ED- We are now interviewing Cat Connor of New Zealand for our readers interest. Cat you write thrillers, something that attracts our readers to our magazine. Tell us about your first novel, ‘killerbyte’
CC- Thank you for having me over. I’m a big fan of The Eerie Digest so this is quite a thrill for me.
As tempting as it is to put in the tag line and leave it at that – I shan’t because there is a funny little backstory with killerbyte. The idea behind this book came from actual death threats in a real chat room, and asking “What’s the worst case scenario?”, the result a fabulously gruesome novel and a warning – do you really know who is sitting on the other side of your screen?
Killerbyte: A killer with a gift for inventive and macabre deaths…
An FBI Agent with an equally unusual imagination and sense of humour…
“FBI Agent Gabrielle Conway is no stranger to death threats. She seems to get them daily and from a poetry chat room of all places. Although she thinks it strange how people will get so worked up online that they would resort to such actions, she never really took any of the threats seriously. That is, until someone from her chat room showed up on her doorstep with murder on his mind. The police manage to chase him away, and Ellie believes that the incident is over until a dismembered body shows up in her trunk accompanied by a cryptic and poorly-written poem.
A series of emails and yet another gift of an incomplete corpse convince both Ellie and the FBI that she is being stalked by a madman.” – Excerpt from Bookwenches review of killerbyte.
ED- Tell us about the fabulous award that you have won for this work.
CC- EPIC announced this last year: killerbyte, is a finalist in the category F6 – Mystery and/or Suspense Fiction of our 2010 E-Book Competition.
We haven’t won yet and won’t know the fate of killerbyte until March. Crossing something would be helpful, thank you in advance.
Killerbyte also ranked #7 in the Critters Workshop Readers Poll, this January. That was pretty darned cool.
CC- Terrorbyte is indeed the second novel in the Conway series. (Please excuse the lack luster series name, it is temporary!) This novel is the product of several conversations about mentally ill parents and how children cope. Obviously, that all morphed and twisted in my mind – and another question arose. “How bad could this get?” and another one, “What happens if we put the internet into the mix?”
Terrorbyte: Ellie Conway is back: wisecracking, kicking ass and using her psycho-prophetic talents to grapple with a murderer with ulterior motives, secreted behind a series of grotesque crimes.
“Ellie, promoted to Supervising Special Agent for this case, realizes with horror that the victims are linked by one factor: they are all involved with the Butterfly Foundation. Somehow the killer is using her beloved project to locate and target his victims, making a mockery of the sense of safety and support that the foundation was created to foster. Complicating issues is the fact that Ellie is suffering side effects from an old head injury. She is assaulted by dizziness and migraines, and strange fragments of songs and television series that dance through her mind, leading her to conclusions on the case that are almost bizarrely accurate.
As Ellie, Mac, and their teamwork to identify and stop the killer, it becomes evident that he is watching them and is leading them on a complex trail designed to distract and obfuscate. But what is he trying to distract them from? Their investigation will uncover a truth that is not only bigger than Ellie could have ever imagined, but it is also her worst nightmare.” – Excerpt from Bookwenches review of terrorbyte.
ED- Where can our readers find your novels?
CC- Mobipocket, Amazon kindle, iTunes (I never get tired of that – it truly amuses me, a book on iTunes is just cool!) and wait for it… sometime this year as paperbacks, I’ll let you know the details when I do.
I can tell you I’ve signed off on the cover art/back cover blurbs etc, and these books are going to thrill bookshelves all over the world.
ED- I also know that you squeeze your writing in amongst your many other responsibilities. Tell us about your life on the other side of the world.
CC- It’s all very exotic – living on the other side of the world as I do – until you actually live there and discover it’s not that different from everywhere else! I don’t charge about with a sword on various quests while looking for a silly ring.
We have a bunch of children, so I’m all over the place like a mad woman’s knitting trying to keep up with what everyone is doing! The kids are an endless source of amusement, they haven’t yet become inspiration for a thriller – but I can feel it brewing. Our youngest is 4 years old (but she’ll have you believe she’s at least 6) and our oldest recently got married in London –he’s 27. Writing time is carved out and around family life. There is always a child somewhere near me, usually talking. The days are long gone when the kids all go to bed before me, leaving me to the peace of the night. Nowadays I’d have to get up at the crack of dawn (or at sparrows fart as I like to call it) to get any peaceful writing time – so I just go with the flow – and work around the household. I find headphones, or ear buds and Bon Jovi help a lot!
ED- You and I have constantly kidded each other on Facebook about ‘being upside down’. New Zealand was the choice location of Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’. Your country has to be the most beautiful spot in all the Pacific Ocean. Please tell us about it.
It’s often difficult to see New Zealand as a tourist does, because I live here and it’s home. I’m used to looking out my windows and seeing mountain ranges rimming the valley – and always knowing exactly where I am.
But all said and done this is a beautiful country; Lord of the Rings did a lot to highlight that. (Although I wasn’t in it – so obviously, anyone watching LOTR missed something truly exquisite.)
New Zealand has a varied and fascinating landscape; we have mangrove swamps, desert, snowy mountains, thick native bush, pine forests, Fjords, amazing surf beaches, volcanoes, – you name it we probably have it. We’re a small country – with just over 4 million people and most of those live in the North Island, so it is possible to get away from the crowds.
My favorite place – is one you should all see. Down in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of the South Island is a place called Mahau Sound. I love to sit on the beach and watch the mussel barges go past, while dreaming up plots. There will be a story set there shortly – every time I’m in Mahau I get more and more scary scenes to put in my notebook. I’m heading down for the next school holidays in April.
One of the best things about New Zealand – no snakes and only one indigenous poisonous spider. (I’ve never seen the Katipo and I don’t know anyone who has, it really doesn’t seem to like being around folk.) You can walk barefoot here and be quite sure nothing nasty will bite you!
We also have no indigenous mammals. Deer, possums, wild pigs, wallabies, rabbits etc were all introduced here a very long time ago for whatever misguided reason. Guess it gives us something to shoot. Apparently a small herd of Canadian moose were released in Fiordland about 95 years ago – it was thought they died out quickly with the last sighting being in 1952, there are however those who believe they didn’t die out. There are also those who believe there is a black panther wandering the Canterbury plains. Guess every country has its stories.
Just for the record – we are not part of Australia and never will be.
ED- Last, but not least, I understand that you have another novel that you are polishing up for release. Can you give us an idea of what it is about?
CC- I can tell you but then, you know the drill… I’ll have to kill you. It’s so tiresome! Seriously, the novel is called Exacabyte. Which should tell you a little bit about it right off. It’s the third Conway book (still looking for a groovacious series title), and I can say it’s been a hell of a lot of fun to write. I got to dabble inside the world of rock concerts while chasing bad guys… it doesn’t get much better than that. There is a new character, who I quite like, and some old favorites return.
ED- Cat, You are one of the most fascinating people that I have ever had the pleasure in talking to. I hope that you can take a look at some of my personal works in The Eerie Digest, and let me know what you think about them. We know that our readers will love to read about you and your beautiful country and ask that you let all of us know of your endeavors in the future for our magazine to tell about.