Wilton author’s mystery novel on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

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Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show uses local author Kathy Emerson's book Ho-Ho Homicide as part of a funny bit on
Jimmy Fallon on a recent Tonight Show uses local author Kathy Emerson’s book Ho-Ho-Homicide as part of a funny bit on a Do Not Read segment.
Kathy Emerson of Wilton is the author of 55 novels, one of which was featured in a segment on the Tonight Show.
Kathy Emerson of Wilton is the author of 55 novels, one of which was featured in a segment on the Tonight Show.

WILTON – Kathy Emerson, a Wilton resident, generally likes to keep things low key when it comes to her work as an author. “I’m the Maine writer that you’ve heard the least about,” she noted.

So it came as a shock to find out that one of her books had been mentioned on a recent airing of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.

Fallon, famous for his dry, clever wit, runs a segment on the show called the “Do Not Read” list which features books with titles such as “A Natural History of Vacant Lots” and “List of Persons Whose Names Have Been Changed in Massachusetts.” All are real titles and covers that catch Fallon’s interest.

Emerson’s book, Ho-Ho-Homicide, was one such book. “It’s got two things that everyone likes,” Fallon quipped on the show, “Christmas…and murder…” he trails off while staring into the camera for a few long seconds.

“I wasn’t sure if I should be thrilled or offended,” Emerson said of the nationally televised segment. “He meant it to be fun of course, so I can’t take it too hard.” The book, which is the eighth in a series of what are referred to as “cozy mysteries,” or mysteries with a lighter touch to them, was written under one of three of Emerson’s pen names Kaitlyn Dunnett.

“I originally chose the pen name because of a favorite author of mine, Dorothy Dunnett. But then a friend pointed out the connection between Dunnett and the ‘who done it’ novels I write,” Emerson said.
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Emerson’s 55th book will go to print this coming spring, spanning a wide variety of genres. She began writing in 1976 and it took eight years to finally get published.

“There weren’t a lot of supports back then like there are now,” she said. “I was really just flailing around out here in the back woods.” Her flailing paid off now that Emerson has more book deals than she knows what to do with. “I am under contract to write five more books. I have no life, really,” she joked.

The author lives in Wilton with her husband Sanford Emerson, who makes jigsaw puzzle tables. Together they run a Christmas tree farm, which was a source of inspiration for Ho-Ho-Homicide.

“I draw a lot of inspiration from the newspapers, things that are actually happening around us,” she said. “I can’t tell you which events they are based on or it will give away the ending.”

“I always tell people not to give up. If one thing doesn’t work, try another,” Emerson advised. “And listen to what people say. It’s hard to get used to, but if five or six people say the same thing you should probably listen to them.”

In this case, readers should not listen to Jimmy Fallon.

“I emailed him and thanked him for the publicity,” Emerson said. “And I’m trying to turn lemons into lemonade.”

View the Tonight Show segment here.

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  1. Oh wow! I’m a fan of these books! I didn’t realize the author is from Wilton!! Awesome! I totally enjoyed Ho-Ho-Homicide!

  2. You are right, I never knew of you or your books until today and being a mystery book lover i can’t wait to get the series. Wilton (my hometown) has many ‘unknown’ artists of all kinds- you will not be in that category any longer!

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