Sunday, April 11, 2010

Guest Blogger Mary Kennedy

Our guest blogger today is Mary Kennedy, author of the Talk Radio series, featuring charming, humorous, sassy psychologist Maggie Walsh. Dr. Maggie has left her practice in New York to become a radio psychologist in Cypress Grove, Florida. She may think that being tucked away in her studio will keep her safe from all the crazies, but as it turns out, she'll have to think again. Dead Air, the first book in this new series,  was one of the TOP TEN Best-sellers on the Independent Mystery Booksellers Best seller list.  The second installment, Reel Murder, will be out in June.

Mary Kennedy is a former radio copywriter and the award-winning author of forty novels. She is also a clinical psychologist in private
 practice and lives on the east coast with her husband and eight eccentric cats.  Her novels have appeared on the Barnes and Noble, Publisher's Weekly and BookScan best-seller lists and she has received an award and grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for "artistic excellence in literary fiction."

Why, you may ask, would a practicing psychologist move to the back of beyond to become a radio personality? Mary Kennedy's own background may have given her unique insight into Maggie's motivation.
Mary Kennedy

Like my character Maggie Walsh in The Talk Radio Mysteries, I'm a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice. Of course, there's one big difference between us (besides the fact that Maggie wears really cute outfits and great shoes!) Dr. Maggie didn't stay in private practice. She jumped ship, closed up her Manhattan practice and escaped to sunny Florida to become a radio talk show host. She did a 180. 


A few readers have asked me to tell them more about the "backstory." They want to know why Maggie would "throw away" all those years of training (and a cushy practice in The Big Apple) to move to a small town that reminds her of Mayberry. Why did I have Maggie leave New York? After all, she could have continued her Park Avenue practice and hosted a show on one of the smaller radio stations in the suburbs. Why was it so important for her to move to Florida? 


Well, the short answer is, I wanted to give Maggie a "fish out of water" experience. Cypress Grove is unlike anyplace else she's ever lived. "Fish out of water" plots are always fun to write because there's built-in conflict. Everything is new and unfamiliar. The character feels uneasy, edgy, struggling to survive in her new environment. 


I've lived in New York, Quebec, Grenoble, Nashville, and Kinston, North Carolina. Every move required a big adjustment. Have you ever felt like your whole world was turned upside down when you moved? Did you feel unsettled, off your game, or did you settle in right away and make new friends? I'd love to hear how other people deal with moves, changes and transitions. Was it fun, challenging, or a complete disaster?



Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love throwing something new at our characters for them to deal with. And moving is a great way to do that. Good point, Mary!

Mystery Writing is Murder

Mary Kennedy said...

Very happy to be here, Donis, really appreciate the chance to guest blog on your wonderful site. Thanks so much for stopping by, Riley. Your July release DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS looks terrific, love books with a Southern theme and Aunt Pat's barbecue restaurant is inspired!! I used to go to places just like that, when I lived in Kinston, North Carolina and Nashville.

J Hali said...

Moving in real life can be scary! If I had to do all of mine over again, I wouldn't change a thing because I learned so much each place I settled. Hmm, there could be some stories there...

Thanks, Mary, for making me remember.

Donis Casey said...

I love a new location. I always feel like a weight is dropping off my shoulders when I see my old town fading in the rearview mirror. Odd, considering I've now lived in the same place for 25 years.

Mary Kennedy said...

I'm always amazed at people who move every couple of years. My sister-in-law was married to a British Army major and she moved 22 times in 28 years. And I mean big moves--to Nepal, Singapore, faraway places where she didn't even speak the language. I asked her how she survived (with six kids and all those moves) and she said after the first couple of moves, she packed up all her household belongings and left them in England. Trying to move with six kids and "stuff" was just too overwhelming. I still think she's pretty remarkable, I don't think I ccold have done it.

Anonymous said...

Dnnis, I've lived in the same place for 25 years, too. But I hear ya about seeing the town in my rearview mirror. I love to travel and I made sure we bought a house just 30 minutes from the Philadelphia airport.Whenever I can, I escape!

Mary Kennedy said...

Oops, the "anonymous" comment was me. How can I be so low tech? mary

Mary Kennedy said...

Donis, thank you so much for inviting me, have a great week!

Joanna Aislinn said...

Hi, Mary,

I wouldn't call the small fire at my home two years a disaster, but it definitely threw me: out of my house to a hotel for 10 weeks (and that was the easy part!).

As Maggie, I'd probably acclimate more to the place than the inevitable clutter surrounding a move (which, construction to one's house inevitably leads to, I've learned). Nothing throws me more than disorder and/or chaos.

How do I deal? Blinders go on to what I can't deal with immediately. That day I'm sick of the mess or know exactly what to do with it? I get moving and don't stop until the job is done, usually with a relative amount of grumping once I'm done due to being tired.

Thanks--I enjoyed this post!

Joanna Aislinn
The Wild Rose Press

Donis Casey said...

Thank you for blogging for us, Mary

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