Travel, Research, and Haunted Places




I have been super slammed the past couple of weeks so I am going to rerun a blog I did for the Whodunit Blog. I don’t think everyone has read it but if you have feel free to jump down to the contest. I will be back on July 17 with new thoughts so be sure to check back. 🙂

One of the things I love most about being a writer is that it provides me the opportunity to take both my real family and my fictional family on vacation to a variety of awesome locations. The first book I wrote on location was Maui Madness, Zoe Donovan #7. Not only did I fly to Maui to research the book, I actually wrote the book from the lanai of the condo we rented while we were there. In the story, Zoe discovers a body in the pig pit during a luau. As part of her investigation into the death, she visits a cute touristy town on the west coast known as Lahaina. Lahaina is an adorable village with a lot of fun shops to look through, however what I found the most fascinating, was the Banyan Tree that covers close to an acre. I was so fascinated with the tree, I wrote it into the story. It’s kind of hard to tell in the photo below, but what you see is a single tree with multiple trunks that covers and entire block.


The second book I wrote on location was my Whales and Tails Cozy Mystery Series, set in the San Juan Islands off Washington State. One of the coolest things about living on or visiting the islands, is you have to own a boat or take the ferry to go anywhere. I was fascinated with the groups of kids that would ride the ferry each day as they went to a baseball game on one island or a teen event on another. It was much the same as the way kids on the mainland might take a bus to get to their various events. The other thing I found absolutely incredible, was during the month of June, which is when we went, you can watch the sun BOTH rise and set from a single location on the beach where we stayed on the north end of Orcas Island.

2014-06-05 21.33.23 TheMadCatterFacebook

My third book on location was Alaskan Alliance. I’d always wanted to visit Alaska, which prior to last September, was the only one of the 50 states I had not visited. Doing a book on location provided me with the perfect excuse to make the trip. I’ve always been fascinated with the vastness and isolation of Alaska. I’d love to do a spinoff of Alaskan Alliance, if I can manage to find the time. One of the things I found the most awesome about our trip to Sitka, was the grocery store right on the ocean. Talk about a million dollar view from a parking lot. The photo below was taken from the parking lot of the store, which also sold coffee (yup I spent a lot of time there.)

2014-09-14 08.40.13AlaskanAllianceEbook

So what’s next for Kathi and her cast of characters? I have plans for two books on location in 2016. Shamrock Shenanigans, a Zoe, will take place in a haunted castle in Ireland and will be released to coincide with Saint Patrick’s Day. My younger son Danny is currently attending the University of Edinburgh but will be transferring to Trinity College in Dublin in September. My husband and I plan to visit Danny and our world traveling grandchildren, and do a little research on the side.  Below is a photo of Edinburgh Castle which is near where my son currently lives. It’s not haunted so Zoe will have to find another castle for her ghost hunt.


I also plan to do a Zoe Donovan Mystery in a haunted winery. I was very lucky to stumble across the winery when one of my fans, Margo Sue Bittner, happened to win a book in one of my contests. The address she provided me to send the book was a winery. My first reaction was of course: “You live at a winery! How awesome.” Margo emailed back and I found that not only did she live at a winery, she lived at a haunted winery. I was hooked. The winery is in Appleton New York so I plan to make the trip in the fall.  I don’t have a title for the book yet but I am super excited about the project. Ghosts and wine. Two of my favorite things!

fall sign and building

I plan to do a full feature on the winery in an upcoming edition of The Daley Weekly. June is Murder Mystery Month at Kathi Daley Books, and the newsletter is devoted exclusively to a four part murder mystery, so I plan to feature the winery in July. Margo has provided me with a list of sightings at the winery which I will feature in this very special newsletter. Here is a link to the winery website if you want to check it out further:

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If you want to be sure not to miss any of my random thoughts please “follow” this blog. The next issue will be out on July 17.



Coming from Kathi Daley Books:

TheRelictwitterMuchAdoAboutFelinestwitterHopscotch Homicide twitterHalloween In Paradise twitter


32 thoughts on “Travel, Research, and Haunted Places

  1. Ruth Nixon says:

    I remember your trip to Washington and I really enjoy the books about living on a Island. The haunted winery sounds like a great place for one of yout stories..

  2. chassity biddix says:

    Love your books and your blog is going great. Thanks for the opportunities you are always providing your readers.

  3. Doward Wilson says:

    I really enjoyed reading this background on your books. Thanks for the chance to win while i read more of your work.

  4. argolk725 says:

    I love that Banyan Tree. I have so many pictures of it. Thank you so much for re-sharing. I hadn’t read that blog.

  5. Barbara Hawk says:

    I would love to travel but not in the cards. I love to live vicariously through your characters! Thank you for the places you take me.

  6. servedogmom says:

    Kathi, My daughters believe you should consider a visit to the Chicago area close to Halloween and take the Haunted Chicago and Haunted Cemetery tours. Two of the cemeteries are within miles of our home. I. also, travel vicariously through your book. Alaska (an Alaskan cruise) is on my bucket list.

  7. donnadurnell2013 says:

    Would love to be able to travel myself. But the next best thing is reading stories set in locations where the author (you) has actually been and done research!
    Love the idea of a mystery set in a winery; not so sure about the ghosts, but your ghosts aren’t so awfully scary. 🙂

  8. jane chizmar says:

    Love traveling but mostly on bus trips as long distance driving makes me nervous the older I get …or is it just my hubby’s driving LOL 🙂

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