Book Tours: Author Interview Doctor Perry

  • How long have you been writing?

                My first time slip novel, Fifteen Postcards, was published in 2015. It took eighteen months to write Fifteen Postcards. It took twelve months to write the sequel, The Last Letter, which was published in 2016. My last two novels, both psychological thrillers, took eight months each. I thought I could get it down to six months, but I suffer dreadfully from procrastination!

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I love falling down internet rabbit holes while I research my time slip novels. But to be honest, and don’t tell my first two books, I am enjoying writing my thrillers a little bit more. I feel that this genre gives me a lot more freedom to be creative with the truth.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

One of my favourite series to read has been George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series. I love reading it, but the world building always seems beyond my capabilities as an author, so I’ve never set anything on a different planet or in an alternative fantasy world. It’s tempting, but I’m too scared to try!

  • Please tell us about your book.

My father died twelve years ago, so my mother has been living on her. A little while ago she started looking at moving into a retirement village, so together we toured all the rest homes and retirement villages in our general area. Some of them were less than desirable. It struck me that not all retirees have the same ability to live out their golden years in a safe and happy environment, and that to some extent they are prisoners in their own rooms, where the staff decide what time you go to bed, what you eat, when you eat. That shaped the bones of Doctor Perry. My mother-in-law has terrible arthritis in her fingers, and also lives in a retirement village, but she lives an amazingly active and social life, very far removed from the residents in Doctor Perry. She’s living the life every retiree deserves, apart from the arthritis. So combining those true life experiences, and with everything in the news about human trafficking, and the number of women I know who have had trouble conceiving, and voilá! A story about a doctor who has a ready supply of society’s forgotten elderly, who don’t have a voice of their own to complain about their treatment at his dastardly hands. A doctor making money, not by curing the sick, but by selling them off to the highest bidder, to couples who would do anything for a baby of their own.

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I very much enjoyed writing the character of Ricky Donovan. In a previous life I was a Customs Officer, fighting international crime. I had a little bit to do with drug interceptions and was the manager of the Dog Unit for a while. Writing the paranoia of Ricky was a lot of fun. essentially I tried to harness the peculiar feelings and hallucinations I had the one time my doctor gave me pethidine, and magnify those a hundred times! I also spent a weird hour on a message board reading posts about drugs and all thing drug related. I can only imagine what my Google search history looks like…

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

As with all my books, the hardest part is the bit in the middle. At around 30,000 words, I tend to freeze up, can’t imagine how I’ll finish the thing, or where it’s going, and that’s the point when I think it’s really no good, and that I should go back to working in the family antique store which would be a lot easier, and more fun. But, after struggling through that road block, the next hardest thing is staying off the internet… I am a terrible procrastinator, and tend to do most of my writing between 2pm and school pick up time!

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

In theory, I try to write 1,000 words a day. It doesn’t happen every day though. In the mornings, after school drop off, I faff about on the internet, try to watch a relevant author interview or listen to a writing podcast, drink some more coffee, do the dishes, laundry etc, and then by about 11am I am ready to start working. I am meant to be writing the third instalment in my time slip series, and I am, but I’ve also started jotting down key plot points for my next thriller.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

Doctor Perry took eight months from start to finish. I was aiming for six months, but the summer holidays really got in the way. I was having more fun on the beach with my children, and that’s the way it’s meant to be. I don’t think I should ever write over the summer holidays – everyone’s mind needs a rest, and family time is so important.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I do a complete read through myself, one chapter at a time, making notes about plot issues, and correcting errors. Then I edit every chapter using ProWritingAid, and then it gets sent to two Beta Readers – one American reader and one English reader. I need to make sure I haven’t used any New Zealand colloquialisms that those two readers don’t understand. And then off to the editor. Even now, I’d be more than prepared to change something if a reader pointed out a flaw.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

After writing my time slip series, I’d rather not write another series again. After I finish writing Telegram Home, I will only be writing stand alone novels from here on in.

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Find your tribe. Being an author is a lonely career, and you need another author friend on the end of the phone or Facebook messenger, to bounce things off. Marketing ideas, plot issues, editing software advice. It is very easy to get buried in an avalanche of advice, good and bad, so find that person, or those people, or are at a similar stage in their writing career as you are, and help each other.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Reading Doctor Perry will certainly make you consider how you’ll be spending your retirement years! Will you be living in a squalid inferior old folks home, abandoned by your family? Or will you make the effort now to cultivate friendships and family relationships so that your golden years will be vibrant and full of love?

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I would love to meet JK Rowling. Her Harry Potter series was the most wonderful reading journey I’ve ever been on. And one which bridged the generations – my mother loves the books, my daughters love the books, and I love the books. I also want to meet Stephen King. He is a true master of writing. I’d also like to spent some time with Hemingway. I’ve been to Cuba, and have visited his house. I’ve read biographies about him and his wives, and every aspect of the man fascinates me. I think part of that attraction is that I’d just like to live in his house in Cuba and write!

  • What inspired you to write your book?

After my father died, my brother and I both quit our jobs to run the family antique store. I’ve always been in love with old things, so it wasn’t a hardship. When I was younger, I remember my father buying a Lladro statue of a regular customer. Some time later the police visited the shop and told Dad that the regular customer — a well dressed, middle aged woman, was stealing from the rest home she worked in, and selling the stolen belongings all around town, including selling Dad the Lladro statue. It made me think how easy it must be to steal from the elderly, when ever-changing staff are in and out of their rooms, and perhaps the residents are a bit befuddled in their old age, and their families never visit to query the missing china statue or the gold watch or the pearl necklace? So once again, it was the antiques which kick started the plot for Doctor Perry, just as it was for my gothic horror novel Painted.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

At the moment I am finishing the third book in my time slip series. Telegram Home has to be with my publisher by 1st August, so of course my procrastination has stepped into overdrive! I’ll be pleased to get it out of the way, so I can start work on my next novel, which is tentatively titled The Mask Seller. Set in modern day Venice, it too will be a thriller, with an Italian flavour.

Doctor Perry

Under the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor swears to remember that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

Doctor Perry assures his elderly patients at the Rose Haven Retirement Home that he can offer warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Doctor Perry is a liar.

Hiding from a traumatic past, Elijah Cone wants nothing to do with the other residents at the Rose Haven, content to sit at his window waiting to die. He’s about to learn that under Doctor Perry death is the easy option…


 Amazon US

Amazon UK

Author Bio

For many years Kirsten McKenzie worked in her family’s antique store, where she went from being allowed to sell the 50c postcards as a child, to selling $5,000 Worcester vases and seventeenth century silverware, providing a unique insight into the world of antiques which touches every aspect of her writing.

Her historical fiction novels ‘Fifteen Postcards’ and it’s sequel ‘The Last Letter’ have been described as ‘Time Travellers Wife meets Far Pavilions’, and ‘Antiques Roadshow gone viral’. The third book in the series ‘Telegram Home’ will be released in November 2018 by Accent Press.

Her bestselling gothic horror novel ‘Painted’ was released in 2017, with her medical thriller ‘Doctor Perry’ following closely in April 2018.

She lives in New Zealand with her husband, her daughters, an SPCA rescue cat and a kitten found in the neighbour’s shed, and can usually be found procrastinating on Twitter under the handle @kiwimrsmac.






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