Interview With Kate Collins
Why did you decide to write mysteries?
My muse, having been a longtime fan of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden, said I had to, and what my muse dictates, I must do. Trust me, she doesn’t take no for an answer.
Have you always wanted to write books?
Are you kidding? I didn’t even like writing checks. If someone had told me (especially while I was laboring over my eighth grade writing assignments, one being, “Describe your life as an inanimate object”) that I would one day write books, I would have punched him or her out. I knew in second grade that I wanted to be a teacher, and nothing would deter me from that goal.
Why did you stop teaching?
It wasn’t until after I’d earned a master’s degree in education, taught elementary school for six years, had two children, and took lessons in tole painting, cross stitch needlework, crochet, embroidery, rug hooking, macrame, gardening, and sewing before I discovered I had a flair for telling stories. (It wasn’t like I didn’t already know. My mother had stood me in the corner many times for “telling stories.” She called it fibbing. Same difference.)
How did you come up with the character of Abby Knight?
Writing mystery with a humorous undertone and a dash of romance calls for a special sleuth. So I created a quick, feisty little redhead who loves to meddle and hates bullies and injustice; a fearless, female, knight-in-shining armor, (hence the last name Knight) ready to tackle the craftiest killer. Abby was originally going to be a newly graduated lawyer, but that was too dull for my plucky heroine. So instead she became a law school flunk-out who scrapes up enough money for the down payment on a little flower shop named Bloomers, where she can meddle to her heart’s content.
Are any of Abby’s family or friends based on people from your own life?
Just Abby’s father. My father was also a cop, a man who wouldn’t take bribes or play politics and was punished for it by being passed over for promotions for many years. Unlike Abby’s father, mine was paralyzed and wheelchair bound because of a stroke just after he retired. He was honored several times for his bravery and always downplayed it. Being familiar with the ways of cops, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with them for years. I admire their courage, but hate when they use their authority for the wrong purposes.