Meet the wonderful, and rather scary Thriller author Cat Connor, from New Zealand.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Cat Connor. A Cantabrian who’s lived most of her life as a northerner. Makes it a bit hard when the Crusaders play the Hurricanes but apart from that it’s not too bad. I share my office with a retired racing greyhound called Romeo who likes to be as close to me as possible at all times. Luckily he likes Bon Jovi and doesn’t mind that I’m rather noisy when I’m working.
I’m a member of The New Zealand Society of Authors and International Thriller Writers.
What bought you to the world of writing?
A pen, notebook, and a desire to kill without doing time. A winning combination.
What is your first book and what do you think of it now?
Cat Among the Wolves. It’s a good story. Very few people have ever read it because it was where I cut my writing teeth. Kinda toying with re-writing in first person and maybe, just maybe, doing something with it – like show it to my publishers or rip it apart and serialize it (which just came to me now as an actual possibility …).
What type of books do you write and do they fulfil your reader’s needs?
Contemporary FBI thrillers that occasionally border on horror or techno and sometimes have an element of romance. As long as the need is entertainment, then yeah, I guess so.
Would you like to feature a book, if so which one? Tell us about it?
I can’t make that choice. It’s like choosing a favorite child.
The 6th book in the series I’m writing was released in June and also, the first book in the series was re-released with a brand new cover and fresh edit. So, I suppose, politically it would be best to talk about the first book, Killerbyte and the sixth book, Databyte.
A killer with a penchant for inventive and macabre deaths challenges an FBI agent with an equally unusual imagination and sense of humor.
SA Ellie Conway works serial crime cases. When someone tries to kill her, it becomes obvious it’s linked to her after-hours pursuits in cyberspace. Matter become complicated when her assailant is found dead in the trunk of her car.
Despite a plethora of crime scenes, no evidence can be found to identify a motive or perpetrator. The death toll rises and eventually includes those close to her. A chance remark provides the first real clue to unraveling the killer’s twisted goals.
When information becomes misinformation, how much of what you see should you believe?
Wanted for a murder she didn’t commit and on the run from the FBI and Metro, Supervisory, Special Agent Ellie Conway has to protect an actor with close ties to Delta A from a serious threat as well as trying to clear her name.
Unwittingly, whilst staying off the grid, Ellie stumbles upon a syndicate which has alarming connections to her daughter’s death – and which abducts her team, with the intent of killing them and Ellie.
How long does it take you to write your first draft?
Depends on how many interruptions I get or how much I let myself become distracted.
Normal for me is 3-6 months for a ‘first draft’ but in saying that there is no such thing as a first draft in my world.
I write it once - beginning to end.
Detail is added (because I’m more focused on getting the story out in the initial writing phase than on the detail of certain scenes and there is a certain amount of laziness involved too) and if there is anything I need to run past experts in any given field this is when I do that.
Loose ends are checked to make sure they are tied up (or at least the ones I want to be tied up are – I found handcuffs are pretty good although these days I prefer plasticuffs to the metal variety).
The book is then sent to a few trusted readers who (hopefully) will point out any missing words and inconsistencies to scenes/story line/plot. Once I’ve collated all the comments I give it another tweak and send it to my editor at my publishers to see if she likes it.
That’s about when the panic sets in.
Do you plot or not, if so why?
No. I just write and trust my gut – it’s pretty good at steering the ship so I let it.
Do you write in 1st or 3rd person, or have you do both?
I write predominately first person. It’s scarier that way, for everyone.
How do you edit your work? Do you leave your draft alone for a while or edit as you write?
See above comments about writing a first draft.
I don’t think anyone is capable of editing their own work successfully. Writers are too close to the action to be able to do that. Editing is done by my editor at Rebel. She’s fantastic and loves Ellie and Delta as much as I do.
What type of people/readers do you market your books to?
Anyone who can read (and think). People who like TV shows like Criminal Minds, Person of Interest, and The Blacklist are probably going to enjoy my books. People who read Tom Clancy, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, James Houston Turner, and Jeffrey Deaver will also more than likely enjoy my books.
Do you self-publish or have you worked with an Agent/Publisher
I’m published by Rebel ePublishers, USA – I’ve been with Rebel since early 2009 and the 7th book in the Byte series, Eraserbyte, will be out mid-2015.
I’ve also self-published a few short story collections, a novella, and a poetry book over the last two years.
How do you promote your writing?
I’ve been known to do a few interviews.
I am pretty active on Twitter and Facebook but tend to use those as social media not an avenue to smack people over the head with an agenda. It’s a lot more fun talking to people than screaming “Buy my books” every few minutes and annoying everyone.
Where can we buy your books?
Worldwide from pretty much any online retailer in both paperback and eFormats.
Who are your favourite authors?
Alexandre Dumas, Ian Fleming, Jeffrey Deaver, Lee Child, Janet Evanovich, Barry Eisler, James Houston Turner, Tom Clancy … yes there is a pattern.