Monday, December 15, 2014

Kathy Bennett, A Deadly Denial – Book 3 in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series

AUTHOR: Kathy Bennett           
BOOK TITLE: A Deadly Denial – Book 3 in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series
GENRE: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
PUBLISHER: Kathy Bennett

Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Southern California and, after high school, went to work for the LAPD as a civilian employee. Years later I became a sworn police officer and served twenty-one years as an officer. While most of my time was spent working patrol, I was also a firearms instructor at the LAPD Academy, a crime analyst in the 'War Room', a Field Training Officer, a Senior Lead Officer, and I worked undercover in various assignments. In 1997 I was honored to be named Officer of the Year. I retired about 3 ½ years ago and my husband (who was also an LAPD officer) retired earlier this year.

I've been writing all my life, but seriously sat down to write a novel eighteen years ago. My first novel will never see the light of day, but I self-published my second novel, a stand alone Romantic Suspense titled, A Dozen Deadly Roses. That book and my second book, A Deadly Blessing, became bestselling e-books at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In fact, A Deadly Blessing was selected by Barnes & Noble as a Best Book of 2012. I released my third book, A Deadly Justice about a year ago.

Please tell us your latest news.

A Deadly Blessing was the first book in the LAPD Maddie Divine series, and in August of this year I released the third book in the series, A Deadly Denial. All the Maddie Divine books are selling well, and my fans are anxiously awaiting the next Maddie story.

In my personal life, two weeks ago, my husband and I moved to Idaho. I think we can open a box store in our garage!

What was the toughest criticism given to you?

A reviewer said (about A Deadly Blessing): Probably the worst written book I have ever read. I only kept reading because I had nothing else to read and didn't want to waste my money…

What was the biggest compliment?

A reviewer said (about A Deadly Denial): WOW! I couldn't put this book down! All of her books have been great, but she knocked this one out of the ballpark. This book had a non-stop onslaught of twists and turns and startling events. I particularly appreciate that she kept all the characters on the reader's radar screen; not once did I have to turn back the pages to be reminded of who a particular character was. Then, just when I thought the book was about over, POW - another startling event!...Her skills, creativity, and LAPD experience has served to elevate her to the absolute top of my list of favorite authors.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

Actually, it wasn't either of those reviews that had me change things. It was a different reviewer who pointed out a weakness in A Deadly Blessing. He was right. I took care of the situation in the next book, A Deadly Justice. Sadly, the reader probably doesn't realize it, because he indicated he'd never read any of my books again.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

Lots of wine? Just kidding! When I get into a story and I'm writing at a fast and furious pace, I don't usually suffer from writer's block. However, if I do hit a snag, I take a day or two off and just think about the story and how I can fix whatever is wrong.  

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

I've self-published all my books, however, A Deadly Blessing attracted one of the best agents in the business, Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. He's been extremely helpful to me.

What are your current projects?

I'm currently working on book 4 of the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. I started before we moved, and I can't wait to get back to it.

I've also agreed to write a short story in an anthology where all the proceeds will be donated to the National Law Enforcement Memorial. This is a new project and the details are still being worked out.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

Twitter: @KathywritesLAPD

Pinterest: You can find me at Kathy Bennett Author
Any other news you’d like to share?
My agent brokered a deal with German publisher Verlag Berlin and they picked up the German rights to the first two books in the series, A Deadly Blessing and A Deadly Justice. They will be publishing them as paperbacks in the German language…pretty darn cool!

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

A Deadly Denial is the third book in the LAPD Detective Maddie Divine series. This story is very true-to-life. Someone is murdering LAPD officers and Maddie is assigned as part of a large task force find the killer. With dead cops turning up every couple of days, the pressure is on. As the investigation continues Maddie realizes there are a lot of secrets, deceptions, and lies in the LAPD, and the killer she's looking for might wear an LAPD uniform.

What gave you the idea for this particular book?

This initial idea for this book came from a recent manhunt that ensued after a former LAPD officer went on a rampage killing cops in several jurisdictions in Southern California.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

Each book I've written has come about differently. However, one thing that is pretty consistent is that I come up with the title and an idea for the cover very early in the process. Then I write the story to go with them.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Because I write suspense, I know the main crime and usually I know who did it. I may not know much more than that, and sometimes the characters surprise me and the person I've pegged as being the guilty party isn't the bad guy (or gal).
How did you decide how your characters should look?

As I write, I see each scene like a movie. My character's looks are usually a figment of my imagination. Except for Maddie. She kind of resembles a younger me…only taller. Some of the more memorable characters I've created are Harley in A Deadly Justice, and Edison in A Deadly Denial. Those two characters were a hoot to write.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?

I write authentic crime while telling arresting stories. As an LAPD officer I had to know that I'd be willing to take someone's life if their actions dictated I do so. The world is a violent place. Many people never have to face that violence, but they certainly should be aware it exists and think about 'what if'…

I don't consider my sex scenes highly sexual. I give the reader clues as to what is going on, but tend to leave it to their imagination what exactly takes place.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process?

Generally, it takes me a year to write a book. My novels are generally about 270 – 300 pages…or about 95,000 words. I'm trying to cut the time down to produce a book, my readers are anxious to see what mess Maddie gets into next. However, I won't sacrifice speed for quality of story.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

I have four books published. My first book, A Dozen Deadly Roses is a Romantic Suspense and was written as a stand-alone book. However, readers begged for me to bring back the main character, Jade Donovan, and she appears at the end of A Deadly Blessing, and partners with Maddie in A Deadly Justice. My fourth book is my latest release, A Deadly Denial.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?

Wife, Mother, Grandmother, kind, detail-oriented, responsible, honest.

Describe your writing space.

Ha ha! My husband and I just moved from Southern California to Idaho. I have a lovely room for my office…filled with cardboard boxes. When I get it set up properly it's going to be the best office ever!

Thank you, Penny for allowing me to be part of your blog. These questions were a lot of fun! 


  1. Sounds like some good mysteries! I like your self-description of 'kind' because I think that's one of the best traits anyone can have!

    1. Hi Cheryl!

      Thanks for stopping by to chat today. Being kind has served me well in my personal life as well as my professional life. It's a good trait to have and I get it from my mother. Being kind is certainly better than being mean!

  2. Great interview, Kathy. I've enjoyed all your books and can't wait for the next one. Oh and I agree with the second review (the good one) posted.

    Regarding you new office. Have fun unpacking all those boxes. LOL I moved things around in my office to accommodate four lovely new Barrister bookcases. Ummm, that was a year ago. I still don't have everything back where I want it. I hope you have better luck with your office than I did. I can't even imagine unpacking a whole house.

    Enjoy your new home.

    Fondly, The Other Pat (haven't written that in ages. Couldn't resist.)

    1. Hi Other Pat! I haven't read that in ages!

      I'm getting the office unpacked slowly but surely. Right now i have two boxes that are the hardest ones to unpack because they have a lot of 'junk' that I don't know what to do with. I keep walking by them hoping they'll magically unpack themselves.

      Thanks for your kind words (another person who is kind) about my books. I can't wait to get my fanny back in my chair and give Maddie a new adventure! With family coming for the holidays I fear my writing time will be scarce in the near future.

  3. I have loved these books from the beginning and have read every one of them. I find them not only captivating, but realistic.

    1. Hi Kaye! Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you like my books. I write for the readers!

  4. So excited for book 4! I say forget the unpacking and get writing!! :-P

    1. Hi Jaimie! I'd like to, but I have to find my Thesaurus! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Great interview! I like how you put yourself in order...mother, grandmother, etc. Honest, that is one trait I think is lacking in the world today. That and responsible. Can't wait for book 4!!!!!! I really think A Deadly Denial is my all time favorite of all your books...for now, subject to change with the next one!

    1. Hi Bev! I can't wait for book 4 either. I have all these characters and ideas bouncing around my head. I need to get them out! Thank you for coming by to chat.

  6. What exciting news Kathy! German editions! I love foreign book editions. I'll have to find a way to nab some for my shelf. :)