Friday, June 28, 2013

Get Lost in a Story with Cathy Perkins


Get Lost in a Story readers, today I am pleased to present an extraordinary writer and friend.  Please welcome Cathy Perkins, author of FOR LOVE OR MONEY.
 

ABOUT FOR LOVE OR MONEY:

When Holly Price trips over a friend’s dead body while hiking, her life takes a nosedive into a world of intrigue and danger. The verdict is murder—and Holly is the prime suspect. Of course, the fact that the infinitely sexy—and very pissed off—cop threatening to arrest her is JC Dimitrak, who just happens to be Holly’s jilted ex-fiancé, doesn’t help matters.

 To protect her future, her business...and her heart...the intrepid forensic accountant must use all her considerable investigative skills to follow the money through an intricate web of shadow companies, while staying one step ahead of her ex-fiancé. She better solve the case before the real killer decides CPA stands for Certified Pain in the Ass...and the next dead body found beside the river is Holly’s.
 

And now, let's learn about Cathy Perkins:

DONNELL:  Hi, Cathy, welcome to Get Lost in a Story. Wow, that blurb sounds amazing.  Holly Price sounds like she’s in a world of hurt.  So… you’re very analytical.  Forensic Accounting, is that your background also?

 
CATHY:  Hi, Donnell. Thanks for inviting me to visit. Hmm, I don't really consider myself a Forensic Accountant – that's such a specialized field! I do have a financial day job that involves a lot of “due diligence” during corporate transactions, though. (If someone asks if I write what I know, I'd rather admit to knowing finance than all the research into abnormal psychology I did for my serial killer book.)

Holly explains due diligence to her staff like this:

“I know you used to work for a transaction group,” Sammy said. “What does ‘due diligence’ mean?”

Holly considered how to answer in guy terms. “Before you bought a used car, you’d want to know it ran, right?”

Sammy gave her a look that said, Well, duh.

“So you’d check for Bondo, rust. Get a Carfax report to see if it’d been wrecked or trashed by a flood. Maybe have a mechanic run tests.”

“Got the picture.”

“Buying a used company is the same thing. Is the asset labeled ‘building’ an office tower in Pasadena or a burnt- out shell in Watts? Are there liabilities hidden somewhere that are going to come back and bite you?”

“And you want to look at one of our clients?”

***


DONNELL:  I can see by this blurb that Holly loves the outdoors.  I think that’s something else Cathy Perkins love.  Exactly how much is this heroine like the author?

CATHY:  Fiction, Donnell, it's fiction. :)

I admit, the inspiration for this story did come while I was out hiking beside the Snake River  in a game management area called Big Flats (which just happens to feature in For Love or Money). We had to push through some tangled foliage at the shoreline. Being a mystery writer whose mind can go all kinds of strange places, I glanced over my shoulder and said, “Wouldn't this be a great place to find a body?”

I do wish I had Holly's quick wit. I'm one of those people who always thinks of the perfect comeback...twenty minutes later. The nice thing about writing is “erase, edit, rewrite” as needed.

DONNELL:  I love reunion stories, particularly when there’s enough heat and conflict to make things interesting.  How fun was it to write For Love or Money?  Tell us a bit about your process and where you came up with the idea?

CATHY:  For Love or Money was so much fun to write. After two dark stories with a strong law enforcement lead character, I wanted to tell a lighter story—and I wanted it from Holly's point of view. From her perspective, JC's over there doing whatever cops do, which allowed the story to take a very different approach to Holly's investigation.

I'd originally planned to have Holly and JC meet during the investigation. Writing those scenes—watching them try to ignore the flying sparks—was fun. Part way through, I realized it would increase the tension dramatically if they'd been involved earlier—and it ended badly. Readers tell me they love the dialogue and chemistry between Holly and JC, so I hope I hit the mark!

DONNELL:  Since we’re talking hiking.  What shoes will we find Cathy Perkins ordinarily wearing? Heels, Sneakers, boots?

CATHY:  Aren't the red heels on the cover great?

You'll generally find me … barefoot. After a ga-zillion years in consulting, I recently moved into a different role as a subject area expert/resource. Telecommuting rocks! Dressing up in heels, lacing on hiking boots, or stepping into my favorite pair of Keens—it all means a potential adventure since I actually leave the house that day!

DONNELL:  What is something people don’t know about you, but you wish they could.

CATHY:  I'm terribly shy. After the ga-zillion years in consulting, I can do a presentation in front of a hundred people without batting an eye. Talking about a product or Something Else is so much easier! Promo for my books feels so much more personal—and my first book-signing? Icy sweat!

DONNELL:  You write suspense.  What is the most suspenseful thing that has ever happened to you?

CATHY: Because I do write suspense, there's always something off the wall or gruesome to investigate. Even reading some of my favorite authors can take my mind to scary places.

When the kids were little and my hubby traveled with his job, I used to lie awake at night and figure out how I could get to both of their bedrooms before an intruder made it upstairs. (Don't all moms do that?)

But the scariest thing? In pre-cell phone times, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, my husband was restoring a 240Z which I drove to an Art Gallery opening. The gallery wasn't in the best part of town and as soon as the scheduled event ended, everyone bolted for their cars and left.

Everyone except me. The Z wouldn't start.

I cranked the engine. Come on, come on. Don't flood...

I heard footsteps. Heart in my throats, I peered up and down the street. Two guys walking toward me.

Midnight.

Bad part of town.

Thick shadows, swaying foliage obscuring the feeble light from the one undamaged streetlight. A deserted parking lot.

I tried again. Crank, whir. Please start.

Nothing.

The men came closer, pointed, angled across the lot toward the car.

I thought bad words at all the people who left without making sure my car started.

The men approached my window.

“Need us to give you a push start?”

 
DONNELL:  Whew, Great ending.  CATHY, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.  TIME TO ASK THE READER A QUESTION. 

Have you ever been in a situation like Holly, where you were in a strange situation and in completely over your head?
 
I'll be glad to do a “backlist” story giveaway – reader choice.
 

Social Media

 

Facebook            http://www.facebook.com/CathyPerkinsAuthor

 

Twitter                  @cperkinswrites

 

Goodreads                   http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5367341.Cathy_Perkins

 
Amazon Author page http://www.amazon.com/Cathy-Perkins/e/B006K0IKUQ

 
website                http://cperkinswrites.com

 

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17 comments:

  1. Well, I haven't tripped over ant dead guys. :) But I remember the first week at home with my oldest child... definitely feel like I was in over my head!

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  2. Oh, I remember that feeling - pure terror! What do I do with this tiny little person? My mama was so calm and helpful.

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  3. Yes, it's happened

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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  4. The first time I ever had to travel for work, which was also the first time on a plane, I had to fly into Washington D.C. Did that no problem. Got the rental car, no problem. Then I had to drive to my hotel. I missed place I was suppose to turn. Evidentially the map I had listed the street I needed with one name but the signage was something else. I drove 45 minutes, in the dark, in the rain. I finally stopped and called my hubby. He looked everything up and got me to where I needed. At one point I was so frustrated I was in tears! I was a well educated woman...I should be able to do this. At least now I have a GPS and don't get lost! :)

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    1. Oh Sue,
      I think any of us who've traveled to an unfamiliar city - business or otherwise - can relate to that frustration!
      I do love the map app on my cell phone

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  5. I've driven long distances across the west several times. Once in an old van that kept overheating. That drive concerned me as I worried about stalling in an area far out from any civilization.

    Luckily we made it though.

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    1. I've driven those stretches of road where you don't see a soul. And you wonder if anyone will come along if you break down. Anyone besides the guy in the hockey mask. Was that set in Texas?

      On our last road trip (with oldest daughter) we were somewhere in Texas. The gas gauge kept dropping lower and lower. When a cross road with nothing but a tumbled down gas station appeared, I was so relieved I didn't care how much he charged for gas (although I do remember it being 4 or 5 times the going rate!)

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  6. Cathy, I love this interview. I love to go barefoot also, and can totally understand wanting to lighten the story after writing dark. I also had so much trouble posting this blog. Can you say challenged? I do love the shoes, must have put it in there three times, and I said I want that model's legs as well. Wishing you huge success on For Love and Money. It's on my TBR list, and if it's as good as The Professor, you've hit another home run!

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    1. Ah thanks, Donnell. I loved doing this interview and appreciate your having me over as a guest.

      Let me know when you read For Love or Money - I'll be curious to see what you think!

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  7. The first time I joined a chemistry research group at a university as an undergraduate student, I thought I was in way over my head. I didn't understand what the professor, post-docs, and graduate students were discussing and I couldn't participate at all. I felt so confused and useless. I felt better after I got used to how things worked at a research laboratory.

    Thanks for the giveaway and please count me in.

    Cynthia
    schan26.wisc@gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Cynthia

      Good for you - jumping into the research and then sticking with it! Sounds like you figured out how to navigate the lab. :)

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  8. Hi Cathy,
    Sorry to be late to this cool party! I loved your interview--sounds like you've done an amazing job with your shyness "issue" -- you certainly have a way with answering questions--marvelous!

    The one time I remember apparently being in over my head was in the Pacific Ocean on Malibu Beach. We are from the Land of 10,000 Lakes and I had a Water Safety Instructor certificate at the time. I knew how to swim and I was just playing in the waves with my hubby when a burly young lifeguard appeared at my side and towed me toward the shore. I've since learned that they can see undertows we cannot, but I was embarrassed and a little miffed when it happened because I had no idea there was any issue and I had no idea why he was there. I guess, now, I'm glad he was!

    Best of luck to you with your writing and this book in particular. Your Holly sounds like my kind of heroine!

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    1. Hi Lizbeth

      See, it's good you can't see me blush!

      Oh, I can just imagine you swimming along, playing in the waves and then this guy starts dragging you toward shore. I can also see the Whhaaa??? expression on your face. Of course, the romance writer is already thinking, he didn't realize that was your husband and he was doing the male chest-beating rescue to get your attention... Okay, I'll stop now.

      Hope you enjoy Holly's story!

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  9. Certainly nothing like Holly's situation. I have had more then a few moments in my life though where I had to reassess or step up.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi Mary

      There are so many moments in life - big and small - when we need to "reassess or step up". It takes strength of character to do that. Glad you met your challenges.

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