Q&A: Lorena McCourtney
A plucky young detective, a great big spooky house, a dead body - all par for the course in award-winning author Cate Kinkaid's newest novel, Dying to Read.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN DYING TO READ?
I looked around and saw so many people out of work, desperate for a job. That's the situation my Cate Kinkaid finds herself in. She's never had any ambition toward being a private investigator, but when her uncle offers her a job as an assistant PI, she rather reluctantly takes it. Her first assignment is supposed to be easy and uncomplicated, no danger, definitely no mayhem or murder. However, that isn't exactly what happens to Cate. Dying to Read will be released in both print and e-book form in August.
OVER THE COURSE OF WRITING THE STORY, WHAT SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
What a challenge it was to switch to writing about a woman much younger than the older characters I've been writing about recently!
WHAT PARTS WERE INSPIRED BY REAL LIFE (EITHER RESEARCH OR EXPERIENCE)?
Cate acquires a blue eyed, white cat in the story. My editor pointed out that most such cats are deaf. I hadn't known that, so I did quite a lot of research on deaf white cats. What I found out is that they're quite wonderful creatures! And Cate's cat, Octavia, definitely has a mind and personality of her own.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT STORY IS SUCH A POWERFUL WAY TO COMMUNICATE TRUTH?
Perhaps because it isn't just a cold telling of events – this happened, then that happened, and something else happening. It infuses the events with a meaning to the people involved, and thus to the reader. Readers can relate to what happens in a story to their own lives. And maybe even learn something helpful from it. An exciting, emotional, or even fun story can send a message in a way that a sermon may not.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I'm working on the second book in the Cate Kinkaid Files series. The title hasn't been settled on yet. Publisher leans one way, I lean another! I'm also planning a Book 5 in my popular Ivy Malone Mysteries series, but it will be a while yet before I can actually work on that.. (But for anyone who's interested, the first book in that series, Invisible, is currently a free download on Kindle, Nook, and several other e-book readers.)