Thursday, January 10, 2013

Get Lost in Cathy Perkins Honor Code

Get Lost in a Story Readers:  I'm thrilled to bring back to our blog the fabulously talented Cathy Perkins
 
 
About Honor Code: 

In a small southern town where everyone knows each other’s
business, veteran detective Larry Robbins must solve the disappearance of eighty-year-old widower George Beason.

 
When evidence arises that Beason may have left town on his own, it would be easy for Robbins to close the case, but his gut instinct tells him more’s at stake. As he uncovers clues about Beason’s deceased wife and his estranged daughter, Robbins must untangle conflicting motives and hidden agendas to bring Beason home alive.

 
With HONOR CODE, award-winning author Cathy Perkins delivers a mystery NOVELLA linked to her mystery novel, THE PROFESSOR.

 
Cathy Perkin’s Honor Code is a tense police procedural whose hero is a taunt mix of weariness and optimism. The book begins with the kidnapping of the old man and as the mystery unravels the layered strands of family disfunction, fading communities and fractured marriages reveal a cop whose seen it all but still strives to make a difference. The crime and its solution are riveting, but not as compelling as the detective at the center of book. – Beachside Reviews
The opening scene is powerful in its imagery and emotion… the secondary characters added layers to the story that made me forget I was reading a novella - Renee Rearden

DONNELL: Welcome to Get Lost in a Story!  Time for Readers to learn all about you…well, sort of.  Honor.  Such an important part of characterization in our stories and in life.  Give us an example of when honor was critical in your life.

 
CATHY:  Whew, heavy question before I finish my first cup of coffee. I rarely think about honor in connection with a specific event. For me, it’s more about core values that impact a hundred small decisions every day. It’s how you chose to live your life. When you’re consistent with those core beliefs, the same values provide the strength to deal with major challenges.

I just realized this is another theme that often shows up in my stories. The novel I’m getting ready to turn in also revolves around a character’s attempt to live by a code of honor (except in that story it leads to disaster). Thanks Donnell, I hadn’t seen that before. J

 
DONNELL:  Ha!  It was intentional.  If you pick up a book, what genre is it generally?  Are Mystery/Thrillers primarily what you write?

 CATHY: I’m a voracious reader. Mysteries and thrillers are my ‘go-to’ stories, but I also enjoy literary, fantasy… I’ve been on a women’s fiction binge lately. So many of those stories delve deeply into relationships.

My stories are predominately mystery/suspense, but I tend to make them more character-driven than strictly action-oriented. I enjoy the way the character’s conflict play into the external plot.

 
DONNELL:  This is your second release.  Did you experience second-book syndrome?

 
CATHY: Hmm… not sure what you’re referring to. I’ve written two novels since I finished The Professor. Both are out on submission, so cross your fingers that the editor loves them.

Honor Code was a gift from the muse – delivered up nearly intact. I’d wake up in the morning with a scene vivid in my imagination. I’d scramble to write it down and was always delighted when it still sounded good when I edited it later. Don’t you love it when that happens?

 
DONNELL:  Describe your office.  Is it organized, cluttered?  Would I want to trade you?

 
CATHY: How about organized chaos? I telecommute to my day job. I converted a bedroom into an office for it. Since I’m always working on multiple projects, there are (ahem) a few piles of paper.  On the floor, the credenza.

Since I want to keep my writing separate from my day job, I generally write at the dining room table. Of course, those windows have an eighty-mile view to the Blue Mountains – inspiring!

 
DONNELL:  Writing a sequel to The Professor, how hard was that?  Or was it like reuniting with an old friend?

 
CATHY:  Honor Code isn’t really a sequel, although Detective Larry Robbins was a secondary character in The Professor. Honor Code is Robbins’ story. In a way it was like visiting an old firend since I “knew” his character. I felt there was more to explore with him. I love that a reviewer said about Robbins: “The crime and its solution are riveting, but not as compelling as the detective at the center of book.”

 
DONNELL:  What is the most unusual thing you have in your closet?

 

CATHY: Oh my. {Peeks into closet and slams door} Err… let’s try another one. The pantry! Here’s something unusual: a tea-set awarded to my husband’s great-great-grandfather for his actions when the mine exploded and collapsed (back in Wales). The engraving on the tea-pot is lovely.

 

DONNELL:  If you could go back in time, to what era would you travel, and who would you meet?

 

CATHY: I love visiting other times and places in stories. May I dabble a bit with this question? I’d like to visit the Renaissance and discuss art and science with Leonardo da Vince; watch the first Guggenheim Bible slide out of the press; carve cylinder seals with Mesopotamian artisans; see the first cave woman figure out how to make thread and the Scotsmen learn to knit. Talk with Clara Barton about the Red Cross; share recipes with the Benedictine monks. Oh, I could go on forever…

 

Cathy, now it’s your turn.  Time to ask the reader a question.  And READERS, THIS JUST IN.  CATHY'S BOOK IS FREE ON AMAZON KINDLE TODAY http://www.amazon.com/Honor-Code-Mystery-Novella-ebook/dp/B009STQQIE

 
CATHY:  Have you ever found yourself thinking about a character – after the story is finished? What makes you think about them? The character themselves or the situation he or she was in?

 
Cathy's links and contact information.


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Amazon - Available in both eBook and paper

 

Happy New Year! Donnell

 

You too, friend.  Thanks. Cathy for being our guest!!

15 comments:

  1. Cathy, I love books based on integrity and honor. Can't wait to download my copy of Honor Code. As someone who read The Professor, I can assure readers they're in for a treat! Thanks for blogging with us today!

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    1. Ah shucks, Donnell. I'm glad you enjoyed Professor. Your encouragement is one of the reasons it's published {hug}

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  2. Hi, Cathy! *waves*

    I'm excited to read Honor Code, but I'm jealous it was *gifted* to you nearly intact. ;) Maybe that'll happen with one of my manuscripts...some day. Sigh.

    And love the tidbit about the tea set from your husband's great-great-grandfather. What a fabulous piece of history (and reminder of honor!) every time you step into the pantry.

    :)
    Anne Marie

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    1. Hi Anne Marie!

      It is pretty awesome when the muse cooperates :)
      My critique partner and I kicked around a few ideas and everything fell into place. Tidbits I'd read on the internet, a friend's comments about her new job... Love it when that happens :)

      The teaset came over from Wales with his great-great-grandparents. When I'm packing for a weekend, sometimes I stop and think about moving house with only a trunk. Brave people!

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  3. Great post! In answer to the question, I think about my characters all the time. Mostly trying to figure out how to create a new and different story with the twists that I love. Thanks for the free read, Cathy! I can't wait to read it.

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  4. Hi Sandy

    Isn't it interesting the way our characters stay with us? We've lived with them so long, it is easy to wonder what they're up to and how they're getting along.

    Of course, then there's the, Oh yeah, moment...

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  5. Cathy! Waving... taking a quick break. I think about characters all the time. I think the character himself/herself and the situation they were in. Is that cheating? For instance, there's an old western series written by Dana Fuller Ross. I still remember his character Whip Holt because he was so real to me. The reader (well, my husband and I) wanted him to end up with Cathy (not you ;) but the author did something dastardly and he ended up marrying someoen else.

    When the series advanced and Whip's time was up, the author put Whip (still married to the other woman) and Cathy in a situation in which they were smothered by an avalanche. Maybe to make it up to the reader as the snow came down upon them, Whip Michael Holt reach for Cathy and they died in each other's arms.

    Wow. I think I support my answer pretty well, don't you?

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    1. Whoa, Donnell
      Something about those two resonated! But don't you love that?
      And you support it so well. :)
      The very first story I wrote - which only a few people have seen, thank goodness - is still like that for me. Those characters were so real. One of my early readers loved them. She couldn't wait for the next chapter because no matter how lousy her life was, P&J would still be in love and working together to outwit the villain. (An almost direct quote there)

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  6. Not so much after I finish a book but when I'm reading it and really deep into the book and have to put it down I find my mind wandering back to it wondering what is he doing or she into now. I remember when I used to work in a convenience store aka gas station. I worked 3-11 pm and one evening I was mopping the floor and the book I was reading at home popped into my mind wondering oh man are they going to get out of that mess, what's the next hurdle they'll have to clear. I couldn't wait to get home so I could finish the book.

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  7. Hi Donnell! Hi Cathy!

    One of the characters who stayed with me long after I finished the book was Ash Turner from Courtney Milan's UNVEILED. He was DELICIOUS. I fell in love with him, and it's a wonderfully complex, emotional story.

    Best wishes on Honor Code! :)

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    1. LOL - I'll see Courtney next weekend and be sure to tell her!
      Hmm, I'm hearing both the character and the situation were equally appealing.

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    2. Hi, Misty! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Thanks for letting me visit Donnell.
    Honor Code was such a wonderful story for me to write. A friend called me today to tell me she'd read both my books and could hear me in her head as she read.
    I love that!
    The dedication in Honor Code is to a social worker in SC I knew. She was my "Miz Rose." I heard her in my head as I wrote the dialogue; the words, the cadence.
    A lot of social workers are overwhelmed and castigated for not keeping track of a huge case load. To the ones like Caroline, I say thank you, as a writer, a friend and a human being.
    Good-night, all

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  9. My pleasure, Cathy, come back and see us!

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