with Sheri Savory and Tina Sansone
click to hear interview
What got you interested in writing? Have you always written crime or detective type books, or did you start out doing something else?
Well, I was always a story-teller and that’s what writers do; we tell stories. I was the little girl who could keep her friends interested for a couple of hours by telling all different types of stories. My imagination was, and is, very fertile and active. In high school I created a mystery series and each day during study hall I would hand out the next part of the story. I made sure to always leave a cliffhanger of sorts with each new part to stir up anticipation.
I’ve always loved writing about crime and the human emotions involved in why someone commits one. What are they thinking? Why did they do it? It fascinates me and I want to take all the puzzle pieces of the crime and solve it.
As you did the research for this book, did you meet much resistance? Do you get any backlash and/or praise now for writing it from the public?
I actually found no resistance from anyone in dealing with the sensitive subject of priest molestation, mainly I believe, because the topic has been in the news a great deal. The organization SNAP, (Survivors’ Network of those Abused By Priests), commended me for writing the book and were extremely helpful in the documentation of the abuse listed in the author’s notes at the end of the book. A friend of mine who is a priest read it and said, “You nailed it, Kristen. This is exactly the way it is.” I have received emails from readers which have all been very positive and many have praised the book for being so honest about the abuse.
Will there be others in this Cate Harlow’s series in the future?
Definitely! Readers have been asking me the very same question; they want more Cate Harlow! Yes, absolutely, the second book in the series, GRAVE MISGIVINGS is in pre-publication and should be published in late 2015. FOR I HAVE SINNED is the first book of three in the series A Cate Harlow Private Investigation.
When you were young did you like mysteries like Nancy Drew or was this something that developed as you got older?
Oh I have always loved mysteries! And I did like any book, Nancy Drew included, which showed strong, intelligent girls and women. Solving the mystery in a well-written story was my passion.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in writing a book but just now sure how to get started?
I would say get started immediately. You can begin by jotting down ideas in a notebook and then flesh out the characters and story as you go along. Write something every single day, even if it’s only a sentence or two; you’d be surprised how much you’ll have written in a month if you do that. Keep everything you write in one place and be faithful to writing.
What other books have you written?
FOR I HAVE SINNED is my sixth published book and my fourth fiction novel. I’ve written WELCOME TO HELL, a dark humor novel about one man’s unexpected arrival in Hell. Hell looks like a tropical resort so he’s confused when he gets there! REMEMBER, HETTY? is a YA ghost story about two sisters. Both of these books were awarded Best Fiction by Powell’s Books Editors.
I’ve also written a well-received book of humorous essays on relationships titled, NO WOMAN DIETS ALONE-THERE’S ALWAY A MAN BEHIND HER EATING A DOUGHNUT.
And then there are my two non-fiction self-help books AND THEN I’LL BE HAPPY! and NOURISHING THOUGHTS. Truthfully even though those two are non-fiction, they’re written in a story-like manner.
Where can our listeners get your books?
My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, all print and ebook venues online and in brick and mortar stores. They’re also available through my website http://www.kristenhoughton.com/
Do you feel anything is getting done in stopping the child molestation based on the research you have done? Will the priests ever be truly punished or prosecuted that did these things?
I do believe that those who have mercilessly molested innocent children and have been hidden behind the protection of the church are finally being brought to justice. This is mainly because of the many brave survivors of priest molestation who are no longer afraid to come forward and name their abusers. Monetary damages are being awarded to these survivors and that seems to be what is forcing the hierarchy in the Catholic Church to take notice of this horrible abuse. A sex crime is a crime no matter who the abuser is and punishment in the public courts is what he has to face. There should be no hiding behind clerical robes.
The media has been wonderful in reporting on this abuse and in naming names of priests, bishops, and archbishops involved in the sex crime or in covering it up. They are to be applauded for their in-depth reporting.
What does your family think of your writing?
Well, my husband lives with a crazy author and he’s been very supportive of my work. I do think that when we first married he thought of my writing as more of a hobby but he is very proud of me and my biggest fan. Our daughters are thrilled that their mother is an author; bragging rights for them, I guess.
Have you ever considered having your book turned into a movie for TV?
Yes!! And I am working on this.There are two actors I have in mind for Cate Harlow, Katherine Heigl or Kelly Giddish. They both seem to act very much the way I write Cate. I think Jeffrey Pierce from Drop Dead Diva would make a great Detective Will Benigni.
Do you see your character, Cate Harlow, as a role model for women and in what way?
Cate Harlow takes a stand against what she feels is injustice and will relentlessly pursue all angles of a case to solve it for her clients. She is good at what she does and her clients benefit from her strength. She’s also loyal and very human; her one weakness is very sexy lingerie.
Where can our listeners contact you?
email@example.com, on FB under Kristen Houghton author, and Twitter @kristenhoughton