Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 Easy Questions with K.B. Owen!

Every Wednesday, I ask a writer the same five easy questions. In an effort to support and promote fellow wordsmiths, I feature authors who write a variety of genres, from sweet inspirational to mainstream thrillers. The writers themselves may be aspiring, published, or best-selling--all have made an impact on my life.

Thank you for joining me in welcoming… K.B. Owen!!

I initially came in contact with Kathy through Twitter where I found a link to her amazing blog--a humorous mix of fascinating history, fun quizzes, and writerly observations. We quickly connected and am I glad we did! She is such a generous, friendly author. Kathy writes mysteries, and I can't wait until the day I can pick up one of her books!
Let's get to it!

1. Beverage of choice? 

All year ‘round, it’s iced tea, unsweetened (I know, I’m odd that way) with lemon. It’s funny, though: expecting access to iced tea no matter what the season must be a southern thing, because once I tried to order it in Massachusetts in March, and the waitress shook her head, gave me a strange look, and said: “You’re not from ahrahnd here, are you?” 

2. Any pets?

We have a lot of allergies, so we only have a guinea pig and a gerbil (different cages, promise!). They each had companions who died a while back. The guinea pig wheeks at us as if we starve him, and the gerbil runs on her wheel as if she’s terrified of getting fat thighs. (It’s the guinea pig who could use the wheel. He’s a bit hefty.) But they are both adorable. We recently acquired a beta fish who isn’t nearly as interesting. He just floats around.

 3. Dream vacation?

There are so many (I don’t get out much). Pick one? Hmm…

I’ve always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise. Alaska seems to me to be one of those places where we don’t always get things our own way, and can’t quite conquer nature. I’d like to see that.

 4. What are you listening to right now?

If I’m writing when you post this, it will probably be my favorite artist, Andres Segovia, who plays classical guitar: the works of Bach, Purcell, and Handel, among others.

5. What's for dinner?

In the summer, I’m the queen of the grill around our house. Hubby was never interested, and as an only child, my dad taught me all his grilling tricks. Probably a thick, juicy steak, corn on the cob, and a salad. Maybe I’ll have some tomatoes ripened by then!
Kathy, you're right about year-round iced tea being a southern thing. I've worked at restaurants in Michigan, and we only brewed it in the summer. Our family has a guinea pig too. Maybe he could have a playdate with yours and they could hijack the gerbil's wheel? Ours is a chunky monkey! And a squeaker. I've never listened to Andres Segovia, but his music sounds inspiring--I'm adding him to my list of artists to check out!

I can't believe you teased us with your grilling tricks and didn't share any! I grill often, but my tricks are limited to: getting the grill to light, occasionally burning our food, and handing the tongs to my husband. Thanks so much for being my guest today, Kathy!

Historical mystery writer K.B. Owen fell in love with the Hartford region during her years at The University of Connecticut. She was inspired to begin a mystery series set at a nineteenth-century women’s college in Hartford, a vivid period world of plucky heroines, quirky and beguiling characters, and mischief mixed with murder.

K.B. Owen holds a doctorate in 19th century British literature and taught college literature and writing courses for more than a decade.  Her delightful and varied experiences with students served as inspiration for the classroom interactions of her novel’s protagonist, Professor Concordia Wells. Thankfully, unlike her main character, she did not have to lecture in a bustle and full skirts. She is working on her second novel in the series, blogs about mystery and history (with a pop culture slant) at, and tweets as @kbowenwriter.

It's county fair season around here. Are you attending a local fair this year?
Have a magnificent Wednesday!


  1. Sounds like fun stories! Thanks to both of you.

  2. Loved Kathy's comment about ice tea in MA :-D

  3. Good morning!

    Laura: Kathy's series looks so good! A long time ago, I read a series by Brenda Joyce set in the early 1900's w/a plucky heroine PI. I loved it! But I haven't found anything like it since--until now! I hope a publisher picks up Kathy's book--stat!

    CJ: I know! The regional differences can be huge!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!


  4. I want to come to your house for a steak! Yummmmmmm!

  5. Love learning more about K.B. And I'll second what Katie said.

  6. That dinner sounds awesome! Yum! And as for local fairs, we actually live closer to our state fair than our county fair. Not sure if we'll go this year. It all depends on if the heat lets up. :)

  7. These interviews are so much fun, Jill. We're still kicking ourselves we didn't invest in an Alaskan cruise while we lived in Seattle. So close.

    So close.
    ~ Wendy

  8. I love unsweetened ice tea with lemon all year round, but living in MN, I get that same look. :)

    So I had to switch to hot tea in the winter...which, come to think about it, is pretty much most of the year here.

    So great to get to know you here, and thanks, Jill for doing this blog series.

  9. yeah, the idea of a steak with corn tonight sounds amazing...mmmm

  10. Katie: I want to too. I think we should all invite ourselves over...:)

    Heather: Same here! I must be extra hungry today!

    Sarah: Ooo, state fairs are usually awesome! But I hear you on the heat. We're really fortunate that our fair is a mile from our house. We can pop over and come home!

    Wendy: SO close. We kick ourselves for not visiting my sister in Italy when she lived there. We didn't have the funds!

    Erica: I do hot tea all year too. I'm kind of obsessive about it!

    Loree: Isn't her blog great? Love it!

    Linda: Steaks sound much better than the baked fish I have planned. :(

    Em: I know, right? :)

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Kathy. She was one for my first twitter friends, and she has the best blog. I never miss a Monday Masters of Mystery, a Wise Words Wednesday, or a Friday Fashion post! If we would all pitch in, we could bring some of that fasion back like the hand fan and the long white gloves.

    No local fairs for me...until maybe October when the State Fair of Texas is here. Fried everything!

  12. My mom was raised in Texas, so I grew up drinking sweet tea. I can't imagine not adding sugar. That would be a sacrifice for me. =)

    I listen to classical music when I write, too, but my favorite instrument is violin. I might have to check out Handel on classical guitar, though. Next to Vivaldi, he's my favorite composer.

  13. Tiffany: I know--Kathy is an awesome Tweep! I'll take the old fashions as long as they don't involve corsets. The inventor of elastic should be praised. :)

    Keli: Ha! I know you love your sweet tea! It doesn't surprise me you enjoy classical music. Hope it inspires!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  14. Classical is a great choice, Kathy. I usually have Mozart, Vivaldi or Bach (either one) playing when I write. The muse digs the classics.

    Thanks for hosting Jill. Great site!

  15. Hi, Jill and all!

    Jill, you've got some great followers here. You all are so supportive! Thank you for your wonderful comments. Glad I'm not the only one who's into iced tea year 'round.

    Ok, I'll share one grilling tip from my dad. It's about BBQ chicken. Most people like the BBQ sauce but don't like to have to eat the skin in order to get it. If this is you, here's how to get around it and still have a moist chick: pull off the skin and rinse both the parts and skin. Pat dry, place unskinned chicken on top of alum foil, place skin loosely on top of corresponding chicken part, and wrap in foil. Grill 20 min per side in foil pkts, remove chicken, discard skin, baste in BBQ sauce, grill an addt'l 5 min per side. All done!

  16. Oh, and most important of all: thank you Jill!


  17. Gene: Your playlist sounds like great inspiration for writing!

    Kathy: Genius! So you slather up the meat with BBQ and put the skin back on to keep everything moist. Love it! Great tip!! Thank you so much for being my guest today!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  18. I love to learn of another academic gone rogue. ;-) I will go check out Kathy's site.

  19. I like the ninetenth century women's college setting of Kathy's book. Sounds like fun. Mystery is my favorit genre to read (besides great kid's books.)

  20. Fun interview, ladies! Will definitely have to check into Andres Segovia's classical guitar music. Look forward to K.B.'s historical mysteries being released. God bless!

  21. Great interview, Ladies, although I am a bit worried about your Beta Fish just floating around in his bowl???

    Jill, isn't it wonderful when you hit it off with someone that you've never "met!"

  22. Kathy is an awesome person. So supportive and funny.

    One quick iced tea story. I'm from The South, and 15 years ago I had a good customer about two hours north of Toronto. I flew there one year in the winter with another "good ole boy" and we stopped at a restaurant on the drive up from the airport. It was a small restaurant attached to a convenience store. When we ordered our meal, Roger ordered iced tea. I almost laughed, but then the waitress said, "Would you like that sweet and with lemon?" Roger smiled and said, "Both please, ma'am.". I couldn't believe it. Two minutes later she brought a glass of ice and put it in front of Roger, then proceeded to walk to the cooler in the convenience store and take out CANNED Lipton tea, sweetened and with lemon. She set it down in front of him. He looked at the can, and then said, "Uh ma'am, I think I'll just have a black coffee please." I laughed so hard I almost cried.

    I've got my corn and tomatoes, so I'll have to go by the store and pick up some filets this afternoon for some weekend grilling. You guys have a great weekend.

  23. Rossylyn: Oh, Kathy is definitely an academic gone rogue!!

    Nancy: I know! I love the setting, time period, and premise. I want to read it!

    Maria: Don't you love it when we find new music? I'm checking it out too!

    Sharon: Those Beta fish are notorious for "playing dead." My sis-in-law had to gently shake the bowl each morning just to be sure!

    Kerry: Ha! Hilarious!! That's how we do it up north--canned Lipton tea. *shuddering* And I'm so with you on Kathy being super supportive. I love that lady!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!


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