Kathryn Casey
Mystery and True Crime Author

THE BOOKS! TAKE YOUR PICK!

Excerpts
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.
Fiction
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:

I wish you'd been there!

January 18, 2011

Tags: Kathryn Casey, Crime Fiction, Mysteries, True Crime, Pulpwood Queens, Girlfriend Weekend, Jefferson, Texas, Book clubs

Well, it's that time of year again. I've just returned home from three glorious days in the small town of Jefferson, Texas, ground zero for the Pulpwood Queens. The event: the annual extravaganza,Girlfriend Weekend. I stayed at the beautiful Alley-McKay house, and I had a blast.

It all started Thursday evening, with a dinner where the authors, including moi, waited on the PQs who gathered at the Jefferson Convention Center. The amazing Kathy L. Patrick, founder of this mushrooming book club (400 chapters and growing), fed the authors first, then we each claimed a table. I served dinner to the fine ladies from Southwest Louisiana's chapter. Wonderful women with ready smiles and good hearts who put up with my well-meaning if rather inept attempts at serving sweet and unsweetened tea, a barbecue dinner followed by yummy bread pudding. There were free autographed books and everyone went to their hotel or B&B with a smile.

On Friday, we were all back early, and the weekend kicked into gear with Kathy and her co host, the superb Robert Leleux (author of The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy) front and center. For the next two days, they moderated the panels, asking questions and keeping us all laughing. That morning, Mark Childress (Crazy in Alabama) was the keynote speaker, and he was so funny. I loved the reading from his new book, Georgia Bottoms. Lucky for all of us he gave everyone copies.

I won't attempt to list all the authors who spoke on Friday. There are simply too many, but here are a few: Helen Simonson (Major Pettigrew's Last Stand), Judy Christie (Goodness Gracious Green), Denise Hildreth Jones (Hurricane in Paradise), Janis Owens (Cracker Kitchen), Kathy Appelt (Keeper) and Melissa Conroy (Poppy's Pants). If I'm counting right, there were about 20 discussing their work and their lives on the stage that first day.

The talent show that night was great fun. So many imaginative acts. I heard Nashville's Marshall Chapman sing and play her guitar for the first time and loved it so much I sprung for a CD. Marshall also has a new book out: They Came to Nashville.

The following morning, Saturday, the great Fannie Flagg began the day with a rousing talk about dyslexia, writing, and the surprises live brings. She was charming and heart-warming, detailing the process that began imagining the ghosts that inhabited her family's dilapidated and abandoned homestead and ended in a beloved book: "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe."

Two more panels, including mine, followed her. Wouldn't you know that Kathy would name my panel "Stories that are Killer?" On the stage, I was a bit nervous. (There were lots of folks there. At least 300, my guess.) But BobKat(Robert and Kathy) put us all at ease, giving us the opportunity to discuss our books and answer questions. I read a short passage from THE KILLING STORM, the Pulpwood Queens' main selection for July 2010.

It turned out that my panel was the opening act for the inimitable Pat Conroyand his BFF Bernie Schein. Our entertainment as we lunched, these two old friends didn't hold back, shooting barbs at one another. I would have felt sorry for them if they hadn't looked like they were having so much fun.

I bet you think that's about it? Not a chance. That afternoon, three more panels and awards were handed out. In between listening to the other authors, I circulated around the tables meeting old friends and making new ones, talking to the PQs who'd traveled from across the country to attend and authors like Jamie Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), Shellie Rushing Tomlinson (Suck in Your Stomach and Put Some Color On), and Karen Harrington (Janeology).

That night, I did something I never would have predicted. All I can say is that Marsha Toy Engstrom (The Bookclub Cheerleader) can be pretty convincing. What did I do? Well, I dressed up as the Cheshire Cat and did a dance routine with authors and friends dressed as characters from "Alice in Wonderland" to Jefferson Airplane's classic "White Rabbit." It was wild! (If anyone has a video, please don't YouTube it.)

The beauty of all this is that it was incredible fun and all for a great cause. Kathy Patrick and the PQs are champions for literacy, and the money raised in a silent auction, more than $6,000 and counting, will go to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Literacy Project.

The bottom line (as my character Sarah Armstrong loves to say): I had an outstanding time. I drove home on Sunday singing along to my new Marshall Chapman CD and smiling all the way. You know, I can't wait for next year!

Comments

  1. January 18, 2011 5:42 PM EST
    So much fun, Kathryn. Great post. What a great time we had!
    - Karen Harrington
  2. January 19, 2011 3:57 PM EST
    I can't improve on your description of our wonderful weekend. So glad you came, so glad I came. Already have reservations for a room for next year. WooHoo!!!
    - bev martin
  3. January 21, 2011 8:59 AM EST
    Katrhyn,
    As always, I go away from my Girlfriend Weekend Author Extravaganza with my batteries recharged for yet another year of promoting literacy! This year is special as we premiered my NEW partnership with Random House Publishing for my very own online book club talk show that we call appropriately, Beauty and the Book Show! So if I can get everybody to go to that website, www.beautyandthebookshow.com, to LIKE and please COMMENT, perhaps we can truly get even more people on the same page that reading is the best entertainment in the world!
    I can't thank you enough for helping me champion our cause and also paying it forward by contributing to our Silent Auction for our Dolly Parton Imagination Library Marion County Project! My hope and dream is everywhere will get on Dolly's train at www.imaginationlibrary.com as this is not for profit that helps pre-school children get reading ready for school!
    Nothing pleases me more than putting together our Girlfriend Weekend each year and this year marks the first time we SOLD OUT so early so now inspired to create yet another reason to book party with the authors, introducing my brand spanking NEW, Fred McKenzie Storytelling Book Festival, May 13 - 15, 2011 right her in historic Jefferson, Texas. I created this event for the overflow of those who could not get in to Girlfriend Weekend, to feature authors who are also great speakers and oral storytellers, and to honor and remember my bookselling buddy, the late great Fred McKenzie so he will always be rememembered. Tickets for that event are on sale now and bed and breakfasts are booking up fast. Keynotes will Frank Delaney, Rhys Bowen, and Neil White who all blew us away with his story of being at the penal leper colony in south Louisiana!
    God Bless YOU Kathryn as a continuous Pulpwood Queen favorite and thrilled "The Killing Storm" is in the shoot as an Official Pulpwood Queen Book Club Selection with entire list posted at www.beautyandthebook.com!
    So now on with the show as I continue to find new and creative ways to showcase the fantabulous authors I hand select for each event, such as, our favorite Kathryn Casey!
    - Kathy L. Patrick

Laura Smither

Jessica Cain

Tiffany Dobry Johnston

Kelli Cox

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!)