Thursday, October 3, 2013

VBT Her Ghost Wears Kilts by Kathleen Shaputis with Interview


1)      First, tell us about yourself – where  you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

Olympia, Washington is where I call home at the end of a cul de sac with an acre of forest I can lose myself walking the trail inside. My husband, Bob, and two Pomeranian pups fill out the main list of characters today, but there seems to be a swinging door somewhere letting adult children and grandchildren move in periodically.

2)      How long have  you been writing?

Off and on since I was old enough to hold a pencil and my first stories were plays acted out in the backyard by my friends for our parents. I wrote my first novella, tied with twine at the three holes in the notepaper, in seventh grade, Pierre and the Lonely Whiskey Jack.  But there was no encouragement at home, I was told to stop being foolish and concentrate on getting a job out of school. Obedient, I’ve worked full time straight out of school, but made other stupid turns in the road of life, so it wasn’t until the year 2000 I actually signed my first publishing contract.

3)      Do you have a favorite place to write?

I guess it’s the office computer as it lets me look out a front window into a mini grove of trees and up our driveway to the firs surrounding our cul de sac. However, my life contains a day job and sports active grandsons, so I find I’ve learned to write wherever I’m sitting still. In my car parked in front of my day job before I go in, a camp chair on a football field during two-hour practices for the last of the Bown boys, or in the living room keeping my husband company while he watches television by using my laptop.

4)      Why did you decide to write Her Ghost Wears Kilts?

The original premise of the mystery came from a writing exercise in a class I was taking at the University of Riverside in California. I had to outline/brainstorm a murder mystery, a genre I didn’t read. I had the protagonist inherit a castle in Scotland in the middle of a land war between two clans: the Bruces and the Baillies, which were my maternal ancestors. I kept this outline in a box for years, pulling the idea out now and again to flesh out more of the story title The B&B Mystery. It percolated in the back of my mind, wouldn’t let go, for almost twenty years until it was time – the year 2012. The catalyst? I discovered on Facebook an opportunity to attend a week-long writers’ conference at Hever Castle in England put on by Abroad Writers. This was my “aha” moment. I pulled out the work in progress and found the characters excited to move ahead. I maxed out my credit cards and did tons of research while in England. The book practically finished itself when I returned.
5)      Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Strangely it’s Gillian Nation, a character from my first romantic comedy Changes in Attitude who barged his way in stealing the spotlight from the main characters. It’s like he tossed his long blonde mane over his shoulder, snapped his fingers, adding a sass and sizzle to the entire storyline. Gillian expects an Oscar or an Emmy for his supporting role when the book is made into a movie.

6)      How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

I am not good with bad people; human negativity makes me break out in a rash of depression. Raised near Disneyland in the late fifties and sixties, I immersed myself in the classic fairy-tale movies, each with its own vicious, cruel villain. And who could forget the Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz? So I knew there had to be a murderer since it was a mystery, but Sean Bruce is my least favorite character in the book. Building his scenes felt like eating shards of glass or at least Grape Nuts cereal.

7)      Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I go through my manuscripts at least three or four times on editing looking for passive, dull spots, doing the “which” hunt. I’ll read the pages aloud, seeing where things clunk. But I’m not a fool – I work too hard on my books not to put them through the ringer of a professional editor. Traditional publishing provides usually two passes of proof edits and when I self published I made sure I hired the pros like Barbara Fandrich in Olympia, to work her editing magic.

8)      What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m a very sedentary soul and my down time is curled up with a good book on the couch or watching countless hours of movies. A season pass to a movie theater would be the ultimate dream, but I try and treat myself to a handful of on-screen delight. Otherwise I DVR movies on Lifetime and Hallmark or pop in a DVD to lose myself in the dialogue and action of romantic comedies, animal stories and the classics.

9)      Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

If you saw the inside of my house you wouldn’t need to ask the question. The office has floor-to-ceiling bookcases overflowing books with more stacked on the floor. The bedroom has a small bookcase with three or four huge stacks of books surrounding my side of the bed. I can’t fall asleep without reading, letting characters and plots soothe away reality and open the door to dreaming. I still have copies of my childhood favorites Beverly Cleary, Edward Eager and Madeline L’Engle. Then I devoured Olivia Goldsmith’s books and re-read the Outlander series of Diana Gabaldon every time a new book comes out.

10)   Tell us more about the characters Rafael and T-Cup, who are they?

Originally there were three delightful girls in Gillian’s posse, Stormie Lee didn’t make the final cut. I enjoyed the research and found myself smiling whenever they were around. Now, my favorite Disney movie/princess is Sleeping Beauty and I’ve always wanted to live in the forest, taken care of by Flora, Fauna and Merriweather. I found my forest and I think Rafael, T-Cup and Stormie Lee became my three fairies, always using their power for good and kindness, protective of the young woman in their life.

Her Ghost Wears Kilts
Kathleen Shaputis
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:   Crimson Romance
Date of Publication:  August 26, 2013
ISBN: 978-14-4405-7215-9
Number of pages:  240 approximately
Word Count: 69,660

Book Description:

Drag queens, a ghost and murder, oh my. Love spirits through the modern day tale of inheritance and greed, crossing the vale between worlds. 
Baillie thought life was content, successful in the Pacific Northwest until her bookshop became haunted. Inheriting a Scottish castle leads her on a wild adventure of Celtic chaos where she meets her gorgeous ghost. Finding her life in danger, Baillie calls the diva squad to the rescue: her friend Gillian Nation and his girls. 

Will she choose her normal, safe existence or grab onto an unusual love that makes life magical?


The cat flattened itself to the carpet near the front bookcase, ears lost against its orange-striped head, frozen in fear. A terrified hiss leaked through his open mouth and, slinking backward, the cat spun and ran toward the back of the store.
Catching a brief flash of orange out of the corner of her eye, Baillie shook her head. “Now what’s gotten into Sebastian? Must be a mouse.” She fanned her painted fingernails along the spines of books stacked on the shelf beside her. Listening to the hushed clicking sounds of her nails against the bindings as she walked down the aisle, she inhaled the intoxicating aroma of paper and leather around her. She loved opening her bookshop every morning, where antique classics, used and new volumes of various sizes filled the shelves around her. Framed paintings by local artists dotted the walls between the bookcases.
“Morning,” Baillie called to the previously owned hardbacks without the slightest apprehension of appearing insane. She talked to inanimate objects all the time—great audience, no heckling. Besides, I’m alone in here unless you count the cat, and you can’t count on that spoiled feline for anything. Where did he dash off to just now in such a hurry?
A thin volume of poems lay exposed on a shelf. “You don’t belong here,” Baillie said, sweeping it up to reshelve. She hesitated; the book cover felt cold in her hand, the worn leather chilling her fingers, sucking the warmth from her fingertips in seconds. She quickly shook her head to keep her thoughts from running amok. Of course the book was cold; in the Northwest, things always seemed cold.
“I swear someone helps themselves around here at night. The least they could do is put the books back where they belong when they’re done.” She turned and pushed a ceramic bookend aside and placed the wayward book next to the others as a quick chill shivered down her spine.
“Hey, Einstein, ol’ buddy.” Baillie grabbed an ornate feather duster from a brass umbrella stand nearby and took a few housekeeping swipes against the framed lithograph hanging on the wall. “Dang, I’m looking more like you every day.” She checked her reflection in the glass. “Tell me, did you see who moved Robert Burns’ book of poems last night? Maybe I need to borrow your glasses—going blind in my old age and missed putting it away after closing.”
Baillie turned, whistling the theme song from Fame, at the end of the aisle. She missed seeing the slow, deliberate movement as the same book silently shifted out from the shelf. The dark brown edition slid away from the other poetry books, hanging suspended for a moment, then lay back on the empty surface of the shelf. The ceramic bookend moved, closing the empty gap.
The front door of the shop opened with a tinkling of metal chimes. “It’s just me,” yelled a female voice as she came in.
“I’m in the north quarter, Sally. Would you turn on the computer?” Baillie responded from somewhere behind the walls of books. “Time to open up, I guess.”
“No problem, boss.” Sally dropped her purse under the counter.
Baillie knew her assistant’s routine by heart: She’d click the black toggle switch on the power strip with the toe of her shoe, sending juice to all the electronics at the same time. Baillie heard the calculator, printer and credit card unit each create its own hum as Sally pressed the power button.
“How are the hot flashes this morning?” Sally asked.
“Midlife under control, thank you very much young whiner.” Baillie dusted another shelf with a few fast swishes. “You can kick the personal heater on for a while.”
“Just a little damp for June this year, you know. Some of us don’t have the benefit of hormonal heaters,” she taunted.
“I heard that!” Baillie continued up and down the aisles, swishing the duster back and forth. Suddenly, a bitter cold swept around her, sending a blinding chill through her body. She gasped from the icy shock. Baillie couldn’t catch her breath as the splash of numbing cold flowed into her heart and out again, pounding inside her chest. The reddish blond hairs on the back of her exposed neck stood on end. Her teeth chattered against the chill, like Lucy Ricardo locked in the meat freezer.
“What the …?” She leaned against the shelving for support. “Whoa.” Baillie blinked rapidly and focused on her right hand, more specifically the beige metal shelf under her crimson-painted fingernails. The metal felt warm, warmer than her soul at the moment. Goose bumps traveled up her bare arms and under her short-sleeved blouse. Titles describing Scotland and its clans stood in military straight rows in front of her.
As quickly as it had struck, the air around her trembling body returned to normal temperatures. She took a shaky breath, mentally searching for some logical explanation for the bone-chilling cold. “Who turned the air conditioner on?” she whispered to herself with mock confidence. Looking around the cramped quarters of bookshelves as she moved away, the store seemed peaceful. She dropped the feather duster into a stand with a soft thud.

About the Author:
Kathleen Shaputis, author/ghostwriter, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, where curling up with icy Diet Coke, writing romantic comedies is her ultimate paradise.

Schedule Her Ghost Wears Kilts by Kathleen Shaputis
Sept 16- Oct 14

September 16 Guest blog
Fang-tastic Books

September 17 Spotlight
Author Leah DW

September 19 Guest blog
Rose & Beps Blog -

September 24 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.

September 26 Spotlight
Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews

September 27 Spotlight
Eclipse Reviews

September 30 Spotlight
Lisa’s World of Books

October 1 Spotlight
Charmingly unscripted

October 2 Spotlight
Author Karen Swart

October 3 Interview
Dalene’s Book Reviews

October 4 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm

October 7 Guest blog
Musings and Ramblings

October 8 Interview
BookwormBridgette's World

October 9 Spotlight and review
Ramblings of a Book Lunatic

October 10 Interview
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

October 11 Spotlight
Book Suburbia

October 14 Guest blog
Victoria's Gossip blog/

October 14 review
Mousehead & Tales

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