A closet readers take on: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Erotica, YA Fiction & Audiobooks

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

GUEST POST: Author Tammy Kaehler - Kate Reilly and Me

I'm really happy to have mystery writer Tammy Kaehler here on the Nice Girls Blog.  Her newest release BREAKING POINTS, book two in the Kate Reilly Mystery series, was released on Monday.  I can't wait to run right out and get it, so I can dive into Kate's newest adventures!  

If you've read DEAD MAN'S SWITCH, this is an great opportunity for you to get to know Kate a little better and her creator Tammy.  If you haven't picked up this series, what the heck are you waiting for!

I proudly present to you, author Tammy Kaehler!


Kate Reilly and Me

I write in first person, in the head and voice of a 24-25 year old racecar driver. I’m a little north of 40 and a complete chicken behind the wheel. My point is, I’m really not my main character.

And yet, I sort of am.

When I set out to create Kate Reilly, my protagonist in the Kate Reilly Racing Mystery series, I deliberately made her the same in some ways, and not in others. Let’s look at some of the similarities and differences in physical aspects and our attitudes and emotions….

Height: We’re both five-foot-three (or four). Why? I know what it’s like, I suppose. And smaller is better for a driver.

Eyes: Blue for both of us

Hair: Dark brown for me, black for Kate. Funny story…. When I created Kate, I was blonde. I didn’t want to make her look like me (ha!) and I didn’t want her to be a blond, with all of the attendant stereotypes, so I gave her black hair. A couple years later, I went back to my natural dark brown. And then dark-brown-haired Danica got popular. Oops. Now it takes a lot of explaining that she wasn’t meant to be like either of us!

Exercise: The single best thing about creating Kate is making her like—or even love—stuff I hate but that I know is good for me. Like exercise. For Kate, working out, sweating, and feeling pain and burn in her muscles and lungs is doing her job. To be a top driver, she’s got to be fit and strong enough to wrestle a car around at top speeds for two hours at a time in temperatures above 100F. She loves to win, and working out means being ready to fight for the win. No choice for her. She enjoys workouts because they get her closer to the top step of the podium.

Me? Not so much. I work out plenty, but I hate every single minute of it and complain like crazy. I hate sweating and feeling gross—whereas Kate spends her working hours soaking wet in her firesuit. And she loves it.

Femininity: In her second adventure, Braking Points, Kate struggles to reconcile being singled out as an icon of beauty with being a lifelong tomboy who doesn’t know how to apply makeup very well. Kate basically feels like she’s not very good at being a girl—and while her attitude (and situation) are an over-exaggeration of what I’ve always felt, I can relate. I’ve had phases in my life of preferring dresses to jeans and overdoing the eye shadow (hello, high school in the 1980s). But I’m not an inveterate shopper or reader of fashion magazines. I don’t trust myself with patterns and mostly mix boring, solid color clothes. And I hardly ever do ruffles or bows. That’s not to say I’m not feminine, but like Kate, I’m not the hearts, bows, and pink kind of feminine.

So, sure, Kate’s a lot like me. But so is Holly, Kate’s sidekick who gets all the witty one-liners. So is the fussy, perfectionist Series VP, Stuart Telarday. Instead of one character being just like me, I’ve spread different aspects of me across a lot of characters. I suppose that makes sense, given that I created them all.

It’s tempting to make Kate the better version of me—the younger, prettier, more perfect version. But perfect is boring. Kate has to make mistakes and to screw some things up, both to be believable as a human being and to make my stories interesting.

And maybe that’s how we’re the most alike, in the end, Kate and me and every human out there … none of us is perfect. We’re all going to mess some things up and (hopefully) do some things—driving a racecar, manipulating words, telling stories—pretty well.


 I really want to take the time to thank Tammy for stopping by!  

Her newest release BREAKING POINT can be found at Amazon and Audible.

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