Kate Flora grew up on a chicken farm in Maine where the Friday afternoon trip to the library was the high point of her week. She dreamed of being able to create the kind of compelling, enchanting worlds of the books she disappeared into every week, but growing up in the era when “help wanted” ads were still sex-segregated, she felt her calling was to go to law school and get the job they told her she couldn’t have.
After law school, Kate worked in the Maine attorney general’s office, protecting battered kids, chasing deadbeat dads, and representing the Human Rights Commission. Those years taught her all a crime writer needs to know about the human propensity to commit horrible acts. After some years in private practice, she decided to give writing a serious try when she quit the law to stay at home for a few years with her young sons. That ‘serious try’ led to ten tenacious and hellacious years in the unpublished writer’s corner, followed, finally, by the sale of her Thea Kozak series.
The author of nineteen books and more than twenty short stories, Flora’s been a finalist for the Edgar, Agatha, Anthony, and Derringer awards. She won the Public Safety Writers Association award for nonfiction. She’s a five time finalist, and twice won the Maine Literary Award for crime fiction. Her latest fiction includes, Death Warmed Over, her 8thThea Kozak mystery, was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award, and Careful What You Wish For, a collection of crime stories.
Flora’s nonfiction focuses on aspects of the public safety officers’ experience. Her two true crimes, Finding Amy: A true story of murder in Maineand Death Dealer: How cops and cadaver dogs brought a killer to justice, follow homicide investigations as the police conducted them. Her co-written memoir of retired Maine warden Roger Guay, A Good Man with a Dog: A Game Warden’s 25 Years in the Maine Woods, explores policing in a world of guns, misadventure, and the great outdoors. Her latest nonfiction is Shots Fired: The Misconceptions, Misunderstandings, and Myths about police shootings with retired Portland Assistant Chief Joseph K. Loughlin.
She is a founding member of the New England Crime Bake, the region’s annual mystery conference, and the Maine Crime Wave. With two other crime writers, she started Level Best Books, where she worked as an editor and publisher for seven years. She served a term as international president of Sisters in Crime, an organization founded to promote awareness of women writers’ contributions to the mystery field. She had taught writing and done manuscript critiques for Grub Street in Boston.
She has two sons (one into film and the other into photovoltaics) two lovely daughters-in-law, an adorable nine-year-old grandson and four granddogs, Frances, Otis, Harvey, and Daisy. When not conducting research for her novels and nonfiction—research that includes riding an ATV through the Canadian woods or hiding in a tick-infested field waiting to be found by search and rescue dogs—Kate can often be found in her garden, waging war against the woodchucks and her husband’s lawnmower, or in the kitchen, devising clever and devious ways to get the men in her life to eat their vegetables. She divides her time between Maine and Massachusetts.
And check out this interview with Kate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a11XqEeVDjU