Author Stephen Joyce Oroz

STEPHEN KAMINSKI is my subject for today. He is the author of the Damon Lassard Dabbling Detective series published by Cozy Cat Press. The first two cozy mysteries in the series are "It Takes Two to Strangle" (2012) and "Don't Cry Over Killed Milk" (2013). Stephen is the winner of the 2012 Reader Views Literary Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region. He's a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Law School, has practiced law for over a decade, and currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Counsel to a national non-profit organization. Stephen is a lifelong lover of all types of mysteries and lives with his wife and daughter in Arlington, Virginia.
Stephen, you are obviously well-educated and prepared to write. Was there someone, something or an event in your life that set you on the road to being an author?

The most significant impetus for me becoming an author was lazy summer days in Michigan during my youth. I grew up in a rural area and spent countless hours reading – everything from the British spy novels of Ken Follett and Jeffrey Archer to mysteries by Agatha Christie and Lawrence Block. I’ve always read between twenty to fifty books a year.  The love of reading set me on a path to becoming an author.

What do you like about writing and what bugs you about it?

I love the escape -- as an author, my characters can live lives filled with excitement and intrigue and they can say things that I’d never have the nerve to say in public.  For two hours a night, I can bring my imagination to life.  What bugs me? Marketing – it takes a lot of work and isn’t my favorite thing to do.

How long have you been writing books and what other writing do you do?

I’ve been writing books for two and a half years.  The only other writing I do is legal in nature (for my position as General Counsel to a national nonprofit organization).

Please tell us about your protagonist. Is he a lot like you? What are his assets and weaknesses?

Damon Lassard is a thirty-one year old ex-Japanese league baseball player who has moved back to the States to be near his widowed mother in the cozy community of Hollydale, Virginia just west of Washington, D.C. Due in large part to a lucrative advertising campaign for a Japanese chewing gum company, Damon spends his days as a volunteer – at the local branch library, as the Hollydale citizens association president, and in the most recent book, with a community crime solvers group. He’s single and involved in a bit of a love snarl with his best friend Rebecca and the breathtaking local weather girl Bethany. His greatest asset is also his greatest weakness – he can’t help getting involved with murder suspects. Of course, this trait helps him solve crimes as an amateur, but it also gets him in trouble with the authorities.

Stephen, what do you like to do when you are not writing?

I enjoy traveling, playing soccer and tennis, and spending time with my wife and seven year-old daughter.

Where can we find your books---and anything else you would like to say--such as a website.

Here are the best links to find my books and a link to my “Damon Lassard” website:

 Here is a typical review of Stephen's "Don't Cry Over Killed Milk"

".... intelligent, powerful, gritty mystery with brilliant prose and an eye for vivid detail. Stephen Kaminski is a murder mystery extraordinaire."

Thank you, Stephen for giving us an inside view of your world. Happy writing!

Beetles in the Joyce Oroz

Yippee-yahoo!! My newest mystery novel, 
Beetles in the Boxcar, is available on Kindle.

Beetles is more than a murder mystery, it’s an adventure and a love story. Unfortunately, Cozy Cat Press was unable to publish this book in paperback form because it is over 96,000 words--my fault for having too much to say. This newest bombastic exercise in creative writing is as much about Josephine's Aunt Clara as it is about my favorite sleuth and her dog, Solow. Together, they manage to get into twice as much trouble. 

I am currently working on a new book in the Josephine Stuart Mystery Series and hope to finish it in a few months. I’m 104 pages into it and having a ball. Like Beetles, it has a lot of action.

The Beetles in the Boxcar project was extra fun for me because I painted the picture for the cover. 

Tomi Edmiston not only edited my book, but she finished the cover with the appropriate lettering.

I hope you will enjoy Beetles in the Boxcar, get hooked on the series and go on to read my first four books, Secure the Ranch, Read My Lipstick, Shaking In Her Flip Flops and Cuckoo Clock Caper. Happy reading everyone!!

The handsome fellow on the left is Solow, an important nose--I mean character in every Josephine Stuart mystery.