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Inspirational Indie Author Interview: Kathryn Mathis. Unexpected DNA Results Lead To Tale Of Mafia Intrigue

Inspirational Indie Author Interview: Kathryn Mathis. Unexpected DNA Results Lead to Tale of Mafia Intrigue

My ALLi author guest this episode is Kathryn Mathis, a suspense author who spent most of her career in the financial services industry. That is, until her half-sister got a surprise result from a DNA test, revealing something unexpected about her father. That got Kathryn's imagination churning and the result was a story of intrigue involving the Mafia-era casinos in Las Vegas.

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Inspirational Indie Author Interview: Kathryn Mathis

On the Inspirational Indie Authors podcast, @howard_lovy features Kathryn Mathis. An unexpected DNA result leads to a tale of Las Vegas Mafia intrigue. Click To Tweet

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Inspirational Indie Author Interview: Kathryn Mathis. About the Author

Kathryn Mathis has been in the financial services industry, helping investors make decisions about wealth, for most of her life. After receiving surprising DNA results from a family member, her creativity was awakened. Kathryn grew up in Las Vegas, NV during the era of Mafia-owned casinos making it easy to craft a story full of suspense and intrigue that might explain such unexpected DNA results. That’s where it all began. Her book, The Renegade's Daughter – The Life She Never Knew” is an original and intriguing story of someone who got caught up in the organized crime underworld of 1960's era casinos and had a daughter that grows up not knowing about those roots.  Ultimately, she finds out with an unexpected twist and now faces a decision about who she wants to be in the future. You can find Kathryn on the Web, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

About the Host

Howard Lovy has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and now amplifies the voices of independent author-publishers and works with authors as a developmental editor. Find Howard at howardlovy.comLinkedIn and Twitter.

If you’re a published indie author who would like to be interviewed by Howard for the Inspirational Indie Authors podcast, you need to be a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Then contact Howard, including your membership number, explaining why you’re an inspirational indie author and what inspires you.

If you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization.

Read the Transcripts — Inspirational Indie Author Interview: Kathryn Mathis

Howard Lovy: My guest this episode is Kathryn Mathis, a suspense author who spent most of her career in the financial services industry. That is until her half-sister got a surprise result from a DNA test revealing something unexpected about her father. That got Kathryn's imagination churning, and the result was a story of intrigue involving the mafia era casinos in Las Vegas.

I'll let Kathryn Mathis tell her story.

Kathryn Mathis: Hi, my name is Kathryn Mathis and I'm the author of The Renegade's Daughter: The Life She Never Knew. This is a book about a girl who grew up with a life in 1960s-era casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada, and finds out, after not knowing a father, she finds out who he is and that he has some criminal ties, and kind of takes us through that.

I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and my mother worked in the casinos and as a single mother, and so I did well in school, but I did well because it was my job. My mother was gone quite a bit and so it was my job, and I didn't really understand that it was special until I started taking college courses and I loved writing and I really excelled in that during college and professionally, and this was an artistic expression of something that I loved, and that's how it all started.

Howard Lovy: Kathryn's writing was partially inspired by her mother who worked for the casinos during the mob era, but she's quick to point out, there's a big difference between fiction and reality.

Kathryn Mathis: While the story is very interesting and has some parallels, the story is completely fictional, it has no overlap into who my mother really was or what she was involved with.

What is true is that, during that time, she worked as a waitress, not a cocktail waitress. She worked as just a normal waitress, and then later she worked as a front desk technician during that era of my life during the sixties and seventies. What is also true is that later in life, my sister, who never knew her father, took a DNA test and learned that she was 50% Russian.

So, those are the only two things that are similar; the rest was just my imagination going on what could have happened.

Howard Lovy: But before she let her imagination run wild, Kathryn worked in the financial services industry.

Kathryn Mathis: It was a fluke, really. I was, in my early twenties and I was selling advertising, and my boss told me to go see this one particular business, and the business name was Edward Jones. I walked into the office, and I'm not sure if you're familiar, but Edward Jones is a very large regional warehouse, and I walked in and asked if I could speak with Mr. Jones. So, obviously Edward Jones is the name of the firm, not a person, and so it was a big joke and the person at the time said, well, I don't need advertising, but I need an assistant.

So, that's how it started over 30 years ago, and I just made it my career and progressed.

Howard Lovy: All the while, Kathryn also honed her writing skills.

Kathryn Mathis: As a young assistant, I worked for a regional leader in the firm and I took on the role of writing a regional newsletter for our group and publishing that monthly, and I received accolades for that, and I was invited to participate in a program for the firm at the corporate level to rewrite their pre-approved system-generated letters.

So, I'm not sure if you're familiar, but in a regulated industry such as mine, everything that goes out has to be approved by a senior principal, and so we made a way to make that easy and have some pre-approved templates, and I was involved with writing those.

Later, in another job, I was able to write some accolades for a person that won her several awards. So, the submission that I did for her ultimately ended up making her the employee of the year for a very large regional firm as well.

Howard Lovy: New information about her mother and fodder for her fiction came by way of a DNA test.

Kathryn Mathis: My sister never had the opportunity to meet her father or know much about him, so as she got older, she decided that she'd like to do a DNA test and see if she can find out more about herself and possibly be matched on one of those ancestry match websites where they can tell you who your family is.

My mother is 99.9% European, and so she expected that her results would come back with something similar, and the results came back that she was 50% Russian. So, that just immediately intrigued me because if my mother is almost a hundred percent European, how could she be 50% Russian, unless her father was Russian, and how could a Russian person meet someone in Las Vegas, Nevada?

So, it was just completely a creative process from there and my own efforts to create a story.

Writing for business has come so easy to me, but whenever I had in the past sat down to write something creative, I really struggled with an idea. I felt like, at times, I didn't have anything to say. To just be real, I could sit down with a topic at work and create something that was beautiful and on point, but creatively I just couldn't pull it out of myself for a while. But there was a spark with this, and I really enjoyed the process of coming up with the idea.

Obviously, I had a little bit of spur there, but taking the idea from the first inklings of an idea throughout this process. So, that was really exciting to me to spread my wings artistically and have some success there.

Howard Lovy: Kathryn is encouraged by the book's reception and has a second one in the works.

Kathryn Mathis: The book has been well received and I'm very happy with the reviews that I'm getting, and it's more than I could have expected. I do have a second book in the works, and so I am hoping to continue the series and also continue creative writing.

Howard Lovy: And she'll continue writing mysteries and thrillers, which are the genres that appeal to her most.

Kathryn Mathis: It does because I'm not someone who can picture myself writing love stories, and I'm not someone who can picture myself talking about love scenes and so I feel like this is a good genre that I can keep relatively g-rated and still have an impact and make it interesting, and so that's why I like this genre.

Howard Lovy: Kathryn's advice to other indie authors; just go for it and take ownership of your own writing.

Kathryn Mathis: I would say dive in. The process isn't hard, just learn a little bit about it, and there are resources out there to help you with the pieces that you don't know how to do, but then you can still own your product and that's an important piece too.

Author: Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy is a novelist, nonfiction author, developmental book editor, and journalist. He is also the news and podcast producer for the Alliance of Independent Authors. You can learn more about him at https://howardlovy.com/


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