Kathy: You start a new series with A Story to Kill. How did you decide to create a whole new series?
LC: The Tourist Trap has eight books available for purchase today, and more to come. Sometimes, convincing a reader to jump into a series with that many books is a hard sell. Everyone's reading time is limited so I wanted to entice new readers to try one of my books. And I love writing. So I needed a new outlet for my creative muse.
Kathy: Was there a specific inspiration for this story?
LC: When I'm building a new world, I always think about what I want to accomplish. With the Cat books, I wanted to challenge myself to write a mystery within the mystery. And, it's definitely a challenge. I also knew I wanted to set it somewhere I felt comfortable, but I already had an Idaho series along with the central California one, so Colorado was my next choice. As far as a writer's retreat, I love the idea. Surrounding yourself with other authors is fun and builds creativity.
Kathy: Cat opens a writer's retreat in the house she inherited. Have you ever attended such a retreat? As a writer, would you ever consider sponsoring one yourself?
LC: I have not. My bestie and I planned a writing retreat last year, but her computer died the night before so we did a touristy thing for our two days together. It wouldn't have been nice for me to write when she wasn't able to put words down. :) But I love the idea of one. I made my own writer's retreat on a trip to Chicago and got 10000 words that weekend. Totally worth the time and investment. I'd love to sponsor one some day. We have a historic river town near by with several bed and breakfast. I'd love to rent one out for the weekend and invite all my local writer friends. Maybe someday.
Kathy: When it comes to writing I understand there are 2 general camps-plotters, who diligently plot their stories, and pansters, who fly by the seat of their pants. Are you a plotter, a panster, or do you fall somewhere in between?
LC: I am a pantser. I come up with an idea - like the new Tourist Trap I'm writing - and then dive in. Typically, I have the opening in my head, long before I start writing. For Killer Party, the book I'm writing, I knew it started with Greg attending a bachelor's party for one of his high school friends. Now, after writing the first two chapters, I had to stop and figure out why the person was killed, who did it, and what red herrings I'm going to build in.
Five friends walk into a bar, only four walk out.
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
LC: Fatility by Firelight - Book 2 of the Cat Latimer books comes out February 28th, 2017.
To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.
Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .And then Hospitality and Homicide (Tourist Trap #8) releases May 16th.
Back in South Cove, a mystery writer returns to pen his newest novel. But when the death scene he writes, comes to be in real life, Greg and Jill have to figure out who really killed the bed and breakfast owner.
A STORY TO KILL by Lynn Cahoon
The First Cat Latimer Mystery
Leaving California for Colorado, Cat Latimer has returned to the home she once shared with her husband. Surprised that her ex left the house to her when he died, Cat is nonetheless excited to start a new chapter in her life. Along her her best friend Shauna, Cat is converting the Victorian into a writer's retreat. Inheriting the house is only the first unexpected event for Cat. She soon discovers that the handyman Shauna hired is none other than her old flame. Not wanting to appear rattled at his appearance, Cat busies herself preparing for her first set of guests, which include a famous author. Life has more curve balls for Cat, however, as she discovers that her guests are not quite what she expected and that while one guest is a major fan girl another another has a major grudge against that famous author. Cat goes to his room in an attempt to warn him only to find his murdered body!
Lynn Cahoon has started a great series with interesting characters. The writing is crisp and taut, yet time is taken to develop the characters. I sense a huge back story with Shauna and I hope more will be revealed in future books. One of Cahoon's more interesting characters doesn't even appear in the book, Cat's ex-husband. Through comments both subtle and direct we get a somewhat conflicted image of the man. If he was just a womanizing heel who tired of marriage, why leave the house to Cat? As for the house, the wonderful thing about using it as a writer's retreat is the ever changing guest list, new characters to like and dislike. It's especially nice knowing the ones you dislike probably won't be return! This changing cast of characters make more viable suspects and bring fresh blood to the victim/murderer pool.
An interesting note about the Cat Latimer Mystery series is that the books let us glimpse into the real life of writers. We witness the alone time needed to write, the little things necessary for writers-certain snacks for example, and most importantly, the fact that generally authors can't survive solely on the income they earn from writing, Another source of income is generally needed to pay the bills.
While the mystery is complete in A STORY TO KILL, Cahoon sets the stage for future books with her open ending. Readers will be satisfied, yet left wanting more-to see just what Cat's ex got himself into! I had a great time delving into this world. A STORY TO KILL is a smart, well written mystery that left me with great expectations for the next chapter in the Cat Latimer Mystery series.