CAT Magazine

CAT Magazine

Interview with Kat Jorgensen - Your Eight O'Clock is Dead

We're excited to have the chance to chat with a wonderful author - Kat Jorgensen. I hope you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

A notorious daydreamer, Kat knew it was only a matter of time before she became a writer. She learned to read by age four and had her first library card before her fifth birthday. To this day, she can lose herself for hours among the books at her local library or neighborhood bookstore. Ebooks and online ordering have made it really easy for her to keep her To Be Read pile from ever going down. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Kat is married with children and has a cranky tuxedo cat named Ben.

WI: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. My mom would read stories to me when I was too young to read myself, and I thought that whoever made those stories up had a great job. Then once I learned to read and write, I knew for sure that I wanted to be a writer. It is the best job.

WI: What inspired you to pen this particular novel/book?

I’d been writing suspense. Really dark books. Heck, I’d even scare myself sometimes. In 2006, my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and went through six surgeries. In 2008, I had endometrial cancer. I thought I was in the clear. But in 2009, I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Phew! It was some scary, stressful times. Times I wouldn’t want to revisit ever.

Somewhere during all of that I decided I needed to laugh and have fun with my writing. My main character Becca came almost fully formed into my mind. Then I added in other characters to amuse me. Pretty soon, I had lots of notes and had to decide what to do with them. Romance? No. I love happy endings, but I’m not a straight romance writer. Suspense again? No, I’d had enough sad, bad, scary times in my own mind - and a writer lives in their mind when they’re writing. Murder? Hmmm...that was appealing. I’m always happy killing off people on paper.

And that’s how the opening scene of Your Eight O’Clock Is Dead came about. What would Becca do if she came to work and found a patient, er, client murdered in the waiting room? And I took off from there and just played. Well, it was hard work. But I let my imagination play and let the characters have free rein to do what they wanted to do. And kept writing and making notes for future books.

WI: What road blocks did you come across while writing this story?

Other than health issues, I really didn’t have any road blocks while I wrote this book. I always joke and say it practically wrote itself. It didn’t, of course. But of all of the books I’ve written, this one was the easiest. I think in part that’s because I did have previous books behind me - even if they’ll never see the light of day. I’d studied story structure. Things that I had to consciously think about in other books came very naturally to me in this story. The mechanics of writing didn’t get in my way, and I could concentrate on the story.

WI: What do you do if a story just doesn't seem to flow the way you were hoping it would?

I used to fight it. Seriously. I’d try to make it go in the direction I had planned. It was horrible. And it resulted in many rewrites. But then I learned to trust my instincts and that of my characters. When a story doesn’t flow how I have planned, I let the characters and/or the story take over. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what happens when you just give in to the process.

WI: What has been the hardest thing about marketing this story?

Oh, I thought I was so prepared for the marketing aspect of publishing. I’d done book signings before with a non-fiction anthology and knew I could do that. I was comfortable speaking about my writing. But I was not prepared for how much the industry itself has changed with the advent of the e-readers and indie publishing. It takes a lot more effort on the writer’s part than it did before. You have to be willing to try different things to see what works and what doesn’t. I had a much larger learning curve than I was prepared for.

Also, I think humor is highly subjective. What I think is funny might not be funny to someone else. My goal is to entertain people, to take them away from their problems for just a bit and give them something to laugh over. If I do that, then I have succeeded. So I’ve had an interesting time marketing what I call “funny death.”

WI: What is one thing you wished you knew before, that you now know about marketing?

To have a clear cut marketing plan before you are published. I wish I’d known to do that. My approach has been more of a “let’s try that and that” approach. I won’t make that mistake again. I’m already planning my marketing for the next release.

WI: What is one piece of advice that you received to help your writing that you still carry with you today?

I’ve gotten great advice over the years. But I think the best piece of advice was to get the words down on the paper. You can edit anything, but you can’t edit a blank sheet of paper. That’s a very freeing concept. Many of us struggle with varying degrees of perfection. You have to lose that as a writer and be willing to write crap. Just get it down. Then you can fix it and make it pretty later. That’s the best advice I’ve ever received - and I can’t even attribute it to any one person since I’ve heard it from many people. Great advice.

WI: Tell us what a day in your writing life is like, do you have any writing quirks?

I used to be a night writer. I’d wait until everyone was in bed and then it was my time to sit and write. I’d stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Physically, I just can’t do that anymore. I’m freshest in the morning. So I get up and after I have my breakfast, I sit down and write. I set a page goal for myself each day and try hard to get that goal. Once I do, I’m free to do other things like catch up on Facebook and Twitter, answer reader mail, stay connected to other writers and keep up with industry news and happenings. I also love to take classes. My personal belief is that we can always learn something new to help us and add another tool to our writer’s toolkit. Once I’ve done all of this, I’m free to do whatever I want. Mostly that would be knitting. I’m an avid knitter and very active in knitting groups both locally and online. In fact, knitters have been a huge source of support for me both in my writing and personal life.

WI: Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

I want to write 6-9 books in the River City Mystery series. I hope my writing will get stronger with each book I do and that I’ll build a solid readership. A lot of time writers operate in a vacuum. It’s nice to get feedback from readers. I enjoy that part quite a bit. I also have a women’s fiction novel in progress and another mystery series that I’d like to develop. I have no shortage of ideas, which is a good thing.

WI: Are you currently working on any new projects?

Currently, I’m writing the second book in the series, Your Time Is Up. After I get done with that, I have the third book all plotted out and will start on that one. In the meantime, I have ideas for books 4 and 5, and I’ll brainstorm them. I’m writing notes on the characters, the storylines and anything to do with the series. That all keeps me pretty busy.

WI: Do you have any upcoming events or special news you would like to share with our readers? 

I was thrilled when a local book club picked Your Eight O’Clock Is Dead as their January read. They’ve asked me to participate in their meeting, and I’m thrilled to do it. It’ll be a first for me. I’m doing a virtual book tour right now and would love to have readers stop by. I’m giving a free book away at every stop. I’ve started a dedicated page on Facebook for anything related to my writing or to the series. And I’m looking forward to the publication of Your Time Is Up in the spring or early summer.

WI: Where can readers find you?

and Twitter @katjorgensen

I’d love to connect with folks through any of these places.

WI: Where can your book be purchased?

It’s on Amazon

Barnes & Noble

and Smashwords

Becca Reynolds is having a bad day. Her grandfather’s lecture (#405: Eat a Healthy Diet or Die Not Trying) makes her late for her job at Daley and Palmer, the psychiatrists' office where she works as the office manager—her title, not theirs. Then her sausage and egg breakfast biscuit creates an oil slick that takes out half her desk, along with that day’s patient files. But she knows the day has taken a really bad turn when she discovers the firm’s eight o’clock patient dead with Dr. Dick Daley’s letter opener opening the patient instead of the mail.

With the fledgling firm in danger of an early demise, Becca appoints herself the unofficial investigator since the police seem to be looking in all the wrong places and doing a half-assed job of solving the crime. She begins a journey to find the killer, keep the practice afloat and with it, her job. In the course of her interfere—er, investigation—she finds a virtual cast of characters who could have done it, including the fancy side piece of the murder victim, his wife, his business partner, and even his psychiatrist.

The case takes Becca from the sordid depths of the Russian mob, to the upscale West End of Richmond, Virginia (known locally as River City), and even to her own backyard. In the course of the story she finds herself in hot water, hot danger, and with dreams of hot men.

We want to thank you for taking time to chat with us today and offering your writing & marketing experiences. We wish you much success in the future.

5 Responses to "Interview with Kat Jorgensen - Your Eight O'Clock is Dead"

Katjorgensen said...

Thanks so much for having me here today.  I'm available for questions or comments.

Katjorgensen said...

Thanks so much for having me here today.  I'm available for questions or comments.

Liz said...

Great interview. Loved reading this over lunch :)

Katjorgensen said...

Thanks, Liz.  I appreciate you taking the time to do that.  Enjoy your day.

Katjorgensen said...

Thanks, Liz.  I appreciate you taking the time to do that.  Enjoy your day.