Stepping into my Author Spotlight today is Kathy Strobos whose latest novel Caper Crush, the third in her New York Friendship series, has just been released. Welcome Kathy. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I’m a romantic comedy writer living in New York City. I grew up in New York City. I’m married with two children, a girl and a boy, and next year, I think I will be the shortest person in my household. I’m still in shock that my daughter is already taller than me. I previously worked as a lawyer. I left law to pursue my dream of writing fiction full-time and getting in shape. I’m the author of Partner Pursuit, Is This for Real?, A Scavenger Hunt for Hearts, and Caper Crush. I am still working on getting in shape.
What inspired you to start writing?
I wanted to be a writer (and a baker) when I was a child. When I was very little, I even submitted a piece to a magazine for publication, but it was rejected with a yellow rejection slip. What inspired me to start writing my first novel, Partner Pursuit, was watching a terrible romantic comedy, and I thought, maybe I should write my own.
Tell me about your journey to publication
I started writing my first novel, Partner Pursuit, late at night when I was a lawyer years ago when I had some downtime (after watching that terrible romantic comedy). I also took online writing classes at night. Then I was accepted to the Romantic Novelists Association (RNA) New Writers’ Scheme. The RNA New Writers’ Scheme is a program where an unpublished writer can submit a manuscript by July of that year to this RNA scheme, and a published writer will anonymously provide you feedback via a written report. So then I had a deadline. I eventually decided to leave law and pursue my dream of writing. I queried my first book for probably about two years, continually revising it. I submitted it to the New Writer’s Scheme twice. But then I thought I should submit a new manuscript to the New Writers’ Scheme, and so I started writing Is This for Real?. After I submitted it and while it was under review, I started writing Caper Crush, and I submitted that to the New Writers’ Scheme. But in the meantime, I also decided to indie-publish now that I had two books ready to go, Partner Pursuit and Is This for Real?. I met my critique partner at the RNA Conference in 2018, and she had decided to indie-publish shortly after the conference, so she was encouraging and full of guidance. I also found my amazing cover designer, and I really loved the covers she was making for me. And so I published Partner Pursuit in September of 2021.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
Here’s the blurb:
Somebody stole my painting! The one I need for the career-defining Vertex Art Exhibit. This upcoming art show is my chance to finally be recognized as an artist—after ten years of waitressing and being asked if I still have that “lovely painting hobby.”
I have mere weeks to find my painting or lose my artist dream forever—but it’s going to mean working with William.
William Haruki Matsumura. Good-looking, if you like the Secret Service type. You know, law-abiding, protector of women and children. That’s all fine, but I can never tell what he’s thinking. Which drives me crazy.
He insists on coming along to do “damage control.” As if “accidentally” wandering into certain areas is “breaking and entering.” I may be an emotional artist, but William shouldn’t dismiss my investigative skills yet.
William is definitely my opposite, and if there’s one takeaway from my parents’ divorce, it’s that opposites might attract, but it doesn’t last. But detecting with William is kind of fun—and fluttery. I definitely can’t trust these feelings, or can I? However this caper ends, I think this may be more than a crush.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I was trying to come up with titles of books for Penelope, my writer protagonist, in Is This for Real?, and I thought of this title then. She was writing a book with a plot similar to Caper Crush (sort of meta). But then I liked this title so much, I decided to use it for my actual book.
How did you celebrate publication day?
I went Silent Disco Dancing at Lincoln Center with a bunch of girlfriends. I had no idea what to expect because I’d never been Silent Disco Dancing! But it was so much fun. In Silent Disco Dancing, every person gets a pair of headphones. There were 3 DJs, and the color on the headphones shows the DJ station you’re listening to. When we saw others dancing enthusiastically, we’d switch to their channel to see what they were listening to. It gave a real sense of community. And it was so nice to be outside dancing in this crowd of New Yorkers who ranged from 1 to 85 years old.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
Yes, I’m working on my fourth book. This one has Miranda’s roommate, Tessa, as the protagonist. She goes on a date where they bike from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side, so I just did that bike ride last week so I can describe it accurately.
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
I love The Undomestic Goddess. That may be because I was a lawyer who was definitely rubbish at housework, but I also love Sophie Kinsella. I think she is a comic genius. I would recommend it because it is laugh-out-loud funny.
What are you reading just now?
I’m reading Something Wilder by Christina Lauren. It is definitely giving me a feel-good feeling. I’d also recommend it.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
The Undomestic Goddess.
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
I would love to see Caper Crush made into a film.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
It’s too hard to choose one book. I love reading different books because of all the different experiences. But I definitely want to be a character in a romantic comedy with a loving romantic interest! At the moment, I’d probably choose Miranda in Caper Crush because I always fall in love with my characters when I’m writing them.
UK – Caper Crush
US – Caper Crush