Interview with cozy mystery author Kate Dyer-Seeley

Please give
a hearty Reviews and Interviews welcome to cozy mystery author Kate Dyer-Seeley.
She’s here today talking about her debut novel Scene of the Climb. It’s the first in her new Pacific Northwest
Mystery series.
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery
series for Kensington. She lives in the ruggedly beautiful Pacific Northwest
with her husband and son, where you’ll find her hitting the trail, at an
artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub—or better yet—all three.
Welcome, Kate. Please tell us about
your current release.
Scene of the Climb features the wild forests and stunning
vistas of the Columbia River Gorge, hipster hangouts in Portland, Oregon, and a
young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in
order to land a job writing for Northwest
magazine. The only problem is that Meg’s idea of sport is climbing
onto the couch without spilling her latte.
magazine sends her to Angel’s Rest (a 2,000 foot peak) to cover a reality TV adventure
race filming in town. After clawing her way to the top, Meg witnesses a man
plummet off the cliff. Meg quickly realizes that his death was no accident, and
finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation.
What inspired you to write this book?
A pair of
hot pink hiking boots! It’s true. I love to hike with my family in the Columbia
River Gorge, where the murder takes place in Scene of the Climb. One weekend we were hiking Angel’s Rest and a
young woman in her early twenties was trekking up the trail in a pair of hot
pink hiking boots. I thought, “She is a character.” She and her pink boots
definitely stood out!
Not long
after we hiked Angel’s Rest, a hiker fell to his death from the summit which tragically
has happened more than once. I wondered what would happen if someone had “help”
off the ledge. From there the story came together once I had that premise in
What exciting story are you working on
I just
finished Meg’s next adventure, Slayed on
the Slopes
. It comes out on April 7, 2015. Meg is sent up to Timberline
Lodge on Mount Hood to cover a winter training weekend for the Ridge Rangers, a
new high-altitude guiding team. She’s not a fan of heights, so is less than
thrilled to learn that the Ridge Rangers are staying at the Silcox Hut, a remote
mountain cabin a thousand vertical feet above the lodge and reachable only by
ski lift or snowcat.
She braves
the elements and a bumpy snowcat ride, in hopes that she can conduct her
interviews inside next to a crackling fire with a steaming cup of cocoa. Alas,
poor Meg ends up stuck outside in a blizzard. She swears she hears gunshots
over the sound of the raging wind, but no one believes her. That is until one
of the Ridge Rangers is found in a frozen pool of blood.
starting work on the third book in the series now which is going to take Meg
out to Hood River for an international windsurfing competition. She’s going to
be in way over her head!
When did you first consider yourself a
The first
time I received a paycheck for my writing. I did a lot of freelancing for
regional and international publications. My first paycheck for freelancing work
was for $35. I was thrilled! I took a photo of the check and hung it on my
office wall. Obviously the cash wasn’t going to pay the bills, but getting paid
for my writing was a big step forward in my career.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
Yes, I
write full-time. When I’m working on a manuscript, I draft in the morning when
I tend to be fresher. I set a daily word count, and don’t leave my office until
I hit it. Then I spend whatever time I have remaining on marketing, editing,
and other projects. I try to carve time in my schedule to get outside and walk every
day. I find that most of my breakthrough moments, when I’m struggling with a
plotline or character, happen when I’m not actually writing. Plus now I can
actually count time out in nature as “research.”
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
question. I like to really get into Meg’s head so I transform my office into
Meg’s world when I’m drafting. Right now my office walls are plastered with
posters and photos of windsurfers, vintage dresses, and microbrews. I create
Meg playlists to listen to while I write. She’s a modern day throwback so I
listen to a lot of big band and swing music. But then, she’s also young, so I
mix in Taylor Swift and indie bands like the Decemberists. It’s a quirky mix!
As a child, what did you want to be
when you grew up?
What didn’t
I want to be? A paleontologist, a reporter, a marine biologist, an astronaut, a
teacher… I could keep going. I think that’s why writing is a good match for me.
It lets me immerse myself into many different worlds and keeps me engaged,
especially when I’m doing research. I loved researching all of the places
featured in the book. Scene of the Climb
has an adventure guide and scenic tour in the back that readers can use to
follow Meg’s route through the Columbia River Gorge. Writing that gave me an
opportunity to dig through history books, interview experts, and do hands-on
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
Thanks so
much for having me! One of the things that I enjoy most about reading mysteries
is that they serve as travelogues. I love reading about charming beach-side
towns on the east coast, and quaint villages tucked into the English
countryside. I hope that readers will be able to get a taste of the Pacific
Northwest lifestyle through Meg’s eyes.

It’s been my pleasure, Kate. Happy writing!

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