Ten years ago, Long Beach resident Tammy Kaehler knew nothing of the racing world. But as she stood on the sidelines, watching the racecars whiz by, Kaehler was inspired to do something that she would not only gain knowledge about but eventually win an award for thanks to her inspiration: tell the tales of racing that were bourgeoning inside her imagination.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 10.32.13 AMYears of working for a company that sponsored a team, her involvement with racer and in series led Kaehler to write a fictional world in which racing collides with mystery and crime. With the publication of Dead Man’s SwitchKaehler began her Kate Reilly mystery series in the spirit of Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich. The book garnered her a nomination for the Eureka! Award for Best First Mystery.

Her second Reilly book, Braking Points, has now been named the 2013 Motorsports Book of the Year by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association.

The book, like her former book, follows the story of Reilly, who proves to have drama on and off the track as she solves the mystery of a dead friend and unfaithful lover.

Kaehler said that because she didn’t have a huge background in auto racing, much of her writing process consisted of dedicated research.

“From the moment I had the idea to write this series, I’ve been committed to making the racing detail as accurate as possible,” she said. “Since I’m not a driver, nor am I employed full time in the racing world, that means hours of research, dozens of emails to subject matter experts and a whole lot of holding my breath that I’m making it work.”

Kaehler said she was proud to be from Long Beach, a city in which other emerging authors have been recognized. Recently, Long Beach resident Nancy Young scored an IPPY award for her debut novel, Strum.

“We’ve got an incredible wealth of talent across all creative endeavors in Long Beach, and I’m thrilled to see it being recognized,” Kaehler said. “Of course, I’m particularly excited to be part of that recognition.”

To purchase Braking Points, click here.

Photo by S James Photography. 

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