Catherine Astolfo retired in 2002 after a very successful 34 years in education.
In addition to her career as an educator, Catherine is a qualified trainer for the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory. She spent many years speaking and leading workshops around Ontario, both in business and in education. Described by her colleagues as a “dynamic, fascinating speaker”, she continues to apply those skills to readings, workshops and presentations on writing. Check out the Speakers Bureau at www.crimewriterscanada.com for more information.
Catherine has always aspired to be a published writer. She can recall writing fantasy stories for her classmates in Grade Three. Her short stories and poems have been published in a number of small Canadian presses. Between 2005 and 2010, Catherine published four books in the Emily Taylor Mystery Series through her own company, Sisbro & Co. Inc. (Moe Publications). In 2006, Catherine was given an Arts Award from the City of Brampton to honour the first novel. In 2009 and 2010, her short stories won the contest run by Canada’s biggest mystery conference, Bloody Words, second and first respectively.
In 2011, she signed a four-book contract with Imajin Books for the ebook versions of The Emily Taylor Mystery series.
Sisbro & Co. Inc. also launched the first issue of its new ezine, Scribes Digest, on November 1, 2011.
And now from the author herself:
Why I Write Mystery
The devil inspired me to write The Emily Taylor Mysteries. Not literally, I hope, but more in the sense that I am intrigued by evil people. I am attracted to the reasons behind their darkness. As an old song says, evil grows in the dark… or does it? I think truly wicked people walk among us, aliens with human faces. Their lack of empathy, twisted ideas, and desire to hurt absolutely make me want to dig around and find out why.
Instead of becoming a police officer or a detective (since I’m a physical coward), I became a mystery / crime writer. I look for evil everywhere and luckily, there is lots of it around. In the newspapers, on television, from word-of-mouth, and let’s not forget, urban legends.
My first Emily Taylor novel, The Bridgeman, began as a character sketch. On a drive through a little town in Ontario, I was stopped at a drawbridge, where I noticed the lockmaster going about his business in a very ordinary way, barely noticed, red-checkered jacket, plain face, every day, slow habits and movements. And I thought: what could this almost invisible person be hiding? What dark secrets might lie beneath the banality of his existence?
At the same time, my niece had acquired a job as a veterinarian’s assistant. Her tales of the puppy and kitten mills and their victims gave me an idea for the secret my ordinary bridgeman might suppress.
So began the Emily Taylor Mysteries. At first, Emily Taylor, the local school principal, was a vehicle for the bridgeman character sketch, and later, for Victim’s Premise (Book Two). By Book Three, Legacy, Emily had asserted a strong voice of her own and had become more the centre of the series than the carrier.
In the last few months, I have happily been adapting Emily for the new world of eBooks. She loves our publisher, Imajin Books, and has been blossoming under their tutelage. Despite being media shy, she even appears in the trailers!
Thank you Catherine. 🙂 You can find more about Catherine and her work via her website, Scribes Digest, Katy Words blog, you can buy her books (please do :)) via Amazon.com and Smashwords, and Imajin Books’ You Tube page. You can also read my full interview with Catherine here.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with poet Cendrine Marrouat – the two hundred and twenty-fifth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can read / download my eBooks at Smashwords (Amazon to follow).