by Kaitlyn Dunnett (aka Kathy Lynn Emerson)
The Femmes are delighted to welcome Kaitlyn Dunnett, who also writes as Kathy Lynn Emerson. Two guests for the price of one! Kathy Lynn and/or Kaitlyn have written over FIFTY books under several names. She's an Agatha Award winner for Best Mystery Nonfiction for her book How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries, and was an Agatha nominee in 2014 for Best Short Story for "The Blessing Witch." As is only appropriate with two names, she has two series in progress: the contemporary Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries (including The Scottie Barked at Midnight, which comes out October 27) as Kaitlyn and the historical Mistress Jaffrey Mysteries as Kathy (the most recent is Murder in the Merchant's Hall). The Mistress Jaffrey books are a spin-off from her "Face Down" series, and are set in Elizabethan England. You can find her in both incarnations on the web: www.Kaitlyndunnet.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. Take it away, Kaitlyn!
For some reason, in planning my Liss MacCrimmon mysteries about a woman who runs a shop featuring Scottish imports and gifts with a Scottish theme, it never occurred to me to add a Scottie dog to the mix until I received an email from a reader in April of 2012. She’d read the first three books in the series and enjoyed them, plus she’d gotten a kick out of the “Blooper Page” at my website. Since I encourage readers to ask questions if they think they spot a mistake or an omission, she pointed out a loose end in the fourth book, Scotched. Then she went on to make a request—include a Scottish Terrier (or two) in future books. I wrote back to answer her question about the loose end and promised to think about adding a Scottie, although at that point I had no idea when or how I might manage it. Certainly Liss couldn’t adopt a dog, not with two very territorial cats already in residence!
Since books are written well in advance of publication, the plots of the next two in the series were already set. The one after that, at my editor’s request, was to be a Christmas book, and I didn’t see any way to add a dog there, either. However, along with the proposal for the Christmas book, I was to submit outlines for the ninth and tenth entries in the series. For number nine, I proposed a story that eventually became The Scottie Barked at Midnight.
Once I had my editor’s okay, in December of 2013, I contacted the woman who had written to me and asked her to be my technical advisor. Smart move on my part! She sent me all kinds of wonderful information on Scotties in general and her Scotties in particular and answered questions as they arose. Even better, she sent me pictures of her Scotties, including one of all four of them in the snow. She describes this scene as the Scotties having a meeting to plan what game to play next.
In The Scottie Barked at Midnight, there are two Scottish Terriers, Dandy and Dondi, and they are two-thirds of “Deidre and her Dancing Doggies,” the leading contenders to take top prize in a television variety show. The competition is cutthroat, and that’s no exaggeration. When Dandy is dognapped, it is Liss who finds and returns her to her owner, a kindly act that soon involves Liss in murder, mayhem, and malicious machinations.