Message From The Author

Kate Marsh

Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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Author's Message

Katie MacAlister


Katie MacAlister's love of mysteries began in childhood, during days spent engrossed in her mother's old blue-tweed Nancy Drews. But for all the genres she's covered in six years and 25-plus romance books -- historical, contemporary, teen and the humorous paranormals she's known for -- MacAlister's never had her name on a mystery until now.

"I had originally envisioned the Aisling Grey series as paranormal thrillers, but my publisher wanted them to have more romance," MacAlister says of
her popular series about shapeshifting dragons and the plucky heroine who discovers she's a demon wrangler. (The most recent title, Holy Smokes, hit No. 10 on the New York Times' mass-market bestseller list, a career best for the Washington native.)

Actually, the name that appears
on February's Ghost of a Chance is "Katie MacAlister writing as Kate Marsh," something the author and her publisher, Obsidian, opted for so fans would recognize her name -- the book is set in the same Otherworld that's home to Aisling and her crew -- but wouldn't be disappointed that it's not a romance.

That's not to say there aren't sparks between her protagonist, a half-poltergeist exorcist named Karma Marx, and Adam Dirgesinger, the former owner of a haunted house that Karma's scurrilous husband, who ends up dead, charges her to clean of its supernatural spirits. But the story's a whodunit -- and a delicious combination of old-school, locked-room mystery and paranormal elements, to boot. During the course of a long night's journey into day, Karma and Adam must identify Spider's killer before the seal he placed on his house is broken.

But there are laughs amid all the sleuthing. "I'm a big believer that the world does not have enough humor in it," MacAlister says. "That's why I write, solely to provide a little entertainment."

After her hectic writing pace of the last few years, MacAlister plans to slow down -- although for her that means cutting back to just three books a year, a mystery and two romances. This spring she launches her second new series of 2008 with Playing With Fire, also set in the Otherworld.

Far from worrying about failure, however, MacAlister is a little concerned that success may take some of the fun out of her work. "If you get to a point where you're so popular, it starts to take some of the fun out of it because you're so focused on the business side," she observes. "I just want to be excited about a book coming out because I can't wait for my readers to read it."

-- Diane Snyder

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