Please welcome Thomas Kies, who will explain writing his series from the point of view of a female reporter:

Writing From the POV of a Female Reporter

Both Random Road and Darkness Lane are written from the first-person viewpoint of Geneva Chase . . . a woman. I’m male, I have both an X and a Y chromosome.

“Really, you write as a woman?” I’m often asked. “What the hell were you thinking?”

First, a little about Ms. Chase. She’s blonde, tall (five-ten), athletic, blue eyes, attractive, forty years old, and a snarky smart ass. Geneva is a reporter for her hometown newspaper in Sheffield, Connecticut, a bedroom community outside of New York City. As the first book opens, she’s seeing a married man, has been recently arrested for hitting a cop, has been married three times, and she drinks too much.

Geneva Chase is a hot mess. Likable and smart as hell, but still a hot mess.

That doesn’t answer the question, “What the hell were you thinking?”

I started writing Random Road as an experiment. One chapter I’d write from the male protagonist’s POV and the next chapter I’d write as Geneva Chase. About ten chapters into the book, I discovered I was having much more fun writing as Genie. Through her eyes, I could view the world as a cynical journalist. Through her voice, I could make snarky, sarcastic observations. Simply put . . . she was fun!

A writer needs to be keenly observant of the world around him or her. Writing as a woman, I needed to study how someone like Genie would dress, what kind of jewelry she’d wear, how she would speak and move. I know more about women’s shoes than I ever wanted to.

Now, a word to the wise: it’s a fine line between being extremely observant and being creepy.

Honestly, I wasn’t thinking beyond Random Road when I wrote it. I certainly wasn’t planning on doing a series of Geneva Chase mysteries.

But it was blessed with good reviews, deemed debut of the month by the Library Journal, and sold out of its first hardcover printing before the launch date.

My publisher asked for two more over the next two years. Darkness Lane came out last June to excellent reviews, and I’ve just sent in the manuscript for the third Genie Chase novel, Graveyard Bay.

I’ve had some interesting comments from readers about Geneva. I’ve had women tell me how much they identify with her. I take that as a compliment.

I’ve had men tell me how much they like the character, and I actually had one guy tell me that he’d fallen in love with her. That made me kind of uncomfortable . . .

If you read either Random Road or Darkness Lane please let me know what you think at tbkies11@gmail.com. You can see upcoming events and more blogs at http://www.thomaskiesauthor.com.


Thomas Kies has wanted to be a mystery writer nearly all his life, cutting his teeth on every John D. MacDonald novel he could get his hands on. The first of his Geneva Chase Mysteries started with RANDOM ROAD and six naked bodies found hacked to death on an island. The second, DARKNESS LANE, opens with an abused woman torching her sleeping husband. When the police arrive, she’s drinking wine, saying, “I’m just toasting my husband.” Concurrently, a fifteen-year-old high school student vanishes. The two plots appear to have nothing in common but as Geneva chases down leads, she finds that they are dangerously related.

Thomas Kies has a long career working for newspapers and magazines, primarily in New England and New York. Thomas Kies is currently the President of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. He lives on a barrier island on the coast of North Carolina with his wife, Cindy, and their Shi-tzu, Lilly. He’s just submitted to his editor the finished manuscript of his the third book in the Geneva Chase series- GRAVEYARD BAY. http://www.thomaskiesauthor.com

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