The Journey from Novelist to Singer/Songwriter/Music Producer (And Back)

I often introduce myself as having grown up between Disneyland and the beach with a book in one hand and a transistor radio in the other. If you stick around long enough to unpack that, you realize the meaning behind it all.

Fast forward to my career in the Silicon Valley technical writing scene. Burned out after twenty years or so, I started writing fiction during the “chick lit” craze. Real Women Wear Red was my answer to the height of all those pink covers. We had just moved to Florida after meeting my father for the first time. I sat out on the Lanai with my laptop, all lathered up with Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, listening to Jimmy Buffet, and wrote, so inspired by the tropics and this unusual meeting.

RWWR was my third novel and the first to acquire a literary agent. In fact, my agent said my writing had a “poetic, almost lyrical rhythm” to it. It also garnered my first publishing contract and remains my bestseller.

After my uncle said, “Welcome to the family, Kat; now that you know you’re a Holmes, you’re going to want to pay attention to music” I began pondering what my agent meant by saying that my writing had a  “poetic, almost lyrical rhythm” to it.

Music had always been my first love. Should I be pursuing music in some way? Poetry? I’d heard that my grandmother had written poetry so I started with that. But my grandfather, uncles, cousins, nephews, etc., were all musicians. So after writing Real Women Sing the Blues where Robin longs to ditch her corporate life for singing the Blues in Hawaii, I decided it was time to pursue music for real, instead of just through fiction.

I earned a certificate in Songwriting and Music Production from Berklee College of Music through Coursera, joined Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), and was certified as an NSAI songwriter. I’ve recently become a member of TAXI and am working on music for submission in the Film/TV world.

I may not be writing fiction as much as before, but my stories and travel inspire my music. On my last cruise to Mexico, as we were cruising into Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta, I woke up before sunrise and began penning the lyrics to Palm Fever, now available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and other digital sites.

After a publicity tour for Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon at the end of 2019, I’m moving forward with Screamie Birds music, with lots of new plans for 2020 that may or may not include writing other than songwriting. Hope you’ll stay tuned (no pun intended – lol). But, honestly, that is only wishful thinking – that I could focus on only one thing like music. There will definitely be more storytelling!