Kathy Lynn Emerson/Kaitlyn Dunnett is the author of over fifty traditionally published books written under several names and in several genres. She won the Agatha for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries. Currently she writes the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries, set in the fictional Western Maine village of Moosetookalook as Kaitlyn Dunnett and the historical Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries as Kathy Lynn Emerson. The latter series is a spin-off from her Face Down Mysteries and is set in Elizabethan England. Kathy’s websites are www.KathyLynnEmerson.com and www.KaitlynDunnett.com
What are your ties to Maine?
I came to Maine from New York state waaaay back in 1965 to attend Bates College in Lewiston, met my Maine-born husband there, and have pretty much stayed right here ever since. We currently live in Wilton. I started visiting the Boothbay region when John Clark was librarian and began inviting writers to come and speak. I think the first time I was there, it was on a panel of romance writers. Later I came back as a mystery author.
What is your favorite thing about writing in Maine?
The peace and quiet. I don’t think I could write in a large city or living in an area where you couldn’t go outside without immediately running into 0ther people.
What are the most important themes in your work?
I don’t write with a theme in mind. I write to entertain both myself and my readers. My genre is the cozy mystery, sometimes historical (as Kathy Lynn Emerson)and sometimes contemporary (as Kaitlyn Dunnett). The only sure thing is that the mystery will be solved and the villain brought to justice.
Tell us about the books you will be signing at Books In Boothbay this year?
Murder in the Queen’s Wardrobe: This is the first of the Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries set in the 1580s in England (and in this case also in Ivan the Terrible’s Russia). It is a spin off from my Face Down Mysteries, which feature Susanna, Lady Appleton, whose expertise is in poisonous herbs. My new sleuth is the illegitimate daughter of Lady Appleton’s late, unlamented spouse, Sir Robert. Rosamond was fostered by Lady Appleton and given an excellent education, but Lady Appleton, having no children of her own, also spoiled her terribly. Rosamond inherited the worst traits of both her parents, but although she may not be the most likeable character in the world, she’s has excellent qualifications as a detective and also for her secondary vocation as an intelligence gatherer for Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster.
Ho-Ho-Homicide: This is the 8th book in the Liss MacCrimmon Scottish-American Heritage series, featuring a former professional Scottish dancer who now owns a shop in the fictional western Maine village of Moosetookalook. In this entry, she and husband Dan Ruskin plan to spend a relaxing week at a Christmas tree farm a friend has just inherited but, as usual, murder gets in the way. This time it’s a cold case, or so they think. Although ours is very different, my husband and I own and operate a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm in the Western Maine mountains.
What do you hope readers will discover in your latest book?
A desire to go back and read the earlier novels.
If you have attended Books In Boothbay in the past, please tell us what you enjoyed about it?
I’ve been to Books in Boothbay twice before. The best part is meeting readers, but a close second is the chance to chat with fellow writers. When we’re spread out all over the state, it isn’t always easy to get together and talk shop. Books in Boothbay gives us that opportunity.
What do you feel about the future of our local libraries?
Worried. Libraries are needed as much, if not more, than ever, but the people who vote on library funding don’t seem to get that. Year after year, funding has to be put back into town budgets at town meetings. If not enough supporters show up to vote in favor of library funding, the outlook is bleak.
Come meet Kathy/Kaitlyn at Books in Boothbay on July 11!