Author Spotlight: Catherine Finger

Hometown: Grayslake

Latest Book: “Shattered By Death”

Publisher: Hope Springs Book

Release Date: June 7, 2016

What’s your new book about?

After Chief of Police Josie Oliver’s abusive soon-to-be-ex-husband had an affair with another woman, she could have murdered them. But when someone does, she’s the prime suspect and the only one who can solve the case.

Where did the idea come from?

I wanted to create a strong female character working in a predominantly male field, and hit on the idea of a female police chief as my protagonist. This genre allows me to play with lots of action as well as the ideas of justice and good v. evil. Having created characters I really like, I now find them dancing about my mind in endless directions, and I simply must write about them!

What genre is your book, and why were you drawn to it?

My books are faith-based thrillers, and I just love writing them and reading similar books. I love the fun of reading a well-constructed thriller novel, and as a woman of faith myself, I can’t write an authentic character arc without injecting faith issues into the hearts and thoughts of my characters. I love creating complex characters.

Who is the intended audience?

I think anyone who loves a good thriller will enjoy this book, and especially those who enjoy suspense with a spiritual kick.

Why is this story important to you?

My main character’s journey is one I find reflected in all of our hearts. Chief Josie struggles with her own sense of place and home; she struggles with motherhood and balancing her role as a new single mother of an adopted 7-year-old with her demanding job as a police chief. The faith piece matters because I believe God has more for us, and we so often fail to enjoy the robust lives He designed us for due to our own limitations. I hope my readers gain courage in watching my Josie wrestle with her doubt, her fears and her God.

How long did it take you to write? What was your process?

My personal writing goal is 500 words a day, before I go to work, between 5 and 6 a.m. My practice is to sit at my writing desk with a strong cup of coffee, journal long hand for about 15 minutes and then begin my writing by reading the previous day’s work on my laptop. I read only to get my head back in the game, not to edit. This whets my appetite, and I start writing. I NEVER judge myself or edit my work while writing a first draft. I write all the way though a first draft, and then start tweaking, improving, doing the real work of the novel.

I also take “writing vacations.” I’ll take myself and my computer to a tropical location and enjoy the sun, sand and ocean by day and write on through the night. So far, all of my books have been finished on a beach. “Shattered by Death” came together in a year.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? What was the hardest part?

I just love the journey. I had a real “ah-ha” moment when I figured out who my killer was going to be, and then I wrote like a crazy woman. This book includes a lot of surprises, and that just delights me completely.

The hardest part of any book for me is to set aside my nagging self doubts and just write on.

How are you publishing this book and why (traditional/indie/self-publishing)?

I am very pleased to be publishing with traditional contracts through Hope Springs Books, a small indie publisher under the expert direction of Lynellen Perry. I wanted to work with a publisher to make sure I am creating my best work and something I’ll still be proud of in 10 years.

Having my publisher help navigate the myriad details of the important behind the scenes parts of bringing a book to market is a wonderful asset.

What is your education/background?

It is my privilege to serve as superintendent of Grayslake Community High School District 127 and I have an educator’s résumé. My undergraduate degree was in Spanish and French, and I started out as a French and Spanish teacher at Evanston Township High School. I completed an MA in Spanish Lit while teaching there as well as my administrative endorsement courses. My doctorate is in Instructional Leadership.

How/why did you decide to write a book?

I just love the discovery process that happens when I sit down to write. Writing makes me happy, and I learn more about myself and my world through the process of writing. It’s a huge bonus that people have had such positive experiences reading my books. While this is all quite new, I really love talking about my books, presenting them to the world and interacting with readers.

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh, I have so many! C.S. Lewis is one of my all-time favorite authors, as is Watchman Nee. Jesse Penn Lewis is right up there (no relation to C.S.!) And I love Craig Johnson; Sandra Brannon; Janet Ivanovich; J.D.Robb; Sara Peretsky; Patricia Cornwall; John MacDonald; Ray Chandler; Agatha Christie; and Anne Lamott to name a few.

Pick one: Danielle Steel or John Grisham?

John Grisham! Though I seriously respect Danielle Steel!

Pick one: Stephen King or Nicholas Sparks?

Stephen King!

Pick one: Ebooks or hard/paperbacks?


Have you written anything else?

Yes. “Cleansed by Death,” the first novel of the series, was released on April 5, 2016. This was a reissuing of my debut novel, “Alabaster Vases,” with a few improvements.

What’s next for you?

I finished the third book in the series and am busy editing. The fourth book is in the works – and I had no idea there was going to be a fourth book! My characters made me do it ...

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: Blog: Facebook: Catherine Finger Author Twitter:@BeJoOliver Amazon Author Page: Goodreads:Catherine Finger

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