Kathryn Casey
Mystery and True Crime Author


Click here to read the prologue to Possessed
Click here to read the first chapter of Deliver Us!
Click here to read the first chapter of Deadly Little Secrets!
Click here to read the first chapter of my latest Sarah Armstrong mystery!
True Crime
The infamous Texas stiletto murder
True Tales of Jealousy, Betrayal, and Revenge
Three decades of murder and redemption in the infamous I-45/Texas Killing Fields
A minister, his mistress, and a heartless Texas murder
A mother's love, a husband's betrayal, and a cold-blooded Texas murder
An Altar Boy, a Cheerleader, and a Twisted Texas Murder.
Murder, Revenge and Two Texas Sisters.
Sex, Murder, and a Texas Millionaire
Obsession, Lies, and a Killer Cop
Seen on Oprah! A courageous woman married to a dangerous psychopath.
The third Sarah Armstrong mystery, named a best book of the year by Library Journal!
The second Sarah Armstrong mystery "a strong sequel," says BOOKLIST, now available in stores and on the Web!
The first in the Sarah Armstrong mystery series, BOOKLIST MAGAZINE picked SINGULARITY as one of the Best Crime Novel Debuts of 2009!
Want discussion questions for your book club? Click the titles below:

Why Sarah Armstrong Hates Me

December 10, 2010

Tags: Kathryn Casey, Crime Writer, Crime Fiction, Sarah Armstrong Series, True Crime Author, True Crime, Mysteries, Mystery books

Okay, writing fiction isnít a popularity contest. Thatís true. So this shouldnít matter, right? Especially since, itís not really possible for a character in a novel to hate anyone, including the author, right? Still, Iím beginning to wonder.

You see, Sarahís my heroine. Iíve written three books featuring this Texas Ranger/profiler, a woman I invented sitting at my computer one afternoon after deciding against a host of other protagonists, including a crocheting grandmother and a junior league hostess. Iíd been thinking about Sarah for a long time, whittling away at the block of marble trying to uncover the statue inside. Maybe, since my books are set in Texas, instead of a Michelangelo analogy, I should have said, taking a chain saw to the trunk of a fallen live oak to reveal the roughly hewn armadillo? No, thatís all just bad. Letís just move on.

Anyway, to her delight or dismay, Lieutenant Sarah Armstrong has become my heroine, the center of my fictional world, and since 2007, Iíve literally tormented this poor womanís life. But then sheís not alive. I know that. But to write about her, she has to be real to me and, to some extent (Iím sincerely not delusional), she is. The result is that I drive through Tomball, Texas, where Iíve planted the Rocking Horse, the ranch Sarah lives on with her mother and daughter, and I sometimes surprise myself by looking for the place. Of course, Iíd shock myself even more if I found it.

The problem is that as the master of Sarahís fate, I havenít made her life particularly tranquil. I started out giving her a hefty load of baggage: widowed with a small daughter, a demanding job that includes hunting killers. This is not the stuff of meditating and finding ones center. As the pages develop and the chapters build in each of the books, I have to admit that I see it as my task to torment Lieutenant Sarah Armstrong. So far, I believe Iíve done it remarkably well.

In book one, Singularity, I had Sarah come to blows with pretty much everyone around her. Certain sheís chasing a serial killer, she butts heads with the powers-that-be who want to pin the murder of a prominent businessman on his beautiful young widow. And then, when the killer sets his sights on Sarah, well, it only gets worse.

In book two, Blood Lines, Sarah had to put up with the most irritating pop star, a spoiled rotten teenager used to having her own way. That the girl needed Sarahís help to keep a killer at bay didnít appear to matter. Oh Sarahís blood pressure was rising, and rising, and the stalker kept getting closer and closer, andÖ. Iíd better not go there. Think hospitalization and youíll be close to the way this book ended.

So, donít you think I should have given the woman a break in book three? Isnít that the human thing to do? I could have sent Sarah to a spa in the Texas Hill Country. A massage, a little TLC, repair for the body and the soul? Well, maybe I should have, but thatís not what I did.

Book three, The Killing Storm, gives Sarah no R&R, no chance to catch up on her reading or writing in her journal. (Actually, she doesnít keep a journal. I think I kind of do that for her.) Instead of kicking back, Sarah is thrown into a whirlwind investigation into the kidnapping of a four-year-old boy out of a Houston park, but there is Ė get ready Ė a hurricane bearing down on the city. Talk about complications. Add to that the heartbreak of her floundering relationship with the FBI agent sheís been cozying up to since book one and a slew of slaughtered longhorns with ancient symbols scrawled on their hides, and I have to admit that I have once again made Sarahís day, but not in a good way.

Thinking about all of this, itís a relief that Sarah is fictional. Otherwise, if she were ever to knock on my door, Iím doubtful that sheíd be there to say thank you. And that woman knows how to handle a gun. It wouldnít be pretty.



  1. December 11, 2010 12:00 PM EST
    This really made me laugh. How funny. I bet she is ticked off at you!
    - Jimie, UK
  2. December 15, 2010 6:19 PM EST
    You should take her out for a cup of coffee and explain to her that you have to make it tough for her or no one would read the books. LOL
    - Ann Marie, Missouri

Laura Smither

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Bill Reece in 2012, a prison photo.

A version of the I-45 Mysteries chart, this one courtesy of the Galveston County Daily News

The shattered door and Belinda Temple's image inside, from SHATTERED.

50 Shades innocent fun? I hope so, but be careful whom you trust.

Bananas Foster ala Brennan's. It's so good. Such a great restaurant. Try the recipe in the blog, and visit their restaurants. Wonderful food!

Bouchercon 2011: Here I am on the left with the wonderful Sara Paretsky and my friend author Diane Fanning. We had a blast!

Crawfish etouffee, a Louisiana classic. Love this recipe!

Kari fell in love with Matt Baker, but was he the man she believed?

They appeared the perfect family, but was Matt Baker hiding Deadly Little Secrets?

Was Matt Baker really a loving husband? Here at his wife's grave with their two daughters, Grace and Kensi.

My niece Beth, Dad, my sister-in-law Linda, and yours truly!

Dad's birthday cake, what a grand day!

Nice smile? I am the Cheshire Cat.

Jamie Ford, yours truly, Kathy L. Patrick, the Pulpwood Queen!

Here I am with Fannie Flagg and Karen Harrington

On the day of my panel with Robert Leleux

Alice's Kingdom: Marsha Toy Engstrom, our leader, as the Red Queen.

My main character, Sarah Armstrong, is a Texas Ranger/Profiler.

My special reindeer ornament, the one that's always front and center on my Christmas tree

Don't miss me on All Things Southern talking about the third Sarah Armstrong mystery!

The cover for the upcoming German edition of Singularity

Here I am with the Investigation Discover TV crew. Left to right: Scott, Eric, yours truly, Linda and Kaia!

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Here I am with the legendary Kinky Friedman.

Introducing the rest of our panel: Ben Rehder (left) author of Holy Moly and other mysteries; Frances Ray, who writes women's fiction; that's me in the background, and on the right, Kathleen Kent, author of The Heretic's Daughter

It's up to us to mount a protest, to keep James Bergstrom locked up.

Meet our puppy, Ozzie Nelson. Don't let his sweet appearance fool you. Send help!

Here's proof that Ozzie Nelson is a handful!

This past January, 2010, the theme of the Pulpwood Queen's Girlfriend Weekend was Over the Rainbow. This is the head queen, Kathy Patrick, dressed as a tornado.

The southwest LA pulpwood queens as witches!

Years ago, before her diagnosis, here I am with my mom.

Here I am with Pulpwood Queen founder and author Kathy L. Patrick at the 2009 Girlfriend Weekend. I had a blast! (Notice the tiara? It's my first!)