Good morning everyone. Today I have an author interview with Mary Keliikoa to share. First a bit about her latest book, Derailed. How cool is the cover? I have not read this one yet but it sounds like a great start to a new series.
Here’s what readers are saying:
“It’s that perfect blend of personal and professional that makes Derailed a welcome addition to the genre. I can’t wait to follow both Kelly and Keliikoa’s careers.”—Kellye Garrett, Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Award-winning author, Hollywood Homicide
“Derailed has it all: an engaging heroine, a twisty, twisted crime, and plenty of food for thought about families and their secrets. I loved this debut and can’t wait to read about Kelly Pruett’s next case.”— Kristen Lepionka, Shamus Award-winning author, the Roxane Weary mystery series
“Mary Keliikoa’s debut novel is an important addition to the PI genre – strong with voice, a compelling protagonist in KellyPruett, and unforgettable family secrets. Derailed was hard to put down – and I can’t wait to read the next book in this crackling new series.” — Alex Segura, author, Blackout and Miami Midnight
Onto the author interview….(these questions were provided by the publisher for this post, I have not read the book yet myself)
Q. You have owned several businesses in the past. Do you keep a finger in business or is writing now your full-time occupation?
A. I am the VP of a distribution company my husband and I have owned for 19 years, and I continue to work a few hours most week days. I enjoy the connection with our staff, we employ nearly 40 people. But I’m also very blessed to set my own schedule and writing is a big part of every day.
Q. Growing up, what kind of books did you like to read?
A. I actually loved fantasy. Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bears was one of my favorites, and I’ve been a longtime fan of The Hobbit, and the entire J.R.R. Tolkien series
Q. Is the crime itself something that had happened in the news?
A. It is not anything that I’d ever personally heard about…although I’m sure it’s happened. But I spent years working in downtown Portland, where this fictional crime occurs. I used to ride public transportation and it always amazed me and still does how easy it would be to fall in front of a bus or a train. Or perhaps even pushed?
Q. Kelly’s ex-husband is overprotective of her and her daughter and seems very old-fashioned in many ways. How has Kelly’s life changed since her divorce from him?
A. Kelly had worked with her dad in his agency, and then she’d known Jeff since she was five. The divorce, and the death of her father where she inherits the agency, leave her in a new and unchartered place of making all the decisions for herself.
As welcoming as that is, she still feels lost and questions everything, including who she is in this world. Of course she’s a mom, and she wants to be the best at that, but she also wants to do her dad proud by not losing his agency. When that opportunity arrives to do more than just the process serving her father had entrusted her with, she embraces it as an opportunity to step out from under the thumb of her ex and out of the shadow of her dad, all the while fighting the belief she’ll never be free of her insecurities.
Q. Kelly’s new love interest is Kyle, a very cute cop. Will we be seeing more of him in the series?
A. Absolutely. Although nothing will ever be easy for Kelly. The girl has some trust issues, and she doesn’t want to feel that boxed in feeling that she did with Jeff.
Q. How will Kelly evolve in the rest of the series?
A. Kelly will be coming more into her own as I mentioned, and more importantly, she’s going to learn that she doesn’t have to be the spitting image of her father. She really can have it all, and she can have it differently than he did…which includes embracing being a mom and letting people in to help her.
About the author:
Mary Keliikoa is a former legal secretary who uses the legal system as a lens to discover what makes people tick. From the first petition filed to preparation for trial, she takes legal maneuverings to a new level as her characters overcome obstacles to find meaning and purpose in a crazy world.