Racecar driver Kate Reilly is suited up and ready for the start of the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona. But what’s ahead will test her will and nerve more than any other endurance race.
Even before the green flag waves over Daytona International Speedway, Kate receives word her boyfriend Stuart is fighting for his life after a hit-and-run earlier in the day. Still reeling from that news, Kate must absorb other shocks in the race’s opening hours, including an on-track accident with tragic consequences and an eyewitness who claims Stuart was run down deliberately by someone from the race paddock.
Alternating stints behind the wheel of her Corvette racecar with stretches of quizzing colleagues and searching for clues, Kate taps every possible source—friend, foe, and family—to find out who’s after Stuart and why. As the race clock counts down to zero hour, Kate must come to terms with her own fears about the past and decide who she’s willing to trust. Only then can she identify who’s willing to kill to keep a secret buried—and stop them before they lash out again.
1) What does your writing area look like?
It’s currently a mess! But I’m not worried, because I’m about to start writing my next book, and I know the “starting writing” process will include plenty of cleaning-as-procrastination!
Basically, I work in my closet. My desk is in a largish sitting room that’s separated from our master bedroom by an archway. Two walls of the room are lined with floor-to-ceiling closet shelving where I store my clothes (my husband has his own closet). My desk is at the end of the room, tucked against windows that look out on our suburban back yard. To the left of my monitor, I see shoe boxes, sweaters, and small, inspirational trinkets tucked on my shelves. To my right, through the windows, I see trees, shrubs, a feral cat that’s adopted us, and birds bathing in a fountain.
2) How much time do you spend writing each day?
How much time I spend writing each day really depends what phase of writing I’m in. When I’m working full-steam-ahead on a book, which is maybe half the year, I’ll work anywhere from one and a half to four hours—and usually twice that on weekends. The rest of the year, I spend an hour or two each day on notes, plot ideas, editing, writing blogs, responding to emails, setting up events, and so forth. I always feel I should be doing more, but I have a day job, and I try to give myself a break also!
3) Do you keep set hours or do you write whenever inspiration hits?
I jot notes down when inspiration strikes, but I don’t have the luxury of waiting for the muse to strike. I need to make the most of the hours in my day that aren’t spoken for by sleep or the paycheck. Whether I’m writing, blogging, planning, or marketing, I come home from my day job around 4:00 p.m., get myself set up at my desk, and get to work. If I sit at my desk, I’ll focus and produce something—I’ll force inspiration to strike! My difficulty is getting myself to sit down at my desk … it’s not writer’s block but butt-in-chair block.
4) What would you be doing if you weren’t an author?
Sleeping more?! I’m trying to remember what I used to do before I turned to writing fiction. Perhaps I’d work out more or volunteer more. Maybe I’d be doing crafts again. Probably I’d be watching more television. All in all, I’m glad I’m writing!
5) What do you like to drink and/or eat while you’re writing?
My second book, Braking Points, was fueled by homemade, gluten-free banana bread and sparkling water. My snack list for the third, Avoidable Contact, features handfuls of banana chips, chocolate chips, and dried mango strips. Why those? I have no idea! Mostly, while writing, I drink still or sparkling water and try not to mindlessly nibble the whole time.
6) What is the best part about being an author?
I am tremendously thrilled and proud when I realize I’ve made people feel emotions with my words. I have a friend who’s angry at me for what I did to a character in Avoidable Contact. I have fans who excitedly tweet about looking for Kate at racetracks. Another reader had to take a tranquilizer because she got so anxious over the description of Kate sitting in the racecar! I am amazed over and over again that I’ve created a world so real to readers that they talk about my characters as if they live and breathe. That’s the best part about sharing what I write.
7) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read in every spare minute. Seriously, every spare second. I’m never without a book or my ebook reader. I can’t go to sleep without reading some fiction (it makes my brain stop making lists). I could give up just about anything else in life (aside from my husband), but I couldn’t give up reading. It’s my sanity, my inspiration, and my drug.
8) What are you working on right now?
I’m trying to get myself launched into writing the fourth Kate Reilly Racing Mystery. It’ll be set in Long Beach, California, where I live, and where there’s a big race weekend every year. I’m going to give Kate ten days for the full Los Angeles and Hollywood experience, including the beach, the celebrities, and the rest of crazy population here. I love all of the contrasts and absurdities of Los Angeles, so this will be my chance to write about them!
About the Author
Tammy Kaehler’s career in marketing and technical writing landed her in the world of automobile racing, which inspired her with its blend of drama, competition, and friendly people. Mystery fans and racing insiders alike praised the first two Kate Reilly Racing Mysteries, Dead Man’s Switch and Braking Points, and she takes readers back behind the wheel for the third time in Avoidable Contact. Tammy works as a technical writer in the Los Angeles area, where she lives with her husband and many cars. Find out more at www.tammykaehler.com.
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