INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CATHY ACE

I reviewed The Corpse With The Silver Tongue back in February and it was an amazing book. So I am very happy to have author Cathy Ace here today to talk about her new book, The Corpse With The Golden Nose, second in the Cait Morgan Mystery Series, as she does a blog tour with Great Escapes Book Tours. Be sure to listen to Cathy reading the opening of her latest book.

Of course you will want to hear her read the whole thing to you! I’m not a fan of audiobooks but I could listen to Cathy read all day. I “met” Cathy on Facebook a while back and she is a warm and funny person who I hope to cross paths with at a writers’ conference in the future. Most importantly, she is a woman who knows how a cup of tea should be made.

INTERVIEW

So Cathy, Sue Grafton has her A to Z titles, you have The Corpse With The Silver Tongue and now The Corpse With The Golden Nose, where do you see yourself going with this precious metals/body parts theme for titles?

First of all I’d like to say how delighted I am that you enjoyed THE CORPSE WITH THE SILVER TONGUE. And yes, you’re right, I’ve continued the title theme with my second novel, THE CORPSE WITH THE GOLDEN NOSE. Since precious metals alone might have proved too constricting, I planned from the outset to use other “precious things” and then associate them with body parts. Cait’s third mystery is currently with the copy editor, getting ready for a spring 2014 publication, and will be called THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB. Following that there are another three books well into the plotting/planning stages, all with titles ready to go. But, if you don’t mind, I’ll keep those under my hat for now.

Did the fact you wrote training courses and textbooks actually make the transition to writing fiction easier or more difficult?

Oddly, I think it made it both! I’ve been fortunate enough to write for a living for my whole professional career, and, whether it’s advertising copy, press stories, marketing communications of other sorts, or training courses and text books, what each type of discipline gives you is the chance to hone your skills at fast thinking and quick writing – to a deadline. So all of that helped with the process of writing—being able to sit, think, plan and write. But when it comes to fiction, as opposed to “commercial” writing, there’s an entirely new toolbox to crack open . . . then you have to learn how each tool works and how you, as an individual, can use it within your own realm of endeavor.

Do you have habits or routines you find yourself following to be able to get into writing mode?  Or do you just sit down from 8 a.m. to noon, come hell or high water and write every single day?

My routine is dictated by my dogs! Their needs have to be met before I do anything else, so, once they are settled at my feet, I can begin my work. My study, the room where I write, is sometimes tidy, sometimes a bit messy. So long as what’s in front of me is clear, I’m able to concentrate. I look over my laptop into my garden, which allows me to rest my eyes. I wore a particular silk dressing gown to write my first novel, but now I’m more practical about what I wear to write – though all my clothes have to be “dog friendly”.

What do like and dislike about writing?

Honestly, I haven’t yet discovered one thing about the writing life that I don’t like. As for what I like about it—well, I suppose there are two key aspects I most enjoy: the phase when I’m inventing . . . places, characters, names, backstories . . . is great fun; when I’m off on my journey, with Cait, I thoroughly enjoy being in the places I’ve imagined, with the people I’ve conjured up . . . and allowing the plot to unfurl.

What is the harshest review or criticism you’ve had about your writing, published or made to you personally, and how did you deal with it?

A couple of weeks after the publication of my first novel I received an e-mail that spewed vitriol and was deeply personal. I have to admit that I was shocked . . . shaken. It was horrible. After a week or so I decided to create a folder entitled “Nasties”. Fortunately it’s the only communication, or review, that I’ve had to file there. That said, I have received reviews from people who didn’t like my book, which is perfectly understandable. I’m sure there’ll be more, because you really cannot write something that everyone will enjoy.

What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

Right now I have two projects on the go: my third Cait Morgan Mystery, THE CORPSE WITH THE EMERALD THUMB, is at the final copy editing stage, and I’m enjoying spending some more time with Cait in the municipality of Punta de las Rocas, not far from Puerto Vallarta, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. I’m also writing Cait’s fourth adventure…about which I am not allowed to speak! What I can tell you about it is that, with her third mystery launching in spring 2014, readers won’t have to wait for a whole year before her fourth is published… it’ll be out in the fall of 2014. Yes, two books in one year. PHEW! The even better news is that two more are planned for 2015!

Now three things that have nothing to do with writing:

  • What is your favorite food? Oh no! This is a really tough one. There are very few foods I dislike – which explains a lot about me. And I’m so contrary that if I said today I’d give up my least favorite food for life, it’s the very thing I would crave tomorrow! So, forgive me, but I’m going to choose a few: a one-inch thick, juicy steak, very well-seasoned and grilled to a perfect medium rare; duck confit, preferably with balsamic glazed cherries; white chocolate bread pudding with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce; Marmite on toast. Oh – and nonfat Greek yoghurt with Splenda, of course.
  • What is your favorite TV show? Another toughie! I watch a lot of TV. I like TV. I like different shows when I’m in different moods. I am a great fan of Doctor Who, have been for fifty years and will probably always be so…I wait eagerly for each new episode. Two series I can watch over and over, though I could recite the scripts by now, would be the Morse and Lewis series: their pace lowers my blood pressure as I watch. Oh, and Law and Order, of course!
  • What is your favorite music? I’m pretty eclectic. I listen to Classic Vinyl when I drive; I’m also a huge Sinatra fan, with a big collection of large, round, black, shiny things called “Albums” by him. Classical preferences include Mozart, Vivaldi and Chopin, and I’m a big fan of Satie, Ravel and Faure.

Thank you so much for being here today Cathy, and good luck with the tour and your new book. Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?

Before I go I’d just like to thank everyone who’s taken the time to read this interview. Time is our most important possession—thanks for sharing yours with me. Maybe you’ll choose to share some more of it with Cait Morgan—if you do, and you’d like to “talk” to me about your time with her, there are lots of ways you can reach me to do so. Check out the links and, please, know that I value my conversations with readers. Thanks again—and ‘bye for now.

Author Cathy Ace

Author Cathy Ace

BIO

Born and raised in Swansea, South Wales, Cathy is, like her heroine, now a Canadian citizen. “Cait’s Welsh Canadian, as am I. They say ‘write what you know’, so a short, plus-sized Welsh woman, who’s quite bossy, fits the bill! But Cait and I are not one and the same: she’s got skills and talents I don’t possess, and I’m delighted to say that I don’t usually encounter corpses wherever I go!” With a successful career in marketing having given her the chance to write training courses and textbooks, Cathy has now finally turned her attention to her real passion: crime fiction.

BLURBCorpseGoldenNoseCover

A world-famous vintner is dead. And when a heartfelt plea to look into the matter is paired with an exclusive gourmet event in British Columbia’s stunning wine country, overindulgent foodie and criminologist Cait Morgan cannot resist. Cait is sure the owner of a family-run vineyard was murdered. Bud Anderson, Cait’s companion for the weekend, is convinced the woman took her own life. That is, until death strikes once again, between the neat rows of grapevines on the banks of magnificent Lake Okanagan. Uncovering obsessions and murderous thoughts among the victim’s wacky neighbors is a start. But, Cait soon realizes that more lives are at stake. Can she think, and act, quickly enough to prevent another death?

REVIEW

As I said, I reviewed The Corpse With The Silver Tongue back in February and it was an amazing book. So it is no surprise I enjoyed The Corpse With The Golden Nose. For those who have not read the first book – yet, Cait Morgan is a Psychologist/Criminologist specializing in victim profiling who has an eidetic or photographic memory. She is also self described as short, overweight, indulgent, insecure and bossy and bless her heart, she smokes and has no idea where to find her feather duster, or at least little inclination to use it. At the end of the first book, boyfriend and retired homicide detective, Bud Anderson had proposed only months after the death of his wife. Cait said no and they are spending a year getting to know each other as a couple. This book opens with Cait profiling a photograph for Bud. It was sent to him by his ‘grief buddy’, Ellen. They are paired online as part of dealing with their grief. Ellen’s sister, Annette, committed suicide but Ellen insists it was murder. The police believe it was suicide as do all the friends and neighbors. Ellen wants Bud to come to investigate. After profiling the picture of Annette and Ellen, Cait decides it was murder. Or is it because the invitation to investigate comes with an invitation to the very exclusive, invitation only, gourmet event A Moveable Feast? As they move from event to event, meal to meal, Cait decides it was suicide after all. Then changes her mind again. The problem is she can think of no way anyone could have done it and no one seems a likely candidate, not even Raj who inherited Annette’s half of the family winery as a result of a change Annette made to her will just a week before she died. But Cait better figure it out quickly as two more people die after leaving one of the events. Great characters, great writing, and a solid variation on a locked room mystery. This is a must read book.  ♥♥♥♥♥

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Tour Participants
July 18 – A Blue Million Books –  Guest Post
July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog  – Review & Guest Post
July 20 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review & Giveaway
July 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy  – Interview
July 22 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK  – Review
July 23 – Storeybook Reviews  – Review & Giveaway
July 24 – readalot blog  – Review & Giveaway
July 26 – Books-n-Kisses  – Review & Interview
July 28 – Brooke Blogs  – Review, Guest Post, & Giveaway
July 29 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post
July 30 – Escape With Dollycas  – Guest Post & Review
July 31 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading  – Review & Interview
August 1 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard  – Interview
August 2 – Socrates’ Book Review Blog  – Review

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16 thoughts on “INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CATHY ACE

  1. Cathy, it is great to have you here today. I hope the tour has been going well. And I found out besides our mutual love of a cup of tea prepared properly, we share a love of duck confit 🙂

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    • Thanks for having me, Kate. It’s good to get to know you this way. Funnily enough, though Cait missed her chance to eat duck confit in this book, I’ve just let her eat in in book #4, which I’m currently writing.

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  2. Food,wine and murder. I can’t wait to read the book after listening to Cathy Morgan reading from The Corpse With the Golden Nose. What I think mystery cozy readers like me find appealing about Cathy’s Cait Morgan is that we can relate to her. Cait is a hardworking woman and simple things like exercise and relationships end up taking a backseat to the job. The indulgence we do allow ourselves is a great murder mystery before bed or on the weekend. Can’t wait to see other people’s reviews.

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    • Hello coastalgirl2012 – thanks for dropping by and for taking the time to comment. I’m delighted that you can “see” Cait as a real person. She’s very real to me, of course, but I can only hope that others see her frailties and strengths. Of course I’m delighted by Kate’s review, and she’s encapsulated Cait very well, as have you…thank you.

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    • Hey Lori…feel free. Just be sure to buy multiple copies so you don’t have to re-read dog-eared ones !!! 😉

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    • Thanks for dropping by Loretta – I hope you are able to track Cait down, and that you enjoy spending time with her when you do!

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  3. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into an author as not only a writer but as a person. It makes for reading the book that much more personal an enjoyable.

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    • Hello todaysworkingwoman and thanks for dropping by! I enjoyed doing this interview, though I’m quite convinced that my life isn’t terribly interesting. Well, it is to ME, but I’m not sure it would be to anyone else. Quiet, doggy, scribbling away…oh, OK, yes, it’s idyllic! 😉

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    • Hi Melodie – the more we communicate online the more I’m convinced we were separated at birth. My Mum never mentioned a twin, but, you know how plots can twist as they develop….!! Have you also been watching “Endeavour” on PBS Masterpiece Mystery? (The “Morse as a young man moving from innocence to experience” series.) It’s excellent. More “puzzle” oriented, beautifully shot, well cast. I LOVE the guy they have cast as Strange…who later became Morse’s boss.

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    • Hello Dick – thanks for dropping by. I’m glad you enjoyed the reading, because I’m waiting to be called to be auditioned to read my my books for Audible. The deal was just struck, so it’s early days yet, and I’m not at all sure I’m up to the need for multiple voices. That said, I KNOW I have the right voice for Cait, and a Welsh accent is terribly difficult to do if you’re not Welsh. Maybe they’ll think I’m good enough, maybe not. I just want the best person for the job – and if that’ not me, then so be it.

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    • I agree. I think the “something about” all those series is the pace. Barrington Pheloung’s music plays a vital role, giving all three series texture and a stately progress, I feel, and the casting has always been spot on. Of course, I also enjoy spotting Colin Dexter’s Hitchcockian appearances. I think the attraction toward the Morse character (and Hathaway) is the “lost puppy” thing. Did you know that Laurence Fox is married to Billie Piper..Doctor Who’s Rose Tyler. Yup! Nice crossover tidbit there! 😉

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