Hi all. I’d like to introduce author Kathleen Marple Kalb, whose debut historical mystery, A Fatal Finale, Ella Shane Mystery #1, releases on April 28. Our publisher, Kensington, is giving away a hardcopy edition of A Fatal Finale to one lucky commenter below.
Here’s the description.
On the cusp of the twentieth century, Manhattan is a lively metropolis buzzing with talent. But after a young soprano meets an untimely end on stage, can one go-getting leading lady hit the right notes in a case of murder?
New York City, 1899. When it comes to show business, Gilded Age opera singer Ella Shane wears the pants. The unconventional diva breaks the mold by assuming “trouser roles”—male characters played by women—and captivating audiences far and wide with her travelling theatre company. But Ella’s flair for the dramatic takes a terrifying turn when an overacting Juliet to her Romeo drinks real poison during the final act of Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi.
Like most authors, Kathleen’s taken an interesting road to her fiction debut and she’s here to tell us about it. Take it away, Kathleen!
SECRET AGENT MOM
Or, Who’s that Lady in the Pickup Pen?
Okay, so I’m not quite a secret agent. But I’m definitely not your usual suburban mom. The other ladies (and gents!) waiting to pick up their kids probably didn’t spend the weekend telling the good people of New York about the latest stupid criminal caper in the subway…and they sure aren’t thinking about selling a book. They do, however, probably think that I’m at least a little impaired every once in a while. Sleeping on trains, never mind plotting fictional death by nicotine poisoning, will do that.
My typical Saturday starts on Friday evening. I light Sabbath candles with the family, then sleep until 9:30 pm, get ready for work, drive to the train station for the last train out at 11:30 pm, and sleep until we get to Grand Central at 1:45 am. Grab a cab, get to the 1010 WINS newsroom by 2:00 am. Write – hard news, not mysteries – until showtime: five o’clock. A half-hour on, half hour off until 11:30 am. Walk back to Grand Central, catch a noon train, doze and work on my current fiction project, then drive back to the house – home by 3:30 pm. Then: mom stuff with the Imp while the Professor gets a nap…bed at 6 pm – and at 9:30, the alarm goes off for rinse, repeat and Sunday. Sometimes Monday, too.
That’s pretty much been my life since the Imp was born. It sounds brutal, but it’s really a blessing. I get to be both a stay-at-home mom, and a hard-core professional newswoman. I live in two completely different worlds, and I usually code-switch pretty well. So far I haven’t used newsroom language on the playground…but I came close the day a bully chased the Imp.
I’ve always felt like I had a secret identity. And then I started writing mysteries…and it got really interesting. Now I look at my colleagues and friends as inspiration for potential characters. I’m sure that the very nice grandma over there has no idea that I consider her a perfect candidate to poison her snippy daughter-in-law. Or that every once in a while, I think about killing one of my editors. Because they’d make a perfect victim, not because I don’t like them.
I’m still safe, because my debut is an historical series. We don’t need to tell anyone that a few of the folks in Ella Shane’s Washington Square borrow from my friends in the pen…
About the author: Kathleen Marple Kalb grew up in front of a microphone, and a keyboard. She’s currently a weekend morning anchor at 1010 WINS New York, capping a career she began as a teenage DJ in Brookville, Pennsylvania. She, her husband, and son live in a Connecticut house owned by their cat. You can visit her website at http://kathleenmarplekalb.com/
Readers: Do you ever feel like you have a secret life on the weekends? Are you a weekend ballerina or movie critic or chef? Comment on the blog to be entered to win a copy of A Fatal Finale. (Kensington will send the book as soon as the publicists can get into the office to mail it!)