Today, I'm proud to welcome author Kathleen Jae! Her new murder mystery Island Times Three just launched yesterday and it looks SO GOOD! But before we get to the book, let's get to know this talented author a little better.
1) What sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series?
Thank you for having me, Anastasia! I adored the classics: Tom Sawyer, Black Beauty, The Wizard of Oz, Treasure Island, Peter Pan, etc. I also loved Scholastic Books—especially those about horses. I couldn’t wait until my book order arrived at school!
2) What sort of books do you enjoy reading nowadays?
I don’t seem to have much time to read for enjoyment as I’m researching the sequel to my current book. When I do find time, I’ll read one of my vintage books on nature, decorating, cooking and home improvement I’ve bought at a local library book sale.
3) Around what age did you realize that you liked to write? And when did you know that you wanted to write books?
My earliest attempt at writing was a comic book about a couple of birds called Pepper and Salt at age 10. Some years later I began writing for a local wildlife rehabilitation group. I rehabbed Eastern cottontails at the time and wrote stories for the monthly publication. Soon after, I became a reporter for the local newspaper and also wrote a semi-monthly column. I was allowed to write about anything I wanted, and it was then I thought I might want to write a book. I wrote it in longhand but never finished it (I still have the notebooks and from time to time pull them out and transcribe some pages).
4) What’s the first thing you wrote that you remember being proud of?
I’m most proud of my first book, From Prompting to Shaping to Letting Go. It’s a memoir/biography of my daughter’s journey from her autism diagnosis to age 27.
That is awe-inspiring. I get emotional making a scrapbook!
5) Tell us about the creative force within you. What inspires you to write, to create?
I think it’s knowing I am able to actually write a book. For years, I thought it would be impossible to do. I thought I didn’t have the imagination or know-how. And even when I began my first novel, Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery, I wasn’t sure how I would fill up the pages. I knew the beginning and the end—they never changed. I didn’t outline that book and wrote it in sequence.
6) What’s your writing space like?
My husband finished off a room behind the garage, and I was going to use it as a painting studio, but I decided to focus on writing instead. It’s out of the way and quiet. Besides my desk and chair, I share the room with some books, my computer and a sofa.
7) Do you have a favorite time of day to write? Any habits or little rituals that put you in a writing mindset?
I’m up pretty early, but I can’t seem to start writing until mid-morning. I usually must down a few cups of coffee before I can plan out what I’m going to write or research that day.
8) Time to talk about Islands Times Three (rubbing hands together). But first, how did you come up with the idea for the series? Are there any interesting tidbits you’d care to share with us?
I didn’t intend for Island Times Three to be a series. I had planned to write a book of short stories, and a historical story about a detective who helps a famous woman on a remote island was one of them. After I started writing, it was clear the story would need to be expanded to book length. In the beginning, Raymond was a 50-year-old, out-of-shape detective. I knew the story’s main location would be Sanibel Island, and I was going to incorporate the mosquito-control events that occurred there in the early ‘50s. I was also going to include something about buried treasure on the island, as some of the historical books I read alluded to this possibility. But after I talked with a local historian at the Sanibel Public Library, she convinced me no buried treasure existed, and I abandoned that plot line. I did, however, keep the plot historical as it takes place in April 1952.
9) Now let’s hear about Island Times Three.
Raymond Gray is a Manhattan private investigator. He was a cop and detective for several years, and he owns a small agency near the East Village. He agrees to fly to Sanibel Island off Florida’s Gulf Coast to meet his newest client, Jane Girdlestone, who is staying with her daughter in a rented cottage. He learns his client is a famous Hollywood actress, and Raymond loses no time trying to find the blackmailer. The clues point to an elusive Cuban, but everyone is suspect, including Henry, the cottage’s caretaker. Raymond soon discovers the sparsely populated and remote island is the perfect backdrop to pull off a blackmail scheme—or worse!
Wow! It sounds amazing!
10) I comprehend that you’ve just recently published a book. Still, I can’t help but ask – do you have anything waiting in the wings?
Yes, I’m doing research for the next Raymond Gray novel in the series, with a working title of The Numbers Runner.
11) Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I have two other books out, The Elanora and the Salt Mystery Study Guide for Teachers and Parents, and An Amazing Manatee* Journal. The Study Guide conforms to Florida Standards. Because the manatee is an important character in Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery, I decided to create a journal showcasing this gentle creature.
I checked these out! I will be introducing Elanora and the Salt Mystery to my grandchildren! Links are below!
Kathleen, congratulations on your new release! Thank you for sharing your time and talent with us.
Thank you for this opportunity, Anastasia!
And now, Islands Times Three!
His job was to protect her. The island had other ideas.
What’s a Sanibel?
From the time he accepted the job from a woman vacationing on the remote island of Sanibel off the coast of southwest Florida, Manhattan private investigator Raymond Gray should have known this would be no ordinary case. For starters, someone with knowledge of the woman’s secret must have followed her, and when the suspects begin to multiply, Raymond must turn to his trusted secretary to provide essential information to keep the woman and her teenage daughter safe. As the suspects and clues evolve, the goon at the center of his investigation remains a constant, but the puzzling addition of a mysterious woman throws the case in a new direction. As Raymond struggles with the possibility that simple blackmail could turn into something even more sinister, he realizes that the isolation that Sanibel Island brings is the one thing the goons depend on—and it’s the kind of setting that could ultimately sabotage his clients’ rescue.
Island Times Three is at once a mystery novel and a historical narrative. The sparsely populated and isolated island of Sanibel in the middle of the 20th century is the heart of the story, and Island Times Three introduces readers to Raymond Gray, a Manhattan private investigator. This combination results in a gripping tale of blackmail and murder!
A figure suddenly emerged from the bushes, and in the darkness, Raymond made out the silhouette of a man holding a knife over his head. Jane blocked his line of sight as he withdrew his revolver, and the lack of light prevented him from getting a fix on the target.
“Jane! Run!” Raymond yelled again, and he was glad she ran in the direction of Bailey’s, as that caused the attacker to run past him.
They were running away from him now, but once again the attacker was situated directly behind Jane, and Raymond’s heart started to pound when he raised his revolver and realized he couldn’t get a clear shot. He raced toward them and fanned to the left. Christ! If only I had some light—any light! He could just make out the man was closing in on Jane, and Raymond could do nothing but keep running to close the distance between him and the attacker. Forty feet…thirty feet… The parking lot was suddenly as bright as day, and Raymond stopped, aimed his revolver and pulled the trigger.
Available at Amazon.
About the Author
Island Times Three is Kathleen Jae’s second novel. She has been writing in one form or another for almost twenty-five years. Her greatest success story is her daughter, Katie, whom she refers to as “my hero,” and their journey is chronicled in Kathleen’s first book, From Prompting to Shaping to Letting Go: My Love Affair With ABA and How Being a “Bad Mom” Helped My Daughter With Autism Succeed. In past lives, the author has been a proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter and columnist, newsletter writer for a wildlife organization and writer of stage plays and screenplays. Two of Kathleen’s short stories made it to the finals of the 2017 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award competition. Her first novel, Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery, was a 2021 Page Turner Awards finalist.
Books by Kathleen Jae:
Island Times Three
Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery
Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery Study Guide for Teachers and Parents
An Amazing Manatee* Journal
From Prompting to Shaping to Letting Go: My Love Affair with ABA and How Being a “Bad Mom” Helped My Daughter with Autism Succeed
A Little of This, a Little of That
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran
From me to you with a smile.
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