Friday, October 04, 2013

Do you write in different genres?

Funny, my first reaction would be no –I want to be the next Nora Ephron with protagonists a little older but with quirky, fun storylines. However, Her Ghost Wears Kilts evolved into a paranormal romance and over the years of ghostwriting I’ve written historical fiction, commercial women’s fiction and political thrillers for my customers as well as memoirs.

If yes, which is your favorite genre to write?

My first love will always be in romantic comedies. I enjoy brainstorming plots and characters in the commercial women’s fiction with a guy tossed in now and again for fun.  

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I usually have the title at the beginning of a project. It almost becomes the catalyst for starting the story. If an idea has been percolating in the back of my mind for x-amount of time, coming up with the title will almost kick start the action of words to paper.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Would you believe thin air? I have never had a problem titling a book until this one. Never. Way back when it was just an outlining exercise in a writing class, I called it “The B&B Mystery.” Rather generic, I know, but it stood for the Bruce and Baillie clans and a slight twist at the end of the story. I took a one-day conference with a local literary agent and the group all nixed the title for a paranormal romantic comedy. So next it was “Baillie’s Castle” for a while. I begged for suggestions on Facebook, Book Country and just about any stranger I thought might be creative. Some of the over twenty ideas were: “Scotch Red Tape,” “Murder on the Moors,” “Scot on the Rocks” or “Scotch on the Rocks” and if you read the book, you’ll know this wasn’t funny though it got the most votes.  And it wasn’t until Crimson Romance picked it up that the final title revealed itself. Talk about winning the battle in overtime!

What books/authors have influenced your life?

The very first would be Beverly Cleary and all her incredible characters like Henry Huggins and Beezus and Ramona. I devoured those books over and over from my local library. I wanted to live there and write stories. The first Boxcar Children was another book that seeped into my heart and never let go. I’d take chunks of cheddar cheese and slices of Wonder bread outside pretending I lived in a boxcar. I still scour used bookstores to find library editions of my favorite books.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

At the top is a sequel to “Her Ghost Wears Kilts” with many of the same characters plus a few interesting more. The romance element will settle around Rogue. But there is still one major project I need to sink my teeth into about a single mother in the Seventies battling sexual discrimination before it became well known titled “Twinkies and Tranquilizers.”

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

“Morning,” Baillie called to the previously owned hardbacks without the slightest
apprehension of appearing insane. She talked to inanimate objects all the time—great
audience, no heckling. Besides, I’m alone in here unless you count the cat, and you can’t
count on that spoiled feline for anything. Where did he dash off to just now in such a

A thin volume of poems lay exposed on a shelf. “You don’t belong here,” Baillie said,
sweeping it up to reshelve. She hesitated; the book cover felt cold in her hand, the worn
leather chilling her fingers, sucking the warmth from her fingertips in seconds. She
quickly shook her head to keep her thoughts from running amok. Of course the book was
cold; in the Northwest, things always seemed cold.

“I swear someone helps themselves around here at night. The least they could do is put
the books back where they belong when they’re done.” She turned and pushed a ceramic
bookend aside and placed the wayward book next to the others as a quick chill shivered
down her spine.

“Hey, Einstein, ol’ buddy.” Baillie grabbed an ornate feather duster from a brass
umbrella stand nearby and took a few housekeeping swipes against the framed lithograph
hanging on the wall. “Dang, I’m looking more like you every day.” She checked her
reflection in the glass. “Tell me, did you see who moved Robert Burns’ book of poems
last night? Maybe I need to borrow your glasses—going blind in my old age and missed
putting it away after closing.”

Baillie turned, whistling the theme song from Fame, at the end of the aisle. She missed
seeing the slow, deliberate movement as the same book silently shifted out from the shelf.
The dark brown edition slid away from the other poetry books, hanging suspended for a
moment, then lay back on the empty surface of the shelf. The ceramic bookend moved,
closing the empty gap.
Who designed the cover of your latest book?
The designers at Crimson Romance, actually, and I am so pleased as it portrays a bit of fun, silly. HGWK leans toward a romantic comedy, not the more traditional paranormal and I think this image captured that.  

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Listen to your heart, your passion and never give up. One of the toughest things to learn is to show up to the blank page and sit every day or at an arranged time in your schedule and do the work. Writing is work, sometimes exhilarating delightful work, other times sweat-inducing, bite the bullet work. The euphoria of holding the first copy of your published book is indescribable.   

Her Ghost Wears Kilts
Kathleen Shaputis

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Publisher:   Crimson Romance
Date of Publication:  August 26, 2013

ISBN: 978-14-4405-7215-9

Number of pages:  240 approximately
Word Count: 69,660

Book Description:

Drag queens, a ghost and murder, oh my. Love spirits through the modern day tale of inheritance and greed, crossing the vale between worlds.
Baillie thought life was content, successful in the Pacific Northwest until her bookshop became haunted. Inheriting a Scottish castle leads her on a wild adventure of Celtic chaos where she meets her gorgeous ghost. Finding her life in danger, Baillie calls the diva squad to the rescue: her friend Gillian Nation and his girls.

Will she choose her normal, safe existence or grab onto an unusual love that makes life magical?

About the Author: 

Kathleen Shaputis, author/ghostwriter, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, where curling up with icy Diet Coke, writing romantic comedies is her ultimate paradise.