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becke_davis
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Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

Please welcome cozy author KATE COLLINS, author of today's guest blog!


Kate Collins

 

 

I could have sworn we'd featured Kate here at B&N's Mystery Forum, but I was mistaken. Kate did visit with us during June's Month of Cozy(ish) Crime: 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/JUNE-A-Month-of-Cozy-ish-Crime/td-p/537175/highlight/...

 

I also featured Kate back when I wrote for B&N's Garden Variety blog. It's no longer around, but you can still access my interview with Kate here: 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Garden-Variety-The-BN-Gardening/Sleeping-with-Anemone-A-Flowe...

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

 

Kate Collins is the author of the best-selling Flower Shop Mysteries.

Her books have made the Barnes & Noble mass market mystery best-sellers’ lists, the Independent Booksellers’ best-seller’s lists, as well as booksellers’ lists in Australia and England.  All of the books are available in hardback, large print editions both in the U.S. and in the UK. 

 

An Indiana native, Kate graduated from Purdue University with a master's degree in education.  She taught elementary school for six years, but after the birth of her first child, gave up her teaching career to pursue a long-time dream of putting her stories to paper. After writing short humorous stories for children’s magazines and working part-time as a legal secretary, she sold her first historical romance novel in 1995. Since then she has published seven historical romantic suspenses and eight mysteries.

 

Kate is currently working on the ninth book in the Flower Shop series, with a release date of February, 2010.When not growing roots at her computer, Kate loves to grow flowers and vegetables in her garden. Other passions include  yoga, exploring the Greek Isles, decorating, power walking, spending time with family and friends, sampling great wines and dark chocolate, and enjoying every moment of life.

 

The author lives in Northwest Indiana and Key West, Florida.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

To Catch a Leaf (Flower Shop Mystery Series #12)  

 

To Catch a Leaf (Flower Shop Mystery Series #12) by Kate Collins: Book Cover

 

Flower shop owner Abby Knight is aglow with happiness now that she's officially engaged to her longtime beau, Marco Salvare. Nothing can possibly dampen her joy-until wealthy dowager Virginia Newport is killed, and Abby's assistant Grace Bingham is the prime suspect. The plot thickens when they stumble upon mysterious stolen art and a missing cat, all part of an elaborate heist. Before Abby can throw her bouquet, she'll have to save her friend and throw a killer and a thief in jail...

 

 

 

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

Don’t Just Dream, Reach!

 

Guest Blog by Kate Collins

 

How many times have you said, “I’ve always wanted to . . . (write a book, learn to speak French, play the piano, etc)” ?  Have you said that about something you really wanted to do? I mean, seriously wanted for yourself?  And have you pursued it? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. If you have, I applaud you, because you’ve taken that step beyond dreaming. You’ve made it a goal.

 

What’s the difference? A dream can’t be realized until it becomes a goal.

 

I’m not saying that dreaming isn’t important. As a writer, I have to be able to dream, to imagine myself in other places, in other people’s circumstances and lives. The problem is that just dreaming about something doesn’t make it happen. Nor does waiting for opportunity to fall in your lap. In order to realize a dream, you have to start with small goals and work your way towards it.

 

One of my long-time dreams was to be an author whose books would make people laugh and maybe even touch their hearts. That happened at the age of twelve, after reading one of the brilliant Jean Shepherd’s books. But it seemed implausible, so I pushed it aside and focused on becoming a teacher. Skip ahead many years to when I saw a tiny ad about an online course for writing stories for children and teenagers. Something inside me, a little whisper, told me to take the course, which, after I finished it, led to selling over fifteen stories to children’s magazines.

 

Seeing my name in print was just what I needed to give me the courage to take another leap --writing a novel.  After a lame attempt, I finally joined a national and local writing group and learned the ropes. That led to a book contract with Berkley, and later with Harper/Avon, and the publishing of seven historical romances. From there, I moved into my true passion – mysteries.

 

At any step along the way I could have sabotaged my dream. I could have told myself that devoting eighteen months to a writing course was a waste of my time, that the odds of becoming a published writer were too great. The statistics are out there, believe me. But I trusted that inner voice instead, the one that said the stories in my head were as good as any I’d ever read. So, after completing the course, I sent a story out, several times in fact, before one was purchased. But I learned early on to not view rejection as failure, but as another step toward accomplishing a goal. A rejection letter can be a lesson in what not to do next time. It may say, “You need to polish, to learn better plotting/characterization/dialogue, or whatever.” Sometimes, rejection is simply a matter of bad timing. The main thing is to keep believing in yourself.

 

One of my favorite quotes says basically that failure is not trying and not succeeding. Failure is never trying at all. That is something I believe in with all my heart. So please don’t be afraid to follow a dream. If you really want it, take small steps toward it and, most importantly, believe in yourself. You can get there. You only have to reach.

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

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eadieburke
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

Welcome Kate:

 

I enjoyed reading your blog. I love the titles of your FLOWER SHOP mysteries - they are all very catchy titles! I will have to check them out. The video for DIRTY ROTTEN TENDRILS was very cute - love the music that plays!

 

Come back and visit with us again.

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

NOTE: When authors write guest blogs for us, I leave it up to them whether they will visit with us, too. (Some are doing book tours, which makes it difficult.)

 

Kate Collins IS available to respond to your questions and comments. She will be checking in periodically. Thanks!

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

Kate - You have the best titles! Do you come up with those yourself, or are some of them the publishers' creations?

 

Also, I love your covers! Do you know the artist? I'm curious how that works. Do you have input on the cover designs?

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dhaupt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

Hi Kate and welcome.

I've enjoyed reading your inputs on Jungle Red where my good friend Hank also blogs but I've never read one of your mysteries. hmmm.

For a new reader of your series, do we need to read them in order or are they good stand-a-lones

thanks

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!


dhaupt wrote:

Hi Kate and welcome.

I've enjoyed reading your inputs on Jungle Red where my good friend Hank also blogs but I've never read one of your mysteries. hmmm.

For a new reader of your series, do we need to read them in order or are they good stand-a-lones

thanks


Debbie - I've been a fan of Kate's books for a long time. A few years ago, the Cincinnati Flower Show invited me to give a presentation at a luncheon riverboat cruise. My topic was garden related mysteries, and Kate's books were featured in that talk.

 

I also wrote about them here: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Garden-Variety-The-BN-Gardening/Digging-Into-Murder/ba-p/4085...

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!


becke_davis wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

Hi Kate and welcome.

I've enjoyed reading your inputs on Jungle Red where my good friend Hank also blogs but I've never read one of your mysteries. hmmm.

For a new reader of your series, do we need to read them in order or are they good stand-a-lones

thanks


Debbie - I've been a fan of Kate's books for a long time. A few years ago, the Cincinnati Flower Show invited me to give a presentation at a luncheon riverboat cruise. My topic was garden related mysteries, and Kate's books were featured in that talk.

 

I also wrote about them here: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Garden-Variety-The-BN-Gardening/Digging-Into-Murder/ba-p/4085...


Thanks Becke, great article

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MareCT
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

What fun!

 

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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

Great blog, Kate! I know that dreams can never be aquired unless you really want to do something and can achieve it. Thanks for being here on the forum.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

THanks, Eadie. It takes me a long time to come up with new titles. My #1 requirement is that it has to make me smile. Hope you enjoy the series.

 

Kate

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!

All of the titles except for one (Night of the Living Dandelion) were my own creations. For NIGHT, my editor and I brainstormed. It was tough finding a flower that went with vampires. For covers, the publisher's art department uses a synopsis of my book along with my suggestions to come up with a new design. It's a collaborative effort. I don't know the artist, however. Good questions!

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Re: Guest Blog by Author KATE COLLINS!


katecollinsmysteries wrote:

All of the titles except for one (Night of the Living Dandelion) were my own creations. For NIGHT, my editor and I brainstormed. It was tough finding a flower that went with vampires. For covers, the publisher's art department uses a synopsis of my book along with my suggestions to come up with a new design. It's a collaborative effort. I don't know the artist, however. Good questions!


Thanks, Kate!

 

I forgot to mention - if you want to include the comment you are responding to, click "Quote" - you'll find that when you click "reply". It's in the upper right corner of the new comment box.