Kerry Watts…on dogs, crime, and the good life in Scotland

It’s triple feature week and today I welcome Kerry Watts to my blog! She’s an awesome lady with a love for dogs and uses her writing to inspire others to take in k-9’s in need. But in addition to that, she also entertains with her crime fiction. But don’t let me spoil all the cool stuff she has to tell us. Without further ado, let’s meet Kerry!

But before we do, here she is with her dog, Misty:  

Hi, and welcome! Tell us a little bit about where you’re from, what genre you write in, and how you came to be an author.

Kerry: I was born and raised in Perth, Scotland and now live in a small village south of there. Perth is a wonderful medieval city and well worth a visit. My books are mainly crime fiction with an extra splash of children’s wee chapter books on top. Very different genres I know. My son is my ideas editor for the kid’s books which is fun. He lets me know if something sounds right or not and more importantly whether it makes sense. My other genre is crime fiction, which I also enjoy reading. I started writing twenty years ago when my daughter was a baby but it wasn’t until I received wonderful advice from another author, Louise Mullins, that I became a published author in 2016 and I’ve never looked back since.

That’s so fantastic! How fun to involve your son in the process. Tell us a bit more about your family. 

Kerry: My husband Mark has a successful gardening business and my two children go to school and college so that leaves me the time to delve into my fictional world, even if it is only during school hours! We have an elderly border collie called Misty who despite her advanced years still loves her three walks a day, if at somewhat of a more leisurely pace these days. While I’m writing at the kitchen table another member of our family likes to hop around the kitchen and enjoy the music I play. Domino, our orange rex rabbit is particularly keen on Bruno Mars and Ronan Keating at present.

Sounds like you have a nice distribution of fur babies and human babies. 🙂 Can you share with us something from personal life that inspired a particular work?

Kerry: The book I’m currently working on has the most personal aspect to it. The main character, Annie Marshall, reflects many of the ups and downs of my early life and it has been a therapeutic journey, if that’s not too much of a cliché. This will hopefully be available very soon. My absolute love of dogs has inspired my wee children’s books. In the past I volunteered with a local dog rescue kennels as a dog walker and I’m currently involved with Staffordshire Rescue Scotland which aims to rehome and rehabilitate unwanted Staffordshire bull terriers, a much maligned and misunderstood breed here in the UK. My book, Waggytail, reflects the plight of this beautiful breed.

Not cliché at all! Writing is one of the best therapies (I should know–I’m a writer AND a therapist, haha!) I love the two ends of the spectrum you write across and how fun that you get to incorporate all your passions into this job. Do you model characters after yourself or after someone you know or do they all materialize into thin air from your imagination?

Kerry: The little dog characters are a combination of many, many rescue dogs I’ve met over the years. Other characters I’ve created began life as one simple thing like a physical quirk and before I knew it they’d grown arms and legs and introduced themselves to me. They grow and develop outside of my control. They tell me what they think and feel. They tell me what they want to wear and how to style their hair. Annie Marshall, who I alluded to above, does reflect many of my own characteristics and I’m quite nervous about introducing her to the world!

Yes, it can be a vulnerable thing to take these characters, who have come to life for us, and let the rest of the world meet them. They are so near and dear to us, and especially in your case, when Annie resembles much of who you are. But I’m sure the world will love to meet her! Is there a particular message you try to convey with your work, or do you write purely for the entertainment factor? Both?

Kerry: There is a message in my children’s books, I admit that. I want people to adopt a rescue dog – simple as that. I want to show what a wonderful, rewarding experience it is for you and the dog that might have been waiting for you for a very long time. My crime fiction is purely for entertainment. I want to push the boundaries for the reader and I’ll admit sometimes I want them to hate a character because he’s done something so awful. I want the reader to feel satisfied at the end of one of my books that they have just been whisked away to another world of tense, action packed adventure.

Sounds like a perfect balance between message and entertainment. How do life and art intersect on an ongoing basis?

Kerry: I guess it has to intersect because as the writer a part of me must flow onto the paper. Somewhere deep inside the mind of an author these characters must exist already or perhaps they are all aspects of the writer’s personality, on a subconscious level.

They’re inseparable, aren’t they?
What’s one thing your readers and mine would find really interesting or unique about you as a person?

Many years a go I was in a wee movie called The Rocket Post but blink and you would miss me. I was the courtroom stenographer during the trial and subsequent death sentence! I was a psychiatric nurse and used this experience in my upcoming novel entitled The Ghost Illusion about a lad with a very interesting disorder. I’m hoping this will be available very soon. Another passion of mine, or probably more accurately obsession of mine is horse racing. My dad introduced to racing as a child and I’ve been hooked ever since. My heroes are Secretariat, Denman, Red rum, Black Caviar, Frankel and my current favourite is Thistlecrack. My twitter name is even named after a horse!! Seeing their power and strength has been known to move me to tears. I often share my love of racing on social media.

Very cool! Can you tell us what you have out and where we can find it?

My books are available to download from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Killing Time – A crime novella which crosses into science fiction to catch the killer.

Addicted to Death – Introduces a feisty crime fighting duo in DS Carol Murphy and DC Donna Dixon.

Waggytail – A wee children’s book about a pup’s journey to find a new home and the Trials and tribulations he faces along the way.

Chasing Shadows – My other children’s book about a racing greyhound’s triumph Over adversity.

I’m on Facebook and twitter.

Join me on social media and share some laughs, sometimes about nothing in particular but just because life’s too short to be sad. Also it’s a great place to keep up to date with my books.

2016 was a wonderful year for me but I’m hoping that 2017 will be even better. My two new books will, fingers crossed, be available soon. The Ghost Illusion – A psychological thriller with a twist. Homecoming Queen – Contemporary women’s fiction to tug at the heart strings.

Thanks so much!

Thank you, Kerry, for your work with dogs, your inspiration through writing, and for being here today. So, there is it is, folks. Go forth and read and maybe even adopt a dog in need along the way! Happy hump day to you all!

 

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