Friday, December 20, 2019

Interview with Award-winning Author Cathi Stoler

Holiday Greetings! I’m interviewing Cathi Stoler, a prolific, award-winning author. She is a three-time finalist & winner of the Derringer for Best Short Story, “The Kaluki Kings of Queens”. Cathi is a board member of Sisters in Crime NY, and a member of Mystery Writers of America & International Thriller Writers.

Question: What is the title and genre of your novel?  Why did you select them?

Answer: OUT OF TIME A Nick Donahue Adventure is a mystery/suspense novel and is the sequel to NICK OF TIME. From the very beginning, I wanted to write a story featuring a male as the main protagonist. Like most writers, I wanted there to be something unique about this character; something that would make him stand out in the crowded mystery/suspense genre.

Question:   What inspired this novel? How did it come about?

Answer: As I thought about who the character would be, I had the idea of creating an interesting and exciting professional gambler who becomes involved in solving crimes that are somehow related to his profession. I recalled being in a casino in Venice, Italy and watching all the well-dressed men and women playing high-stakes Blackjack, and knew that was the game for Nick. As a Blackjack player, he needs to get into the heads his opponents to stay ahead of the game and win. It’s the same for solving a crime.

The first book actually started with a short story in which Nick Donahue meets a mysterious woman, Marina DiPietro, who is being pursued by an International gang of jewel thieves. The story evolved into the novella, NICK OF TIME. By the end of the book, Nick discovers Marina is working for MI6 and they are living and working together.

Question:  Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?

Answer:  Nick is a character I really enjoy writing, Suave, sophisticated and smart, as a professional gambler, he’s also a risk taker—it’s what makes him a successful gambler, and he understands the odds are not always in his favor. He tends to figure things out in the long run and wants to be part of helping Marina solve the cases she now works on as a private investigator. As you’ll see in OUT OF TIME, this can lead to perilous situations in which he needs all the cunning, skill and subterfuge he possesses as a gambler to win.

Question:   Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?

Answer:  My first series includes the three-volume Laurel and Helen New York Mysteries featuring magazine editor Laurel Imperiole and private detective, Helen McCorkendale, in KEEPING SECRETS, TELLING LIES and THE HARD WAY. I’ve also written several short stories and am a three-time finalist & winner of the Derringer for Best Short Story.

Question:   What are you working on now?

Answer:  I’m working on an Urban Thriller Murder On The Rocks series. The first book is BAR NONE, with Lower East Side Corner Lounge bar owner, Jude Dillane who investigates murder and fraud at the Big City Food Bank. The next two books in the series, LAST CALL and STRAIGHT UP will be published next year.

Question:   What made you start writing?

Answer:  I was an advertising copywriter for many years and finally decided to try writing a novel, which I’d been thinking about doing for some time. Of course, I chose to write a mystery, the genre I loved to read since I was a child. If I couldn’t be a detective, at least I could write about one. So far, it’s been a great experience and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Question:   What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?

Answer:  Be totally committed. Talent aside, writing and finishing a book is an enormous amount of work. But that’s just the beginning. Most of us spend months, if not years, searching for an agent, then an editor and a publisher who will to take a chance on you. It can be a very long process and not always financially rewarding. So, I’d say look deep inside and make sure you want to do this.

Question:  Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?

Answer:  OUT OF TIME, is available in paperback and eBook editions on Amazon. Here are the links:

Paper back:  

I hope you will enjoy reading OUT OF TIME.

Cathi welcomes your comments and/or questions. So don’t be shy!


  1. Great interview Ladies!
    Here's wishing you both a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and the best of luck and God's blessings!

  2. Pam,

    Thanks for the good wishes! Happy holidays to you and yours as well.

  3. Nick sounds interesting, Cathi, especially since I've played a lot of blackjack. Best wishes for continued success with your writing.

    And Merry Christmas.

  4. Earl,

    I'm fond of blackjack myself. And the book sounds intriguing.

  5. Ooooh! A professional gambler! I have visions of Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein. There's a certain machismo in a man who is able to keep his cards close to his chest. Sounds like a fascinating character, Cathi. Wishing you the best, and you, too, Jacqueline.

  6. Hi Saralyn,

    I've met a few professional gamblers in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Interesting people definitely!

  7. Cathi and Jacqueline, great interview.
    It's not unusual that what we read as kids leads us to write stories in the same genres. I too read a lot of mysteries but also many thrillers (back then called adventure stories) and sci-fi. Maybe not in your case, Cathi, but I had the audacity to think I could write stories like those I read and liked. Of course, they turn out differnt as we develop our own voices.
    I'd like to see sometime a sociological analysis of what makes writers write. That youthful motivation would probably be an important chapter!

    1. Steve,

      I also remember being inspired as a child by the stories I had read and wanting to write my own.

  8. Terrific interview! Thanks to you both.

  9. I heard from Cathi. She's read all of the great comments readers have left and appreciates them. Unfortunately, each time she tried to respond, Blogger didn't publish her responses.

  10. Cathi,

    Congratulations on your new book! I wish you success. The characters and the premise sounds quite intriguing.

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