1--What is the title of your latest release?
A DOOMFUL OF SUGAR
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
After the shocking murder of her father, Leila Khoury returns to her hometown, Sugar Ridge, Vermont, to fulfill his wish and take over the family business. Can she run the maple syrup farm, mend her strained relationship with her mother, and find a killer?
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
I live in Upstate New York, about a half hour from the Vermont border. I’ve been dying to set a mystery in the Green Mountains for a long time (yes, pun intended.)
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
Absolutely. Leila never pulls any punches.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Determined, headstrong, and loyal.
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
When the idea for this series first came into my head, I took a private tour of a maple farm in Vermont, and the owners were wonderful about answering all my questions. It was so interesting to learn how maple syrup is made.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
Both. I’m always changing things. I’m sure it drives my editors and publishers crazy, but they are too nice to say anything, lol.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
Cake. It works well at any time of the day!
9--Describe your writing space/office!
A cluttered desk downstairs in my house with pictures of my kids, an overcrowded bookcase nearby, three monitors/computers, and a cat sleeping comfortably on one of them.
10--Who is an author you admire?
There are several, especially in my genre, but Sue Grafton is the first name that comes to mind. I was fortunate enough to meet her once, too!
11—When did you first start writing?
I wrote my first book when I was eight years old. It was called Lazy Sisters – a highly plagiaristic version of Cinderella, but fortunately, Disney never sued.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
It wasn’t actually a call, but an email from Gemma Halliday Publishing back in 2015. I’d recently sent Gemma two cozy mysteries for consideration. She asked for revisions and told me to follow up with her in a couple of months. When I did, she replied with something along the lines of, “Let’s get this book out into the world!” It was an incredible feeling.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
Mystery, of course!
14--What’s your favorite movie?
I have too many to list! Fried Green Tomatoes, The Shawshank Redemption, Little Miss Sunshine. I could go on and on.
15--What is your favorite season?
Autumn. It has Halloween, cooler weather, and gorgeous scenery.
16—What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
The words came from the marvelous Sue Grafton herself. Years ago, she had an online forum and sometimes she would answer questions from her fans. I wrote in once and told her that I was suffering from writer’s block. She told me that it wasn’t writer’s block; instead, I was afraid of failure. I still have those immortal words in my desk drawer!
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
I don’t get a chance to watch much television, but I really enjoyed Bridgerton!
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
Like my main character Leila, I adore Lebanese food. The dishes are very time-consuming to make, though, so I don’t have it often.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
I love to go to the theater and was able to see To Kill a Mockingbird earlier this summer. What an amazing show!
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I will have three new releases next year: With Option to Kill (Cindy York #5); Bake, Batter, and Roll (Cookies & Chance #13); and Syrup to No Good (Maple Syrup Mystery #2).
Maple Syrup Mysteries # 1
Leila Khoury has always believed that everyone loved her father as much as they loved his artisanal maple syrup. But when he's killed, and she returns to Sugar Ridge, Vermont to take over his business, she starts to realize how much of his life she's left untapped.
With her brother under suspicion, her mother just barely holding it together, and police not producing any leads, Leila will have to investigate herself if she wants answers about her father's sticky end. But the more she learns, the more she worries that there won't be a sappy ending to the story.
Mystery Amateur Sleuth | Mystery Cozy | Mystery Culinary [Poisoned Pen Press, On Sale: October 25, 2022, Mass Market Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781728253930 / eISBN: 9781728253954]
Catherine lives in Upstate New York with a male dominated household that consists of her very patient husband, three sons, two cats and dogs. She has wanted to be a writer since the age of eight when she wrote her own version of Cinderella. Fortunately, Disney never sued. Catherine holds a B.A. and dual major in English and Performing Arts and is a former press release writer and newspaper reporter.
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