Changes

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Life has changed in the past year, and yet much has remained the same. I retired from a 34 year career in government, hoping to devote more time to writing novels and blogging, but–

First, I had to deal with a pandemic. It didn’t seem to affect me much, as I had work to do on my house, along with getting acquainted with a new granddaughter. Then a cautious visit with family revealed how vulnerable travel was, though I successfully paddleboarded across a small arm of the Chesapeake Bay, with a nervous, wet, shivering Cockapoo sitting in front of me. He can swim; I cannot. I learned that he loves to travel and thinks hotels cater to him.

Back home, I had trouble regaining momentum on household projects. But then, I had an offer to do writing part-time for my previous employer. I renewed work on a consulting project. Met a new boyfriend. Committed to a major house renovation. I found my rhythm, but with a constantly varied schedule.

What this means, dear readers, is that you can expect new books to come out in time. I will blog more regularly. Pictures will be posted. Many new developments may arise, as one granddaughter begins college and another learns to walk. But I will embrace all the changes coming in my life, and share the insights they bring.

Audio is Available!

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More Than a Point of Honor, narrated by the incomparable Kayla Ricker, is finally available in audio. Check it out at Audible.com. As I listened prior to approving it, I found myself so caught up in the suspense that I forgot to look for missed words. I hope you will also be captured. .https://www.audible.com/pd/More-Than-a-Point-of-Honor-Audiobook/B07TP5VYBD?pf_rd_p=d4bd4ee1-b56e-4ffb-8f73-3fbb8d604669&pf_rd_r=58XVX52MW0E1GFJD0XZP&ref=a_author_Ka_c19_lProduct_1_2

Audible, where the audio book is found, offers a free trial for the first 30 days of your membership. Why not give it a try today? And while you are logging in, the mystery What the River Knows is there, too. Inspired by a 40-year-old Kansas cold case. https://www.audible.com/pd/What-the-River-Knows-Audiobook/B07CVN636X?pf_rd_p=d4bd4ee1-b56e-4ffb-8f73-3fbb8d604669&pf_rd_r=58XVX52MW0E1GFJD0XZP&ref=a_author_Ka_c19_lProduct_1_1

What’s next? You just might see The Judas Seat with a new cover, fresh edits and an audio version next… https://www.amazon.com/Judas-Seat-Katherine-Pritchett/dp/1452800677

The Cover Reveal

The Wild Rose Press has completed the new cover for the edited version of The Judas Seat, above. What do you think? Would this cover make you pick up the book and read the back cover? Thumb through a few pages? Maybe buy it if you haven’t already read the first edition?

When a South Korean defector takes the reins of North Korea, the world teeters on the edge of a nuclear abyss. The only man all parties will agree to lead the negotiations is the man who doesn’t want the job-former American diplomat Richard Matthews. And someone at the table wants the negotiations to fail. Can Richard unmask the Judas in time? In this sequel to More Than a Point of Honor, Richard Matthews faces new opponents-and some familiar ones.

I just sent off my first round of edits. Hopefully, all steps will be completed in time for a pre-Christmas release. There will be paperback and e-book versions, probably audio as well. And I am currently working on a sequel to What the River Knows. Scott finds himself in hot water again, helping someone dig into information someone powerful wants to keep secret.

Character Development

I will be presenting a session on character development at the July 17 meeting of the Kansas Writers Association. This got me thinking as to what readers look for in a character.

Do you look for a trait that you identify with? Or that you wish to develop? Do you look for a character totally unlike yourself?

What about villains? Do you hope for someone you love to hate? Or someone with a redeemable characteristic?

Please comment. I know what writers THINK readers want, but ultimately, if we don’t write characters you care about, you won’t love our books.

What is old is new?

I wrote a poem in high school, sometime between 1968 and 1971. It expressed what I felt going on around me. We had already seen the Watts
and Kent State riots, the Manson family had murdered Sharon Tate, protests against the Vietnam war were ongoing, and Watergate was just beginning. The Hong Kong flu was raging. Today’s headlines feel like déjà vu. It feels like we’ve been here before. Maybe we have, maybe the earlier experiences were just warnings that worse was to come.

I still believe in America, in our vision of equality and justice. But our reality is far from it today. Unless we recommit ourselves to that vision, to living together with respect, fairness and kindness, I fear the vision will go down in flames.

An echo from my past, reverberating again:

They Say My Country Is Dying

They say she’s been in this world too long.

They say her day has come and gone.

She was the daughter of a lofty idea.

She was born of men’s sweat and tears and blood.

But they say my country is dying.

They say it’s wrong for men to believe.

They say loyalty and God are dead.

She was sustained by faith and love.

She breathed and cried and was alive.

But they say my country is dying.

They say freedom must triumph over all.

They say the system is wrong, and they thirst for blood.

She says freedom must triumph over all.

She lets them thirst and talk and shout.

And they say my country is dead.

                   –Katherine Pritchett

Please, think before you speak or react or share a post. We, the people, the everyday people, can stop this madness by seeing each other as people, not “the other.” We all bleed red.

Life Imitating Art?

Does life ever imitate art? When I was diligently writing on The Judas Seat (https://www.amazon.com/Judas-Seat-Katherine-Pritchett/dp/1452800677), it seemed that North Korea would be in the headlines, and we were approaching a dangerous flash point. Then I would get sidetracked to something else, and Korea would calm down. Now, however, as I work on the edits to turn the book over to my traditional publisher, it’s happening again.

In The Judas Seat, the North Korean leader dies, to be replaced by a new leader, a former South Korean cabinet minister who defected to North Korea. An anxious world convenes peace talks to divert from the nuclear brink, but the only negotiator that the new leader will accept is a man who doesn’t want the job: hero of More Than a Point of Honor Richard Matthews.

What will the death or serious illness of Kim Jong Un do to the stability of east Asia? Or the world? Who would succeed him? Would it lead to new peace initiatives? Or war?