**Author Peek** Interview with Catherine Dilts, STONE COLD BLOODED
Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
My day job sounds really cool – environmental stewardship. In reality, I cobble together data to prove a corporation’s products meet global regulations. I like to think I’m doing my part to protect the planet, even if it can be boring at times. In my spare time, I don’t exactly relax. I love running, camping, biking, fishing, arts & crafts, gardening, spending time with family, and of course, writing stories. I came from the midwestern prairies, but for over thirty years, have called Colorado home.
1. How did you get started writing?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading and writing fiction. In grade school, I created cartoon strips that I rolled through a cut-out cereal box, to make my own television shows. Later I moved on to plays chronicled on a tape recorder. The roles were read by older relatives, with some hilarious results. I took creative writing courses in college. When I became serious about getting published, I joined a local writing group, helped form a critique group, and attended writing conferences. My efforts began to pay off five years ago, resulting in my first appearance in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and the debut of my Rock Shop Mystery series.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I write primarily mystery, although I have dabbled in science fiction and mainstream. What drew me to mystery? No matter the genre, at the heart of every story is a puzzle to be solved. Questions must be answered. The reader wants to know what happens next.
3. What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I have discovered the joy of audio books from the library. I recently listened to the entire Sue Grafton alphabet series during my commute to work each day. Now I am on Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher series. Listening to books on cd prevents me from thinking about what idiots the other drivers are, or how I always seem to get caught by certain stop lights.
4. What is your favorite part of writing?
The entire process is exciting. If I had to pick a favorite, it might be the moment of inspiration, when a scene, a character, or a snippet of dialogue pops into my head. The story is all potential at that point.
5. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Any aspect that is not a part of the creative process. The business part of writing is necessary, unless you are happy to have a stack of unpublished manuscripts sitting in the bottom of your closet. I am a writer because I like being alone with my ideas. Although I love attending conferences and mystery writers’ meetings, being around crowds can be stressful for a true introvert.
6. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who would they be and why?
Chuck Norris because he could kick the tail of the monsters living in my childhood closet, and for all around awesomeness. Katharine Hepburn because she was the role model in her era of a strong, successful, intelligent woman.
7. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
From life. A news story. Overheard conversation in the grocery checkout line. Environmental issues from work. The desire to make sense of a painful situation. To take revenge, in a civilized fashion.
8. Tell me about your ideal reader.
My fans tell me they appreciate the lack of profanity and racy scenes in my stories. The Rock Shop Mystery series strictly speaking does not fit the category of Christian fiction, and is definitely not preachy, but the stories are positive, and the characters attend church. My ideal reader is looking for clean fiction that tells a fun tale.
9. What is your “go to” routine that helps you get in the mood to write? Special beverage? Music? Etc.
I work a full time day job, so I don’t have the luxury of getting in the mood to write. My routine is to wake by 5 or 5:30, write or attend to writing business for an hour, then head off to work. If I don’t have too many chores or family responsibilities after work, I might get in an hour or two writing in the evening. Occasionally on the weekend or holidays, I enjoy a writing marathon. Beverage: coffee or tea. Music: I am a huge fan of Pandora, the internet radio service. I mostly listen to classical or easy listening music when writing if I need to drown out household noise.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
The three novels in my Rock Shop Mystery series have recently been released in paperback. They are also still available in e-book. Book Three opens when Morgan’s reclusive neighbor is blown to bits. The police believe he stumbled into his own trap. His granddaughter claims he was murdered, and asks rock shop owner Morgan and newspaperman Kurt to find his killer. Their search for clues is interrupted by alien hunters, a small town election, and the annual mineral and fossil show in Denver. In book three of the Rock Shop Mystery series, a Triceratops brow horn may hold the key to solving a prospector’s Stone Cold Blooded death.
I am excited about my upcoming project, writing a book for the adorable Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library series. My addition to the series will be A Whale Tale.
Be sure to come back to learn more about Catherine’s novel, STONE COLD BLOODED, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.
Links to Catherine’s website, blog, books, etc.
Stone Cold Dead, book one in the Rock Shop Mystery series
Stone Cold Case, book two in the Rock Shop Mystery series
Stone Cold Blooded, book three in the Rock Shop Mystery series
A Whale Tale, part of the Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library series
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!