Mystery Mondays: Debra Purdy Kong on Traditional to Self-Publishing

This week on Mystery Mondays we welcome Debra Purdy Kong. I first came across Debra’s writing when I read Opposite of Dark. I loved the book and reached out to Debra on LinkedIn and was very excited to hear back from her. She’s an author who is generous with her time and her advice, which you’ll get some of below.

As you can imagine, I’m happy to host Debra on Mystery Mondays again.

Debra is here to tell you what it’s like to transition from traditional publishing to self-publishing.

I’ve just preordered my copy of Knock Knock and only have to wait 2 days for it to arrive on my kindle!

Over to Debra…

Maintaining Continuity in Changing Times

Knock Knock, front coverThey say that the only constant in life is change. This is especially true for writers. Over the years, I’ve lost count of all the magazines and publishers I’ve worked with, but who no longer exist. When the publisher for my Casey Holland series let me and several other mystery authors go in 2015, I took it in stride and decided to continue self-publishing my series.

It took time to obtain all of my rights back, but I did, and then reissued the first four books in ebook format. I’m now delighted to announce that the 5th installment in my Casey Holland mystery series, Knock Knock, will be released on Wednesday, November 8th!

The decision to keep the series going raised new issues. I no longer had access to the jacket designer and editors who’d worked on the previous four books. I needed to find professionals who would help me maintain the editing style already adopted. But even then, there were questions.

For instance, I was never partial to my editor’s decision to use American spelling in a series set in Canada with Canadian characters. But changing this in mid-series didn’t seem right either, so I sent the editor I hired a detailed list of editing needs.

I also sent the new jacket designer images of the earlier novels. She did a beautiful job of capturing the essence of the series while providing a fresh look that I’m thrilled with.

Change isn’t always easy and sometimes continuity can be a challenge, but when you’re writing a series readers appreciate it, which makes everything worth the effort.


Who Is Debra Purdy Kong

Debra Purdy Kong, 2016Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs, inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Her employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provide the background for Casey Holland and Evan Dunstan mysteries.

Debra has published short stories in a variety of genres as well as personal essays, and articles for publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun. She assists as a facilitator for the Creative Writing Program through Port Moody Recreation, and has presented workshops and talks for organizations that include Mensa and Beta Sigma Phi. She is a long-time member of Crime Writers of Canada.


Look for her blog at More information about Debra and her books is at You can also find her on Twitter: & Facebook:


Where to find out more:






20 thoughts on “Mystery Mondays: Debra Purdy Kong on Traditional to Self-Publishing

    1. Thank you, Kate. My Casey Holland series doesn’t really use an academic setting, although Casey is taking criminology courses while managing her day job. Occasionally, a scene will be set up at SFU, where I work part time. I also have a new book in my Evan Dunstan mystery coming out next month. That series is set at a post-secondary environment, as Evan happens to be a campus security guard, which I also did for a time.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, I’m really grateful to be able to get my rights back. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from authors, where this isn’t the case, but my publisher was never difficult to work with. I do consider myself lucky!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Great to see Debra on your blog, Kristina. She has long been a writer I look up to. Pleased that you didn’t give up and continued to write and publish, Debra. All the best to both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

Thank you for commenting! Your email address will be stored but not shared.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.