Kate Francis (Kate Immordino) signing copies of her book at a recent reading.

Have you ever thought about writing a novel? Maybe you love the idea of writing but you just aren’t sure about where to start?

Kate Immordino says it all starts by simply putting a pen to paper.

“You have to just get something down on paper because at the end of the day, you can’t edit a blank page,” says the Ewing resident and author.

Writing under the pen name of Kate Francis, Immordino is the author of two mystery novels. The first, Double Image, was published in 2017. She published her most recent, Triple Damages, in 2020.

The main character of the two novels is New Jersey State Police officer Kenna Devlin, who begins the first novel as a member of the governor’s executive protection team.

In both novels, Devlin becomes enmeshed in mysteries that she solves in the tradition of the detective novel. Mystery writers whom Immordino admires include J.D. Robb, Marie Force, Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke.

Immordino worked for many years at the Department of Transportation. She says those years of experience gave her perspective on how things happen in government.

“I’ve seen the governor’s advance team and what they do. I have a sense of how things happen behind the scenes,” she says. “I may have made up details about certain things that happen (in the novels), but a lot of it is based on things that really go on in government. I was never in the state police, but I’ve always admired what they do.”

Immordino retired in 2006 as an assistant commissioner. She says when she started at the DOT in the late 70’s, there weren’t a lot of professional women in the ranks.

“Being one of the few and learning to find your way was something different that I tried to give to the character,” she says.

Immordino grew up in Willingboro. She has lived the past 33 years in Ewing, and has set her novels in and around Mercer County.

“I love New Jersey,” she says. “It gets overlooked and people don’t understand that this is such an incredibly beautiful state. I want to put that message out there that New Jersey really is an amazing place, with so many beautiful sights.”

Immordino studied history at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania before going on to attend graduate school at Rider University.

While she and her husband, Howard, both worked for the DOT for many years, they originally met at Rider, when they were in a class together and assigned to write a paper with one another.

She later went on to earn a doctorate from Rutgers University, where she currently works as an instructor.

She and Howard have two children, Matthew and Jacqueline. Son Matthew and his wife, Kristen, have two children and reside in Ewing. Daughter Jacqueline and her husband, Chris Wollett, live in Lawrence.

Triple Damages is now available at the Ewing Library, and both Triple Damages and Double Image are available to purchase from Amazon.