Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Interview with Diane Kelly

Winner!! Rhonda, please send me your email address at christie (at) Christie-craig.com



An Interview with Diane Kelly

Howdy, Killer Fiction readers. Today I have a treat for you. We had a new Killer on board at Killer Fiction. Diane Kelly is a neat person. I met her years ago at my Romance Writers of America meeting. We were having someone come and talk about taxes. Yeah…taxes. I mean, how boring is that? (Can you hear me snore?) But…because I needed some tax advice I pumped myself up with caffeine and went to suffer through a long, tedious talk. Boy, howdy was I surprised. The speaker wasn’t at all boring. She managed to make a talk about taxes interesting and funny as heck on wheels. Yup, Diane is one neat, funny lady. So . . . when I found out she sold her series to St. Martin’s Press and we were sister Saints. (Don’t you just love that? Sister saints? Like I could ever be a real saint!) Well, I kindly and graciously held her up at gunpoint until she agreed to come join our team of killers. And now I’d like to present you with an interview with our newest killer. So get ready to be entertained. Here’s Diane Kelly.

1) "How did you come up with the idea for your series?"

A few years ago, I sat in the back of a crowded, stuffy room on the final day of an excruciating three-day tax seminar. The morning’s speaker had spent hours detailing the minutiae of partnership taxation, and I was fighting desperately to stay awake. Just as I’d decided to give in, hide under the table, and take a snooze, a criminal defense attorney took the podium. He told fascinating war stories of defending tax evaders, naughty people who engaged in fraud, money laundering, and intricate financial scams and who thought – most often wrongfully - that they could outsmart Uncle Sam. I never knew taxes could be so interesting! And when the attorney talked about the savvy special agents at the IRS, I was intrigued. I’d never known these “tax cops” existed!

I subsequently researched IRS special agents and was shocked to find that some had been killed in the line of duty. Their jobs require complex financial know-how combined with law enforcement and weapon skills. Very few people have this unique skill set. I figured a special agent would make a unique, interesting heroine and apparently I was right. My manuscript “Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure,” which stars a female IRS agent, won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award in 2009, and won or placed in over a dozen RWA chapter contests as well. The judges invariably commented on my fun and feisty heroine. I was thrilled when St. Martin’s bought the manuscript and that the concept will be expanded into a series.

C.C.’s comment: See, even she thought any talk of taxes was going to be . . . boooorrring.

2) "I understand that you interviewed several special agents as part of your research for your upcoming series. What were the agents like? And if male, were they hot?"

The special agents I met with were all Type-A personalities – in a good way. Each one of them was extremely intelligent, intensely focused, and, as opposed to the stereotypical nerdy IRS agent image, very attractive and physically fit. Imagine the cast of “Friends,” but with brains and purpose.

C.C.’s comment. Okay, I’m trying really hard to imagine Joey as having brains. Not happening.

3) "There's quite a bit of gun play in your debut novel, and your heroine is an expert marksman. How well can you handle a gun?"

Do water guns count? ‘Cause I’ve taken down three adolescent boys in two seconds flat with a Blastmaster 2000. As far as real guns go, my experience is somewhat limited. I tried to shoot skeet once with a shotgun, but could barely lift the gun high enough not to shoot off my toes. I have the upper body strength of an earthworm. I’ve also shot a few rounds on a .22 rifle and was surprisingly accurate.

C.C.’s comment: Okay, I’m not going to piss you off. I don’t want to be the target that you aim at, especially since I now know you’re surprisingly accurate!

4) "Are you anything like your heroine?"

I suppose it’s impossible for a writer not to put a bit of herself in her heroine. Like Tara, I have an innate sense of justice and would like for the world to be more fair and to see bad guys get their due. Tara and I both have a slightly warped sense of humor and a pragmatic, cut-the-crap attitude. Oh, and we both wear a 32A bra. But perhaps that’s more than anyone needed to know.

C.C.’s comment: Sorry, I’m not telling my bra size, I don’t care if you told me yours or not. To me, that’s right up there with telling someone my weight.

5) "What was the hardest part of writing your book?"

Creating my hero! It’s like building the perfect man from scratch. It sounds great, but where do you start? What traits should he have? What makes a man truly attractive and sexy? It’s much more difficult than it sounds. Plus, he can’t really be totally perfect. Otherwise he wouldn’t be realistic. So making him believable yet lovable and enticing was a challenge.

I had a crush on Aaron Eckhart at the time, so my hero tends to resemble him. And, of course, my hero is successful. At the risk of setting the women’s movement back decades, there’s nothing sexier than a man who knows how to take care of his woman. Not that we can’t take care of ourselves, but it’s nice to know our men have our backs (and vice versa). My hero is classy, but not pretentious. I fell in love with him myself. Good thing he’s fictitious since divorces are so messy and expensive!

Thanks so much for the interview, Diane.

And now what I’d like to hear from you is: how do you feel about taxes? Hey, if you wanna share your bra size, go ahead. And as a thank you for welcoming Diane here today, I’m running a contest. One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Wild, Wicked & Wanton: 101 Ways to Love Like You’re In a Romance Novel.


Christie Craig said...

Welcome to KF, Diane. You're just crazy enough to be part of our group.


Michelle said...

That was an awesome interview, I haven't been here in so long but I'm glad i came by.

Finally finished Shut Up and Kiss Me, damn pesky school kind of got in the way of my reading,lol.

Anyway, congrats and welcome Diane-I didn't know taxes could be interesting either.

krisgils33 said...

great interview. I am not a fan of taxes, never have been.

Zita said...

I'm not telling my bra size. I'm with you on that one. However, I will say that I feel very...angry...about taxes. In fact, I sometimes want to head over to the Receiver General's office and remind him that taxes were an emergency measure during WWI and THE WAR IS OVER NOW! In fact, RG, WWII is over as well! You can stop collecting taxes any time now. Oh, and when they collect taxes on things twice! Like when you buy a car, you pay tax. And when you buy a used car, you pay tax. Even though the person who bought the car new already paid the tax on that car! That's just WRONG! Isn't that wrong? Isn't that like double-dipping? Okay, I have to stop now before my head explodes.

Rhonda said...

Oh Diane, you had me at "warped sense of humor"!

I love this idea. Put me on your notification list, if you have one.

Good luck with your book!


Edie Ramer said...

I won't share my bra size, but great interview! It really makes me want to read your book.

Christie, I think you could be the Saint of Comedy. Comedians would carry your little statue in their pockets and writers would stand them their desktops.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I'll reserve judgment on whether taxes can be interesting, but your book sure sounds like fun!

Linda Henderson said...

What a fun interview. While I don't enjoy taxes, I can see where the tax inspectors could get into a lot of trouble. I'll be on the lookout for your series.

seriousreader at live dot com

Susan M said...

Hey, watch what you're saying out there. LOL My husband was a tax attorny for thirty years and he's dang hot. But that might be in spite of his profession, not because of it.

He doesn't carry a gun, though. At least not the the type you're talking about.

Diane Kelly said...

Thanks for the great interview Christie and for all the comments, ladies! If you hate paying taxes (hey, who doesn't,huh?), you'll love my heroine. She's making sure the cheats pay their due so the rest of us don't get screwed. She also teams up with a rookie female DEA agent to take down an ice cream man who's dealing drugs off his truck right along with the popsicles. They make a fun team, and use some pretty unconventional methods to bring him down.

Christie Craig said...

Hi Michele,

I'm glad you're back, girl. Yeah, school is bummer sometimes. LOL.


Christie Craig said...


Thanks for stopping in. I don't think any of us are a fan of taxes. Unless, we're getting some our money back. LOL.

Thanks for dropping by.


Christie Craig said...


Okay...deep breath girl. LOL. I know exactly how you feel. It stings.

Thanks for joining in.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Rhonda,

Thanks for joining in. I have a feeling you'll love Diane's book. She's one sharp and funny lady.


Christie Craig said...


Where do I sign up to become that saint? I think I could do that. Kind of like the idea of everyone having my statue. Of course, I get to design the statue. I want to be taller, thinner, and wear a smaller bra size. LOL.

Thanks for joining in.


Christie Craig said...


Howdy girl. It good to see you here. You should hear Diane talk. She's so funny and I can't wait to read her book.


Christie Craig said...

Hi Linda,

You don't enjoy giving the government your hard earned money? LOL. Who does.

Thanks for joining in.


Christie Craig said...

Susan M.

I love it, girl. I'll be he's smokin' hot. Congrats on snagging him.

Thanks for joining in.


Christie Craig said...

Howdy Diane,

Thank you for allowing me to interview you.

Are you counting down to when the first book comes out?


catslady said...

If I remember my history, wasn't it the tax men that caught all the mobsters (Al Capone) and were the beginning of the FBI? My husband watches a lot of the history channel lol. I love your sense of humor and I'm sure it shows in your books - sounds like fun reading with excitement added in. As to taxes - necessary evil I guess but they've been way overdone and we need to start all over.

glenn said...


Great interview!! I can't wait to read Diane's book.
I hope all is well with you!! :)

Laurie Smith said...

Sorry, that last comment was not from glenn that was from me, Laurie. I forgot my google account name. I swear I am such a ditz.... LOL I am having such a blonde moment.

Jana DeLeon said...

Great interview! I am looking forward to taxes being interesting, especially as they haven't been yet in the 20 years I've been preparing them. LOL

And I'm not sharing my bra size either. :)

Christie Craig said...

Hi Catslady,

Thanks for stopping in. I'm sure Diane's book are going to be a hit, too. Hmm, I know she's a big animal person, I wonder if she had a pet or two in the book.


Christie Craig said...


So you have another side I haven't seen, huh? LOL. I do it with my son's account when he logs on and doesn't tell me.

Too funny.

Thanks for stopping in.


Christie Craig said...

Okay...Jana and I stick together. No bra size sharing from us. LOL.


Refhater said...

Sorry I'm late. Just got home from vacation.

Welcome to K.F. Diane.

As for taxes, I'm not a big fan. It's rough to look at my pay check and see that almost half is gone to taxes before I get any of it. Especially after the crap I had to deal with at work to get that $.

And, because someone has to, I'm a 38C and proud of it!

Christie Craig said...


I gotta love ya girl. All 38-C of ya!!

Thanks for posting. And yeah, those checks can be disheartening.


Leslie Langtry said...

Sorry I'm late! Welcome Diane!

Christie Craig said...

Hi Leslie!

Thanks for popping in.