It’s my pleasure to chat with a fellow Long Island writer, author A R Kennedy from Long Beach, NY, about herself and her new release, Sleuth on Safari.
How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
I began self-publishing in 2013, with the first in The Nathan Miccoli Mystery Series. The series ended last year, at eight books.
I have a standalone novel, Saving Ferris. It is a legal thriller that makes us consider what, exactly, pets mean to us.
Sleuth on Safari, the first in The Traveler Cozy Mystery Series, release date is March 24, 2020. It is available for pre-order now.
The second in the series, R.I.P. in Reykjavik, is also available for pre-order now.
I’m currently working on the third in the series. Naomi travels to Australia!
Excellent. Those sound like interesting books.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
My initial goal, when I published Gone But Not Missed, was to sell 100 books. Well, I’ve exceeded that!
My goal now is to write full-time. I hope to achieve this in the next 5 years.
Very nice. I would also like to write full-time once I retire from my work at the library.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
I hope to attract a reader that’s looking for adventure!
I’m sure most readers look for that in their reading.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
Perseverance is key. You’re going to get rejections. You’re going to get bad reviews. Sometimes you have to just write for yourself.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
For each of my novels (the first book in my first series—Gone But Not Missed, my standalone legal thriller—Saving Ferris, and the first book in my new series—Sleuth on Safari), I received lots of rejections. (I have the list and could give the exact number of rejections. But I’d rather not. 🙂
I felt I had run out of traditional publishing options, so I chose self-publishing. I’ve been lucky to find an excellent editor, formatter and cover artist to produce a quality novels that I’m proud of.
I’m glad it worked out for you.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
Sisters in Crimes, including the Guppy Chapter
I am also a member of both.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
I’m a huge baseball fan!
And I love dogs. You can see lots of cute pictures of my pup, River, on my Instagram account.
I’m sure he’s adorable. I’m a cat lover, and I also post plenty of photos of my three cats on Instagram and Facebook.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
I love the writing, the research, and the brainstorming.
The marketing takes me away from the stuff I love plus it forces me to interact with people I don’t know, which is always a challenge.
I feel the same way, and I think many authors do also.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
The Nathan Miccoli Mystery series follows NYPD detective, Nathan Miccoli. I spent a lot of time researching police procedure. I strived to get the details right. Writing a cozy series, I don’t have to get bogged down with procedure—with DNA results, toxicology results, autopsies— because Naomi doesn’t have access to that.
That’s a good point. With cozies, amateur sleuths do the investigating.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
For fifteen minutes, we stood at the conveyor belt, waiting for my luggage to arrive. The constant trail of luggage became a trickle and I began to worry. I had a vision that my vacation slideshow would be me in my Supernatural TV series T-shirt and jeans, with a soundtrack of my sister’s voice saying, “I told you so.”
I glanced at Charlotte. After a fifteen-hour flight, Charlotte had emerged refreshed. I was a little worse for wear. She gave me a dismissive look and I wiped a few crumbs from breakfast off my jeans.
She smiled briefly and the other expression returned.
“You know you look like Mom when you’re annoyed,” I told her.
She glared at me and whipped around. She and her bright pink luggage stormed off. Her pink flowy top wafted over leggings with a black-and-pink chevron pattern. I had to admit, she did look nice. And did not look like she had spent almost a day traveling. I looked down at myself. The same could not be said. My wrinkled black T-shirt and torn jeans, paired with Converse sneakers with tips that used to be white, made me cringe. Nothing about me said glamour.
I didn’t worry about being left in a foreign country by myself. I could find her a mile away with that highlighter pink gear.
I said a quick prayer before turning back to the luggage belt. I exhaled and smiled. She didn’t see the last bag to drop onto the conveyor. My worn tan duffle bag.
Fifteen minutes, and two wrong turns later, I arrived at the domestic airlines check-in line.
“Naomi! Over here.” Charlotte waved her fingers at me and I waved back, from the end of the line. “Come up here!” I was fine having fifteen people between us but she was not. “Could you let my sister through, please?” She plastered on her best smile and they conceded. The travelers cleared a path and I slithered through with a feeble smile. “Her luggage was delayed. Thank goodness she got it!” She grabbed me when I was within reaching distance and pointed at my T-shirt. “Can you imagine having to wear that for your whole vacation!”
No one hid their smiles and a twentysomething man, who had helped her with her luggage earlier, openly laughed.
The next agent became available and we handed her our passports. Charlotte looked at my bag as I placed it on the stand to be checked.
“What is that?” she asked, pointing to the shiny gray strip along the side of my bag.
“Duct tape. The tool of champions.”
She shook her head. “No wonder Dad got you in the divorce.”
Boarding passes in hand, we cleared security and headed to the gate. The short flight would be departing soon and then our vacation, a safari, would officially begin.
I handed her my backpack and made for the bathroom.
“Really? You’re not going to change?” Despite being three years younger, she always ordered me around. Or at least tried to.
“Into what?” I asked. My luggage, like hers, was headed to our next flight. I said a silent prayer as I gave it to the airline’s check-in agent that I would see it at the next airport. Charlotte was right. I did not want to spend the entire trip in jeans and a T-shirt. Even a T-shirt with cute guys on it.
She opened her carry-on. I peered in. She had more clothes in there. I didn’t know how she could fill so much, neatly, into that small space. “Let me give you something.”
“Why? Once we get there, we’re going to bed.”
“No, we’re having dinner around the fire when we arrive.” She pulled out the travel agent’s itinerary from a front compartment. Mine was somewhere crumpled at the bottom of my backpack. She pointed to the line, “Welcome Dinner.”
I didn’t want dinner. I wanted sleep.
“Plus,” she leaned in and whispered, “the people on the tour with us have to be on this flight.”
I looked around the small gate area and had to agree. To appease her, I grabbed my cosmetics case out of my backpack. It was better than putting on that frilly yellow top she was holding out for me.
Charlotte was pleased, especially when she saw it was the one she had given me for Christmas and that it was in good condition. I had never used it.
In the bathroom, I brushed my teeth and splashed water on my face. I ran my fingers through my hair. I looked at my makeup case, hoping it had dry shampoo in it, but knowing it didn’t. My sister’s case would. My pride wouldn’t allow me to ask her for it. However, my pride did not keep me from returning to my sister in faded, ripped jeans, a wrinkled sci-fi themed T-shirt, and sneakers.
Even though she no longer was carrying her hot pink luggage, she was still easy to locate. Her “Meet People” voice, the one she had learned from our mother, could be heard twenty feet away. I hid several rows away, in view of the boarding gate, until our flight was called.
“It took you all that time and you look like that?” she asked. “You’re going to feel silly at dinner looking like that.”
I rolled my eyes.
In the same tone I had used earlier, she added, “You look like our mother when you do that.”
Great excerpt. Thanks for sharing.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
I hope Sleuth on Safari inspires readers to travel!
I’m sure it will even if it’s armchair traveling.
Thanks for the interview. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes with your new series.
Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
by A R Kennedy
About Sleuth on Safari
Sleuth on Safari: A Traveler Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Independently Published (March 24, 2020)
Print Length 267 Pages
Digital ASIN: B082XKK3TD
A bargain deal on a safari + one dead body = An adventure no one could plan for.
Naomi and her estranged sister are off on a trip of a lifetime—an African safari, a bucket list trip for Naomi on which she got a last-minute deal. Naomi thinks traveling with her sister will be the worst part of her African safari until she finds one of their fellow travelers, the unlikable Dr. Higgins, dead. She gets more adventure than she bargained for when she starts investigating what she thinks is murder but the luxury lodge says was a tragic accident. She only has a few vacation days, and a few game drives, to find the killer.
About A. R. Kennedy
A. R. Kennedy lives in Long Beach, New York, with her two pups. She works hard to put food on the floor for them. As her favorite T-shirt says, ‘I work so my dog can have a better life’. She’s an avid traveler. But don’t worry. While she’s away, her parents dote on their grand-puppies even more than she does. Her writing is a combination of her love of travel, animals, and the journey we all take to find ourselves.
Website – http://arkennedyauthor.com
Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/A-R-Kennedy/e/B00GOKCWHE
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ARKennedyauthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ark_author
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7382548.A_R_Kennedy
Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/a-r-kennedy
Purchase Link – Amazon
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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