‘Kaye George’ has 10 novels published

Egner has a contract for new series

Farragut resident Judy Egner isn’t a private eye, but she’d make a good one. She’s a crime writer who often goes by her pen name, “Kaye George.” As a matter of fact, many members of the Authors Guild of Tennessee who met this month at Faith Lutheran Church in Farragut don’t know her real name is Judy.

Egner said she finally found success as a writer and is “kind of astounded” that she has had 10 novels published and has a contract for another series.

She was at Faith Lutheran Church in Farragut Wednesday, Aug. 3, for the monthly meeting.

“The mission is to help each other sell their books,” Egner said. “We have them in six shops around the Knoxville area and they’re available online at www.authorsguildoftn.org/.”

Egner said she’s always written, but not always been successful.

“When I could hold a crayon, I used to make up stories that went with my crayon drawings,” she said. “When I was in college, I sent stories to the New Yorker. ... My professor for my composition courses had discovered Saul Bellow, so I was encouraged. He told me I would be a great writer if I kept writing for 20 years,” she laughed.

“What I finally did is I was working on a novel for about 10 years,” Egner added. “I worked and worked and worked on it. Novels don’t come naturally to me. I found an online chapter of Sisters in Crime. I quit my

programming job to write full-time.

“Meanwhile, I started getting short stories published. After 10 years I got a novel, ‘Choke,’ published. I took that back and self-published it after a year. I’ve had nine novels published since about 2010.”

Penguin Books published a cozy mystery series under the name Janet Cantrell. Now she’s got a new contract for a new series with Kensington Books.

“I’m kind of astounded,” she said. “I always thought if I could get one novel published, I could die happy. But that’s not true because you always want to write a sequel and you get an idea for another sequel and it never stops. I’ve made the Barnes & Nobles bestseller list, but I’d like to make the New York Times.”