Mixing mystery with history: Kimberly Mullins
Updated: Nov 26, 2022
When I met Kimberly Mullins in an authorial community, I thought I'd like to get to know her better. After all, she combines two of my favourite genres in her books: mystery and historical fiction.
She is the author of the Notebook series led by a "strong woman out of her time" — Emma.
Please meet Kimberly Mullins.
Can you tell us about the origins of this series? Why did you decide to write it?
I initially started writing to just see if I could do it. What came out of it was my first book, Emma in the Notebook Series. Turns out I love writing.
Tell us a bit more about your detective, and why the books are located in 1880s Chicago.
I have always been fascinated with late 1800s. When I was researching the time period, I knew I wanted to start with the Great Fire of 1871. There was so much going on at the time — people immigrating, rebuilding.
My main character is a woman outside of her time. Emma is a strong woman in a time when history dictates that she isn't. She loves adventures and carries a knife. Skilled in observations — she sees things most do not. She is 16 in 1881 and with each book, she ages up. I wanted to show how she would grow and change with her experiences. I wish I were as brave.
Which genre comes first in your writing?
I am always told I am writing across genres. I think they are even. When I start a book the first thing I do is look up what happened the year I am writing in.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you become an author? Have you always written, or was there an inspirational moment?
I think I always wanted to write, but I hid or tore up most of my stories. I was too embarrassed to share. When I was a teenager, I would think about the book I was reading so much, and I always chose a different ending. I wish I had started earlier.
Can you share some fascinating personal facts?
I have a wonderful son and husband. I am an engineer full-time with a large chemical company. We live in downtown Houston and we love all of the activities here. I can't wait until I can write full-time and not for an hour each night.
Do you have some favourite authors who have inspired you?
Elizabeth Peters; her storytelling would just draw me in. Nora Ephron was funny and amazing. And of course romance writers Kathylene Woodiwis and Laura McBain.
What are you working on now?
That is a complicated question. I am always in the middle or end of something, LOL.
Notebook Mysteries books 5 and 6 are ready to go for 2023. I have an outline for my 2023 Christmas novella.
I’m also writing a spin-off book. It involves Mark from my series. He is all grown up and off on his own adventures. Hopefully, I will have it ready to publish in September of 2023.
Divided Lives under the name K.R. Mullins was a new book for 2022. I am considering a second book but I’m unsure of when.
Ah. So there’s another book.
Yes. Divided Lives is an adult novel set about 20 years in the future from where my books are now.
This one involves one of the babies as an adult and her life choices.
I picked Greenwich Village and when I started researching, I felt I had to tell an authentic story. It didn't feel like it could be a clean historical fiction book — the people drove the story on this one.
I also enjoyed the research on the criminal case in the book. it was fascinating. I spent three months just getting that part right.
I think this will become a series eventually, but will not interfere at all with the Notebook series.
Thank you so much, Kimberly.
Find the author's website here:
As Kimberly Mullins on Amazon:
Widely available on Kobo, GooglePlay, Barnes and Noble, Apple and Amazon.
As K.R. Mullins on Amazon: