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 That ‘serious try’ led to ten tenacious and hellacious years in the unpublished writer’s corner, followed, finally, by the sale of her Thea Kozak series.
As of Fall, 2014, Kate’s fourteen books will include seven Thea Kozak mysteries, four gritty Joe Burgess police procedurals, a suspense thriller (written under the name Katharine Clark), and two true crime books, Death Dealer and Finding Amy (co-written with Joseph Loughlin, a Portland, Maine Deputy Police Chief). Finding Amy was a 2007 Edgar nominee as well as a Maine Literary Award finalist, and has been optioned for a movie. Kate’s award-winning short stories have been widely anthologized and Redemption, her third Joe Burgess mystery, won the 2013 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction.
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. Currently, she teaches writing and does 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 five-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.