I wrote in various capacities all my life for my professional work, first, as an archaeologist, then as a small business advisor and for many years as a trade commissioner and diplomat. I wrote short stories and poetry personally and encouraged my children to do so as they grew up. We often exchanged our writing creativity for birthdays and special occasions. I dreamed of writing novels – the protagonist, Kate Roarty came to me about a decade before Vantage Point, the first in the Kate Roarty, P.I. series was realized.
What influenced the creation of your novels?
I knew I had to write about what I knew. I wanted my work to be fiction – adventurous, thrilling, suspenseful, mysterious, passionate and diverse in settings and how it explored humanity. I determined to explore an undercurrent of corruption as I built my tales.
How did the persona of your protagonist, Kate Roarty come to you?
Kate Roarty was my paternal grandmother's maiden name. She was a fiercely independent, resourceful person – a woman ahead of her time. I sought to build a character that would honour her and celebrate a futuristic private investigator that takes on the new and different. Kate Roarty is the first private investigator to follow the technological innovation thread to solve crimes. She is also the first long distance open water swimmer. She is middle-aged, comes to her career from a varied and dynamic background that informs her pursuits. She is fit and healthy; she cooks and eats well; engages her adult children at a distance and experiences adventure, adversity, avarice and passion close-up and personal. Her friends and foes are a cadre of research scientists at the top of their game. a lover and a golden retriever conspire to compromise her independence.
What is your writing process?
My writing practise changes with the seasons and available sunlight. Generally, I write in the morning following the sunlight streaming into the upper level of my house. I change where I work several times a session. Cold winter days will find me ensconced by the fireplace working on my laptop. I try to maintain a four hour days but when the revising, editing process cranks up, I am known to remain huddle over my laptop for twelve hour stretches. Luckily, My 'Lapland Huskahund' leaps up beside me closes the laptop with his paw and insists we head out for a walk. During the pool swimming seasons I end my writing session with a one to one and a half hour lane swim. Ah but in summer I head to Meech Lake for long evening swims of two-four hours in length. The creative thinking during walks and swims often send me back to work for another round or two to capture my thoughts before they vanish.
How do you approach cover design?
I have some ideas and collaborate with the cover designer to create a portal to the tale that draws the reader in –
What do you read for pleasure?
Everything. Science fiction, biographies, murder mysteries, literary fiction, memoirs, classics. I am a slow reader but delight in returning to a book that I read in my headstrong twenties to find I learned so much more the second time around and on very rare ocassions a third time around.
Describe your writing space.
While I enjoy a sun-filled open study on the second floor of a open concept house, Wifi has made it possible to migrate into my tiny garden, out on the porch, beside the fireplace to comfy chairs in the bedrooms. Parts of all of my books have been written in everyone of the five rooms of my home. Natural light is a major determining factor of where I write. The availability of good overhead lighting during the short days of the winter months influences my creative productivity. I do not like to rely on screen light exclusively.
What are your next writing plans.
Traces, the second in the Kate Roarty, P.I. series is due out early in 2017. It is finished but needs to rest a little while Vantage Point is being promoted then it will get a final rigorous edit before heading to the editor. The third book is the series called Steps is half done. I will be off to Winnipeg and Chicago for some research work during the summer 2016.
how do you experience all of your international settings for your novels.
I have been able to live, work and travel to most of the places depicted so far and will endeavour to travel to those settings that i may not have visited – the first hand visceral experience is invaluable, albeit not always possible.
Who is your favourite author and why?
Lucy Maude Montgomery. Great books – all of them, a fiercely independent woman. A woman ahead of her time who was also constrained by her era.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The elation of finishing the first draft – it is so entirely creative and satisfying.
What are you working on next? Steps
This is the third book in the Kate Roarty, P.I. series
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