Silence Says the Most: An Olivia Penn Mystery
by Kathleen Bail
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was in the first grade. The practicalities of life along with a few plot twists along the way, though, had me travel the long and winding road to realize that dream. Before becoming an author, I worked for over twenty years as a pediatric physical therapist treating children with special needs. I live in Virginia with my husband and recently adopted, adorable kitten.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
First, outside the book world, very few people know that I’m a writer. Despite that and second, I’m a cozy mystery amateur sleuth waiting to happen. I’m a writer living in my childhood home, and I like to garden, bake pies, and I have an adorable feline fur baby … oh, and I try not to swear. Third, and as a completely random fact, I’ve eaten an apple almost every day for over thirty years. That’s in the ballpark of 11,000 apples!
What books/authors have most inspired you?
Louise Penny has inspired me. I started reading her Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Series when I was in my thirties and working as a physical therapist. Though I was very far away from being a published author, I learned she didn’t begin writing novels until she was in her forties, and her first book was published when she was forty-six. I knew back then it was not the right season in my life for me to switch careers, but her story inspired me to never let that inner voice go silent. As life goes, I started writing in my mid-forties, and a few years later, I’m a full-time author.
Loads of research goes into writing, but most of it is not detailed in the book. For instance, in Silence Says the Most, there is a mysterious algae bloom that occurs at a lake. I did a lot of research to ensure that the scenario was plausible, but the reader doesn’t have to know about specifics that aren’t germane to the mystery itself. In my first book, Where the Light Shines Through, I included an epilogue of sorts that spoke to two specific plot points that were key to the mystery because both issues aren’t well known or understood, and I thought some readers may be interested in learning the factual basis for them. The research is ongoing throughout the writing. Much of the research related to the crime gets done during the plotting phase, but there are always things I’m looking up as I’m drafting and editing to ensure accuracy.
Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?
I think of writer’s block as a time with the creative soil goes fallow. For me, writer’s block is not about the difficulties in coming up with the next line or plot point while staring at my screen. Those are normal challenges in the creative process. Rather, for me, writer’s block is a time when something happens, typically out of your control, that impacts your creativity and ability to write: an illness, a loss of a loved one, economic hardship, etc. Such was the case after my father suddenly passed away while I was writing my first book. I needed to let the writing rest for a time while I tended to my heart.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Read in the genre you want to write. Know the genre expectations and have a sense of story structure. Have your writing edited by a professional editor. Keep at it and know that writing is a process. It’s like learning to walk. Your first drafts may look and feel a bit wobbly, but with repetition, you’ll build strength, and soon your writing legs will steady and keep you moving forward, step by step.
When you are not writing what do you like to do?
Between everyday life responsibilities and writing, I don’t have a lot of free time. But I always make time to play with my kitten, and then while she naps, I search about the house and under all the couches to find her toys that she likes to hide.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I would travel to New Zealand to bask in the spectacular scenery.
What is next on the horizon for you?
I’m working on book three in The Olivia Penn Mystery Series.
Thank you Kathleen for visiting today!
Keep reading for information about Kathleen’s new book.
About Silence Says the Most
Silence Says the Most: An Olivia Penn Mystery
2nd in Series
Setting – Apple Station, Virginia (in the Shenandoah Valley)
Rhino Publishing LLC (October 25, 2022)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 195627006X
ISBN-13 : 978-1956270068
Digital ASIN : B0BGFRZDGK
A heartwarming cozy mystery that celebrates the connections of friends and family with a Gilmore Girls vibe.
Five days before Halloween, fall turns frightful in Apple Station when a child’s drawing entangles Olivia in a murder at a park lake.
Olivia’s hometown is gearing up for its annual Halloween festival, and pumpkins, corn mazes, and autumn vibes are everywhere. All is cozy in the crisp fall air as excitement builds for the costume parade on Friday. A casual Monday lakeside picnic lunch with her forever friend, though, sets off a chain of events that catches Olivia in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When a body is discovered amid an algae bloom under mysterious circumstances, everyone points fingers, but one among them is not telling the truth. The only apparent witness to the crime is a child who doesn’t speak. Motives abound, suspects are plenty, and it’s up to Olivia to discover why the child has implicated her as the key to solving the murder.
Can Olivia unmask the killer before the endangered evidence vanishes, and she becomes the next victim?
If you like small town, cozy mysteries with heart and humor, a charming cast of characters, and a twisty plot that celebrates the connections of friends and family, you’ll love Silence Says the Most, the second book in The Olivia Penn Mystery Series.
Great Escapes Praise for Silence Says the Most: An Olivia Penn Mystery
by Kathleen Bailey
All the things that charmed me in this series’s first book also charmed me in Silence Says the Most. Another delightful visit to Apple Station, Virginia – already looking forward to the next!
~Reading is my Superpower
If you’re a fan of small-town cozy mystery books with a strong female protagonist, I think you’ll enjoy Silence Says the Most just like I did!
~Christy’s Cozy Corners
More About Kathleen Bailey
Kathleen Bailey is the author of The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. She writes mysteries with heart and humor that keep to the traditional and cozy sides of crime. Kathleen has degrees in English, psychology, and physical therapy. She previously worked as a pediatric physical therapist for over twenty years with children who have special needs. She now spends her days obsessively plotting and sleuthing in Virginia where she lives with her husband and adorable feline fur baby. When she is not incognito, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and the James River Writers.
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