Thursday, March 6, 2014

Get Lost with Agatha Nominee Kendel Lynn

Today, Get Lost in a Story readers, Kendel Lynn takes off her publisher hat and puts on her author hat to talk to us about her AGATHA-nominated debut novel BOARD STIFF.  

Please welcome Kendel Lynn!

ABOUT BOARD STIFF:

As director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pine Island, SC, Elliott Lisbon scratches her detective itch by performing discreet inquiries for Foundation donors. Usually nothing more serious than retrieving a pilfered Pomeranian. Until Jane Hatting, Ballantyne board chair, is accused of murder. The Ballantyne’s reputation tanks, Jane’s headed to a jail cell, and Elliott’s sexy ex is the new lieutenant in town.

Armed with moxie and her Mini Coop, Elliott uncovers a trail of blackmail schemes, gambling debts, illicit affairs, and investment scams. But the deeper she digs to clear Jane’s name, the guiltier Jane looks. The closer she gets to the truth, the more treacherous her investigation becomes: a brutal attack on her own suspect and the murder of a witness. With victims piling up faster than shells at a clambake, Elliott realizes she’s next on the killer’s list.

And now to get to know Kendel Lynn! 



DONNELL:  Woohoo, An Agatha nominee for Best First Book, well done.  Board Stiff sounds like my kind of read--mystery.  Is it cozy, traditional, a series?  Does it include humor?

KENDEL: All of the above! It’s a cozy (a mostly amateur sleuth, small town island setting, no major on screen violence), traditional (crime and investigation rule the pages), humorous (Elliott’s life really is all fun and murder), and a series (Board Stiff is the first)! Whew. Who says you can’t do it all?

And thank you! I’m so very delighted and honored with the Agatha nomination. Kind of a shocker. The good kind.

DONNELL:  South Carolina.  I was there last year, and it’s absolutely beautiful.  Is that home?  Is Sea Pine Island an actual place?  Why did you choose this setting and if it’s fiction has it become real to you?

KENDEL:  Sea Pine Island is a fictionalized version of the lovely Hilton Head Island, which sits at the southern most part of South Carolina, and only 30 minutes from Savannah. For those who’ve never been, it’s quite like Kauai with abundant palms and flora and miles of shoreline, but little development to preserve its beauty.

I lived on the island for three years, and it proved to be ripe with quirky characters with nothing but time on their hands. A perfect palette for misdemeanors and murders.

DONNELL:  Talk about your protagonist, Elliott Lisbon.  A woman, right?  In what way is she like Kendel Lynn, and how is she different?

KENDEL:  I love Elliott! She’s just like me: smart, sassy, sexy, always says the right thing…Well, maybe not JUST like me. We’re about the same age, so there’s that. And she eats junk food on a daily basis, which is totally me (I could eat an In-N-Out burger every single day.) Elliott really puts herself out there as the director of the Ballantyne Foundation and as a PI-in-training. She drives her Mini convertible all over the island and beyond, tackling trouble (and finding plenty more). I’m more of a sit at a desk all day kind of girl. Though our sense of humor is identical…

DONNELL:  Ha!  Imagine that.  I have it on good authority you wear a good many hats.   How do you keep organized?

KENDEL: Oh I wear hats! I’m a list maker. I have a wall covered in checklists (not an exaggeration), plus a notebook of daily to-do lists and a desk calendar. I monitor them daily: add new, scratch off old, and circle items constantly (why didn’t I do this one yesterday?!). My Henery work comes first (which is why Whack Job, the second Elliott Lisbon mystery, got pushed of the schedule repeatedly), but I pencil in writing time so maintain some balance.

DONNELL:  What’s the most interesting thing you discovered while doing research?

KENDEL:  I love research! I volunteered at the Sheriff’s Office for two years and boy, nothing beats hands on experience. You simply can’t make some of this stuff up. And the crime! I had no idea there was so much, and some pretty oddball scams and schemes. All book worthy.

DONNELL:  I couldn't agree more. Volunteering.  A win/win! Finish this sentence:  If I could travel anywhere, I’d go to . . .

KENDEL: Disneyland! Still my Happiest Place on Earth.

Kendel, now it’s your turn.  Time to ask the reader a question.  

Okay, readers, tell me this: what’s your favorite junk food indulgence? Mine: The aforementioned In-N-Out burger: with cheese, ketchup and spread only. A neapolitan shake if I deserve a reward…

One commenter will received a signed copy of BOARD STIFF and a signed ARC of WHACK JOB.


Thank you so much for having me, Donnell. I’m a huge fan of your work, and an admirer of your spirit and tenacity. You give so much to the mystery community and it’s appreciated! 

My pleasure, Kendel.  Thank you for being our guest!  




28 comments:

  1. I love the fries you can only get from the fish & chip shops. They taste better somehow, especially munching away looking out over the ocean.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Agreed! Everything tastes better whilst sitting by the sea. And if you can dip it in ketchup *swoon* I'm in!

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  2. Anyone attending Left Coast Crime can see Kendel participate in a panel I'm moderating: Traditional Mysteries: We Like it That Way (Sunday 9:00) -- and now after the interview (Good job Donnell) I know what a traditional mystery is!

    As for "junk" food -- give me a big dish of Graeter's Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip. ~ Jim

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    1. Jim! So looking forward to our panel. Can you believe Left Coast Crime is in two weeks?! Here's hoping they serve ice cream on your train...

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    2. This is going to make me ill if I have a panel opposite you two!

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  3. I love sour gummies. I have to stop buying them in bulk or I eat them all in one day.

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    1. Yum! Well, except the sour part. But give me a bag of runts and I'm with you, I can gobble them up in a day. Or in a hour...

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  4. Good morning, Kendel. Junk food. never touch the stuff. Ha ha! Only one of my weaknesses because there are many is Keebler Wedding Cookies. Does anyone remember those? Thanks for being our guest today and letting readers know about Board Stiff.

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    1. Good morning, Donnell!! Thanks so much for having me, and talking cookies before lunch is truly the best way to start the day!

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  5. You had to ask about junk food. Now I want some Hershey's kisses. Swedish Fish are good too. Dang it. Store run in the near future.

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    1. I love kisses! Especiall the chocolate kind. And the ones with raspberry or peanut butter or caramel. Sigh. I gave up chocolate (migraines, just so you know all of my business), but a girl can dream...

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  6. Sugar. Period.
    Coming from someone who's eating healthy and cutting it all out.
    Welcome to GLIAS and congrats on the new release !
    ~Angi

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    1. Hi Angi -- oh I'm all about the sugar. And bravo to you for being one of those "healthy eaters" I hear so much about. Of course, maybe if I started eating healthier, I might lose these pounds I keep complaining about. No, that can't be it.

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  7. Super giant big congrats on the Agatha nom! As for junk food...pretty much anything with a crunch and salt factor: popcorn, pretzels, chips, Chex mix, fritoes,...(hmmm. After that, this scrambled egg in front of me looks pretty depressing).

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    1. DIANE! I had scrambled eggs for breakfast, too! I choked them down, then promptly ate a blueberry scone. I don't think I've ever had Chex mix. Perhaps I should try this crunch concoction.

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  8. Congrats Kendel! And so excited about Whack Job. Can't wait for Malice!

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    1. Hey Larissa! Thank you -- and I can't wait for Malice, either. Can't wait to see you! And hey, where's your junk food fave? Surely you must have one...

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  9. Congrats on the Agatha-nomination! I'm looking forward to reading everything!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Chloe, nice to see you here!

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  10. Congrats! Pizza

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. We just had a pizza party in the office this week (black olives and mushrooms for me, in case you were wondering)...

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  11. Hey, Kendel! Congratulations again on the Agatha nomination!

    Ah, junk food. My biggest weakness is greasy corn chips with nacho cheese sauce, although just saying that puts ten pounds on me. I have no off switch with that stuff. Kettle chips are a close second. I would say chocolate, by that's not "junk food." It's life's necessity!

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    1. LOL. Annette, You better say that :)

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    2. Can I get an amen?! And your weakness is close to my latest: pulled pork nachos from Kenny's Burger Joint. Heaven, sister. And thanks for the congrats -- can't believe it's coming up so quickly!

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    3. I'll be there as part of your cheering section, Kendel!

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  12. Congratulations on the Agatha. Hmm, favorite junk food. Potato chips. Anything salty really. Put a bowl of chips or a hunk of chocolate in front of me, and the chips will be gone first (or I'll get creative and eat a chip and a piece of chocolate at the same time - sea-salt dark chocolate is DIVINE).

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  13. It depends on my mood--I like homemade desserts like apple pie, strawberry shortcake, blueberry crisp (warm). Congratulations, Kendel. You book was a fun read.

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