Thursday, September 5, 2013

Author Interview – Catherine Astolfo

Have you developed a specific writing style? I’d say I’m a fairly descriptive writer, bordering on “literary”, that is, well-developed vocabulary and expressive prose. I love to write in first person and present tense.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I often suffer from writer’s block. What I do is this: I sit down at the laptop and I write. I write anything. A journal of my day. An outline of the current book. A diatribe against myself for having writer’s block. Anything that dislodges the obstruction and starts the writing flowing again.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I recently gave birth to book baby #5. It’s a standalone, a bit of a hybrid of romance, psychological thriller, mystery and historical fiction. How’s that for multiple personalities? Before this one, which is at the moment unpublished, I wrote four books in the Emily Taylor Mystery series. They’re published by Imajin Books. The title of the first one is The Bridgeman.

How did you come up with the title? The Bridgeman is named after the lockmaster who first inspired the story. I was fascinated by the anonymity of a worker that most people passed every day but wouldn’t notice. I imagined he was an evil monster who committed atrocities right under our very noses.

Can you tell us about your main character? Emily Taylor is an elementary school principal. She’s an energetic, passionate person who likes people. She’s very much in love with her husband. Unfortunately her life was touched by tragedy in the past. She has to live with a secret that eats at her and distances her from friends. It also propels her to get involved with the first mystery to protect her privacy.

How did you develop your plot and characters? I make plot graphs. Endlessly. Once I have the germ of an idea, I start with the classic opening conflict-rising conflict-crisis-resolution model and map out my story. They’re always evolving, so the graph is a work-in-progress usually until the last chapter. I plug my characters into the plot points, making up catalysts as needed. Next I develop the characters’ background stories, especially their motivations. For The Bridgeman, I began with the story of the lockmaster, an inherently evil man who commits unspeakable acts. I contrast his skewed thinking with my main character, a woman who is inherently good.

Who is your publisher? My publisher is Imajin Books, helmed by Cheryl Tardif. It’s a Canadian company out of Edmonton, Alberta.

How do you promote this book? I promote my books largely through social media. Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+, my website, my blog, my newletter…you name it, I’m on it. I’ve also connected with my local media, including newspaper and television, and luckily received a lot of attention.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I am making a statement about good and evil. Not a unique lesson, but I’ve put a distinctive spin on it. I want readers to believe that love and community can make a difference. I believe that. I purposely leave the novel on a hopeful, inspiring note.

How much of the book is realistic? Unfortunately too much of the book is realistic. I usually warn people that there is a puppy mill scene based on my niece’s factual experiences with abused dogs. However, I also like to let everyone know that the bad guys get their just desserts.


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Genre –  Psychological Suspense

Rating – 18+

More details about the book

Connect with Catherine Astolfo on Facebook  & Twitter


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