Please welcome A.R. Kennedy, author of the Nathan Miccoli Mystery Series.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A nice walk with my little mini schnauzer, H. Then go to Citi Field for a day game and watch the home team, my team, The New York Mets win.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
Signature meal: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s my lunch every weekday.
Signature colors: Blue and Orange. I bleed blue and orange, Mets team colors, and I always have them on.
Signature phrase: “Fantastic!” Picked up from ‘My’ Doctor (the 9th Doctor Who)
Signature accessories: There are two. My gold monogram necklace and my Men’s Mets watch. I wear both everyday.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
- My 12th grade English teacher – Dr. O. She was the first teacher I ever had that allowed her students to read whatever novels they wanted for a term paper. I was so thrown off she had to help me pick the books. My term paper compared and contrasted the vampires created by Anne Rice and Stephen King. I liked vampires long before they were cool:). Do you remember when you’d read about vampires and fear them, not lust after them?
- My friend Jackie. She really respects my writing process. She wants to know more about the characters, because she knows I know more than I’m telling:)
- My editor, Anne Dubuisson. Every author needs a good editor. I was very lucky to find Anne. She truly enjoyed Gone…But Not Missed and provided constructive criticism on how to improve it. The story remained the one I wanted to tell but better.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Alternative. I regularly hope my neighbors don’t hear me singing along.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
A Hershey bar with almonds. Because Gone…But Not Missed is pure fun with a few nuts.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
When I moved to Long Beach, NY, I had a thirty minute commute to a job I wasn’t particularly fond of. I realized one day that if I didn’t show up for work one day, they would notice but wouldn’t care. I also realized that I had met few people in the apartment building I had moved into. So, if not for my mother, who I speak to everyday, how long would I be gone before someone did something about it?
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Friendship – Friendships are unique and complex. My writing frequently delves into these relationships – some good, some bad.
Being Alone – Both main characters in Gone…But Not Missed are alone, whether they realize it or not.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Gone…But Not Missed is a story told from the point of view of two characters- Lily, the young woman who is kidnapped, and Nathan, the off duty police officer who is searching for her.
Lily is passive without being pathetic. Recent losses of her family have made her become extremely introverted. Her only regular contact is her dog, Laude & her college roommate and best friend, Annie, who lives two hours away.
Nathan is intense but is drifting in his life. He thinks he’s drifting because he’s waiting for his promotion to detective to become official. Until he sees the pictures of Lily and learns of her story, does he realize what his life is missing.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Nathan is ruggedly handsome like Nathan Fillion (of Castle and more importantly, Firefly); intense like Law and Order Criminal Intent’s Detective Robert Goren; and has a big heart like Doctor Who companion Rory Williams. He waited and protected his love, Amy, for two millennia. Nathan would do the same for Lily.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
- Stephen King, as previously mentioned, I’m a fan. I respect his ability to tell diverse stories in many genres. Plus, I’d love to know more about my favorite literary character, Roland Deschain.
- J.K. Rowling. I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. Early on, she knew that getting her story published would be the hardest part of the journey. I often hear those words in my head as I write.
- Charles Dickens, a man from Victorian England would bring a little poshness to the party.
- Louise Penny. With one request, please bring croissants. When I read her novels, I have an overwhelming desire for croissants and cafe au lait.
- Joe Hill, because in addition to being a big fan of his works, I have a crush on him. 🙂
What’s next for you?
The sequel to Gone…But Not Missed is currently being reviewed by my editor, Anne. I’m currently working on the third book in the series. I work on short stories in different genres (horror, science fiction and supernatural) as well.
A.R. Kennedy is a physical therapist who lives in Long Beach, NY. Gone…But Not Missed is her debut novel and the first in the Nathan Miccoli Mystery Series.