How come you’ve never heard of me before?

If I’m not writing, my next favorite thing to do: read a book while sitting at a cafe on a Mexican beach and sipping cold beer from a bottle….

If you are a reader who has discovered me only recently, you may be wondering why the hell you have never heard of me before. The answer is pretty simple: there are many of us mid-list writers out there who do not get the kind of large-scale, national marketing campaigns that are needed to help an author and their books break out from all the many books in the marketplace today. We get buried in a mountain of new print releases, not to mention the avalanche of ebooks that come out virtually every single day. Many of us, like me, have been writing book since well before the advent of electronic platforms and we write as well, if not better, than the authors you see on the bestseller lists. In fact, our books can often be more original and surprising than those on the bestseller lists.

How can that be true?

Being on the bestseller list has little to do with writing quality (although a few writers do indeed land there because they have amazing literary voices). Being on the bestseller list is more a combination of being in the right place at the right time, being a decent writer, knowing the right people, and being one of the very. very few authors who get a large advance from their publishers. The last factor is the most important. A large advance equals a big investment that must be protected by promoting the hell out of  the book so the publisher can get at least their money back. In addition, authors and books that end up on the bestseller lists are first bought—and then promoted—because they are most like existing bestsellers, and thus deemed most likely to sell by editors. There’s a momentum that comes with being pushed forward in front of the pack right out of the gate, and those of us who do not receive large advances and the marketing support they bring from our publishers at the start are seldom plucked from obscurity for promotion. Instead, we are left to keep writing on faith and tiny advances, while hoping that we will be one of the rare authors whose books break out on their own.

But it’s not all bad being a midlist author. Not at all. We don’t have the pressure to produce another book exactly like the one we just wrote. Our storylines are not at the mercy of a meeting between editors and publicists, all keenly aware there’s a big advance on the line. We’re pretty much left alone and we can afford to put a lot of love, care, and ourselves into our books. Plus, the determination and love of writing required to hang in there can manifest itself in better and better books, rather than carbon copies of the last big seller.

God knows, I don’t write books for the money (and I’d be a huge failure if I did). I write them because I have something to say, or I have fallen in love with the characters I have assembled in my imagination and believe that they deserve to live. I write to understand being human. You see, writing is an awful lot like going to a shrink to deal with your real life. Only we authors are writing, instead of talking, and using fictional characters instead of real people, to try and make sense of it all. I think most authors are driven to write because they are attempting to understand the world around them, by exploring different themes and combinations of characters and meaningful events in their books. I know that I am one of those authors. It’s a gift to be able to understand life through words and I am grateful for it.

If there is one theme all of my books and series share, it’s this: while human beings may all look and sound quite different on the surface, underneath we all have the same hopes and dreams, and we all share the same kind of pain. We’d be a better world if we saw that first and stopped focusing on the superficial.

Yet all of my series are quite different in the way I express that sentiment. Most of my books have humor in them, because that’s how I deal with the world. That’s not for everyone, and certainly my particular sense of humor as shown in my Casey Jones series may not be for everyone. If that’s the case with you, that’s fine. You might want to give my Dead Detective series a try. That’s my most serious effort. But stick with Casey if she speaks to you, even a little, because she gets better and better with each book. Keep in mind that when she was written, there weren’t very many hard boiled female sleuths around (now you couldn’t wade through them with a cattle prod in each hand). Casey has mellowed a bit in later books, but she is still a fierce believer that everyone deserves justice, no matter how poor or how outside the system they may be. But if you love a more gentle kind of humor, I think you would really enjoy my Hubbert & Lil books, which are all cozies and are guaranteed not to make your grandmother faint. Yet they’re still quite funny in a low-key, wry way, because how could they not be? Living in New York City—or anywhere, really—is an absurd experience and the Hubbert & Lil books show it.

In the end, writing is an act of faith. It is a communion between author and reader. It is an honor that you are willing to spend at least a few minutes of your life on what I have to say. Thank you for that. I hope you enjoy my books and I hope that you continue to give other new authors a try. Look for more midlist writers like me… we’re out there and we’re worth it.

Please feel free to share some of your favorites in the comment section below:

23 thoughts on “How come you’ve never heard of me before?”

  1. If I had your incredible gift, I’d have the words to tell you how much your books mean to me. I have read them all. HA, I mean I have read, re-read, and then read them again. Your characters are friends to me. How about I just stick with THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Whatever effort and sacrifices you have made to produce these worlds for me to go into, it is profoundly appreciated!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina, your comment makes my day (week? month? year?) and will keep me going. Thank you so very, very much for taking the time to let me know that. It is much appreciated. By the way, I’m looking at two partially-written Caseys and a stand-alone thriller right now and trying to decide which to finish first. if you have a preference, let me know… Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Katy , just letting you know that I have read all your books and loved them. I’ve left comments on Amazon about your books. I have been waiting for more of your books.
    You do tell interesting stories.


    1. Aurora! Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate very much that you have read all of my books (that’s a lot of pages!) as well as you taking the time to leave me reviews. It definitely makes a difference in my motivation to know that readers like you are out there. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  3. Hi Katy, I’ve read all but one (I stopped with one Hubbert & Lil) and have enjoyed them tremendously, as I’ve said before. I really liked the way each series (Casey, Kevin) developed, and I’ve posted reviews for my favorites. Hope you and yours are having a great holiday weekend!


    1. Hi Jim! 🙂 It’s nice to see you here. I did indeed have a wonderful Thanksgiving with my daughter and our dogs and I hope you enjoyed your holiday as well. I love that you even noticed how I develop characters over the arc of a series and not just a book. It’s one of the few benefits of writing a series and I think I may enjoy that aspect of writing most of all! See you around town soon, I hope!


  4. Ms. Munger. I was raised in NC and spent decades in Tallahassee. Read over a thousand books before I was in the 5th grade and haven’t stopped since. At least one book a day. In my whole life have sent 3 emails or comments before only to male authors. Just found you but I’m on book 5 of Casey Jones (and so is my husband). Your books rock! Love your characters and so glad you have made your books available on Kindle.


    1. Oh my goodness, Sarah… your comment made my day for so many reasons. The fact that you took the time to comment… that your husband is reading them, too (I try hard to write books that appeal to both male and female crime fiction readers)… and the NC + Florida connection. As you know, Casey is from Florida and so is a branch of my family (Zephyr Springs). Thanks so much for letting me know. It means a lot and keeps me writing. Happy New Year to you and your family!


    1. Hi Jacqueline! You are very diplomatic to call my blog “semi current”!! 🙂 I have two Caseys in the works, but had set them aside to work on a stand-alone novel. I am considering going ahead and finishing the two Caseys after picking up a lot of new readers this holiday season. You can email me at (an old school and now semi historical email address!). Thanks for commenting!


  5. I had never heard of you or the Casey Jones series but I am thrilled to have recently discovered them on Amazon! I love Casey! She is so much her own person, so strong, so funny, so caring and connected yet so independent. What a great character! In a world of cozy mysteries where the heroines often act impulsively, do stupid things and need rescuing by their boyfriends or husbands Casey works her cases, utilizes her resources and has some fun along the way! I love the way Casey keeps her edge but doesn’t sacrifice her values. These books were all truly great and I really enjoyed them. I look forward to reading the next Casey books – please keep them coming!


  6. I came across Desolate Angel in the sale corner of the library. I really liked it and am now working my way through the Dead Detective series. From the comments above, it seems I’ll need to move on to the Casey Jones series next. Meanwhile I’m passing your books around to my friends because I like them so much. Thank you for writing them.


  7. Hi, Katy – I’m a new reader of the Casey Jones books, but they’ve definitely made me a fan of your writing. I haven’t spent enough time in the Raleigh/Durham area (mostly driving through, or coming up from Sanford, NC to spend my days off in relative civilization – certainly, compared to Sanford), but your narrative helps to to feel like I know the area. And I do recognize a few of the locations you describe, which makes it even more fun!

    I grew up in the days when the honky tonks of west Texas were filled with women who remind me of Casey (her attitude, at least) – so between them, the branch of my family from Florida, and a bunch of friends from your fair state, the Casey Jones books feel like catching up on the news from old friends. Even if they’re old friends whose last words were probably, “Well, shit – that didn’t work…”
    Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane; I look forward to buying more of your creations.

    Dave Martin


  8. I’ve come to love a number of authors I’ve met through book bub and kindle prime / unlimited. I love Casey Jones!sue mcclure series


  9. Hi Katy! Just read all your Casey books!! Loved them! They just got better and better! Please continue this series! We need more Casey! Thank you! Tanya


  10. Hi Ms. Munger,
    I just finished the first in the Casey Jones series, which also happens to be the first book of yours I’ve read. I have to say, I absolutely loved the story; Casey is the type of person I wanted to grow up to be. I think this series should be made into aT.V. series, but if you do that, please for the love of all that’s holy, don’t let anyone TOUCH Casey’s dialog and sense of humor!
    I really look forward to reading more of your books, and will GLADLY post feedback and share your books with other avid readers like myself. I just wanted to let you know, you have a new fan.
    God bless,


    1. Hi Cathi! I loved discovering your comment when I finally found my way here again. (I am notoriously lax about social media and deep in finishing a new Casey!!). My books were actually optioned early on in the series by CBS and made it to the top ten pilots under consideration two years in a row, but… at the time, they felt viewers weren’t ready for a big bottled blonde with an even bigger attitude and we had trouble finding a brand name actress who didn’t mind being cast as “big.” Of course, times change. Fast forward fifteen years and you can’t get away from tough female detectives on TV and big woman are coming into their own. Sometimes, it’s all about the timing! But that also means the series is still out there and with all the original programming going on these days thanks to streaming services, who knows? I suspect it would take a brand name actress willing to take on casey and let her be who she is to make that happen. Here’s hoping!

      I am so glad you enjoy the Casey books and her humor (always a little risky, this humor business!). I am having a lot of fun with polishing the latest book — it’s called Fire and Rain. Look for it to be out by June! 🙂


  11. Dear Katy,
    I just finished the 6th Casey book. I love her growth and change over the series – and I miss her already! Is there indeed a 7th in the works? I hope so. Now I need to dip into some of your other books. I love both the humor and compassion Casey shares so generously. Fantastic book! Wonderful writing.
    Nancy Akerly
    Liberty Grove Paper Arts


    1. It’s so funny that you would ask this, Nancy, because I do have a new book coming out in ebook form on August 15 (paperback available now) and, in many ways, Fire and Rain very much became a personal journey for Casey. And thank you for realizing that, despite her smart mouth, Casey is indeed filled with compassion for every other traveler she meets. I so appreciate your kind words and you being a reader of my books. -Katy


  12. Dear Katy Munger,

    Bless your heart for introducing us to Casey Jones! I only discovered these books about a year or so ago, but I have read books 1-6 at least twice, and really enjoyed book 7. Casey is a role model: from a dirt poor background, with bad early experiences, not thin and lithe, not formally educated at fancy places, she is intelligent, out-spoken, good-hearted (even though she’s not keen to admit this, it seems). She is such a strong, smart, unconventional woman, totally herself and not willing to compromise being herself. As an out-spoken woman working in a profession dominated by men born to privilege, I go to Casey to continue to find strength.

    Your writing is among the very best I have ever read. You use words so well, construct your sentences so clearly and carefully, with so much conveyed. The characters are so real to me, including so many people often overlooked in life (and in books). The story lines are refreshingly original.

    I am now binge-reading the Herbert and Lil books, and am glad to have Casey appear in book 3.

    I have urged many of my female friends to read these books!

    Again, many thanks.



  13. Have only just discovered your books – via Kindle Unlimited- and absolutely LOVE THEM!
    Read the ones by Grey Gallagher first and liked them so started on Casey – and could hardly put them down! Lucky we are in lockdown here so I can read a lot! I love the descriptions of the areas (have not been to the US much) and the people and the food! Had to look up the recipes of a few😊. Also the thread joining a lot of the people – altho’ you did not ever get Casey to Visit her grandfather….maybe in the next one?
    Hope the start on the next lot now.


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