Bestselling author Kate Carlisle has won a number of awards for her writing, including the Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier Awards. Therefore, it’s hard to believe her pre-novel writing years featured twenty years in various production jobs with a number of television variety and game shows, including working as a Dating Game date chaperone and occasionally appearing on the Gong Show to perform ridiculous acts. She also worked on music programs such as Solid Gold and The Midnight Special.
Through all of this, her love of writing sat on the shelf, as she worked in vineyards, sold chicken, modeled and worked for a cruise line. Finally, after a year of law school, she wandered into the world of fiction writing, where she’s been ever since. And she’s done well for herself.
Her recent activity is not her first time creating books. According to Carlisle, as a young girl of six, she would make books out of a piece of cardboard and a stack of notebook paper, all held together with string. While these early attempts were crude, she later took some bookbinding classes and learned a lot. In fact, it was these bookbinding classes, combined with her years of experience a collector of antique books, inspired her to create the character, Brooklyn Wainwright, a book restorer at the heart of several of her Bibliophile Series, including “Homicide in Hardcover” and “If Books Could Kill,” among others Unlike Brooklyn, however, her fascination with books has not resulted in anyone being killed.
The Bibliophile Mystery Series of books center on Brooklyn and her constant efforts to bring rare books back from the brink of death in her bookbinding workshop in San Francisco. For some reason, however, it seems as if every rare book she attempts to restore happens to be associated with a mysterious death. The Bibliophile books are humorous at the same time they attempt to give readers insight as to book restoration as an art form.
For example, in One Book in the Grave, which was released in February 2012, someone has asked Brooklyn has been asked to restore a badly weathered, illustrated copy of Beauty and the Beast. But as soon as she lays eyes on the book, she realizes that it’s one that once belonged to a friend who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier, and remembers that it was stolen almost immediately after her death. So, she’s forced to ask why it’s suddenly reappeared on the marketplace. When she goes to ask the shop owner who hired her, she finds him lying in a pool of his own blood. Of course, Brooklyn has no choice but to figure out who is killing people associated with this book, and she has to do so before she becomes the next victim.
Much of Carlisle’s most interesting character development comes from her life. For example, Brooklyn Wainwright’s parents are members of a commune run by a spiritual leader named Guru Bob. It turns out she spent several years living in what she refers to in an interview as a “spiritual and artistic community” in Northern California. That community also featured a vineyard and a winery. She also spent some time tagging along with her older brothers to quite a few Grateful Dead concerts and took away a number of very sharp observations regarding the Deadhead subculture. All of those experiences combined to inspire the creation of the Wainwright parents and Guru Bob.
It is Carlisle’s mixture of romance and mystery that makes her writing unique and interesting to a wide variety of readers, including readers of either genre, who wouldn’t normally be caught dead reading the other. According to Carlisle, she learned that aspect of her craft by reading Nancy Drew mysteries, and from Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence. She claims she loves writing dialogue and flirtatious banter between various characters, especially between Brooklyn and her beau, Derek Stone, is fun to write, meaning it should be fun to read. She also likes her books to be fun; if she makes herself laugh, it’s been a great day.
Being a hardcore literary geek and book collector, the irony was not lost on Carlisle that the first Bibliophile Mystery, Homicide in Hardcover, was published in paperback only. She prefers to think of books as physical objects that become works of art, and she would love to put together beautiful leather-bound, gilt-edged, illustrated versions of her books. On the other hand, just having her stories in people’s hands,so they can read them is a great thing, as she sees it. Her book, Pages of Sin, was only available as an eBook, but the fact that readers are able to download free software with which to read them makes her quite happy. She also loves the fact that readers can download a small excerpt from each of her novels to sample.
Having fun is a major aspect of Kate Carlisle’s writing, which one would expect from someone who appeared on the Gong Show and escorted people who barely knew each other on the dates they won on The Dating Game. She likes to have fun, and she likes for her characters to have fun as well. According to her website biography, her parents figured she would become a telemarketer because of her excellent phone voice, a bookie, because of her love of horses, or a sales person because of her early success selling chocolate bars to sailors. But they are very happy she’s a published author. Her mother and other family members even like to go to Barnes & Noble and make sure her books are on the shelf and facing forward.
In addition to her signature series, Kate Carlisle has also written several romance novels for Harlequin, and she is currently writing for several blogs every month, in order to write something interesting daily. She says she’s attempting to organize her life to eliminate as many deadlines as possible, at the same time she promotes her current work. She doesn’t expect to be successful.
Books in order of publication by series:
Bibliophile Mysteries Books
|Homicide in Hardcover||(2009)|
|If Books Could Kill||(2009)|
|The Lies That Bind||(2010)|
|Murder Under Cover||(2011)|
|Pages of Sin||(2012)|
|One Book in the Grave||(2012)|
|Peril in Paperback||(2012)|
|A Cookbook Conspiracy||(2013)|
|The Book Stops Here||(2014)|
|Ripped From the Pages||(2015)|
|Books of a Feather||(2016)|
|Once Upon a Spine||(2017)|
|Buried in Books||(2018)|
|The Book Supremacy||(2019)|
Duke Brothers Books
|The Millionaire Meets His Match||(2010)|
|Sweet Surrender, Baby Surprise||(2010)|
|How to Seduce a Billionaire||(2011)|
MacLaren’s Pride Books
Fixer-Upper Mysteries Books
|A High-End Finish||(2014)|
|This Old Homicide||(2015)|
|Crowned and Moldering||(2015)|
|Deck the Hallways||(2016)|
|Eaves of Destruction||(2017)|
|A Wrench in the Works||(2018)|
|Shot Through the Hearth||(2019)|
Publication Order of Standalone Novels
|An Innocent in Paradise||(2011)|
|She’s Having the Boss’s Baby||(2013)|