Friday, February 15, 2013

Please Welcome Mystery Author Kathy Cohen

Omnimystery News: Guest Author Post
by Kathy Cohen

We are delighted to welcome mystery author Kathy Cohen as our guest.

Kathy's new comic crime novel, Bullwhacked (Createspace, October 2012 trade paperback and ebook formats), introduces retired bull rider Cooper Lydell.

Today Kathy provides us with a possible — albeit faux — interview with a newspaper feature writer.

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Newspaper Feature Writer: Can you tell me what your novel Bullwhacked is about?

Kathy Cohen
Photo provided courtesy of
Kathy Cohen

Kathy Cohen: Cooper Lydell, a retired bull rider and stage-father extraordinaire, is on an increasingly desperate journey in my comic crime novel Bullwhacked. "At forty-five, with his collarbone broken, entry fees already paid, and feeling old … Cooper plunks his son Tommy on the bull for a change and watches in astonishment as his kid wins top prize money and actually dismounts the bull. None of that messy cartwheeling to earth Cooper did … father and son start to rake in cash. More than Cooper'd ever dreamed of … Coop is settling into the cushy life … when a blond bombshell in a red thunderbird drives up out of nowhere and spirits his meal ticket — Tommy — away." Strangers soon follow him and murders start occurring as he makes his fast-paced circuit of midwestern rodeos looking for his son.

NFW: Why did you pick the rodeo circuit for your setting?

KC: I wanted to use something that was distinctive, but something I knew at least a little about. I grew up showing quarter horses in the Midwest, and my stepfather is a very good horse trainer. We went to rodeos for entertainment and marveled at how really dangerous the sport is. (My stepfather once lent a pair of chaps to a contestant who was then killed in the arena. He felt too awkward to try to get the chaps back under the circumstances). I thought it would be interesting to use such a dangerous sport and yet find some humor in it. Bull riders are pretty macho guys, so I thought I'd show something less stereotypical to readers. (I'd like to add that training and showing horses isn't like lounging in a recliner and watching the television either. I had one side of my face kicked in by a horse, and my stepfather suffered a fractured pelvis, brain trauma, and many lesser injuries over the years. Thank heavens for plastic surgeons!)

NFW: What does the word "bullwhacked" mean?

KC: I subbed the word bull for bush (as in bushwhacked), and defined "bullwhacked" as "to have been attacked or ambushed suddenly from a place of concealment by or with a bull or lots of bull." Originally I patted myself on the back and thought I'd coined a word. I should have known better. According to several dictionaries I have since consulted, the verb bullwhack means "to flog with a short whip," the verb having appeared as the result of the noun bullwhacker, "driver of an ox wagon or other heavy freight wagon, especially in the early settlement of the West." Which, when I think about it, actually works okay for my title. So, I got lucky for a change, which poor Cooper never does.

NFW: What were you aiming for?

KC: My goal in writing Bullwhacked was simple: to wed suspense and humor in equal parts. Some of my favorite authors include the late Donald E. Westlake, Reginald Hill, and Kate Atkinson. Their works take shape so seemingly effortlessly, and the humor and quirkiness follow so easily, I thought it looked like a piece of cake. It wasn't.

NFW: Did it take long to write?

KC: Way too long. But my excuse is that it "evolved." Initially the tale was told using limited narration, and Cooper's actions told the story. By following him around with a camera and microphone, I managed to find some humor, but the finished book lacked suspense. So I started over. This time I used omniscient narration, allowing me to cut back and forth from the villains to the good guy(s). It was a vast improvement!

NFW: Will you write another one?

KC: I have the plot for my second one gestating. I can't just leave the poor guy in his present circumstances. Cooper will lose his son again, there will be more inexplicable murders and attacks on Cooper, his friends will try to help him, there will be german villains, and …

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Kathy Cohen has lived in northern Virginia, Germany, Omaha, and the Washington D.C. area. She currently resides in Minneapolis. With a degree in English literature and some non-fiction credits, she has recently completed her first novel, Bullwhacked.

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Bullwhacked by Kathy Cohen

Kathy Cohen
A Cooper Lydell Mystery

Retired bullrider Cooper Lydell is finally happy. After years of living in his truck, and eating more cheeseballs than he cares to count, meals are coming regularly. Sheets and pillowcases are the norm, too, and he's got his eye on some property in Montana … all thanks to his very successful bullrider son Tommy.

And then, suddenly, Cooper is bullwhacked.

Son Tommy is gone … with a sexy blond in a red Thunderbird. No more meal ticket, no more hotel rooms, no more retirement.

Cooper begins a grim search for Tommy, aided by a herd of his friends. Soon someone is following him. Then there's a murder. Print and/or Kindle Edition

1 comment:

  1. The paperback version is available at Amazon by clicking the following link:


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