March 21, 2011

Made It Moment: Kate Gallison

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:12 am

The Edge of Ruin

I saw so many similarities in author Kate Gallison’s Moment–and things to aim for, wish for as well. Read on to see the many aspects that go into this business–not just of success, but of being a writer.

Kate Gallison

I’ve been writing ever since kindergarten. I first made it when I handed my very first story to my mother. She was bent over a hot stove, stirring the fish chowder, and she put down the spoon, read it, and smiled. It’s always a treat to please your mother.

Since then, there have been many ups and downs. I used to impress my teachers, although I personally no longer admire the stuff I wrote as a kid. Too many adverbs. My greatest success was my first published book, UNBALANCED ACCOUNTS, and you can buy it on Kindle. It was favorably reviewed in the New York Times on the same day it came out, the very day I had a signing at Ann Dodell’s bookstore in Trenton, the store that used to be Traver’s. My old colleagues from various New Jersey state offices lined up and bought copies of the book. We sold fifty or sixty. It was in hard cover. Ann was very pleased. I made the advance back with a thousand dollars to spare. That was a tremendous thrill, although it wasn’t quite time to quit my day job.

Since those days I’ve been thrilled many times, and only occasionally disappointed. Getting paid real money for my writing always makes my heart beat faster. I think, though, that even better than the crinkle of a check in my hand is finding out that some
perfect stranger has read and enjoyed my work. Years ago I approached a bookstore owner, the late Sue Feder, about signing books at her store. She asked politely what I’d written, and I told her UNBALANCED ACCOUNTS. Suddenly she was all enthusiasm. “You’re
Kate Gallison!” she said. That was a thrill. She was impressed, and she didn’t even know me.

These days I’m writing as Irene Fleming. THE EDGE oF RUIN came out last April; THE BRINK OF FAME is due to be released in August of this year. They are engaging and funny, and I’m impressed with them myself. I think my mother would have liked them. Wild commercial
success seems just beyond my grasp, but you never can tell how things will turn out.

Born in Philadelphia, Kate Gallison has been at various times a store clerk, a bill collector, a computer programmer, a technical writer, and a museum docent. As Kate Gallison, her writing credits include three private eye novels and five traditional mysteries. Under the name of Irene Fleming, she writes a series about silent movie production in the early twentieth century. The first of these, The Edge of Ruin, came out at the end of April 2010. The critics were pleased with it. The second, The Brink of Fame, will be released in August of 2011.

Kate has three grown sons and a bachelor’s degree from Thomas Edison College. She lives in Lambertville, New Jersey, with her librarian husband and their cat. There she divides her time among her family, her writing, and various civic pursuits. She is a member of the Author’s Guild, the MWA, Sisters in Crime, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. She is descended from a convicted Salem witch.


  1. Descended from a convicted Salem witch, now that’s a cool heritage! I am from Philly too, great city, eh? best of luck with your upcoming books.

    Comment by Catherine Stine — March 22, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  2. Nice article, Kate! I’ve always been impressed with your writings, and look forward to the next product of your talent!

    Comment by Lanelle Hanke — March 22, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

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