Last month Kate shared some of her thoughts with us and today she wants to share something she treasures.....
My treasure for this Tuesday is not a thing but a place. Specifically, our summer cottage on the coast of Maine. I was born in Maine many years ago, lived there until I went to college, and then came back after law school to take my dream job in the attorney general’s office. But then love and life intervened, and while I continued to think of myself as a Maniac (yes, we do sometimes calls ourselves this), I was spending most of my time in Massachusetts.
Fast forward to the year 2000. For about twenty years, we had been looking for my husband’s dream house on the ocean. For most of that twenty years, the places we looked at, when we had time to look at all with busy jobs and small children, were never what he wanted. But in January of 2000, I got a call from our realtor that he was about to list a place he thought we might like.
I jumped in the car and drove to Maine, slithered down a long set of icy steps, and entered a little 1920’s cottage perched on a rocky ledge above the sea. Unlike most of the houses we’d seen, this one had a kitchen with a view. I took a dozen pictures, had them developed, and handed them to my husband, saying I’d finally found his dream house. That weekend we came to look at the house together, and he agreed.
We’re now enjoying our fifteenth summer in the cottage, and I never get over my initial delight. I’m slowly wrestling some flower gardens from the rocky Maine soil, including some plants from my mother’s garden which make me smile whenever they bloom. The cottage faces west, so when the fog isn’t surrounding us, as it has this weekend, we get to enjoy gorgeous Maine sunsets.
It’s also a perfect place to write. The days seem so long and quiet here, interrupted only by the chirping of the birds. My co-writer, Joe Loughlin, and I hashed out the complexities of our true crime, Finding Amy, sitting on the deck overlooking the lawn. I interviewed a retired Maine game warden, Roger Guay, for his memoir about resource protection and training search and rescue and cadaver dogs, A Good Man with a Dog, in this living room. I sat at the dining table and write my Joe Burgess police procedurals.
This summer, after fourteen years of writing at opposite ends of the dining table, me writing fiction, my husband doing legal work, we added a small third-floor room which will be our new office. And now, settled at my new desk staring out through a stately white birch toward a busy lobstering harbor, I have just started a new, non-series book. With the fascination of a reader wanting to know: What happens next? I am writing the story to see who this character who came knocking on my imagination is, and why he wants his story told.
Kate Flora is the author of 14 books. Her titles include the star-reviewed Joe Burgess police series. And Grant You Peace won the 2015 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. Redemption won in 2013. Her nonfiction includes the Agatha and Anthony nominated true crime Death Dealer, and Finding Amy, co-written with Portland, Maine deputy chief Joseph Loughlin, which was a 2007 Edgar nominee. With retired Maine game warden Roger Guay, she has co-written a memoir, A Good Man with a Dog. Her next Thea Kozak mystery, Death Warmed Over, will be published in 2016.
A former Maine assistant attorney general in the areas of battered children and employment discrimination, she’s a founding member the New England Crime Bake, the Maine Crime Wave, and a founder of Level Best Books. She served as international president of Sisters in Crime. Flora teaches writing for Grub Street in Boston. Find out about all of Kate's releases including these last two at her website.
Hope to see you again soon for another Tuesday Treasure, Thursday Thoughts and/or Saturday Spotlight!
Until next time, take care & God Bless.