About Author

Kate Dolan

Kate Dolan
  • Writing:

    Mysteries Historical Romance Historical Fiction Christian Fiction Humor
  • Country: United States
  • Books: 14
  • Profession: Freelance writer & editor
  • Born: 12 December
  • Member Since: Apr 2017
  • Profile Views: 12,061
  • Followers: 46
  • Visit author: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, Linkedin,

Things that are important to me:
My relationship with God
My family (maybe that should rank higher?)
Jump rope
Beer (sometimes this ranks much higher too)

Kate Dolan's Books

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Langley's Choice
Langley's Choiceby Kate DolanHistorical Romance Historical Fiction
The Appearance of Impropriety (Love & Lunacy Book 2)
$3.01 kindleeBook, Signed Paperback,
The Appearance of Impropriety (Love & Lunacy Book 2)by Kate DolanPublish: Jul 23, 2018Historical Romance
Deceptive Behavior (Love & Lunacy Book 3)
$2.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Deceptive Behavior (Love & Lunacy Book 3)by Kate DolanPublish: Mar 14, 2019Historical Romance
Avery's Treasure
Avery's Treasureby Kate DolanAction & Adventure Historical Fiction
$5 kindleeBook,
Toto's Taleby K. D. HaysPublish: Sep 01, 2010Fantasy Teen & Young Adult
$3.29 kindleeBook,
George Washington Stepped Here: a Karen Maxwell Mystery (Karen Maxwell Mysteries Book 1)by K.D. HaysPublish: Jan 21, 2015Mysteries Contemporary Romance
Worth its Weight in Old: a Karen Maxwell Mystery (Karen Maxwell Mysteries Book 2)
$2.99 kindleeBook,
Worth its Weight in Old: a Karen Maxwell Mystery (Karen Maxwell Mysteries Book 2)by K.D. HaysPublish: Jan 25, 2015Mysteries Christian Fiction
Roped In: a Karen Maxwell Mystery (Karen Maxwell Mysteries Book 3)
$3.99 kindleeBook,
Roped In: a Karen Maxwell Mystery (Karen Maxwell Mysteries Book 3)by K.D. HaysPublish: Oct 01, 2015Mysteries Christian Fiction
$3.99 kindleeBook,
Restitutionby Kate DolanPublish: Dec 07, 2016Action & Adventure Historical Fiction
An Excuse for Poor Conduct
$2.99 kindleeBook,
An Excuse for Poor Conductby Kate DolanPublish: Nov 21, 2017Historical Romance
Bride of Belznickel
$2.99 kindle Free with KUeBook,
Bride of Belznickelby Kate DolanPublish: Oct 30, 2017Historical Romance
A Certain Want of Reason (Love & Lunacy Book 1)
$2.99 kindleeBook,
A Certain Want of Reason (Love & Lunacy Book 1)by Kate DolanPublish: Oct 08, 2017Historical Romance
Dinners With Mr. Danville (Love & Lunacy Book 4)
$1.99 kindleeBook,
Dinners With Mr. Danville (Love & Lunacy Book 4)by Kate DolanPublish: Dec 03, 2017Historical Romance
Change of Address
$2.11 kindleeBook,
Change of Addressby Kate DolanPublish: Dec 10, 2017Historical Romance

Kate Dolan interview On 24, Aug 2018

"Historical Romance author Kate Dolan has always felt a strong attraction to the ocean. Her favorite place to drink coffee is out on the fishing pier at Carolina Beach after a sunrise walk along the beach.
Kate is a history nut and would be 99% content to spend all her time learning about the past rather than writing about it. Her mysteries, just like her other books, are very character-driven. She feels like she finds characters and they take over and tell her what’s happening. Being a mom was and is the greatest adventure of her life. One of her upcoming projects is a story about college radio in the mid-1980s. Her goal is someday to be able to incorporate an uplifting message that fits seamlessly into the story."
Where were you born and where all have you lived? Which is your most favorite place among them?

I was born in Daytona Beach, Florida although we never lived there. My dad worked with NASCAR and spent a lot of time at the speedway for business. In fact, my sister was born there two years later, also while the family was visiting on a business trip. We lived in Arlington Heights, a suburb of Chicago. But I always felt at home traveling and even now I get anxious if I don’t have at least a couple of trips planned for the near future.

After I graduated from high school, I went to Washington DC for college, and found the East Coast to be much more geographically and culturally diverse, so I’ve been out here ever since (although I still cheer for the Cubs and the Bears and think Chicago sports fans are the most loyal in the world). After six years in DC, I moved to Richmond for three years for law school, then to Catonsville, a town just outside Baltimore, where I’ve been ever since. In a couple of years, we will be splitting our time between Catonsville and Carolina Beach, North Carolina. I’ve always felt a strong attraction to the ocean and after being born at the beach but never living there, I will finally get to live the dream.

How has your relationship with God influenced your writing?

Wow, that’s a tough question. My first instinct is to say “not as much as it should have.” I think if I focused more on God and less on wanting to do things, have things, get things done, etc. I would be more content, or at least less demanding to the people around me.

A relationship with God is a very personal thing and it hard to write into fiction without sounding forced, or writing a character who is so pious as to be pretty darned boring. I don’t read a lot of traditional inspirational fiction because sometimes it makes me wince. My goal is someday to be able to incorporate an uplifting message that fits seamlessly into the story. I think the Father Brown character in the TV series does that very well so now I need to read the books to see how it’s done.

What is the reason behind using the name K.D. Hays for your children’s books and mysteries?

When I first got a contract to write inspirational mysteries for Barbour, I was warned that they were a very conservative publisher. I know they dropped an author because they didn’t approve of what she wrote for another publisher. And I had a book coming out about pirates that I was pretty sure they wouldn’t like. So I created a different name and website for my Christian mysteries. Fairly soon after Barbour started the mystery line, however, they gave up on it, so I didn’t actually need to use a different name. But because the voice I use for those stories is modern and my other books have more a historic tone, I decided to continue using two different names. Toto’s Tale has that same contemporary voice (modern sarcasm vs. historic sarcasm) so I released that book under the K.D. Hays name, too.

You are very fond of coffee. What’s your ideal setting of enjoying a great mug of coffee?

My favorite place to drink coffee is out on the fishing pier at Carolina Beach after a sunrise walk along the beach. (And I do NOT like to get up early so if I can manage the feat, it’s a big deal!)

How much research goes into perfecting the description of historical eras where you set your stories? How do you execute it?

I am a history nut and would be 99% content to spend all my time learning about the past rather than writing about it. (If it weren’t for that 1% I would have no books or blog posts finished.) I love to visit historic sites and museums, and I also enjoy experimenting with past ways of doing things such as making soap or cooking over an open fire. I also enjoy spending time with reenactors because many of them put in a lot of research not to develop a new theory (which scholars are pressured to do), but to find out what things were really like in the past. Everyone has different theories, so it’s a good idea to explore them and draw your own conclusions—but be prepared to change them when new evidence comes to light.

Which is the one place with great history that is on your bucket list to visit next?

One place? How could I pick one? I would really love to go back to Rome because we only had the chance to visit for a few days. It made my head spin until I stopped trying to understand it and just wandered around absorbing it all. But you can find great stories anywhere, so I look forward to discovering history in lots of places.

You take inspiration from the local places, and set many of your stories in Maryland. What about the place do you find so inspirational and worthy to be written about?

I like to write about Maryland because people have lived here and left stories behind for a long time and it’s fun to imagine what their lives were like. I’ve lived here since 1992, so I’ve had time to explore and learn about the area. I would probably feel the same about any region where there was a lot of history to delve into. Maryland is also a pretty state, with lots of water, rolling hills and greenery. I think the desert is beautiful, too, but I couldn’t live there. When I visit a friend who lives in Arizona, I feel perpetually thirsty.

You created “Toto’s Tale” with your daughter. How did that idea come into being? What was it like writing with your daughter?

Toto’s Tale started as a project to kill time during my son’s basketball practices. Neither one of us can remember who came up with the idea. We brought the original book with us to practices and tried to look at each aspect of the story from Toto’s point of view. So Meg was probably in second or third grade when we started. She was the one who figured out one of the most important facets of the story—that while Toto had trouble communicating with Dorothy and the human-esque companions, he could communicate with bugs and other animals like the witch’s wolves. That really set the story in motion. She also came up with some of the best descriptive lines and developed the creatures that served the witch in her castle. Some of the time we were writing together and other times I would discuss things with her and write it up myself (she got a little bored with the nuts and bolts of writing at times). The story is much stronger because of the collaboration. I’m glad we did it when we did because just a few years later she was way too busy to spend that much time working with me!

What was your inspiration behind the ‘Love and Lunacy’ series?

I thought it would be interesting to write about a young lady who had the perfect visit to London laid out—and for some reason had to leave. Then when we were at an Orioles game and they played a trumpet fanfare and everyone yelled “Charge,” I suddenly thought of the character of Teddy in Arsenic and Old Lace who thinks he’s charging up San Juan Hill every time he climbs the stairs. If my London visitor had a brother like that, she’d feel compelled to keep an eye out for him. And that’s where the series started. While I began with the premise of writing about a family with some “eccentric” members, I soon realized that the stories provided a chance to explore the craziness in all of us. If you talk to anyone long enough, you’ll find it.

Restitution’ is set in 1774 and has a very wonderful and interesting plot at the center of it. How did you come up with this intriguing story?

Restitution grew out of the new patriotism that arose after 9/11. I started to wonder what it was like when colonists first start to feel like Americans rather than British subjects. And because I was living in

Maryland, that’s where I set the story. My grandad wrote a book about peddlers, so I made one of my characters a peddler and the other protagonist someone who would not be inclined to trust a peddler. I wanted to show how appealing the civilization of town could be for someone used to living closer to the frontier. When I visited Annapolis to “audition” the town, I realized pretty quickly that it was the perfect setting. It was the center of 18th Century upper class society, which was of course supported by servants, slaves and working classes. But the city never had much in the way of industry, and so it basically stagnated after the 18th Century. The result is that now the center of town looks much as it did at the time of my story. I was fortunate enough to get access to the Brice house, which was in private hands at the time I researched and wrote Restitution.

One of the episodes I spent the most time researching was the Peggy Stewart Affair, which was Maryland’s version of the Boston Tea Party. I tried to incorporate as much primary source material in the story as possible. I think it may be a bit too much for some people, actually, but I did think it was important to the story to show the tension between colonists who wanted to do the right thing but just disagree about what that was under the circumstances.

‘Will there be any more adventures Karen Maxwell will set out on to unravel mysteries? Do you plan how many books will you write in the series beforehand or let the story decide for itself?

The Karen Maxwell series was proposed as three initial books, and I thought I would probably write more than that. However, when the publisher cancelled the mystery imprint, I had barely started the third book, which was about competitive jump rope. I put it aside and went back to working on historicals. Years later, I realized that my daughter and I had lived through some of the jump rope episodes in book three, and that I should go back and finish that book before she graduated and left for college.

My mysteries, just like my other books, are very character-driven. In fact, I feel like I find characters and they take over and tell me what’s happening. This may not be the best way to craft a mystery that keeps people guessing, because to keep it true to how the characters behave, it’s often too predictable. (Should I admit this? No. This is why marketing is not my strong point.) So I don’t know if there will be more Karen Maxwell mysteries.

Since my characters are running the show, a new story appears in a series when they decide to tell me about it. I had no intention of writing a sequel to Langley’s Choice until about five years after the book came out and one of the characters pointed out something I’d gotten wrong. And Avery’s Treasure was born.

Even when you studied to be a lawyer, you spent more time with preschool kids than working as one. What about your job and the kids was your favorite part?

I’m not going to lie – I started working with other kids as a way to stay with my own. I was licensed as a daycare provider when my son was a baby and I worked in partnership with my next door neighbor, who was a great mentor. But it was really hard work! When I later got an offer to work part time as an attorney in an office with other adults, I took it.

However, I really hated paying someone to watch my kids when I wanted to be with them. I started freelance writing which I could do from home. I worked in my daughter’s preschool as a way to earn a little income without missing out on opportunities to be with her. Later, I coached jump rope for the same reason.

I still coach jump rope and I still teach Sunday School even though my kids are now out of the house. That tells me I must like working with kids a little—it can be tremendously energizing – but I have my limits!

What is your relationship like with your own kids? How much do you enjoy being a mom to them?

Being a mom was and is and greatest adventure of my life. My kids exposed me to things I never would have learned about on my own. Spending time with them is especially precious now that they’re not around much anymore. My son just graduated college and we see him about once a week. My daughter is studying art in North Carolina, so I really cherish the time when we're together.

Which is the next book you are currently working on? Give us an insight into it.

I have several projects in various stages. (I also write and edit non-fiction for different clients so that has taken time away from fiction lately.) One of my projects is a story about college radio in the mid-1980s – and I realized this is now actually historical. College was a lot different without cell phones and the internet. I’m also working on a story set in ancient Pompeii.

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