The Corpse with the Iron Will (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
by Cathy Ace
I am thrilled to welcome Cathy Ace to Escape With Dollycas today!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
First of all, (a lot of people ask me this) yes, Cathy Ace is my real name – my birth name, in any case. I’m Welsh, having been born and raised in Swansea, and I migrated to Canada aged forty. I now live half-way up a little mountain in a rural area in the southwestern corner of British Columbia.
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
Hmmm, maybe they hadn’t guessed that I’m Welsh? Or, if they knew that, maybe they didn’t know my husband is also Welsh – so we keep our Swansea accents alive, despite the fact we’re both Canadian now.
I’m a natural optimist – which helps a great deal if you’re a writer, because you have to believe the planets will all align to allow your next book to be published, and sell.
I live by the maxim: “Don’t dream it, be it” (which is stolen from Dr. Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Show)
What is the first book you remember reading?
This is impossible to answer, because I read so much, and so fast, when I was little, that all the Enid Blyton “Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” books roll themselves up into one adventure-filled ball. I vividly recall the cover-art for Nancy Drew books, and I’m pretty sure the first Agatha Christie I read was “Death in the Clouds” – which, again, I recall for the wonderful cover-art by the artist Tom Adams – but I could be wrong about that. I do have a copy of a book called “Little John Little” on my shelves, which I recall was bedtime reading when I was very small, so possibly that?
What are you reading now?
A bit of a confession here – I’m actually reading one of my own books! I wrote The Corpse with the Golden Nose in 2012, and it was published in 2013, which feels like a very long time ago. It was the second Cait Morgan Mystery, and there are characters in it who will make an appearance in the planned eleventh book in the series, which I am currently plotting (see more below). I knew I had to go back to them before I could write about them again, and I am therefore rereading that book. It’s a weird experience – I can hardly believe I wrote it, and there are bits I painfully wish I could rewrite, and bits which fill me with delight, and pride.
What books have most inspired you?
Every book I have ever read has inspired me, in some way or another, but – since you’re asking me to be specific – I’ll plump for the works of William Shakespeare and the works of Agatha Christie.
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
I’ve always read mysteries, and I cannot imagine writing anything else. Each book I write is a book I’d like to read, and I’m a complete dyed-in-the-wool mystery reader, so that’s my thing, and I’ll stick to it.
Do you have a special place you like to write?
I have an office, and writing is my work, so I tend to write there. However, for a few years I wrote at the dining table, and I have been known to spend time in the summer out on the back deck, enjoying the fresh air as I edit – but I can’t write there, just edit. No idea why! Wherever I am I need silence to be able to write. My most productive hours are between about 9pm and 2am, so – fortunately – that’s naturally a pretty quiet time, though the owls, bats, and coyotes keep me company.
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
This is one of those annoying answers, because it’s honestly, “It depends”! I might hear or see something that makes me think, “What a great way to kill someone!”, or I might be struck by a situation or an encounter when I think “What a great reason to want someone dead!”. Once there’s the germ of a starting point, that’s when the hard work of crafting a complex plot begins, and I enjoy thinking through the details of a plot as I work on our acreage, or do a spot of DIY.
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
For me, the entire process of writing involves much more than sitting at a keyboard – I think of it as including all the plotting, researching, outlining, and then writing and editing, too. Of the overall process, what I dislike most is editing. For me, the first draft is the most fun, because I’m trying to get the movie I’ve already seen in my head onto the page in such a way that the reader can see that same movie, without the words getting in the way.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story is like a good piece of music: there are only so many notes to play with, but it’s the unique voice of the composer that makes the music what it is. In the same way that I’m drawn to the works of certain composers, I’m drawn to the works of certain writers – no matter what sub-genre they are writing in (Note: I honestly only read crime). Thus, whilst I need a story to “work” overall, for me it’s the voice that draws me in, and – ultimately – satisfies me.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
Unquestionably, Cait Morgan. She’s Welsh, an immigrant to Canada, over-indulgent, judgmental, a bit bossy, and has a soft heart (but an acid internal voice).
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
I think this comes back to the point I made earlier – voice. The Cait Morgan Mysteries are traditional, Christie-style mysteries: they always feature a closed circle of suspects, play fair with the clues, and deliver red herrings, with a final denouement and comeuppances for the baddies. In other words, they deliver against the expectations of those who enjoy that “shape” of mystery, and I think that’s important (it is for me, as a reader, anyway). But I write them, with my voice, in my head (which is Cait’s voice, of course, and these books are written in the first person) so they are unique to me in that respect. In all honesty, it would only be others who could tell you how my voice differs from that of other authors; I’m not clever enough to do that.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
As I mentioned, I’m plotting the eleventh Cait Morgan Mystery at the moment. I know where it’s set, who the main players are, the basics of what happens to whom, and the how and why of that – but I’m not quite ready to announce the title or the publication date, yet. I’m a detailed planner – I have no idea how anyone begins to write a book until they’ve already outlined the entire thing not only in their head but on paper, too – so I have to work out all the twists, turns, and details before I can be sure this story will end up being the next book. There will be an eleventh Cait Morgan Mystery, but this might not be the story I tell; I hope it is, because I really want to take folks to the location, which is fantastic – but it’s too early for me to be certain.
Thank you, Cathy, so much for visiting today!
Keep reading to learn about Cathy’s new book!
About The Corpse With The Iron Will
The Corpse with the Iron Will (The Cait Morgan Mysteries)
10th in Series
Publisher: Four Tails Publishing Ltd. (June 3, 2021)
Number of Pages: 325
Digital ASIN: B08YRQP569
Welsh criminal psychologist and globetrotting sleuth, Cait Morgan, and her retired-cop husband Bud Anderson, are enjoying some well-deserved peace and quiet at home, in moody, mountainous British Columbia. The sudden death of a neighbor is a significant loss for them both, so Cait’s honored when Gordy Krantz’s “unusual” will requests that she eulogize him at his memorial.
However, delving into the dead man’s background becomes a pressing priority when a puzzling theft, and some surprising discoveries, put our favourite sleuths on high alert. Might someone living in their seemingly tight-knit – and certainly off-beat – rural community have wanted their neighbor dead? And if so, are more people they know at risk?
The tenth Cait Morgan Mystery from Bony Blithe Award-winning author Cathy Ace, The Corpse with the Iron Will, forces Cait and Bud to use the skills they’ve honed tackling cases around the world to unmask a killer who’s too close to home for comfort!
More About Cathy Ace
Cathy Ace was born and raised in Swansea, Wales, then migrated to Canada aged 40. Having traveled the world (for business and pleasure) for decades, Cathy put her knowledge of the cultures, history, art, and food she encountered to good use in the Cait Morgan Mysteries – a series of traditional whodunits featuring a globetrotting Welsh Canadian professor of criminal psychology. These books have been optioned by Free@LastTV (Agatha Raisin). Ace also writes the #1 Amazon bestselling WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries, featuring four female PIs (one is Welsh, one Irish, one Scottish, one English). They tackle quirky, quintessentially British cases from a Welsh stately home in the rolling countryside of the Wye Valley. Her standalone tale of psychological suspense, The Wrong Boy, also became an amazon #1 bestseller, and is due to become a bilingual TV mini series. Cathy lives on five rural acres in British Columbia, where her ever-supportive husband ensures she’s able to work full-time as an author, and enjoy her other great passion – gardening. She’s been shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Award three times in four years, winning in 2015, has won an IPPY Award, and was shortlisted for an IBA Award and an Arthur Ellis Award.
Author Links: Website Facebook Twitter: @AceCathy GoodReads Instagram
Purchase Links – Amazon – Kobo
Also by Cathy Ace
June 7 – Author Elena Taylor’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
June 8 – My Journey Back the Journey Back – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 9 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
June 10 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW
June 12 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – #BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
June 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
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