Kathy: Liz Holt has a new life at her family’s hotel, the Indialantic by the Sea, on the beautiful barrier island of Melbourne Beach, Florida. Why did you choose this location for your series?
KB: Melbourne Beach is where I recently moved from Long Island, NY. When I was doing some local vintage shopping, I came across an old postcard of the Indialantic by the Sea Hotel. It no longer exists, but my writer’s mind said… What if? Melbourne Beach has a rich history of pirates and sunken treasure and I knew I could incorporate its history into the series.
Kathy: In Murder by the Sea Liz attends the Florida Writes Literary Masquerade Ball. Have you ever been to a masquerade ball?
KB: No. The ball was strictly my writer’s imagination. It was so much fun to think of the costumes, then assign the authors/costumes to my characters.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
KB: Their coziness! I’ve always loved mysteries with a touch of romance, and I’m a huge fan of whodunits. I don’t need a lot of blood and gore, just escapism and a puzzle that I can solve. I also love that cozies follow a theme, cooking, antiquing, knitting etc.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
KB: No, but I do have a mainstream literary novel I’ve been working on that isn’t a cozy.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
KB: My first series, the Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries take place in Montauk, NY, a small enclave of the Hamptons. My 33-year-old Protagonist, Meg Barrett, who has a hearing loss and wears hearing aids, owns an interior decorating business called Cottages by the Sea where she tends to find herself involved in murders at the mansions of the Hamptons rich and famous. My other series, A By the Sea Mystery features author Liz Holt who comes home to her rambling family-run hotel and loving eccentric family after a tragic incident leaves her with a scar on her face.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
KB: In my Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries, I would say Meg’s fat, one-eyed Maine coon who has a major attitude problem is my favorite character. And in my A By the Sea Mysteries, I would choose Barnacle Bob, a foul-mouthed Macaw who likes to repeat mid-century television Jingles. It would be fun to have the two of them meet!
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
KB: In my Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries, I would say my love of antiquing and vintage shopping and refurbishing, along with the beautiful scenery and the Montauk Point Lighthouse were my inspiration. My daughter, who has a profound hearing loss, was also my inspiration for my independent lead character, Meg. In my By the Sea Mysteries, I was inspired by the lore, history, and beauty of the barrier island I live on, along with my memories of old television shows.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
KB: When I took a creative writing class at my local library, the leader of the group was in the process of looking for an agent for her novel. She became my mentor and when she got her agent, it inspired me to try to do the same. Never underestimate the power of writing workshops. I also went to a lot of book signings and talked to authors, their encouragement was always stellar.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
KB: Wow, that’s a tough one. I think I would choose Louise Penny, Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare, and Charlotte Bronte. It would be an interesting mix.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
KB: I am currently reading or listening to three books, Murder at Marble House by Alyssa Maxwell on my Kindle, Where the Crawdad’s Sing on Audible, and Mary Stewart’s The Ivy Tree on a well-worn, vintage, seventy-five-cent paperback.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
KB: I love vintage shopping, refurbishing and decorating. Until I started writing full time, I was an antique-dealer. I love to crochet and knit (only square or rectangular shapes!), and I’m an amateur nature photographer. I also tutor literacy for a non-profit organization to elementary school children.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
KB: In my fridge, Miracle Whip (not Mayo!) and eggs. In my pantry, Peanut Butter and Stove Stop Stuffing (I always add melted cheddar cheese and sour cream on top--comfort food for when I’m having a tough day.)
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
KB: Yes, the fourth book in my Hamptons Home and Garden series will be out this summer, Hampton’s Scream House, and I have a contract for more books after that.
In my A By the Sea Series, my fourth book, Evil by the Sea, will be out May 2020, and I am on contract for more books.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
KB: Making things up! And not knowing whodunit until the middle of the writing process. I also enjoy learning a researching new things.
Murder by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery) by Kathleen Bridge
About the Book
Cozy Mystery 3rd in Series
Kensington Publishing Corporation (May 21, 2019)
Paperback: 204 pages
When a murderer crashes a masquerade ball, it's up to Liz to unmask the killer . . .
It's been quite a year for novelist Liz Holt. She's overcome a lot and is finally feeling at peace with her new life at her family's hotel, the Indialantic by the Sea, on the beautiful barrier island of Melbourne Beach, Florida. She's exactly where she needs to be to ring in the New Year at the Florida Writes Literary Masquerade Ball.
But when her ex-boyfriend surprises her at the ball, she can't disguise her anger, and the two engage in a very public argument. Naturally, after her ex is found dead on the hotel grounds, shot through the heart, Liz tops the suspect list. With the help of family and friends, she needs to clear her name before the real killer waltzes away scot-free . . .
About the Author
Kathleen Bridge started her writing career working at the State News, the student newspaper of Michigan State University. She is an antiques dealer on Long Island and the author and photographer of an antique reference guide, Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games.
Website - http://www.kathleenbridge.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/authorkathleenbridge
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/KathleenBridgeG/
GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10191011.Kathleen_Bridge
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