Inside the Mind of the Author: Oh The Voices in My Head
by Catherine Astolfo
If you heard an echo of “Gloria” in yours at that title, you are probably close to my advanced age!
I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea, but I have to admit that I go around hearing voices. They are pretty real to me, since I gave birth to their owners.
The characters in my Emily Taylor Mystery series have birthdates, full names, height, weight, colour of eyes, hair and skin, personalities, quirks, strengths and weaknesses—all from me. Most of them live in a little village that I created too.
Emily, Langford, May, Alain, Edgar, Frances, Chief Dan and so on—are all people I can picture instantly. Like old friends whose faces you can never, ever forget. The moment you are back in one another’s company, it’s as though you’ve never been apart.
The stories and the plots are always there in my head, too. It gets very crowded sometimes and circuits do tend to overload. For instance, I could be taking a lovely, summery day ride in the car with my husband. Inside my head, it’s a different picture altogether.
Down in a dark, dank basement, a man lies slowly bleeding to death from a shotgun wound. I am contemplating how long it would take him to die, when my husband asks me what I’m thinking. Unfortunately for him, I tell him. This is a scenario from The Brdigeman, Book One of The Emily Taylor Mysteries.
A large raccoon is splayed upside down in the slope of the ditch on my right. He is stiff and awkward on his back, lips pulled back in an angry grimace. Maggots crawl out of his mouth and flies swarm everywhere. I can hear their frenzied delight as we stop for a red light. I am fascinated. Victim—Book Two!
Next we pass a burned-out shell perched forgotten on a side road. I am thrilled to see it. I ask my husband to stop so I can get out and breathe in the scorched wood smell and the stench of furled plastic and dead things underneath the ash. Great experience for Legacy, Book Three.
Forensics for Dummies, Until You Are Dead, Criminal Investigative Failures – these were the books that dominated my shelves during the writing of Book Four. Along with questions to which I find an answer through Sisters in Crime’s forensics specialist: Can you paint scenery on a dead body?
Now I’ve got 3 books on the go: one about a psychopath who betrays her best friend, a “cozy” about a retirement home, and a children’s story about a ghost I once knew. Oh the voices in my head!
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Genre – Psychological Suspense
Rating – 18+