next year (2013) but for those of you
interested in the writing process, you can visit Maine Crime Writers (where I
blog under my other pseudonym, Kaitlyn Dunnett) and
scroll down (or click on "Kaitlyn's blogs") to get a sneak peek at
what might be included in the story. The protagonist of Royal Inheritance
is Audrey Malte, allegedly the illegitimate daughter
of Henry VIII. Audrey was raised as the "bastard daughter" of John Malte, the king's tailor.
In other news, the fourth book in the Diana Spaulding 1888 Mystery Quartet
is now available as an ebook at Belgrave
House (click on the cover below to find it and the previous three titles) and
will be in all major ebook outlets shortly. Although
each book in the series can be read separately and each involves a different
crime and locale, the story arc involving the personal life of my sleuth is
wrapped up in this one. It takes place, for the most part, on an island off the
coast of Maine.
Also for readers who are mystery fans, I'll be at Malice Domestic (as Kaitlyn
Dunnett and Kathy Lynn Emerson) at the end of this
month (April 27-29). I'd love to meet any of you who are attending.
Look at the Next Cover
I received a cover proof the other day for The King's Damsel, due in stores
August 7. There are certain to be a few tweaks. They usually add a quote or two
to the front. But essentially, this is it, and I love it. The story takes place
between 1525 and 1534, starting in the Marches of Wales with Princess Mary
Tudor and ending up at the royal court during the time of Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn.
Interpretation of Between Two Queens
One of the things a agent does for a writer is handle foreign sales of
published books. For some reason, there seems to be a market in Czechoslovakia
for novels set in Tudor England. I'm all for that. Of course, once I sign the
contracts, I'm out of the loop. I don't pick the translator. Well, how could I?
I received two copies of the Czech version of Between Two Queens this
week. I can't read them. I can only hope the words are an accurate translation
of what I wrote. What I can see, however, is the cover of the Czech edition. I
had no input into that, either. To tell you the truth, I find it kind of
amusing. But assuming the text was translated well, I fear Czech readers may be
disappointed when they read the story. The cover certainly hints at a lot more,
shall we say graphic detail than is to be found in my novel.
But the big question is . . . where did that black cat with the cross around
its neck come from???? I had to go back to my doc file and check to make sure I
hadn't forgotten some key element of the plot. Nope. No cat, unless you count
Nan Bassett's sister, who goes by that nickname.
Hmmm. You don't suppose the translator (or the cover artist) thinks that Cat
is a feline? Or has been changed into one by an evil necromancer? Nah. I'm sure
the cat is just a cat. But what an interesting "what if" for some
3/20/12 addenda: a reader just sent me the smaller jpg file below, so it's
now obvious exactly where the artwork came from, cat and all. It figures that
this would be just one more wrong impression of the Tudor era and the Tudors
thanks to The Tudors. Dear readers: Don't believe anything the scripts
in this series try to tell you. I haven't been able to get more than thirty
seconds into any episode without hitting a howler.
the Blog Tour
For the schedule of blogs I'm visiting to talk about various aspects of my
latest historical novel, click on the title. At the King's
Pleasure . There are free autographed book offers at some of these
locations if you're willing to leave a comment.
Meanwhile, in other news, I've turned in The King's Damsel, which
will be out in August and deals with the period of King Henry's marriage to
Anne Boleyn. The protagonist is the "unknown mistress" of 1534. Since
she IS unknown, for a change the heroine of one of my novels is entirely
fictitious. Just about everyone else, of course, really lived.
I've just put up the blog tour schedule for At the King's
Pleasure . There are a few things to be announced yet, but it will give
you an idea of what's coming up. If anyone with an appropriate blog site is
interested in posting a guest blog from me sometime during the first couple of
weeks of January, email me by clicking on the quill.
I've just been to the Simon and Schuster page on me and they are listing the
omnibus ebook with an "on or after"
November 29 release date. The full price is $35.99 for all three books in one
e-download, but keep your eyes open because there will be a sale sometime in
December and the price will drop, temporarily, to (I believe) $28.99. Here's
what the cover looks like:
Meanwhile, I'm in the process of setting up a blog tour for early January to
coincide with the publication of At the King's Pleasure. Every blog will
be different and each will focus on some aspect of Tudor life that has a
bearing on the plot of the novel. I'll put up the entire tour schedule as soon
as it is set.
on Release Date
It looks like it's January 3, 2012. At least that's what the online booksellers
have listed. Thank you for your patience!!!!
One good thing to come out of the delay in publication of At the King's
Pleasure is a redesigned cover. Below are both the old and the new. They're
very similar, but I must say I like the new one better. My ego likes the way my
name is bigger and above the title. My sense of fashion approves of not showing
enough of the model's head to tell whether she's wearing a headdress or not. In
reality, at that period in Tudor history, she'd be wearing a gable headdress
that would completely hide her hair.
The latest reports on publication date have At the King's Pleasure on
bookstore shelves two days after Christmas. I'll be rescheduling my blog tour
soon so look for details here. Also, my publisher will be releasing an omnibus ebook edition of the three Secrets of the Tudor Court
books: (The Pleasure Palace, Between Two Queens, and By Royal Decree)
on December 20 and it will sell at a special reduced price for the first month.
Pub Date and Other News
First up: I've added Face Down O'er the Border, Book Ten in the Lady
Appleton series (w/a Kathy Lynn Emerson), to the lineup at Belgrave
House (and ultimately to other outlets). Click on the cover for the link to Belgrave House.
In pub dates, the paperback of the Liss MacCrimmon Scottish-American Heritage Mystery, The
Corpse Wore Tartan, written under the pseudonym Kaitlyn Dunnett,
will be in stores October 4, 2011, with the new hardcover in that series, Scotched
following on October 25, 2011.
In blogging news, I'm guest blogging at FreshFiction.com on September 19 and
continue to blog every ten or eleven days at Maine Crime Writers. My September
19th topic is "The Evolution of an Office."
the King’s Pleasure Publication Delayed
I'm sorry to have to announce that publication of At the King's Pleasure
has been delayed. Don't worry. The book is written, edited, and copy-edited,
and ARCs went out for review, so it will be
published. This is just a scheduling change, and as soon as I have a new
publication date, I'll post it here. Stay tuned.
As Kaitlyn Dunnett, I am one of ten mystery writers
involved in a new blog launched on July 6th. All born in Maine and/or living in
Maine now, they can be found at Maine
Crime Writers. The other nine are Gerry Boyle, Vicki Dodera,
Paul Doiron, Kate Flora, Sarah Graves, James Hayman,
Barbara Ross, Julia Spencer-Fleming, and Lea Wait. There will be individual
blogs, group discussion blogs, interviews, and guest posts from Maine
librarians and others conncected to our favorite
subject . . . murder in Vacationland. Kathy Lynn Emerson will make occasional
appearances. Kate Emerson . . . not so much. My first post went up on July 8.
I'm participating in the group blog on July 10, and my next individual blog
will be on July 21. Toward the end of the month, I'll be interviewing one of
the other writers, followed by an interview with me. Since I haven't blogged on
a regular basis before (only guest blogs) I find myself looking forward to this
new experience. Future topics will include something on Maine Coon Cats and a
look at life in rural Western Maine.
Older Notes (6/11 and earlier)
© 2011-13 Kathy Lynn Emerson. All rights reserved.