Today I welcome Kasey Riley of “Desperate Endurance”, “August Fire” and “The Skeleton Trail”
With over twenty years of horse ownership and Endurance riding to her credit, Kasey Riley (Kim) brings a wealth of knowledge to her novels. Her love of the trail, outdoors, and rural living give color and vibrancy to her books. This realism has drawn many readers to her novels. She strives to make readers see through the eyes of her characters and imagine themselves enmeshed in the plot.
Her first two novels are mysteries with romances building around them and the third is a romance, which uses suspense to draw the couple together as they strive to stay alive. She plans on each book being a stand-alone novel that can be read in any sequence without the reader missing details of the story. Her current work in progress comes from a discussion between Kasey and her husband, Jeff, in one of the several drives between Oklahoma and their new home in Tennessee. Tossing around an idea about a young woman who keeps being involved in mysterious violence. Then coming up with an idea as to why she’s involved and solving the situation kept them occupied for many miles. Kasey’s mind sees every news article as a possible story plot for her characters.
When not writing or riding, she enjoys reading a wide variety of genre novels and sounding out new plots on her husband of 40+ years. Together, they moved two horses, four dogs, two cats and all their assorted belongings from SE Oklahoma to Central Tennessee in 2016. Now able to ride out the back door, Kasey finds less time to write, but has many viable ideas to work from. Soon she will have “Do Not Assume” completed and be able to get back to the young adult work in progress she set aside when the mystery of Do Not Assume kept distracting her.
Since the horrible forest fires in the Gatlinburg, TN area in November, Kasey has committed all of her royalties to the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund to aid the hundreds of victims who have lost everything in the wake of the fires. Details can be found on her website:
www.kaseyriley.com Even those who choose to use their Kindle Unlimited accounts to read her works will help this effort since the royalties all are paid to the Foundation for 2017.
When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing in one form or another for years. Essays, monthly newsletters, and short stories have been submitted and even won contests since my early 20’s. I finally got the chance to really sit down and write after we sold our online catalog back in 2012. My first novel, Desperate Endurance was published in 2013.
What motivated you to start writing?
I got serious about writing after becoming very irritated at another author who completely misrepresented my sport of Endurance Horse Riding/Racing. I knew I could do better and show readers the true nature of the sport. So I did.
What is your favorite book and what is your favorite author?
I read one or two books a week…favorite??? Seriously? I enjoy books which tend to be somewhat romantic, simple, mysterious or suspenseful. I dislike books with extreme angst or blood (unless it’s fantasy battles and blood). Life is too short and far too serious for me to spend my down time reading about the stuff I can see on the news. I enjoy authors who have great imaginations and can carry off a good story with respect for their readers. Authors who don’t edit or proof are disrespecting their readers in a huge way in my book. If an author doesn’t respect themselves and their readers enough to present a well written tale…why should I waste my time reading it?
Where did you find inspiration for your stories?
I think my favorite phrase is “what if” because I must pose that question to myself a dozen times a day. I can watch an Ancestry commercial and find a plot or a news item or be riding in the woods and pose it about how a tree got crooked. Skeleton Trail is a prime example of this. I was riding and came across a huge tree which had been blown over and the root ball left a huge hole in the ground…”what if” a body was buried there? Would it ever be found? And that began the book.
Are your stories based on someone you know or on events you have experienced?
Not really, but August Fire uses many experiences and stories told to me over 40 years as an adult. I used tales from one friend of how she used to rescue animals in the Canyons of Southern California when fires threatened them, I also used laughable stories of food poisoning, losing pants (that came from a boss I once had who has since passed – he really did misplace his pants once), then I added other ideas of small towns and how they help each other in good times and bad. Add to that an arsonist, a dog and a romance and you have August Fire. My other books reflect my knowledge of horses, endurance and small towns but the stories are pure fiction.
When I’m writing I need silence. So how about you?
Funny you should ask. As I sit here the speakers in this room are serenading me with country music…even though I’ve taken this room off the “group” at least twice. I prefer silence but since my office is now in the house instead of away from it, I no longer have the ability to have the silence I prefer. Life is like that; you don’t always get what you want; so you learn to work with what you have.
How many books have you written?
I have three books out under my main pen name of Kasey Riley and one out under a different name because it is so far different from the first in writing style and genre. I had a friend who was upset when I rewrote my first and removed some racy scenes…so I wrote Carlene’s Discovery for her. It is as close to erotica as I can get since I’m not comfortable with some of the language in that genre.
What can you tell us about your next project?
Moving has messed up some of my priorities. I was working on a YA work, a horse and girl adventure when we began selling and moving. During the long drives, I came up with a mystery by bouncing thoughts off my husband. Once we settled, I tried to get back to the YA and the mystery just wouldn’t let me. So Do Not Assume is my current “work in progress”. I’ve finished the manuscript, I’ve completed one rewrite and I’m polishing up the final. If I get no interest from publishers, I expect to self-publish in March.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FIE630Y is my first book
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010R87EL2 is my most recent book, less horses, more romance.
What is your book about?
Desperate Endurance is about a woman who is traveling alone with two horses when she witnesses a murder in a deserted rest area. The victim is able to speak to her before passing and asks her to help his son. She spends the remainder of the book keeping ahead of the bad guys, helping the rancher son of the victim and falling for him while they try to figure who was responsible for killing his father. It involves traveling, racing across country, escaping kidnap attempts and her final race to the safety of his arms with the villain hot on her tail.
August Fire is a prickly romance wrapped around small town living and an arsonist who is bent on destroying Stephanie and Doyle because they saw his face. A surprising character is Doyle’s dog Catcher which he rescued on his way to his new life in Riverview. Many of the encounters between Stephanie and Doyle are smile-inducing and the dog is completely canine and loveable.
Both of these books were fun to write and I hope readers enjoy the characters – both animal and human.
Can you tell us something about the main character or characters?
I have a thing about my characters…they may not always make the smartest decisions, but they are believable (at least I think they are). My female leads are strong and smart enough to know when to be weak. My men are honest and true, men not afraid to step forward and lend a hand. Life will present you with enough confusion, I like my people to be what they seem.
Would you like to send a message to the readers?
Yes. As much as I love my readers and I truly do but I must admit I write first for me – because I need to write. I write the stories which force themselves out of me. The characters who develop in my books do so at their leisure. I just hit the keys to bring them to the page. The plots form from news or ads or woodland features and sometimes from thin air; I never know where they will come from next. I think Do Not Assume will be the first in an actual series, because there are so very many things involved and the ending is distinct, but not totally an ending to the story.