Thursday, May 9, 2013

Does The Chicken Have a Name? (or: How does Kendel do it?)

Hank Phillippi Ryan: I'm trying to think of what to say here. At first I thought "funny", because Kendel Flaum is one of the funniest people (and authors) ever. But "funny" doesn't do it, because
Kendel Flaum is also a visionary, an entrepreneur, a risk-taker, and a whirlwind of ideas and projects. And  there's still more..she's  tireless and nimble and imaginative and generous. And if you don't know her or her books or her publishing company--well, good, because that's why you visit Jungle Red! 

HANK: When people say—what do you do for a living—what do you say? Or maybe, finish these sentences: Kendel Flaum is: and Kendel Lynn is:

Kendel Flaum is: The managing editor of Henery Press.

Kendel Lynn is: The author of BOARD STIFF, the first in the Elliott Lisbon Mystery series.

I generally answer based on who’s asking. Or I end up mushing them together into something jumbled as I ramble about writing and editing, but it doesn’t matter because they were just being polite anyway.

HANK: You are so…brave, on so many levels. You started a publishing company, you dumped your big time agent, you...well, talk about your decisions, and why you made them.

KENDEL: Like most, I spent years getting that big time agent. I wrote and queried and revised, and when the offer came in, I was truly overjoyed and delighted when my book went out on submission.

At the same time, I was involved in several writers groups, some focused on alternative publishing options, like small presses and DIY models, boutique agents and publishers. As I listened to their experiences, I was appalled most of the options: horrifying contracts, scary too-quick to market publishers (FOUR WEEKS!), AWOL editors, out-of-date websites. There are only a handful of solid, legitimate houses. The mystery market needs better choices.
So I created one--Henery Press.

My business partner and I wanted something fresh, engaging, and fun. A community where we help our authors put out the best book possible, and they help one another achieve their dreams. And there’s a chicken in rain boots for a logo, so of course we’re successful.

My big-time agent was unable to sell my book to big-time New York publishing houses,  she wanted to start on smaller targets. I took a pass, putting my eggs in the Hen House basket, figuring I might as well join the fun.

HANK: Your debut novel—BOARD STIFF—where did that come from? Tell us about the wonderful Elliott Lisbon…

KENDEL: I spoke at Malice Domestic this past weekend, and a nice lady who sat through my chatfest told me it was clear I really loved Elliott, that it showed in the way I talked about her, and I do! She’s the director of a well-funded foundation on a South Carolina island filled with wealthy, eccentric residents. Elliott has a slight aversion to all things germy and is only four thousand hours away from getting her PI license. One reviewer said she a cross between Stephanie Plum and Monk. I also think of her as a mash-up of Kinsey Millhone and Archibald McNally. Serious when she needs to be, and sassy when that doesn’t work.

HANK: So I read this on your website—“I’m left-handed, prefer cupcakes for dinner, and would love to eat In-N-Out every single day. I can spot a bug on the floor across the room even with the lights out and I really hate shopping.” You are hilarious! And that sense of humor really comes through in BOARD STIFF. Do you think about “funny”?

Kendel, Hank and Diane Vallere at Malice

KENDEL: This is a total fan moment. You were the first established/successful/famous author to tell me my writing is funny, several years ago. Talk about a boost! You so generously volunteered to read for me, then called me to give me encouragement, advice, and truly made my writerly life exciting.

I don’t usually think about humor when I’m writing the draft, and it’s such a surprise when I read it back and something makes me laugh right out loud. I do try to the temper humor, though. I don’t want to wear out the reader. But it’s kind of fun to wake up in the middle of the night with a really hilarious tidbit, scribble it out, then giggle about how funny I am. Only to discover it makes no sense in the morning.

Yay for Susan Boyer! Henery's first Agatha Winner!

HANK: Henery Press—so rocks! And congratulations on your debut author Susan Boyer, whose delightful LOWCOUNTRY BOIL won the Agatha for Best First! What’s it like being a publisher?

KENDEL: I know!! What a dream night – it was like being at the Oscars. I was so totally thrilled for Susan and her LOWCOUNTRY BOIL. She deserved it, and I’m lucky she took a chance on me to be her publisher. We talked often before she signed, about our vision, commitment, where we were going and what we wanted to build. Sometimes those leaps of faith work out.

I enjoy publishing, even though it feels like I’m juggling wet cats most of the time. It’s very deadline driven. Each book has about fifteen different deadline milestones to hit before publication, so with another twelve books due out this year, we’ve got a lot of deadlines. Luckily, every book is at a different stage, so some of those cats are cute little kittens (while others are mean old cats).

We try to pioneer, look at things differently. From promotions and reviews to content and distribution. Since it’s our own venture, we can do what we want, in our own way, and not follow any set convention.

HANK: How do you possibly manage your time?

KENDEL: Lists. Lots and lots of lists. I have an entire wall of my office covered in to-do lists, one for each book. There’s something extremely satisfying about grabbing my blue marker at the end of the day and making little x’s on each sheet. I build wiggle room into every schedule, for every person who needs to work on each project. Henery comes first, but I pencil in writing time at the end of every day. And for those days that don’t go as planned, I eat cupcakes. (So yes, I eat lots and lots of cupcakes.)

HANK: What are you looking for as a publisher?  (Sorry, I'm imagining wet cats...)

Are these adorable or what? Win one! See below. 

KENDEL: Tightly-written, well-plotted, page-turning whodunits. I tend to enjoy humorous mysteries the most, with Southern charmers right behind. I’d love to get my hands on a magical mystery, a fast-paced traditional PI novel, and another crafty killer series. But truly, any engaging story that grabs me and won’t let go is exactly what I’m looking for.

HANK: What do you know now that you didn’t before?

KENDEL: I’m learning and growing with each day, and I love it. Writing, querying, submitting can be a heartbreaking, soul-crushing experience, but it’s important to take control of your career. Pull yourself up, make different decisions, take some chances. It’s empowering and invigorating and who cares what anyone else thinks? My biggest lesson I’ve learned: do what’s right for you and the rest will follow.

Hank, you’re an amazing mentor and a true super star. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, friendship, encouragement, and time with me – I don’t know how you do it, but I’m so glad you do!

HANK: complete pleasure. And let's give away some loot to a lucky commenter! Kendel says:   "How about a signed copy of Board Stiff (very valuable), plus a Henery Press mug (we commissioned an artist to paint them, they are numbered and signed!)."

So--questions for Kendel? Anyone want to name the chicken? (Or, Kendel, does the chicken have a name?)


Kendel Lynn is a Southern California native who now parks her flip-flops in Dallas, Texas. She read her first Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators at the age of seven and has loved mysteries ever since. Her debut novel, BOARD STIFF, won several literary competitions, including the Zola Award for Mystery/Suspense. Along with writing and reading, she spends her time as the managing editor of Henery Press where she acquires, edits, and figures out ways to avoid the gym but still eat cupcakes for dinner.


As director of the Ballantyne Foundation on Sea Pine Island, SC, Elliott Lisbon scratches her detective itch by performing discreet inquiries for Foundation donors. Usually nothing more serious than retrieving a pilfered Pomeranian. Until Jane Hatting, Ballantyne board chair, is accused of murder. The Ballantyne’s reputation tanks, Jane’s headed to a jail cell, and Elliott’s sexy ex is the new lieutenant in town.

Armed with moxie and her Mini Coop, Elliott uncovers a trail of blackmail schemes, gambling debts, illicit affairs, and investment scams. But the deeper she digs to clear Jane’s name, the guiltier Jane looks. The closer she gets to the truth, the more treacherous her investigation becomes. With victims piling up faster than shells at a clambake, Elliott realizes she’s next on the killer’s list.


  1. Okay, I have to say, name or no name, I love the chicken in rain boots! As for the rest . . . . it all sounds so marvelous and exciting and you sound as if you are having an absolutely wonderful time. I’m looking forward to reading your book and meeting Elliott . . . .

  2. Kendel, what an amazing story you have!

    How do you handle distribution for Henery? And how many books do you handle at a time?

    It must have been so exciting to see Susan win that Agatha!

  3. Great Interview, Hank. What a nice look behind the scenes at Kendel and Henery Press. I read Board Stiff and enjoyed it very much.

    Congrats on your new venture!!

  4. A wall of lists! Where's the photo?!

    I love the comment about jotting down something hilarious. Haven't we all written a note like "Board games-don't forget!" and of course it's meaningless the next morning.

    Best of luck to you and Henery Press. The mystery market will indeed benefit from your venture.

  5. Oh my gosh, those mugs are adorable. I just love the chicken in rain-wear.

    I agree with the Malice attendee Kendel, not only is it clear that you love Elliott, but you are also passionate about Henery Press.

    I love to see people trying new things, new ways to do time-tested tasks. That is how we improve the process. The industry is changing and we all must change with it.

    And clearly it is working, since Lowcountry Boil won (much deserved, I say) the Agatha.

  6. Congratulations on Board Stiff, Kendel, and to you and everyone at Henery and especially Susan on winning that Agatha for Low Country Boil. It's been a big week!

    I admire your outlook and your determination to creating your own way when the "traditional" way turned out not to be a good fit.

    Where does the name of the press come from?

  7. Such an interesting time in publishing, and so nice to meet someone who is exploring its new possibilitie! Loved this interview, Kendel - the chicken is adorable.

  8. I have 8 of the Henery Press books, 1 in transit, and 1 preordered. I read about your publishing company on a blog a while back, and thought the books sounded like those I enjoy. So far, so good. I've enjoyed all I've read so far. Thanks.

  9. OH! I really need one of those darling mugs!!! That's THE cutest chicken ever! I'm not very good at naming animals, but I'm going to be following the naming of this this cute chick (How 'bout Harley?!).

    I'm a fan of Henery Press, and loved reading this. I recently discovered Larissa Reinhart and love her character Cherry Tucker to the moon and back. And right now I'm reading Susan's Low Country Boil, which is just delicious.

    Wishing you continued success, Kendel.

  10. Oh, that chicken is a cutie! Elliot sounds like a fun character. I'm putting Board Stiff on my TBR list!

  11. Kendel is amazing. And I'm not just saying that because she's my editor and I fear her. I often accuse her of being a superhero or have suspected her of inviting some time-space physicsy type thingy that allows her to juggle all her cats.
    She's created a memorable character in Elliott Lisbon and I'm so pleased with her successful launch of BOARD STIFF. All the hype is well deserved. It's a thoughtful mystery, well paced fun, and well.. there's a smexy detective whom I may create a fan fiction site for.
    Congrats Kendel!

  12. OH, so lovely to see you all his mrning! And yes, I'd love to hear more about the Henery idea, and the darling chicken.

    Plus, I'd love to see Kendel juggling cats. Larissa, you might be right about the time-space thing. Like Hermione, she has a time-turner, maybe?

  13. Hank and Kendel, what an amazing interview! Love every single word!

    Kendel, I think I'm safe in speaking on behalf of all the hens when I say we're all so happy you took a chance on our work, too! I could not be happier or prouder to be in the Hen House, and had such a great time with all of you this past weekend! I, too, am in awe of how you do it all. And I just adore Elli and can't wait to read more of her adventures. Congratulations on such a fabulous launch! You deserve it. :)

    Hank, you are just as lovely as Kendel says, and helped to make my weekend a memorable one, so big thanks to you, too!

  14. Love this story, it gives me hope for the future of publishing and writing. Your can-do attitude, Kendel, inspires me: What? There isn't a publisher that suits me? I'll create my own! Awesome.

    The chicken's name has to be Henny, or The Little Chicken That Could. She's ready for anything in those boots, after all.

  15. I agree with everyone who says Kendel is amazing! I couldn't be happier (or luckier) to call her my friend. Great interview!

  16. Not Henry, Karen, Henrietta!!!

    I love her, and her rainboots!

    Hi Kendel--waving at you from McKinney! So fun to learn about you, and Henery, when we are so close.

    And I must buy Board Stiff, not only for me, but for my very good friend whose two-year-old daughter is named Elliott!

  17. Kendel *is* amazing, it is true! I don't know how she does it. I've seen her wall of lists, and I've watched her in action. Honestly, I feel blessed to intern here at Henery. We have a lot of fun in the office, as you can well imagine with all the wet cats and poultry synonyms. Plus, there's the cute little chicken logo. In rainboots!
    ~ Anna L. Davis, Editorial Intern, Henery Press

  18. How about naming the chicken Heneryetta?

  19. Great interview!

    It's been so exciting to be an intern for a company like Henery Press! "Juggling wet cats" is so oddly accurate - haha! - and yet at the same time, it's been a blast. :)

    BOARD STIFF is seriously delightful, and Elli is the kind of character you want to actually be real so the two of you can hang out. Can't wait for more!

    Alicia Tonne
    Editorial Intern
    Henery Press

  20. Marianne in MaineMay 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I was reading this saying to myself "how does she do it all?" when I read the "Mini Coop" line and, I did, I laughed out loud! How clever! Of course she drives a mini coop. I'm a car gal so I love it.

    This is a terrific interview. Very interesting, humorous, and exciting. I can't wait to read BOARD STIFF.

    I'm still blown away by how you juggle those cats to be a writer, a publisher, and to have your own life all at the same time.

    The chick is absolutely adorable. Many people name their cars after pets o why not turn that around and name the chick after the car - Little Coop.

    I can't wait to get to know Elliott. Best of luck to you in all your endeavors.

  21. I'd name the chick Kathy Selden because that is the name of Debbie Reynold's character in "Singin' in the Rain" and they both are sining and wearing rain boots and carrying a big umbrella!

    --Marjorie of Connecticut

  22. The chick's name is "Peeps" -- she is sassy and contemporary, and she will become one feisty hen! This is such an inspiring story! And interesting. And exciting.

    Someday, I may query you, Kendel -- until then, I plan to read and read and read (& write).

  23. What fun it was to watch Susan win the Agatha at Malice and to realize that this book came from a really new, really smart, small press!!! I didn't get to congratulate Kendel in person -- way across the room -- so Yay! Congrats! May this be the first of many!

    And yes, the mug is adorable. I keep picturing my old dog Alfre breaking out of the fence and coming home with the neighbor's chicken as a prize for me -- still living, but barely. When I called to apologize, the old guy said "was it yellow?" "No, blue." "Oh. That was Henny Penny." Well, of course it was. My dog ate my neighbor's wife's favorite chicken. I gave her unlimited access to my raspberry patch for life and she sort of forgave me. Maybe. Not really.

    Congrats again to Kendel and Susan!

  24. Thanks for introducing us to Kendel, Hank!

    Kendel, this is awesome. I've been curious about Henery Press for awhile, and especially since Gigi Pandian (she's great) signed on with you.

    I've had my great runs with big agents that ended in heartbreak (for me)...Now I'm rethinking how to get my mystery (set in Ireland) out to readers...

    Quick question: What's your turnaround time for queries?

    I'm looking forward to reading BOARD STIFF. I'm so impressed that you manage all your authors and also get your own novel-writing time in too--how do you schedule that in?

    Cheers, Lisa

  25. Wow -- I thought nothing could penetrate my fog of cold medicine today but I feel very inspired (and rather awe-struck) by your courage, attitude and joie de vivre, Kendel! Board Stiff is next on my TBR list!

    As for the cool chick in the logo, is she, perhaps, "Eggitha"?

  26. Boy, Hank, you sure make me look good. What an exciting milestone to be on Jungle Red Writers, as a writer. Thank you for having me!

    Roberta (Lucy), we use POD for trade paperback distribution through LSI, Brodart for libraries (EBSCO and Follett, too), the Espresso Book Machine and we’re in all ebook outlets (Amazon, BN, iTunes, etc.). We also offer all titles as branded ecards (like those plastic Visa-like gift cards you see), for resellers, and authors (great promotional item).

    We have an agent who reps our catalog for audio and foreign rights – and we’re expecting to make an announcement here very soon!!

    And it was glorious to see Susan win, and see a genuinely shocked and awed expression on her face.

    Ramona, I’ve actually taken pictures of my list wall because people don’t believe me. Those lists keep me sane.

    Brenda, I’m a name person, I love finding good ones, and when I saw Henery, I thought it matched perfectly with the chicken who could!

    I’m loving all the kind words about me, my BOARD STIFF and the Hen House. It’s been such an adventure, I’m totally digging it.

  27. Congrats, Kendel! I don't know how you do it all, but I'm so glad you do. Love Board Stiff and Elliot.

  28. Kaye, those mugs are so fabulous in person, I cannot tell you. We wanted something artsy and unique to give as gifts to our Agatha banquet guests. The artist did such a fantastic job, I keep one on my desk (to admire, not use. I’m convinced the first time I do, I’ll break it.).

    Hank, if I knew where to get my hands on Hermione’s time-turner, I’d be all over it (JK Rowling, I’m looking at you.)

    Karen, The Little Chicken Who Could is EXACTLY how I think of that bird. And you have no idea how often we try to come up with new chicken sayings. There are so many ways to flap our feathers. (Who you calling chicken?)

    Larissa and LynDee, I’m so lucky to have you on my side. You brighten me!

    Diane, I heart you.

    Deb, you’re in McKinney?! How did I not know this? I see a Taco Diner lunch in our future (I can see it from my window…)

    Very cool to see so many of you reading BOARD STIFF or adding it to your TBR pile. I hope you enjoy Elliott and her eclectic board members. Did I mention she rides a three-wheeled bike?

  29. Wow! You're my new inspiration, Kendel. I so enjoy you got the mystery bug at age 7 and have kept it going through its current incarnation. Mine started at the same age (my second-grade teacher was Dolores Hitchens, prolific mystery writer) and has continued to this day.

    Congratulations on both Board Stiff and Low Country Boil; I'd say that calls for dozens of cupcakes.


  30. thank you for your article! i now have two new authors to read!

    i agree with the above commenter,
    Henereyetta would be a cute name!


  31. Leslie, I missed seeing you at Malice, too. How did that happen? I think it’s pretty cool you have a real chicken story, and a BLUE one!!

    Lisa, our submission turnaround is about 4 weeks. Sometimes longer, but that usually means I’m taking my time with it. And with our subs, we want the whole shebang upfront, so make sure you attach it when you send. I understand how ridiculously difficult a query letter is to write, so I want to dive into the actual book first.

    Kristi, how adorable is Eggitha?!

    Terri, thank you! I missed you at Malice (so did everyone). But I know you had a blast at RT.

    Hank, your tweets are cracking me up right now. Free range chicken cups? Ha!!

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. The chicken in rain boots is adorable, but what I am really loving is your spirit!! I bet it carries through to all of the books you publish. I'll have to look out for them. (I had to delete my first comment, way too many typos!! Sorry!)

  34. Kendel, I see where you are! I didn't know about Taco Diner, but Mi Cocina is my fave Tex-Mex, so Taco Diner would be a winner with me.

    We'll have to make room in our crazy schedules!

    My agent wasn't familiar with Henery. I have passed the word.

  35. Congratulations, Kendel! So happy about all of your successes!

    Shout-out to Susan, too!

    Keep up the amazing work.

    ps: The names for the chicken are so fabulous...kudos to all of you creative people.

  36. So, what if someone wants to submit to Henery, Kendel? What're you looking for...?

  37. In my youth (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), I used to think of things in the middle of the night. I learned to have a pen and paper by the bed so I could jot these tidbits down. Otherwise, I couldn't go back to sleep for fear of forgetting whatever it was.
    I was on a swim team and one might I dreamed of how to win more swim matches. I hurriedly wrote it down and went, happily, back to sleep.
    On waking up I grabbed the paper and read:
    "Swim faster"

  38. To sub to us, just pop over to the Henery website for sub info (how to send, where to send…): As to what we’re looking for, it’s hard to not sound generic because every publisher wants well-written, engaging stories. I’m particularly fond of fun voices, hard-working female sleuths, clever puzzles, quirky adventures.

    We’re building a niche, truly if you like one Henery title, you’ll probably like them all. And we run the spectrum of humor. LOWCOUNTRY BOIL features a traditional PI who’s meticulous, smart, and has a sharp Southern wit. Our next release (Tuesday!) is DOUBLE WHAMMY, with an absolute laugh out loud amateur sleuth who cracked me up on page one. Both so entertaining, so engaging, and so genuine.

    Deb, thank you for spreading the word. Thank you, everyone, for spreading the word. Much appreciated.

    Libby, I LOVE that! Swim faster. (And yet so true. Good authorly advice. You want to be more successful, write more.)

  39. Hank and Kendel, what a treat! Thanks! I love your story, Kendel, but need you to explain the "juggling wet cats" a bit more.

    Gretchen Archer

  40. So great reading about Kendel and Henery Press. And congrats on that Agatha for Susan's book! What a feather in the cap for Henery!

  41. Libby--I LOVE that. In so many ways, it's hilarious and wonderful and perfect. xoo

  42. Hi Kendel,

    I am so late. Had to keep correcting my speech-to-text. My assistance dog's name is Kendall. He taught himself how to operate the electronic controller for my powered wheelchair. All morning, as I tried to respond to Hank's terrific blog, Kendall has been pushing my chair away from the desk. Every time he hears me say your name, he thinks I am commanding him to move my chair. I really don't know why he thinks that, but Kendall has his own ideas about what is good for me. I told him I was trying to win your chickie mug, but he doesn't care. I don't understand that, but Kendall doesn't seem to think that's important, either.


  43. Adorable interview. Congratulations Kendel on so many levels. I would love to win your new release, but in any case, I plan to buy it. Every time I think of the schedule you got yourself into on purpose, I have the urge go grap a cold rag and an aspirin and lie down! Here's to crossing off lists.

  44. My wife and I had the pleasure of chatting with Kendel (and CJ Lyons) during lunch at a Hilton Head, S.C. restaurant a couple of years ago. I knew then, after only a few minutes, that Kendel is extremely ambitious and someone who really works hard at succeeding.

    I wish I wrote quirky adventures and clever female sleuths because I'd sure be tickled pink to have a Kendel chicken on a book cover or two.

  45. This is an amazing story, and your book sounds great. I, too, loved the Three Investigators when I was growing up!

  46. What a great interview! A nice look behind the scenes at someone who is juggling those wet cats correctly. I love the cups, would suggest the name Blue (for obvious reasons) for the chick.

  47. Oh! My goodness!! Where have I been all day? I had no idea Kendel was on Reds today until someone mentioned it in an email. I haven't logged in to social media yet. I have edits to do, and my editor really cracks the whip. :)

    Ha! Y'all know that's not true. If I talked for a week straight, I couldn't tell you all the fabulous things about working with Kendel.

    She's a tireless cheerleader for all the Henery Press authors, a fabulous editor, the most organized person I've ever met, and the most business savvy person I've ever met.

    AND--she's an awesome writer! I love Board Stiff and Elliott Lisbon. I've told Kendel I suspect she never sleeps because really, when could she work that in?

    One of the most amazing moments in my life was last Saturday night at the Agatha banquet. I'm so, so honored to have won the Agatha for Best First Novel. It's a dream come true, and Kendel is right when she says I was genuinely shocked.

    Kendel has accomplished so much in a mere 18 months, I can only imagine what the next few years will hold.

    Thank you Kendel, for having a dream (and a plan, and lots of spreadsheets) and taking me along for the ride.

    I'm incredibly blessed to be a Henery Press author!

  48. Gretchen! Oh I think you know all about juggling wet cats, they’re all scratchy and cranky and slippery little suckers. (You’ll have a litter of your own next week with your release of DOUBLE WHAMMY…)

    Reine, I love a dog named Kendall, especially such a lively one. Even if he does not know the value of a priceless chickie mug (which is how I shall refer to them from this point forward).

    Donnell, hello! I laughed right out loud: the schedule I got myself into on purpose. Oy. I kind of laugh about it now, thinking how the lists all grew so fast. And did I mention each has its own colored postie note?

    Lee, I remember that lunch well! Are you still in Savannah? I’m sort of in love with a Kendel chicken now.

    Susan B the first, I have the entire Three Investigators library on the shelf in my game room. They inspire me (and I still dream of having a secret headquarters).

    Susan M. Boyer, oh Susan!! What a dream this ride has been. I could not be happier to have you right here with me (and my lists and spreadsheets and blue markers). Next up: LOWCOUNTRY BOMBSHELL! (and y’all will love this Southern charmer just as much.)

    Thank you, everyone, for such enthusiasm and excitement and encouragement. I’m so enjoying it, and I plan to celebrate it: always celebrate the big moments, they can be fewer than we’d like. I think I shall have cupcakes for dinner tonight!

  49. Oh, Kendel, thanks to you, I need to add so many books and authors to my TBR pile! It was exciting to hear that Susan M Boyer won an Agatha-I had read and loved that book. I will be looking for more from her, and I look forward to reading my way through all the books from Henery Press.

  50. I think you need to name the chicken Duckling.

    I am always in favor of books about the south....and I look forward to reading this book.

  51. I enjoyed reading the interview with Kendel and learning about Henery Press. I've put "Board Stiff" on my to-read list. I would like to be in the running for one of those mugs with the darling Chick in the rainboots. If she needs a name I think she could wear the name Henny very well so that's my suggestion.

  52. Congrats on this adventure! :) Maybe someday I will have a story for you. :D I love the name Eggitha! Can't go wrong naming her after one of the all time mystery queens!

  53. Thank you for the entertaining interview, all of you are truly inspirational!

    As a fellow lover of Kinsey, Stephanie, In-N-Out, cupcakes, and spotter of any bug within a 1-mile radius, I can't wait to read BOARD STIFF! In fact it sounds like my MC, Kendra Madison, would be bff with Elliott Lisbon. Definitely bumping up BOARD STIFF, LOWCOUNTRY BOIL, and THE OTHER WOMAN to the top of my TBR list.

    I love all the suggestions for the Henery Press Chick's name. My suggestion is Kate Peckit, a riff on one of my favorite fictional detectives, Kate Beckett, from the TV Series "Castle."

    Again, thanks for the great post!

  54. Kendel, I grabbed Board Stiff for the Kindle and am loving it. I gotta ask -- how do you handle the editing? Because the writing is tight and scans beautifully. There's a lot of "big" authors whose books feel like nobody looked at them after they were dictated from the treadmill... your book doesn't. Could you comment on that process at all? Thanks!

    Although, I hear that, as an editor, your writers LOVE you ;-)

  55. I love this interview. Henery Press boasts wonderful and talented authors.

  56. What an awesome interview! That mug is adorable too.

  57. Whew! I made ir! Through thunderstorms and flight delays..I'm finally in St. Louis! ANyone who lives around here, I'll be at the Library tomorrow night with Megan Abbott and Reed Farrel COleman and Ace Atkins and MIchael Koryta. (You see why it was worth it to persevere through such perils...)

    But seems like you all managed nicely without me for a few hours...

    What a wonderful day at Jungle REd..we'll announce the winner tomorrow..there' still time to enter!

    Kendel (if you're still awake!)...what does Henery have coming up?

  58. Kristi, thank you the lovely compliment! That's probably my most used mantra in the Hen House: tighten that manuscript. I definitely don't rely on my own editorial for my own writing, but use a set of very trusted editors to keep me in line. I'm so glad you're enjoying BOARD STIFF.

    Hank, happy to hear you landed safe. And CONGRATS on your Anthony nomination!! Sister, you're one hot tamale right now!

    What's next for Henery? We've got two fantastically funny mysteries in the next two weeks: Gretchen Archer's debut, DOUBLE WHAMMY on May 7 and the much anticipated 2nd Cherry Tucker mystery from Larissa Reinhart, STILL LIFE IN BRUNSWICK STEW on May 14.

    Keep your eyes on the Hen House, peeps. Our little chickens are rockin the house!

    Thank you to everyone for the love and support and all the kind words. And big higs and kisses to Hank for hosting me today. You're truly fabulous! See you next month at CCWC!

  59. And thank you, Judith Gonda...hope you love it!

  60. Kendel, thanks for promoting this on the SinC listserv -- and Hank, every time I visit Jungle Red, I'm amazed all over again at how smart, sassy, and creative today's mystery writers are (especially the female ones!). What a great field to share, as writers, readers, and each other's fans. Looking forward to more about Henery Press, as well as Elliott Lisbon.

  61. Would love to get a copy of Board Stiff as I love humorous mysteries and those set in the south especially.

    Question: Do you have any humorous chick-lit mysteries at Henery? Any chick-lit at all right now?

  62. Love the logo! Congratulations on all the success you're having with your publishing house and your own book!

  63. I'm going to CCWC too! My first writers conference. So excited!