Can you tell us a bit about your book and its main characters?
Where the Light Shines Through is a contemporary cozy mystery set in a small town in Virginia. Olivia Penn is an advice columnist who works and lives in Washington, D.C. As the story opens, Olivia is traveling to her hometown of Apple Station to visit her dad before moving to New York to advance her career and pursue her publishing dreams. Within hours of arriving home, her world turns upside down, forcing her to reconsider her future. Though life has thrown her some curveballs along the way, she exhibits agency over all her actions and decisions. She stands up to challenges, becoming stronger while developing a clearer vision of what her heart needs.
If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
If I were friends with Olivia, I would take her to Jillian’s Café, the charming coffee shop in her hometown of Apple Station, Virginia. Others are always coming or going from there, but she never has time to enjoy so much as a cappuccino or a cuppa. After the week she has endured, we would go there, and I would buy her a coffee or tea and a well-deserved scone.
What do you look for in a story as a reader?
I read widely, so it varies by genre to some extent. What draws me in first, though, is the author’s voice. If that resonates with me right away, I’m in for the ride.
How do you interact with your readers?
I love to hear from and interact with readers! The best way to reach me is by using the contact form on my website (https://kathleenbaileyauthor.com). There, too, you can sign up for my occasional newsletter in which I share updates on my writing and other bits and bops about what’s happening.
Who is your audience?
My readers are those who enjoy contemporary cozy mysteries with heart and humor that have a traditional edge to them. I keep my cozies clean … so no explicit violence, sex, or language. I write for readers who seek strong female protagonists who exhibit agency over their lives. I love writing about family and friendships in small town settings. Life is full of mystery, so I’ll try to keep you turning the page.
Who are your top authors?
Tough one …
so many to choose from, but the writers I return to again and again are poets.
At the top of that list for me are:
and Emily Dickinson.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Allow the time that it takes. Write from your heart. Writing a book, especially your first one, can feel overwhelming, so focus on taking the next right step. Start with the ground in front of you—the next scene, the next line, the next word. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. All your steps inevitably will lead you to where you want to be. Don’t compare yourself to others. Seek a community of support, preferably one of other writers who understand this strange and delightful pursuit we’ve chosen. In the world of mystery, Sisters in Crime is a wonderful resource for writers at any stage in their writing and publishing journey.
Name three fun facts about you or your work.
Fun facts about me …
- I’ve been in a racecar traveling 160mph (legally and by signed waiver).
- I’ve been in the Oval Office (legally and escorted by the Secret Service).
- I’ve “wrastled” an alligator (legally and don’t ask).
If you went on a road trip with any author, who would it be, and where would you go?
I would love to go on a road trip with national treasure, Dolly Parton. We would start on the West Coast and drive all the way to the Eastern Seaboard. I would soak up as much life wisdom as I could and maybe cajole Dolly into singing a few tunes. Once we hit the coast, we, of course, would U-turn and end up in Dollywood. BTW, Dolly has collaborated with James Patterson for the thriller Run, Rose, Run (publication in March 2022). Is there anything this woman can’t do?
Castle meets Clue in this fun, fast-paced, fresh take on the cozy mystery.
Olivia’s syndicated advice column is about solving problems … not murders. But when she returns to her hometown of Apple Station in Virginia to visit her dad, she has five days to expose a killer or fall prey as the next victim.
Olivia had planned for a week of rest and relaxation before her move to New York for a promotion and a chance to pursue her publishing dreams. Within hours of arriving home, her world changes forever with the death of someone dear. A promise to a grieving mother leads her to uncover secrets from the past that put her life in danger, leaving her at a crossroads. Does she risk investigating further or settle for the security of the life that awaits? Will she chase after what she thinks she wants or listen to what her heart needs?
With the support of friends and family, a tenuous alliance with the lead police detective, and the bravery of an intrepid beagle, she races to protect her dad, rescue an unlikely ally, and bring a murderer to justice.
When all seems lost, will Olivia summon the strength and courage she needs to see where the light shines through?
Join the journey in the first novel of The Olivia Penn Mystery Series. If you grew up reading Nancy Drew, you’ll love this cozy mystery that entertains with heart and humor amid a charming cast of characters set in a small Southern town.
Escape to enjoy a captivating, heartwarming story that will inspire you to be the hero of your own life.
Kathleen Bailey is the author of Where the Light Shines Through, the first novel in 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. When she is not incognito, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and the James River Writers.
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