Meet the Writers – Kate White



I think being a rule breaker has helped me so much certainly at Cosmo which isn't over the top kind of place and you better break the rules you better get spanked periodically or you're not doing your job but also as an author I think particularly because for me maybe it is being a good girl when I was growing up that I might pull my punches a little bit and you have to tell yourself to go out there go for the max turn things upside down and try something bold and different and new and you've discover over time that the the prizes in life go not to the good girls so much but the gutsy girls Billy wagons is definitely a bit of a rule breaker she's an outsider and it may be because of just you know her father died when she was 12 and I think that sort of shaped her but she's always been a little bit on the fringe of things in terms of work she's more of a freelancer at heart and of course is an investigative type reporter sometimes you have to tell little white lies when you're getting information I loved Nancy Drew liked a lot of baby boomer women she's so shaped me because she was the first gutsy independent chick that I stumbled upon and it wasn't just that she she solved mysteries but she was just a modern woman and so I latched on to her as my role model but I also found that I loved the sort of the crime aspect the puzzle who did it all of that and I thought I want to write mysteries someday but she was the only mystery person I ever knew and then one day in my early 20s I saw something in Esquire magazine it was a guide called everything a young man should know and one of the little boxes in it was the 10 best murder mysteries ever written I thought oh wow I don't have to go to the book store and try to figure out what what they are here it is and I read all 10 of them I know there was a Dashiell Hammett and there was a Raymond Chandler and a Josephine Tay and a Rex Stout and that was the moment that I decide Wow there's something beyond Nancy Drew and I want to do this someday I love the dashiell hammett and the Raymond Chandler and I like for instance Michael Connelly as a writer and I always loved that hard-boiled stuff so I'm still partial to those guys and as much as I love writing the Bailey waggons mysteries enough I've handed another one in I thought it'd be nice to take a little break spice things up a little bit for myself and I was very interested in writing a book about a woman in her 40s a standalone thriller that was darker than the Bailey books because Bailey's pretty irreverent and I like to think the books have some humor in them but I wanted something that was more of a psychological suspense and so I really was happy when Harper Collins said why not try a few thrillers hush is a psychological thriller it's about this woman who does something a little reckless not illegal just reckless one night she sleeps with a doctor from the fertility clinic where she's doing some marketing consulting and there's nothing really wrong with that except she's in a custody battle with her ex-husband and her lawyer has told her keep your nose clean and in the morning she wakes up and she finds the doctors had his throat slashed and she can't go to the police and tell them because it could put her custody situation in jeopardy so she doesn't say anything in the next thing you know she realizes that the killer may have been aware that she was in the apartment so the police are looking at her and someone else is paying very close attention to her – I love writing mysteries I loved writing the thriller but I also have the sort of career advisor part of myself particularly because I've met a lot of successful women my job is a tour of Cosmo and young women work for me and there's a sort of mentoring thing nurturing thing I feel around young women and when I wrote my book what good girls don't get ahead but gutsy girls do it was really to address what I saw a lot of women doing where they the need to be a good girl to please or to not show off really got in the way for them in terms of their jobs sometimes and one of the great pleasures for me of that book is to have women come up to me and just say the book really affected them a lot of us have these dreams where we think I'd like to write a screenplay I'd love to write a book so many people want to do that how do you do it when you have a day job particularly demanding day job and let's say kids – for me it was reading books on time management made such a difference I found a little ways to start small with the writing I started with just 15 minutes a day so it didn't become too overwhelming and I didn't turn against it and I write religiously every Saturday and Sunday and then I try to write a page every day during the week and all of a sudden it it adds up you end up with a whole book before long I can't explain why but when I write the key ritual for me is listening to opera but it's the only thing that I can really listen to it becomes some sort of weird white noise that I have to have it quiet when I'm writing but I've got to have opera on Carmina Burana just I probably listened with a thousand times my mom played such a big role in my life Nancy Drew was important in shape he made two love mysteries but my mom really encouraged me so much to be a writer she bought me my first typewriter when I was like 13 years old and just helped me when I was putting on a little magazine in my neighborhood she mimeograph the copies because it was before the personal computer and then fairly late in the game for her she started writing mysteries and it's just been so great for me to see her have that aspect of her life because she put her career aside for a while when I was growing up to take care of the kids in an amazing way I turned my kids into readers which is a challenge today and I did it because as a working mom I could not go to the library with my kids because in New York City the libraries were closed but the ritual with my kids and me Friday night Barnes and Noble and we we would buy the books and then we would always sit and have the hot chocolate and the cook afterwards and my son is he's a senior in college he's doing his thesis on Oscar Wilde's time in prison and it's just glorious to think that somehow in a day where people read less that my kids are readers when I was growing up one of the things I loved to read where it was any kind of sort of crime story and what tortured me was not knowing in some cases what really happened because maybe the police never found out truly what the motive was or were certain details and when you write a mystery or you read it you get to know everything at the end and I love the idea of a reader sort of feeling first of all hopefully that she did not guess who the killer was but if she went back she would realize yeah there were some clues there and I should have guessed and there's a certain satisfaction to having been involved in the puzzle and whether you get it or not correctly just knowing at the end what the answer is and of course I also help readers I scare the hell out of them

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