My new release, Run Dog Run, is centered around the world of greyhound racing. I wanted to write an engaging story about animal rights issues, which are one of my passions. I used to be a member of Wildlife Rescue, Inc. when I lived in Austin. I rehabbed and raised orphaned wildlife with the goal to release them back into the wild if possible. It was a very rewarding experience and planted the seed for the Kate Caraway series.
Run Dog Run is my latest release, but not my first. I finished the first draft fifteen years ago. It came close to being published several times, but no cigar. An agent told me I preached and editorialized too much. She was right. My first attempt was too heavy-handed. I rewrote it, but put it on the back burner and let it simmer for a few years. Two years ago, I updated it again and sent it out. Black Opal Books sent me a contract, and there you have it.
The story takes place in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin. My protagonist, animal-rights activist Kate Caraway, travels to a friend’s ranch in Texas for a much-needed rest. But before she has a chance to unpack, her friend’s daughter pleads for Kate’s assistance. The young woman has become entangled in the ugly world of greyhound abuse and believes Kate is the only one with the experience and tenacity to expose the abuse and find out who is responsible. On the case for only a few hours, Kate discovers a body, complicating the investigation by adding murder to the puzzle. She’s in a race against time to find the killer before she becomes the next victim.
The most difficult part of writing the book was doing the research, which sent me to a few places I wasn’t thrilled to visit. A knot formed in my stomach the day I drove up to a greyhound racetrack outside of Houston. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but if I wanted to write a book about greyhound racing, I needed to watch the dogs run. I spoke to the staff about what happens before and after races, where the dogs are kept when they are not racing, how much of their lives are spent running, and how to bet on the dogs. I also toured a greyhound adoption facility where the dogs were well taken care of. The only problem is that I wanted to take all of them home. In my book, I included a character who operates an adoption facility. Part of my rational for writing the book is to heighten awareness of the adoption process for retired racers.
Kathleen Kaska is the author two awarding-winning mystery series: the Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series set in the 1950s and the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book. Her first two Lockhart mysteries, Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queen Book Group, the largest book group in the country. Her latest Sydney Lockhart mystery, set in Austin, Texas, is Murder at the Driskill. When she is not writing, she spends much of her time with her husband traveling the back roads and byways around the country, looking for new venues for her mysteries and bird watching along the Texas coast and beyond. It was her passion for birds that led to the publication The Man Who Saved the Whooping Crane: The Robert Porter Allen Story (University Press of Florida).
Kathleen is a writer and marketing director for Cave Art Press. Her collection of blog posts will be released in August 2017 under the title, Five-Minute Writing Tips: Does Anyone Have a Catharsis Handy?
Run Dog Run Kathleen’s her first mystery in the new Kate Caraway animal rights series. A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to The Greyhound Project.
Books are available through Black Opal Books, Kathleen’s website, and Amazon.