Thanks Donnell – that is high praise. I appreciate it.
About Murder Multiples
Catherine Swope is thrilled with her first multi-million dollar real estate sale. Bidding on the confiscated Miami Beach mansion at the Federal auction was her idea. Now she's found the perfect buyer. When Catherine discovers the soon to be new homeowner dead in the bathtub, her plans fall apart. What looks like a tragic accident turns out to be murder. Police and DEA investigations uncover a web of connections that tie Catherine to the death, and to the drugs left behind at the house. The coincidences force her to conduct her own investigation, and put her directly in the line of fire. Someone wants to frame Catherine for murder, dead or alive.
DONNELL: Kait, welcome:
Miami Beach, real estate, DEA and police and murder, this is my kind of read. You live in Florida, correct, scuba dive, you live the life of a Floridian, correct? Is this your first and only home, or are you a transplant?
KAIT: That’s a hard question to answer. My birth home is New Jersey, with a heavy dollop of living on my great-grandfather’s farm in upstate New York. We had relatives in South Florida, so we spent a lot of time there from the time I was five until I finally went to college at University of Miami. With the exception of a foray to Virginia, back to New Jersey, and then to Maine, I’ve been in Florida ever since. So, it’s fair to say I’ve lived here most of my life.
DONNELL: Catherine is a Realtor. Is this your background, tell us the difference between Catherine and Kait?
KAIT: No, I’ve never been in real estate. I’m lucky to have several friends who are in real estate and they help me with the details. My day job is a probate/tax/litigation paralegal. Catherine is a lot more analytical than I am. She sees relationships where I see events. I’m more detail oriented than she is, but she is more methodical. Catherine will go from point a to b to c while I will spend a lot of time exhausting all the avenues of point a only to jump to point e. We balance each other well. She is also a lot braver than I am. Both of us are runners and animal lovers and both of us believe in justice and want to see it done.
DONNELL: This sounds like a more hard-boiled mystery to me. How would describe it?
KAIT: Was it Robby Burns who thought seeing yourself as others see you was the greatest gift? It’s funny, when I was writing the first of the Swope series my critique partner kept telling me, “This is not a cozy.” To me, it was. Now I describe the Swope books as being traditional mysteries. They fall into a strange genre since they are essentially amateur detective novels, but Catherine does have a law enforcement background so she gets to bring that to the table and it does change the tone. I’ve recently encountered the phrase “cozy noir.” That may be the best description of the Swope series.
DONNELL: It also appears to me that a lot of research went into Murder Multiples. Federal auctions. Talk about that. How often do they occur?
KAIT: I love research. One of my majors in college was history which is research intensive, and of course, my day job is too. I find it satisfying to start with a question and sift through all the possibilities until you come up with an answer, or a correct possibility even if it’s not the usual answer. I did that in MIM when I deviated from the usual forfeiture process. As a general rule, property is not sold before an adjudication of guilt in the courts. The confiscation for sale is usually part of the sentence. Defendants can agree to forfeit in advance of conviction and sentencing. This is the scenario I used in MIM. It’s not common, but it does occur. I was relieved to find it in research because I really wanted Pell and Zak to be easily available to Catherine, although Pell’s murder surprised us both.
The Federal auctions were the result of two kinds of research, the first personal. One of my dive buddies is a DEA agent, the second is Internet research. Somehow or another I ended up on a Federal Auction e-mail list. I received a notification of residences in the Miami area that were going up for auction. One of the photos triggered Murder in the Multiples. As far as I can tell, there is no set timing for the auctions. The notifications seemed to be random in time, but there may be a national schedule of sorts.
DONNELL: Speaking of research, what is the most fascinating thing that you have learned as a writer while researching?
KAIT: Easy – that scent is to a dog is as color is to a person. That’s how acute their sense of smell is. Each scent is distinctive to them. They don’t smell “floral” they smell rose, lily, of the valley, lavender all as separate scents. I fell in love with that fact. Doing the canine research was a lot of fun. The training of these dogs is meticulous and the dogs enjoy the work.
DONNELL: If you’re not writing, where will we find you?
KAIT: Up or down. Flying in our Cherokee 6 – my husband is a pilot and we own a plane, or SCUBA diving. My passion is wreck diving so I’m usually finding some old hunk of junk to visit. In fact, my next book, Death by Blue Water, the first in the Hayden Kent series and due to be released by Henery Press in November, starts with a body found on a deep wreck dive.
DONNELL: Organized or are you a packrat?
KAIT: Organized. I can’t even write if my desk is a mess. They say opposites attract. It may be true. My husband is a packrat to the 25th degree. Unfortunately, he can rarely find what he hoards. I have a photographic memory so if I have seen it, I know where it is. We have lots of “Karnac” moments at my house.
DONNELL: What’s the most unusual thing you have in your closet?
KAIT: An unfinished three-foot long model of the USS Constitution. What, everyone doesn’t have a balsa wood model on the top shelf of his or her closet? I also have my great grandmother’s china serving platters in there. I’m afraid they’ll get broken if I put them out where my eight cats can get to them. Lucky this is a deep closet!
DONNELL: What is your favorite series drama or program?
KAIT: Is now the time to confess that we don’t have television? We never hooked up to cable or satellite. We do watch shows on Netflix though. Right now I’m working through series six of Mad Men. I love the 1960s flavor to it and the sheer style of the program. I also love House Hunters. In fact, I think that may be why Catherine is in Real Estate!
Kait, now it’s your turn. Time to ask the reader a question, and readers, the name of one lucky commenter will be drawn to win a Kindle version of Kait's book.
KAIT WANTS TO KNOW: What brings them back to a series. For me, it’s usually the main character. Is that standard or are there other factors?
Also, animals are very important to me. I think they help establish humanity, in real life and on the page. Do readers like books with “critters” or do they get in the way of the story?
www.kaitcarson.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; https://www.facebook.com/kaitcarsonauthor; @kaitcarson; http://www.pinterest.com/carson2248/
Kait Carson lives in central Florida with her husband, eight cats, a cockatoo, and a macaw. All are rescues. When not writing or researching, Kait spends her time scuba diving the glorious Florida waters. Her pilot husband often flies her in the family Cherokee to check out new locations for mayhem or for speaking and signing events. ZONED FOR MURDER is her first full-length novel. MURDER IN THE MULTIPLES, the second in the series is currently available on Amazon as an e-book. The paperback follows in soon.
On the big news and announcement front, Kait is thrilled to share that she has signed a contract with Henery Press. Her first book, titled DEATH BY BLUE WATER features Hayden Kent, a scuba diving paralegal living in the Florida Keys. A release date has not yet been set.
Kait loves to hear from fans, check out her website at www.kaitcarson.com; follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kaitcarsonauthor, on twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at email@example.com.