Get Lost with Debut Author Cathy Perkins

Get Lost in a Story Readers, I'm very excited to bring you today the debut author of THE PROFESSOR.  I read a partial of Cathy Perkin's unpublished version of this story in the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, and I was wowed.  Watch this woman!  I assure you she's the real deal in authorial talent. 

Set in South Carolina, stopping the serial killer who is terrorizing college campuses drives the plot of THE PROFESSOR. Charismatic State Agent Mick O'Shaughnessy wants more from life than work and a pretty face. Fiercely independent graduate student Meg Connelly always wanted a loving family and professional success, but has to learn to trust in order to get either. The Professor knows the only way to get what he wants is to take it—and taking Meg’s life will destroy Mick with the same stroke of his knife.

A dark edgy murder-mystery/romance that will keep you spellbound page after page. ~~ Night Owl Reviews

Hi, Cathy:  Congratulations on your debut thriller, The Professor. 

Cathy: Thanks for having me here today, Donnell. I appreciate the chance to talk about The Professor, my upcoming release from Carina Press.

DONNELL:  So let's get to it.  It’s clear you like scaring people…so answer us this… Are you afraid of the dark?

CATHY:  My husband says “cat” is part of my name for a reason, but I really can’t completely see in the dark. It baffles him how I walk around the house at night without turning on lights. I’m convinced women can see at night to take care of the kids, but that’s a different story.

To take it one step further, I’ve been a runner for years. Sometimes the only time I could fit training into my schedule was very early in the morning or late at night, so I ran in the dark. Great for balance—and learning to trust yourself! Should I throw in a disclaimer – don’t try this at home?

DONNELL:  You’re stranded on a desert island. You have a choice of a life raft or Hugh Jackman.  What’s it going to be?

CATHY: You know, after a while, if Hugh and I really wanted off that island, I bet we could build a life raft.

DONNELL:  Coffee or tea?

CATHY: Uh, hello? I live in Washington State, which has to be the most caffeinated state in the country. And for the record – Seattle’s Best not Starbucks. Did you know there is a very real, very small town in eastern Washington named Starbucks? Trivia fact for the day.   

DONNELL:  Morning person or night owl?

CATHY: I’m a night owl, which doesn’t always work well with a day job, kids, a morning person hubby (he makes me coffee <3). Someday, the 4-5 hours’ sleep a night is gonna kill me, which would be a boring end to a romantic suspense writer.

DONNELL:  Complete this sentence.  When I want to relax, I. . .

CATHY: head to my tropical island on my private jet… Oh, you want real life? Our mountain property is our Shangri La getaway. As soon as we park the car, we can feel the tension slide off our shoulders. From there, relaxing can mean getting outside – hiking, snow showing, cross-country skiing or just working on the property – or curling up on the couch in front of the fire.

DONNELL:  what is your favorite sound?

CATHY: I love music – I have something playing nearly all the time. My taste runs across the spectrum – alternative to jazz and back through country to contemporary. My kids introduce me to new artists and I’m a fan of the Internet sites that start with a song or musician and build a playlist.

Going back to the mountain place – we brought a TV up there for movies. When we plugged it in, the poor thing kept cycling, looking for anything, but I love that it couldn’t find a single channel. Music, books and quiet conversation instead of TV at night – what a concept J

While we’re there, I love the sound of the river over the rocks – and as long as I’m safe in my bed, hearing the wolves sing to the moon at night is a rare treat.

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

CATHY: Opens door – ouch! It looks like the ‘fridge of one of the guys I write about: condiments, beer, a bottle of wine and some sad looking lettuce. Whew, there’s some fresh pasta and a chunk of Parmigianino; at least dinner’s covered! Definitely need to hit the store and farmer’s market. We are so blessed here in the Pacific Northwest with access to fabulous fruits and vegetables as well as free-range, well, everything. The taste—and health—difference is phenomenal!

DONNELL:  Now it’s your turn to ask readers a question.  And readers, Cathy will be giving one lucky commenter a digital downloaded copy of THE PROFESSOR from Carina Press.  http://cperkinswrites.com/

CATHY: Readers, what do you think?  Mystery, suspense or relationship –what part of the story do YOU find most important?

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Note: Offer void where prohibited. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address


  1. Cathy, what terrific answers to my questions! Welcome. Way to go, creating a win/win with you and Hugh ;) and that escape property sounds ideal. Note, my daughter lives in Seattle, so I'm available for a writer's retreat . Gorgeous country. Also, I think it's totally cool, you can escape TV, what a muse sparker, all that isolation. Is this where The Professor came to you?

    And, gosh, as for your question, Mystery/suspense, the relationship, I want a story with all three. I'm not good at reading a mystery without a little something going on in the protag's life. I, however, don't want the relationship to overshadow the mystery. And it better have suspense. The Professor works just fine. Enjoy your debut, and come back and see us for book two!

  2. Great post Cathy and Donnell!

    Cathy, your getaway in the mountains sounds wonderful, but I was on the plane with you headed for warm sand and blue water! Good luck on The Professor. It's a must read.

    I have to agree with Donnell. I get more invested in the story when there a blend of romance with the mystery/suspense.

    1. Shh, a little secret - we usually take off in the middle of winter so I can go soak up some sun. Vitamin D is good for creativity.

  3. Great interview! I LOVE suspense! But I also LOVE a good romance. SO I guess I really need both to enjoy a story!

    1. Thanks Alexa
      Donnell ask such good questions, it was a lot of fun to answer.

    2. asks ... asks... not 'ask'

      must find more coffee

  4. Hi Cathy,

    Your book sounds great. I like all 3 together - mystery, suspense and romance -

    1. Thanks Tammy!

      I'm with you, my favorite authors combine all three; they might emphasize one more than the other in a story, but all three are there.

  5. Welcome to GLIAS, Cathy. Awesome interview!

    While I like mystery/suspense...in fact love it and can't seem to write without it... The most important part of the book for me is character growth. This is one of the main reasons I read romance. It's sort of guaranteed in our genre.

    All the best

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Angi

      I agree, when I read I want to invest in the characters. If they're 2D or don't grow, the story usually doesn't hold my attention.

  6. Morning Donnell - thanks for inviting me to stop by.
    Let me know the next time you're in Seattle. The mountains are usually a quick trip away. With the snow over the past days the Interstate is closed, so maybe in the summer... when it's warm :)

  7. Congrats on The Professor! I can't wait to read it. And hey - as long as there is pasta in the house you always have dinner! I think that is a trick of writers who are busy writing on deadline:)

    1. Hi Joelle!

      My other oh-no-what-are-we-going-to-eat survival food is salmon burgers on the grill. We keep a supply in the freezer.

      And with so many vineyards around here, we can usually scare up a bottle of wine. :)

  8. Hi, Cathy! Fancy seeing you here. :) Congratulations on your release.

    The story is the most important to me, but if the story is good but the mystery part is awful, then that trumps it. And actually, it was a poorly-written suspense romance that made me put my own pen to paper. "I can do so much better than that," she thought...

    1. Hi Abigail

      Thanks, I'm really excited about sharing these characters and their story. Hopefully it hits the right balance!

      I've heard so many people say they started writing for the same reason.

      Hmm... I wonder how many of them actually finished that new story?

  9. Cathy, congratulations on The Professor's upcoming release! And I'm with you, Hugh Jackman can help me build a raft anytime...figuratively speaking, of course. ;-)

    As for your question, I think character growth built into the romantic elements and suspense are the most important for me. Sounds like The Professor has all of my favorite elements. I can't wait to read it!!!

    1. Hi Renee - Thanks for stopping by!

      I think that's why romantic suspense is one of the most popular genres. It reaches across the spectrum from a hot and steamy emphasis on the relationship to a larger mystery/suspense focus, but in all of them the characters are so important.

  10. Hey, Cathy. Congrats on the release of The Professor. S.C. is lovely setting for what sounds like an intriguing read. Have visited your norhtwest a couple of times. Port Angeles (about two hours west of Seattle) had the most incredible views and scenic small towns.
    As to preference, I want a blend of mystery/suspense (I know they're different, but you need one of them) and then a nice romance thrown in. If the mystery/suspense has no romance or the romance doesnt have M/S, then I'm probably not going to buy it. Yours sounds like a great blend and if I don't win a download, I'll be checking out B & N Nook books. Hope you have lots of sales.

    1. Hi Marsha

      I grew up in SC so it holds a special place in my heart, but we love it out here in the Pacific NW. Port Angeles is lovely – the downtown has so many fun shops and restaurants. This area has the city, water, mountains, islands... Something for everyone. :)

      We'll see what the friendly random number generator turns up - either way, I hope you enjoy it!

  11. Congratulations on the release! It looks wonderful. I can't wait to read it!

  12. Hi Cathy,

    Congratulations on your book's release tomorrow. Looking forward to reading it.

    1. Hi Dru! Thanks for stopping by - hope you enjoy it!

  13. would like to get this blog by email at k527@msn.com