Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Author Guest Post - KB Inglee

KB Inglee describes herself in five words as someone who "loves history, animals, writing, knitting." For her writing she chose "Historical, American, mystery, short fiction."

Without further ado, here are her answers to her choice questions.

You have a table for four at your favorite restaurant and can invite any three people, living, dead or fictional. Who are your guests (and why) and where are you eating (and why)?

Mary Francis, the wife of Dick Francis, because I would like to know more about their collaboration
Conan Doyle, so he could tell me how and why he came up with Sherlock Holmes

The miller's wife at Newlin Gristmill, circa 1739. We don't know who she was, but I have so many questions for her. I'm not sure she would enjoy the company, so I might have to ask her out by herself.
We will meet at my favorite Greek restaurant in Cambridge MA, because Delaware doesn't have any good Greek restaurants.

Describe your most productive writing venue. What makes it best for you?

I write at my dining room table. Radio playing classical music. I use a lap top so I could work anywhere in the house, but this fits me best. Maybe because it is close to the kitchen. Dog is asleep on the chair in the corner, in case I need her to help solve writing problems.

Name three not well-known authors you would recommend and tell us what you like about their writing.

Kaye George: She is really funny but her serious stuff is well researched. Who would think to set a murder among mind readers as she did in Death in the Time of Ice?

Edith Maxwell: Her settings are so vivid, I read with map in hand. She is very careful to get the historical stuff right.

Cindy Callaghan: She writes kid's books, so I probably wouldn’t read her under normal circumstances, but she is in my critique group. Her work moves along fast and the settings are done with care. She is a wonderful critique partner as well as being a terrific writer.

What is the most challenging area for you as a writer? What are you doing to address the issue?

The middle of a short story. Once I have the first paragraph and the ending, I don't allow myself to give up on the story 'til it is complete. I have a whole folder of first paragraphs without endings. Sometimes I ask the dog but she isn't very helpful.

What motivates you to write?

I have no notion. Perhaps it is the ideas that come bubbling up all the time. Often it is a call for a short story. Though I have a giant stack of stories, I usually write a new one for each call.
How did you develop the idea for your most recent work?

A call came in for a short story with a given setting. I'm not going to be more specific until I finish the story. I picked an event appropriate to the setting and began to research. I write the first paragraph or so, then I come up with the ending. The stuff between the beginning and the ending is the hardest work I do.

I once wrote a locked room mystery after hearing a presentation on locked room mysteries at a conference.

Name three writers from whom you have drawn inspiration and tell us why.
Dick Francis for exciting writing. He was the first writer I remember reading who had compassion for the victim.

Arthur Conan Doyle introduced me to the mystery story.

Sue Grafton because while reading her work, I though "Hey, I could do this."
KB Inglee writes historic short mystery fiction set in the Mid-Atlantic and New England from the early colonial period through the end of the 19th century. When she started writing she found that doing the things her characters do made the writing both easier and more realistic. She has operated a water powered gristmill, driven oxen, plowed with horses, fired and cooked in a wood fired oven. She is an interpreter at two living history museums, and tends a flock of heritage sheep.

She lives in Delaware with her family and too many pets.

Her most recent story, "The Devil's Quote" will be published in And All Our Yesterdays by Darkhouse Books, due out in March 2015.

You can find her at her website


  1. KB knows that women have the inside track--that's where the great research can be found. In the stories of KB's that I've read, the solutions to many of her mysteries are found in the details of early American living, such as the technology. She must do a lot of research, which is, I think, KB's writiing strength. Mysteries hinge on great details. Good luck with the anthology!

  2. KB -- Thanks for your interesting answers. I haven't heard of Cindy Callaghan. What age group does she write for? I buy books for my grandkids and am always looking for something different.

    ~ Jim

    1. Thanks for hosting me , Jim.
      Cindy writes for middle grade kids. (aged 9-13). I am nominating her 2014 book Lucky Me for an Agatha.

  3. Thanks for the shoutout, KB! I love your stories, as you know.

  4. Thanks KB -- I that's the perfect age for one of my grandkids. I'll check it out. ~ Jim

  5. I, too, have a grandchild in the right range for Cindy Callaghan. Thanks for the props, KB. I love the post--and KB's stories!

  6. Great post! I love this format. I too loved Dick Francis (though I can't get into the ones now written by his son, Felix).

  7. Fantastic post. I love the questions. The middle muddle is the biggest writing challenge for me in any format - short or long.

  8. Loved this interview. Great questions and KB's answers were exactly like her stories - short, to the point, and worth noting.

    1. Thanks everybody.
      I was running a riding stable when I found Dick Francis. I got to explain to everyone what a New Zealand rug was, Every time a book came out I got phone call from my colleagues asking what he was talking about.
      Thanks, Jim, for having me.

  9. K.B. loved your comments. I feel like I know you better now.

  10. Jim, h good questions! I especially liked the one where K.B. ended up telling us about her middle of a short story problem, yet she always gets a lot of them written! I would love to see the locked room one because I can never figure those out. Didn't one writer have a cantilever that lifted up the roof? I have been loving loving loving Suzanne Adair's historical mystery books on the American Revolutionary War in South Carolina, so I am now hooked on the genre, although I have to say that I've been really impressed with the way Suzanne describes things without using common verbs or making us notice, the writing just flows. I will love seeing how K.B. weaves that technology and all that detail from her own research into the stories. I'm not sure I could do that much research but I'm very curious about the time given that my ancestors came here at that time.