Kasey Riley, author
Kasey Riley, author

Kasey Riley is the subject of this week’s author interview. Kasey Riley writes mysteries with an element of romance and a dash of comedy based on the world of endurance riding. So if you like your horses (and dogs) with a good yarn then this is the sort of thing you might like to read.

Kasey Riley Interviewed

How long have you been writing for and what made you start writing?

I’ve been writing since 2012 – novels. All of my life I’ve been writing something, essays, newsletters, articles; so it didn’t just happen overnight. One day I was reading a book that used my sport as a backdrop and I could not believe how the author slaughtered the sport and massacred the camaraderie of those who participate. I never finished that book; I put it down and set out to “do it better”. My first novel “Desperate Endurance” bases the mystery and the romance in the sport of Endurance Riding with accurate descriptions of trails, horses, and most of all the spirit of those who will ride a horse for fifty to a hundred miles in one day for only a belt buckle.

Do you write for a living, or do you also do other work?

I’m one of the lucky ones, I’m retired so I can spend as much time as I want at my computer each day. When the story is flowing, that can be as much as 8 hours but most often is four or fewer.

How did you get into being a professional writer, and how much effort did it take to be able to write full time?

Cover of Desperate Endurance by Kasey Riley
Cover of Desperate Endurance by Kasey Riley

When I set out to write my first, I read about 4-5 books on everything from sentence structure, to use of descriptive words and phrases, and especially development of plot and story. Armed with knowledge, I sat down and began the story. I schooled myself to write each morning before doing anything else – that was difficult when the day was lovely and my horse was in view in the pasture, but having a set time is critical to me or I tend to put off my writing.

Were you always good at telling stories, or has it come to you as an adult?

At 17 I wanted to write and my father invested in one of those correspondence courses for me. It was the only “higher education” he could afford for me and I loved the knowledge I received from the textbooks. Unfortunately, I never completed the course; but I kept those textbooks for over 20 years and referred back to them often.

Were you good at English in school?

I was great in English Literature where you read and reported…English Grammar – not so much. I still can’t take apart a sentence well, but I can put them together just fine. My reading comprehension was high because I lived in books.

What do you read for enjoyment?

Yes, yes and yes. TV and computer games are boring to me when a good book is waiting.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?

Don’t wait for tomorrow. Write every chance you get about anything and everything.

What is the most useful advice you’ve been given?

Write what you know and/or love.

What is the strangest advice you’ve been given?

cover of Skeleton Trail by Kasey Riley
cover of Skeleton Trail by Kasey Riley

An editor told me “animals cannot have a point of view” and there are lots of animal books where the animals are the characters. Besides, I can tell by looking at my dog or horse if he or she is happy, sad, angry – body language tells all.

How do you deal with the stranger reviews?

I read every review, no matter what it says. I may not agree with it but I will look at my work afterwards to see if I can find the reviewer’s “bone of contention” if it was a negative review. Even the positive reviews sometimes tell me things I didn’t realize I’d done.

Who do you write for?

I hate to sound self-centered; but first I write for me – because I need to get the story out. Secondly, I write to entertain my readers.

What sort of things do you write?

So far, I have out three books, one is a mystery with a romantic twist, one is a mystery/suspense with less romance and more depth to the mysteries, and the latest is a romance, which uses suspense to draw the lovers together. In the latest, I have also added some comedy in the miscues and mishaps that the couple experience.

Do you do much research? If so what is your favourite source?

If I’m going to use something in my story as a key element, I will research it. I hate writers who don’t and the story is so unreal it hurts to read. If that one author had spent time working/volunteering around Endurance Riding, then I might have finished her book.

I use the internet for everything. If the authorities ever reviewed the words and things I’ve looked up I might end up on a “Watch List”. I’ve looked up arson and accelerants, grenades and napalm; even how long a body takes to decompose. The internet is a wonderful tool – just hope no one ever checks your research list.

What do you have in the drawer? (i.e. what have you written but not yet published)

I don’t have anything done other than what is published so far…but I have two very different works in progress. One is what I consider a darker kind of mystery and the other is another romance involving the sheriff of the fictional town I’ve created in Colorado.

Describe your writing process, what, where, when and how please?

cover of August Fire by Kasey Riley
cover of August Fire by Kasey Riley

It’s been a little different with each work. I usually have a beginning or main character first. In Desperate Endurance I knew I wanted Bethany to witness a murder and later have to use her riding skills to escape. In Skeleton Trail I knew I wanted Megan and Bethany to find a body, but I didn’t know I would bring in Kam and David who are the main characters – that story developed on it’s own. August Fire was primarily a story of Stephanie and Doyle who experience many miscues and misunderstandings before working things out, the fire and the dog became more important as the story progressed.

I like to let the characters tell the story; I simply put them into situations and the story unfolds around how they respond to the situation. I keep a binder of characters, places, distances, ranches and such for the Riverview novels. It’s a fictional town I like to use as a base for my work.

What is your best method or website for promoting your books?

As an Independent Author, it gets very difficult to know where to promote. I’ve tried Twitter blasts, news articles when a book is published, and Amazon ad campaigns. One company has gotten the best results so far is Bostick Communications. The other positive ad campaigns have been on Amazon.

I’m not too certain just how much the Twitter blasts have helped; but they do get the books mentioned to readers and that is what advertising is about. Bloggers and interviews spread the word nicely and this kind of thing is very much appreciated; but again it is difficult to track the success of the blog.

What question do you wish I’d asked you?

Maybe what style of Review I prefer to see?

I would much rather see a reviewer discuss the quality of the story than tell the whole thing. I would also prefer a reviewer who posts the review using punctuation and capitalization. You can tell who is posting from a cellphone … they hardly put spaces between the words, much less use any capital letters. But I have never asked a reviewer to “take down” a review … even the one I felt was unfair, that person was entitled to their opinion and I respect that.

Where can we read your words?

Amazon, CreateSpace, Smashwords and NookPress all carry my first book – Desperate Endurance. My other two, Skeleton Trail and August Fire are currently available only at Amazon and CreateSpace.

Links to blog, website, book sales etc. Maybe some good reviews:

Kasey RIley on the web: www.kaseyriley.com – each book is described, a sample is available and all are available to purchase.

Kasey Riley on Twitter: @AuthorKCRiley