Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kim Kash ~ an interview and her novel ~ Ocean City Cover-up


Kim Kash
Kim Kash is the author of two novels in the Jamie August series: Ocean City Cover-up (2015) and Ocean City Lowdown (2013). She also wrote the bestselling Ocean City: A Guide to Maryland's Seaside Resort (2009), and is currently working on the next installment in the Jamie August series. Kim divides her time between Maryland and the Middle East. Which can be weird.


Q: When you think of a garden, do you picture vegetables or flowers?

A: Both! It’s definitely not an either/or when you consider edible flowers like nasturtiums, which turn a salad (or a summer cocktail) into a sweet, special treat. Also, marigolds repel some garden pests, lemon balm helps discourage mosquitoes—and on and on. Plus, flowers dress up even the most hard-working vegetable garden. Currently I live in the Middle East, where gardening is tricky, but someday I’ll get back to my own green, Maryland plot.

Q: What is the sexiest thing on a man?

A: That’s easy: his smile. My husband has a great smile that lights up his whole face and makes his eyes twinkle. That said, we have a joke in our family that women think the sexiest things are a clean house, paid bills, and money in the bank. I can’t argue with that.

Q: Have you ever been too embarrassed to promote any certain titles to friends or family?
A: I’ve gotten over it. However, I do still feel kind of weird about my husband’s 90-something grandmother being a Jamie August fan.

Q: How do you feel about exercise?
A: While I’m not teaching at the moment, I am trained as a yoga instructor. For a time I owned a yoga studio in my hometown of Greenbelt, Maryland. I also love rock climbing and squash. When I don’t exercise, my mind gets sluggish and I get cranky. Being a couch potato is bad for business!

Q: Pets? Do you have any?

A: I have a big black cat named Eddie. He was one of a litter of kittens abandoned by their mother in someone’s back yard on our Middle Eastern housing compound. Eddie is short for Eid al Fahm, which is a clumsy Arabic translation of the expression “Lump of Coal.” We got him on Christmas day, and joked that we must have been bad that year.


Q: What geographical locations are your favorite and why?
A: I was inspired to set the Jamie August series in Ocean City after writing a travel guide to Maryland’s crazy, one-of-a-kind beach town back in 2008. The guide was published as part of the Tourist Town series in 2009, and that same year my husband and I packed up and moved to the Middle East for his work. Writing about Maryland while living abroad helps with homesickness, and allows me to use all that research I did about the city in new and creative ways! Also, we’ve been coming to Ocean City at least annually for years—as you do, if you’re a Marylander. The city needed a brash, funny series with a homegirl heroine. Hello, Jamie August.

Q: Generally speaking, is your work based on real life experience? If it's not would you want it to be?
A: I get that question a lot, and I’m like, wow! No! I was a reporter, briefly, over twenty years ago, but that’s where the similarities stop. I am nowhere near as brave or as gutsy as Jamie August. Or as foolish. Also, I don’t wear acid-wash jeans and my dating life was never as disastrous as Jamie’s. Okay, not quite as disastrous.

Q: Do you like to read the genre that you write?
A: I am a mystery series addict! When I was writing the Ocean City travel guide for Tourist Town, I looked around for some good local mysteries, and found zilch. That was part of the impetus for writing the Jamie August books. Ocean City is so full of rich color and detail, somebody had to write about it. Humorous mysteries are my favorite, and several reviewers have compared the Jamie August novels to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series—which thrills me to no end.

Q: How does the man in your life feel about the genre you write? Has he read any of your work?
A: My husband is a huge fan. He’s a gem of a man, and I’m sure he would be just as supportive of my work even if he didn’t personally enjoy the books. But he claims to love the series, which makes me very happy.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I’m working on the third installment in the Jamie August series, which will be out sometime next year. Mostly, though, I’m working on getting the word out about Ocean City Cover-up, which came out just a few weeks ago.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: In Ocean City Cover-up, which is just now appearing in some local Maryland bookstores and on Amazon, Euro-trash collides with American gangsta in Maryland’s gleefully cheesy beach resort. Reporter Jamie August befriends a spoiled heiress who is being pursued by Russian mobsters—and a chart-topping rap star. Meanwhile, a raging crime spree is keeping Jamie busy—and so is a hot new boyfriend and a strict jogging and frozen custard fitness plan. Action careens from OC to Dubai, from the wild shores of Assateague to a wild-west campground. Will Jamie survive to debut her fringed leopard-print bikini?

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: Visit me at www.kimkash.com for a look at my books and also my blog. Sometimes I write about the Jamie August series, and sometimes about my world travels. Also stop by my Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Kim-Kash/533950016639103?ref=hl

Here’s a little snippet of Jamie August’s life, from the brand-new Ocean City Cover-up:

It was a cloudy morning with a breeze coming in, one of those days that’s punctuated by an evening thunderstorm. I started off in a walk, then eased into a jog, heading out on the same loop I took yesterday: north on the street and then south for the length of the boardwalk. It would, of course, culminate in the glory of a frozen custard cone. The thought spurred me on.

Day-trippers and families staying on the bay side were crossing Coastal Highway in droves, flocking to Ocean City’s wide, white beach. At every intersection, moms and dads flooded the crosswalks, loaded down with beach chairs, coolers, bags, umbrellas, and beach towels, like cheerful refugees carrying their entire households down the block.

The sun showed no sign of breaking through the clouds, but that wasn’t stopping the flow of foot traffic to the beach. Many people got only one week a year to go to Ocean City. Unless it was pouring rain, they’d hit the beach.

I threaded my way through the throng, jogging barely faster than they were walking—but damn it, I was jogging. I turned the corner and hit the boardwalk at Thirty-Seventh, heading south. I huffed past the Flamingo and Seabonay motels, Brass Balls Saloon, Malibu’s Surf Shop and finally Shenanigan’s Irish Pub & Grill. I also passed a number of old-fashioned clapboard rooming houses and private homes, which gradually became more uniform and morphed into a constant and fairly repetitive line of bars, restaurants, and shops selling T-shirts, souvenirs, ice cream, french fries, pizza, and salt-water taffy.

By now it was nine thirty and almost all of the shops were open for business. Classic rock, rap, and reggae thumped from storefronts, and the wind flapped awnings and banners.

Finally, I passed First Street. Only a few more blocks! Division Street, Caroline, Talbot, Dorchester, Somerset, and... wait a minute. Why were the shutters still pulled down on the Kohr Brothers stand?

No frozen custard? What was the point of running? The point of living?

I slowed to a winded walk and approached the stand. By Wicomico and the boardwalk, I sat down and cried. The garage-door-style shutters were still pulled down and padlocked. No sign. No explanation. Nothing.

I was feeling unreasonably emotional, way out of proportion to how one should feel when denied soft-serve. I went to Thrasher’s across the way and ordered a large tub of fries. I doused them with the requisite cider vinegar and sat on one of the benches that line the boardwalk. I pouted as I shoved fries in my face and checked e-mail on my phone, which I wore strapped to my arm so I could listen to Bon Jovi while I ran. I always used every enticement to get myself out the door for this punishment.

This from the office: Body found early a.m. stuffed in a dumpster behind the Dough Roller on South Division Street. Victim was an unidentified male. No suspects. Follow up for story.

I shuddered. That dumpster was not two blocks from here. I would jog past it on the way home and take some photos with my phone. The thought did not cheer me up.


I’m happy you could join me on Books and Banter. I hope you had fun with the Q & A’s.

Thank you for inviting me to chat! Your questions were a blast. I’d love to keep in touch with Books and Banter readers. As a thank-you, I’m giving away a Kindle edition of Ocean City Cover-up to the first five people who contact me through my web site, www.kimkash.com, and mention Books and Banter.

That’s wonderful!

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1 comment:

  1. Great interview! Ocean City Cover-up is a perfect beach read, no matter the beach you're at.


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