When and why did you begin writing? I wrote fairy tales in Grade Three, when I was still seven years old. The kids in my class loved my stories, which inspired me to write more. A couple of years ago I met someone who’d been in my class that year. All these decades later she still remembered them!
When did you first know you could be a writer? In Grade 8, a teacher read my stories and told me I had a terrific style. He thought I was a writer already. I agree with his assessment. Anyone who has the urge to put words on paper might be a writer. It’s the follow-through that counts. Sometimes I use the word “author” to make the differentiation. For me, an author is a writer who wants his/her creation to be read by others. You have to be willing to rip apart your initial output and edit, edit, edit. It’s a lot of work. Only authors are dedicated (obsessed?) enough to put in the time.
What inspires you to write and why? The nugget of a story inspires me. For instance, a friend of mine told me about a newspaper article from his small town. A native woman committed suicide after running around a tree in concentric circles. I was fascinated. What was her motivation? Did she think something was chasing her? Was it a demon or a legend-come-to-life? Out of that nugget came my second book, Victim. For me, it’s always the germ of an idea, a piece of a plot that gets me started. I build my characters and plot all around that.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? I consider myself a mystery writer, though my books are not classic mystery or crime. They don’t follow the rules of the genre, but they do have a puzzle to solve. I really deviate from mystery in the fifth book to which I just gave birth. (It’s not out in the world yet.) I’d say it’s bordering on general fiction, since it has elements of romance, psychological thriller, historical fiction and mystery. I just go where the story takes me.
What inspired you to write your first book? One day on a long drive I noticed an operator in a red Canadian lumber jacket working the lift bridge. I imagined that people passed him by every day without registering his existence. I began to wonder: what if he is a monster who cleverly blends into the scenery? From that came a book that explores the juxtaposition of unspeakable evil with love and community. The theme runs through most of my books. I’m fascinated by why people become murderers or abusers.
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?
“A deliciously vibrant portrait that realistically muddles good and evil.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Astolfo’s wonderful first sentence in Sweet Karoline explodes on the page and resonates right to the end of this twisting examination of dangerous minds. Never have I encountered a narrative voice that alternates more deftly between alienating and enticing.” —Mel Bradshaw, author of Fire On The Runway
“A deliciously twisted story about the perplexing power of adult female relationships. By turns scathingly funny and darkly insightful, Sweet Karoline is a hedonistic journey with all the right ingredients: lust, betrayal, true love and mystery. Grab a glass of wine and have the bottle handy. A compelling read from the start through to the surprising end.” —Robin Spano, author of Death’s Last Run
“In Catherine Astolfo’s chilling new novel Sweet Karoline, things aren’t always as they seem. Anne, the multifaceted anti-heroine in this noir tale takes a fateful journey into her forgotten past, uncovering the painful roots of her childhood. While furrowing for answers, a mystery unfolds, truths swirl to the surface, a heinous murder occurs. Who’s the killer? Caught in a tangled web of greed, lies and deceit Anne must come to terms with her past, present and future, and the bleak realization that those we hold close may be the last ones to trust. Compelling, visually descriptive, deftly delivered…Catherine Astolfo’s got the goods!” —Douglas Wickard, author of A Perfect Husband
“Sweet Karoline is a multi-layered mystery, where nothing is as it seems. The story grips you on page one and leads you through a maze of history, twisted relationships, and ultimately the darkness of the human mind.” —Liz Bugg, author of Oranges and Lemons
“In Sweet Karoline, Astolfo has created a daring hybrid mystery that combines elements of romance, history, and suspense in a carefully crafted story that keeps you guessing to the very end. Astolfo explores new boundaries as she extends her reach beyond the cozy mystery in this psychological exploration of the mind of a killer. A unique exploration of guilt and revenge.” —Michael J. McCann, author of The Fregoli Delusion
“The clever plot twists in Sweet Karoline will enrapture you from page one through the last paragraphs of this fast-paced modern mystery. Author Catherine Astolfo exhibits a strikingly perceptive gift for believable dialogue and rich character development. Her dry wit and colorful descriptions will have you howling in laughter at points, but in tears at others as she digs deep into the themes of guilt, race, and relationships. The powers of love and redemption are strong, but does the heart of an Ice Queen ever really melt? Enjoy the romp from Los Angeles, through Canada, to a priceless Italian rendezvous—all in the pages of Sweet Karoline, where long-buried secrets lie.” —Lisa Pell, award-winning author of Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?
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Genre – Psychological Suspense
Rating – 18+