It is with great pleasure to welcome the talented Catherine Coulter to Books & Benches. I've been a long-time fan of Coulter's work. The first book I read of hers was The Maze. Once finished, I immediately read The Cove, and have devoured every FBI thriller since. I've also had the pleasure of reading some of her historical romances, and enjoyed those with equal fervor.
Catherine joins us today to answer a few questions for our readers. If you'd like to get to know Catherine better, her daily anecdotes and messages to readers on her Facebook page are worth following. Catherine's latest book, Insidious, is the impressive 20th stand-alone book in her FBI Thriller series.
Q&A WITH CATHERINE COULTER
Without further ado . . .
MK: Your first FBI thriller, The Cove, was originally published in 1996. Since then, you have delighted readers with 20 exciting stand-alone novels in the series. What sparked your interest to write the first FBI thriller? What do you enjoy most about the genre?
CATHERINE: There is so much serendipity in life. In 1995 I was at a family reunion and my sister walked up to me, said without preamble, “There’s this little town on the coast of Oregon called The Cove. They make the world’s greatest ice cream and bad stuff happens.” I went en pointe. At the time I was writing historical romances and romantic suspense, but this was hugely different. And that’s how it all started.
The suspense thriller genre calls for sharp pacing, which means I have to make the reader turn those pages as fast as he/she can, which means I have to keep the tension high. Writing suspense thrillers turns you into a maniac, ask any author.
MK: In your latest book, Insidious, Sherlock and Savich are back to “kicking butt and taking names.” We’re also introduced to Agent Cam Wittier and Detective Daniel Montoya with whom I immediately connected, though things didn't turn out with them as I expected (their story turned out better). How did these two fascinating characters come about?
CATHERINE: Two smart, bright interesting people – to be honest, they simply come out of the back of my head, which sounds sort of scary, but there it is. And they didn’t connect, not in a romantic sense, which I found vastly interesting because here came Missy Devereaux, also out of the back of my head. Her personality sparkled, she lit up the world, and I knew Daniel was a goner. Sorry, Cam. Maybe on your next case.
MK: You’ve also created a successful cross-over series called A Brit in the FBI, which has three books (another one out in March, 2017) and is written with J.T. Ellison. What inspired the cross-over? What do you enjoy most about collaborating with another author?
CATHERINE: I woke up one day with Nicholas Drummond alive and well in my head and ready to rock and roll. I knew about his family in England, I even knew the butler’s name and character. What I couldn’t do, however, was write two big books a year. So I thought about Clive Cussler and how he has people writing for and with him, gave him a call and he told me his protocol, which I liked. I started reading suspense thriller writers, read a J.T. Ellison, and said this is my person. I think both of us are very lucky: we’re close, like family, really, and work well together. What a wondrous thing to have happen in my life. Because of J.T., Nicholas Drummond is alive and well and kicking international big butt.
MK: From seeing the first book in print to the glowing reviews we all hope for, but worry we won’t get, authors experience a multitude of highs and lows throughout their careers. Up to this point, what has been one of your greatest joys or experiences as a writer?
CATHERINE: I’ve had the luck of the Irish and I can’t even claim any Irish DNA – I think my biggest thrill was when my editor called me at 6:30 on a Thursday morning and told me Moonspun Magic had made the New York Times list. A moment in time I will never ever forget. Let me add that I was fortunate to work with Phyllis Gran at Putnam, one of the smartest, savviest, amazing publishers in the world.
MK: You began your illustrious writing career penning historical romance, many of which I’m proud to say sit on my bookshelves. Do you find it challenging to write in two vastly different genres? What do you enjoy most about moving from present-day to the past?
CATHERINE: Writing two such disparate genres, I’ve found, keeps my brain unconstipated. Both have their own challenges, their joys, and their hair-pulling.
Thank you, Catherine, for spending time with our readers. It has been a pleasure, and I for one am looking forward to your next book in March 2017.
A FBI Thriller
Insidious is the twentieth thriller in #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter's FBI series. FBI agents Savich and Sherlock must discover who is trying to murder Venus Rasmussen, a powerful, wealthy society icon. They soon find out that the danger may be closer than expected. Venus Rasmussen, a powerful woman who runs the international conglomerate Rasmussen Industries, believes someone is poisoning her. After Savich and Sherlock visit with her, someone attempts to shoot her in broad daylight. Who’s trying to kill her and why? A member of her rapacious family, or her grandson who’s been missing for ten years and suddenly reappears? Savich and Sherlock must peel away the layers to uncover the incredible truth about who would target Venus. Meanwhile, Special Agent Cam Wittier leaves Washington for Los Angeles to work with local Detective Daniel Montoya to lead the hunt for the Starlet Slasher, a serial killer who has cut the throats of five young actresses. When a sixth young actress is murdered, Cam comes to realize the truth might be closer than she’d ever want to believe. With breakneck speed and unexpected twists and turns, Coulter’s Insidious will leave you breathless until the shocking conclusion.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Catherine Coulter is the New York Times bestselling author of 75 books. Her hugely popular FBI thrillers include The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh Hour, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, Tail Spin, Knockout, Whiplash, Split Second, Backfire, Bombshell, Power Play and Nemesis. She has a new international thriller series—A Brit in the FBI—co-written with JT Ellison. These include The Final Cut, The Lost Key and The End Game. Also now available is the first in her novella series, starring Grayson Sherbrooke (from the Sherbrooke historical romance series), titled The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall.
Upcoming new releases! The 4th book in the Brit series, The Devil's Triangle, will be out early 2017. Coulter lives in northern California with her three thriller cats and her thriller husband.
If you read just one of Coulter's FBI thrillers, she's got you, so prepare for eye strain and jumping at things that go bump in the night.