I have the pleasure of interviewing a fellow mystery writer this week. Cathi is a three-time finalist and winner of the Derringer for Best Short Story “The Kaluki Kings of Queens.” She is a board member of Sisters in Crime New York/Tri-State, and a member of MWA and International Thriller Writers. You can reach her at www.cathistoler.com.
Question: What is the title and genre of your latest novel? Why did you select them?
BAR NONE A Murder On The Rocks Mystery is the title of my newest mystery/suspense novel. I’ve written several previous mystery novels and I wanted this to have a different theme and decided set the story, and the series, in a bar owned by a woman, Jude Dillane. I thought the title, BAR NONE, would telegraph the theme to my readers. It’s going to be followed by two other novels, LAST CALL, and, STRAIGHT UP, also terms that relate to the bar business.
Question: What inspired this novel? How did it come about?
My husband was in the bar and restaurant business for many years. I spent time at the various places he worked and became friends with many of his co-workers. I also observed how people related to each, from the cooks, to the waitstaff, to the bartenders and patrons. It often felt very much like a family. I wanted The Corner Lounge, the bar and restaurant in the book, to be the place where ‘everybody knows your name’ and I created the story around that.
Question: Could you tell us a little bit about the heroine and/or hero of your novel?
Jude Dillane, the protagonist at the center of the story, is a young woman who is determined to succeed. She’s had some setbacks in her life and still mourns the loss of her immediate family years ago. Jude’s worked very hard to make a go of her place, The Corner Lounge on
Tenth Street and Avenue B on the Lower East
Side of Manhattan. She’s has the good fortune to have a wonderful friend in her
landlord, Thomas “Sully” Sullivan, a former Marine Colonel, who owns the
building the restaurant is located in.
For Jude, Sully has become a surrogate father and because of their close relationship, she agrees to go undercover at the Big City Food Coop where he volunteers to help find a murderer.
Question: Can you tell us about some of your other published novels or work?
I’ve written two other series. The first is the Laurel and Helen New York Mysteries, a three book series in which magazine editor, Laurel Imperiole, and P.I. Helen McCorkendale, team up to solve crimes involving art looted by the Nazis, hidden identity, and the theft of a priceless red diamond.
My other series features professional blackjack player, Nick Donahue, in NICK OF TIME, a novella, and OUT OF TIME, a full-length thriller. In both, Nick travels the world playing blackjack, getting into difficulties, and solving crimes with the help of his partner, Marina DiPietro, a former MI6 agent.
I’ve also written a book of short stories, BAD THINGS HAPPEN, and various other stories including the Derringer winner, “The Kaluki Kings of Queens.”
Question: What are you working on now?
I’m working on the third book in the Murder On The Rocks Series, STRAIGHT UP, in which Jude is still dealing with the after effects of a serial killer who’d been stalking people on the
Lower East Side where her business is located.
Question: What made you start writing?
I attribute it to my love of reading since I was a very young child. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading. In my first career, I was an advertising copywriter and creative director and wrote commercials and print ads. Of course, that’s very different from writing a novel, which I believe somewhere inside I always wanted to do. I decided I would try and I took a class entitled “Overcoming Your Fear Of Writing Your Novel.” It allowed me to realize I could do this and I’ve been writing novels ever since.
Question: What advice would you offer to those who are currently writing novels?
Don’t give up. It may not be easy and you may have doubts about your work, but keep writing. Eventually, you will finish.
Question: Where and when will readers be able to obtain your novel?
BAR NONE will be available on Amazon and at bookstores everywhere:
Barnes And Noble: https://bit.ly/2CkPiRK
Barnes And Noble: https://bit.ly/2CkPiRK
*Cathi welcomes your comments and questions!