ABOUT THE BOOKWhen a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean . . .
Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .
INTERVIEW WITH KATE DYER-SEELEY
Kate, do you have a writing routine?
Yes, I have a very strict routine. When I’m working on a new book I write 2,000 words every day. No exceptions. I don’t leave my office until I hit my word count. I think that writing is a bit like exercise. If you want to strengthen your writing muscles you have to work them out every day.
What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
I wish I would have known how valuable my relationships with other mystery writers have become. I’ve met so many incredible friends through writing. The act of writing is a solitary process which makes having connections with other writers extremely important. My writer friends are fabulous sounding boards when I’m stuck on a plot idea or when we’re brainstorming the best way to reach readers. I’ve found that collaborating with my fellow mystery writers has been really beneficial in growing our readership together, and saving our sanity when we’re pulling out our hair over copy edits. I would have joined Sisters in Crime and other writing organizations long before I got a book contract in hindsight. I think it’s a huge networking tool and it’s never too early to start building relationships.
Do you have any secret talents?
I know American Sign Language. My high school offered it as a foreign language, so I took it all through high school and college. I spent my summers interpreting, and my first job after I graduated from college was working in a deaf education program. These days I don’t use it very often so I’m pretty rusty, but it’s always fun when I bump into a former student and even readers at conferences and get to put it to use again.
Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
I’ve found it extremely successful to tie book launch events into the theme of my books. For example in the 4th book in the Pacific Northwest Mysteries the protagonist, Meg Reeds, runs her first mud run. For the launch event we are creating Meg’s race day stops. Readers will get to sample some of Meg’s race day favorites like mochas with extra whipping cream to give her a sugar rush, beer infused cupcakes, and post-race wine tasting. We’re also offering mini massages, a chat with a chiropractor, and book themed prizes and giveaways. It’s a great way to bring the pages to life and offer readers a preview of what’s to come. The same goes for social media giveaways. I share items inspired from the books with readers online.
If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
BBC! Or anything on Masterpiece.
How often do you tweet?
Not often enough. I just read that to reach the widest possible audience you should be tweeting at least three times a day. I’m lucky if I tweet three times a week. It’s on my list of things to improve in 2017.
How do you feel about Facebook?
I really enjoy connecting with readers on Facebook. I use it much more frequently than Twitter, in part because it feels like more of a conversation. My reader friends on Facebook have helped picked titles for new books, are amazing about spreading the word when a book releases, and are just fun to hang out with. It’s always stunning when I realize that I’m chatting with someone in New Zealand or London. I try to respond to as many comments as I can because I appreciate that a reader has taken the time to reach out to me.
Would you make a good character in a book?
I’ve always joked that I match my star sign perfectly. I’m a Gemini and most days I feel like I have a split personality. I think having a twin personality would make a compelling character and leave the reader constantly guessing.
What five things would you never want to live without?
Wide open spaces
What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
My epi pen. I’m allergic to bee stings and do a ton of hiking here in the Pacific Northwest. You never know when you might stumble upon a swarm of bees.
What do you love about where you live?
I live in Vancouver, Washington, right across the river from Portland, Oregon and not to be confused with Vancouver, Canada. I love living in and writing about the Pacific Northwest. The landscape is so vast and changing. You can drive any direction for an hour or two and end up at the coast, the Columbia River Gorge, the Cascade Mountains, or the high desert. There’s always somewhere new to explore. I think people tend to have an adventurous spirit out here in the west. Plus there’s a plethora of delicious coffee and microbrew!
What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Peanut butter M&Ms.
What's the biggest lie you ever told?
When I was in 1st grade I used to make my Blue Bird troop march in a line behind me from school to my house for our weekly meetings. They didn’t enjoy marching (go figure) so I told them that my mom (our troop leader) made me line them up. Totally untrue! When they finally revolted and complained to my mom she was mortified and made me apologize and come clean. Apparently I was a bit of a dictator at a young age.
What’s your favorite beverage?
Coffee. I know it’s a cliché not only as a writer but also as NW native, but I love coffee pretty much any time of the day. I love a good rich dark chocolate mocha or a creamy latte, but I’m not picky I’ll drink just about anything coffee related that you put in front of me.
Would you rather be a movie star, sports star, or rock star?
A rock star! I love music, but cannot sing to save my life. I’ve always wanted to be able to sing but can’t stay in key.
What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Salsa, yogurt, an assortment of cheeses, celery, carrots, Brussel sprouts, and tons of La Croix sparkling waters.
What is the most daring thing you've done?
When I was in college I white water rafted over a 20 foot waterfall in New Zealand. Don’t ask why. I would never do that now, but Meg would!
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
My first book was a memoir about losing my mom to young onset Alzheimer’s while becoming a mom for the first time. It was a gut-wrenching and painful process to dig up memories and piece her story together, but I’m so grateful for that book. It was definitely a huge part of my grief and healing process.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the 5th book in the Pacific Northwest Mysteries, In Cave Danger. This time Meg is heading to the high desert in Central Oregon for a spelunking adventure deep underground.
ABOUT THE AUTHORKate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
Connect with Kate:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound