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!