01 August, 2013

#SpecialFeature :: Introducing #Author Catherine Astolfo

Under "Special Feature" every month I feature a Special Author. 
During this month I put up 4/5 posts about the Author/Book, including Interview / Review / Excerpt / Guest Post / Author Bio / Fun Facts or whatever else we can come up with. Also on the first day of the month we will  launch the Giveaway contest along with the first post and will announce the winner on the last day of the month.

So be sure to check out my blog every 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of every month for something new :)

Now Presenting:
*** SPECIAL FEATURE - August'13 ***

Meet the Author :: Catherine Astolfo
Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education. Catherine received the Elementary Dufferin-Peel OECTA Award for Outstanding Service in 1998. She was also awarded Dufferin-Peel Catholic Elementary Principal of the Year in 2002 by the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario.
Catherine is a past President of Crime Writers of Canada and a Derrick Murdoch Award winner (2012). She was a Zonta Club 2012 Nominee for Women of Achievement.
Writing is Catherine’s passion. She can recall inventing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of literary Canadian presses. In 2005, she won a Brampton Arts Award. Her short stories won the Bloody Words Short Story Award (second and first) in 2009 and 2010. She won the prestigious Arthur Ellis Best Short Crime Story Award in 2012.
Catherine’s novels, The Emily Taylor Mysteries and Sweet Karoline, are published by Imajin Books and are optioned for film by Sisbro & Co. Inc.

Here’s a little bit from the author’s mouth about her roots and her writing journey.

I’m from a medium-sized city in Canada, located near Toronto, Ontario. Growing up, the city was a small town and we had characters galore. My mother always told us lovely stories about her life on a farm. Thus I had a rich upbringing in creativity. As soon as I could put pencil to paper, I started writing stories. First, fairy tales for my classmates, then short stories for my sisters and cousins. I have the feeling that I was born a writer.

Up until now, I write in the mystery genre. Lately, there is a new sub-genre that’s being bandied about at least: the literary mystery. Much as I dislike the term “literary” because it sounds so snobbish, I must say that I am happy at last to have a category for my books. One agent said that the plots of literary mysteries are “underneath the surface”. The characters take the front seat. The vocabulary tends to be somewhat more extensive and the focus is on the personalities involved. The reader learns something about the human condition through the stories. In addition to solving a puzzle, of course. 

My current novel, Sweet Karoline, can also be classed as a psychological thriller: the unreliable narrator; the feeling that we’re not being told everything. I have considered other genres, especially the general literary one. In fact, I have an outline for a future book that follows a couple of generations of women.

To date, I’d say Sweet Karoline  is the one of my five books that I love best (don’t tell the Emily Taylors I said that). I believe it’s my best work to date. Although I also love Emily, I have a feeling that Karoline is going to be even more popular. It’s such a hybrid: mystery, romance, history, psychological thriller. So far, among an eclectic bunch of first readers, it has appealed to everyone. Emily might be a bit more oriented toward a mature female audience.

For Sweet Karoline, the lead character is Anne. I really want Halle Berry to play her in the movie! Although Halle’s a bit older than Anne, I’m sure she could pull it off; she’s who I picture when I think of that character. As for Emily, I’d pick Jonny Lee Miller to be her husband Langford.

I create my characters from bits of me, my family, friends, strangers on a bus. I love a t-shirt slogan that I saw recently: Careful, you might end up in my next novel. Usually, however, my characters are combinations, exaggeration and imagination, so they turn out to be their own personalities and not copies of a living being. Often I get their names from obituaries. Seriously. I read through the newspaper and make different blends of first and surnames. I believe my characters are believable due to their humanity plus their emotions and reactions to extraordinary circumstances. Sometimes their profession helps readers connect with them (for instance, Emily Taylor is an elementary school principal). Essentially, though, I think it’s the trick of infusing fictional people with realistic feelings, dialogue and actions.

The plots come from absolutely everywhere: the newspaper, an incident in a friend’s life, an exaggeration of an event that happened to me… sometimes I think they’re in the air! I try to write every day, a little something. Even if it’s a blog or answers to interview questions. 

I love hearing from readers. My website has all the links you could want www.catherineastolfo.com. Please visit!

Her Books
"If I knew what I know now, would I have searched so hard for the truth?" 
Anne Williams says she killed her best friend, Karoline. But did she? Or is there more to Karoline's mysterious death than meets the eye? 
Anne embarks on a compelling journey to discover her past and exposes an unusual history, horrific crimes and appalling betrayals. Through unexpected turns and revelations, Anne learns about love, family and who she really is. Can she survive the truth? 

The Emily Taylor Mystery Series
(Click on the Book Covers to visit their Goodreads Page)

Say Hello to Catherine

Buy Sweet Karoline

Ms.Catherine has kindly agreed to sponsor prizes for the 5 top winners! 
Each winner will get a copy of their choice of any ebook from www.imajinbooks.com

Imajin Books have Adventure, Anthology, Chick Lit, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal/Supernatural, Romance, Religious Fiction, Science Fiction, Suspense/Thriller, Western, Young Adult (YA) books. So matter your preferred genre, you are sure to find something to your liking.

So what are you waiting for? Enter the Rafflecopter Now! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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