Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ideas from the Ooze, and Adjacent Locations

Author Kaye George is a powerhouse. I've known her for almost the entire span of my writing career and am continually amazed at her ability to not only produce a quantity of excellent work, but a broad spectrum as well. Her humorous Imogene Duckworthy mystery series is set in down-and-out Saltlick, Texas and will make you laugh outloud, her Cressa Carraway musical mystery series speaks to one of her great loves -- music. The People of the Wind series is about Neanderthals. The Fat Cat cozy mystery series will be coming out in 2014. 
A Patchwork of Stories is her collection of short stories, but you'll find her in several anthologies and magazines. Not only that, she reviews for "Suspense Magazine," writes for newsletter and blogs, gives workshops on short story writing and promotion. And she has time for her friends and family. When I figure out how she does it, I'm going to bottle it and make a million. 

So, here she is. Take notes -- and be sure to ask some questions!


Where do ideas come from?

Sometimes I know where my ideas came from and sometimes I don’t.

Well, they all come from inside my head, I know that.

I figure that everything a writer hears, sees, smells, touches, and tastes goes into what I call the primordial ooze in our brains and we’re not entirely responsible for what comes out.

I do know that my Imogene Duckworthy series arose from frustration. I was tired of getting rejection after rejection--hundreds of them--and decided to write something over the top to amuse myself.

Apparently I amused other people, too, because my readers are asked for a 4th book. I hope it gets done sometime this year or next! Since I was going for humor, I couldn’t think of a better place to set it than the one we had just moved from, a tiny town outside Wichita Falls. That city is named for a man-made water fall, since the original one (which was more of a steep rapids) washed away in a storm a long time ago.

Pretty funny to me!

My Neanderthal series, People of the Wind, arose from my life-long fascination with
Neanderthals and the fact that so many discoveries are being made about them recently. I get so excited about all this, I just had to write about it. I even had a DNA test and found that I’m 2.9 percent Neanderthal. And I have the t-shirt to prove it.

That was the hardest project I ever did, though. It involved tons of research (which, I admit, I loved) I had to decide whether they really could speak (that’s up for grabs), how their society was organized (also debated), whether the buried their dead (some think so, other don’t), and most importantly what kind of style could I use to convey that kind of world.

Tough, but fun! Can’t wait to get back to that world, 30,000 years ago, for a sequel.

This brings me to my Cressa Carraway Musical Mystery series. That was the source of much of the frustration mentioned above. I heard, over and over, to write what you know. I’m a musician so, in the first serious project I tackled, I wrote an amateur sleuth who is a musician.

Should be a cinch, right?

After those hundred of rejections, I realized this might not be so easy. Well, in the midst of them I figured that out. With the help of writing groups, writing courses, and an awesome publisher, Barking Rain Press, Eine Kleine Murder came into being. I’m so pleased it was so well received.

Still writing what I know, I used my mom’s cabin and the actual Illinois lake resort for the setting. I grew up swimming there as a child and love the place. Where all those weird characters came from is anybody’s guess, but no one like them lives there--good thing. They’re a bunch of weirdos.

As for my short stories, telling how they came into being would take a long, long time. From anywhere and everywhere. One thing I’ll never do is run out of ideas. I have folders full of them--so many ideas that I’ll never live long enough to write all of them. That good old primordial ooze.

Kaye at the site of some inspiration!

Visit Kaye at her blog Kaye George, There's links to her books. Here's another link to Kaye's Books -- this one to Amazon, where you'll find a complete list. 


  1. What a wonderful introduction, Susan! I want to meet me. Thanks for having me here today.

  2. Kaye--I have a feeling I'm going to love the Fat Cat series. You've always had a humorous slant, and I can imagine your Fat Cat will provide many opportunities to capitalize on humor. Good luck on it, and yes--I'll chime in for a fourth Immy, please!

  3. Mary, that term came to me quite a while ago, but I can't think of another way to describe the innards where ideas swirl into being. E.B., I'm writing as fast as I can, and putting touches of humor where I can. Glad you approve! Thanks for coming by!

  4. Susan & Kaye,
    This was a fun interview. I loved DEATH IN THE TIME OF ICE.

  5. Thanks, Marilyn! There's another sequel I need to write.

  6. Hi, Kaye,

    Death in the Time of Ice sounds intriguing. I enjoyed the interview. So you're part Neanderthal? Hmm.

  7. So are you, Jacqueline, if you have any European ancestors. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. A splendid post, Kaye!

    Imogene Duckworthy as a name alone is an attention grabber!

  9. Thank you, William! I'm very fond on Imogene.

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