I’m so excited to have Catie Rhodes on my blog today! Not only is she a fantastic writer with a new paranormal mystery out, but she’s a writer I respect as a person, fellow animal lover and just, flat out, one cool gal!
So, Catie, have you ever experienced anything paranormal yourself?
Nothing as dramatic as my series heroine, Peri Jean Mace, experiences on a day to day basis. However, I’ve had some odd experiences. Right now, I’m trying to think of the right one to talk about. Okay. I think I have it.
Back in 1995 or so, my husband and I took a fall trip to New Orleans. We used to go to New Orleans a lot. My husband likes to take pictures and is a history buff, and I have a paranormal jones. New Orleans was a good place for us.
That trip, we stayed at the hotel built on the site of the old French Opera House, which burned down in 1919. You can still see the indention in the curb where carriages pulled up to the opera house to let out opera goers. It’s a neat place.
We had a large corner room that we both loved because it had a couch and a little table. The problem was that the room’s temperature went from icy cold to blazing hot. The hot water was intermittent, making showers a duck and run affair. And we couldn’t sleep. Both of us kept hearing footsteps and doors slamming.
Finally, on the last night of our stay, I woke from a nightmare to find a form standing over the bed. It wore a mask that reminded me of something you’d see at a Mardi Gras parade. The mask sort of looked like a dragon. The figure leaned toward me and did this little jig, waving its hands around its head.
I elbowed my husband, trying to get him to wake up, but he could sleep through Godzilla ripping the roof off the house. I pulled the covers over my head while I tried to figure out what to do next and went back to sleep.
The next morning, we woke to rain pattering on the streets below our room. If you’ve never seen New Orleans’ French Quarter in the rain, it’s very noir in its mystique. It’s unforgettable. My husband and I packed and got ready to go home. On the way out the door, he said, “Maybe now I can get a good night’s sleep. I kept dreaming somebody was in the room with us.”
So there you go.
Yikes! Putting New Orleans on my must visit places! So, your protagonist, Peri Jean Mace, is such a strong, feisty character. I’d call her a survivor. When writing this book, did you create her first or the plot first?
Peri came first. I love watching those paranormal documentaries on TV. Peri is made up of bits and pieces of things I saw on those documentaries that caught my interest and made me ask “what if…”
As a fellow paranormal junkie, I understand. If you could see ghosts, like Peri Jean can, do you think it would be a curse or a gift?
A little of both. If the information I got from interacting with the ghosts was as limited as Peri Jean’s, I suspect it would be pretty frustrating. I mean, she’s got these beings who don’t need sleep, aren’t going to take a lunch break, and who will never go away harassing her to fix the unfinished business they left behind when they died. Problem is, she has to sort of figure out by trial and error what they want her to do.
However, it might be sort of a gift because seeing ghosts is not something everybody can do. It might lend an advantage if the right situation came up.
Now we understand why you write what you write, but when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was in 5th grade and read THE OUTSIDERS by S.E. Hinton. Then, two years later, I discovered Stephen King and thought I’d never be able to write that well and sort of gave up on the dream of being a writer. But, when I was 35, I reached a sort of crossroads in my life and took up writing again. And here I am now.
Luckily for us! What are you working on now?
I am in the process of edits on a novella set in the same world as FOREVER ROAD. In it, Peri Jean gets involved in a twenty-year-old missing persons case that leads her to discover a murder. And I won’t say any more than that.
GET FOREVER ROAD HERE
Visit Catie’s online home HERE
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Leave Catie a note & tell us, would you want to have the gift of seeing ghosts?
Thanks for hosting me, Shannon! I had great fun doing your interview. Thanks for reading FOREVER ROAD. Your ARC read really set me on a different path. Isn’t it odd how things like that happen? Is it fate? Serendipity? Anyway, thanks.
I don’t like the word fate, seems to imply that we don’t have a choice. But, serendipity..yes. I think when we’re on a path that is true to our nature and our goals, serendipity is a tool that the universe uses to let us know. 🙂
Good point on fate, Shannon. I love the word serendipity just because. It looks pretty, and it sounds pretty.
Wow, Okay, so now I have to put New Orleans on my bucket list.
Oh, girl! If you’ve never been to New Orleans and like paranormal or history, you gotta go. It’s just a neat place. Lots to see. Lots to do. And the food is fantastic.
New Orleans is so on my bucket list, too, Pru. You know what would be very cool is to have a WANA get together there! 🙂
What did you guys eat for dinner before bed, Catie? Something Cajun, maybe?
Oh, we used to gorge on every kind of junky crud we could get our hands on.
Hmmm… making me hungry.
Hey Catie! Really enjoyed your story about New Orleans, would love to go there one day. Maybe all of us, (You, Stacy, and I), could plan a trip down there one day when things are not as hectic. LOL, KIM
Thanks for stopping by, Kim!
I haven’t been back to New Orleans since Katrina. Need to go again, and this time I may take a ghost tour. But I’m NOT staying in that hotel! I like my ghosts to keep their distance, thank you very much.
Whether fate or serendipity, Catie, I’m so glad you’ve joined us at misterio press!
I am glad I joined y’all, too, Kass.
We haven’t been back to New Orleans since the late 1990s. That was about the time we started going to Mexico for a week of nothing but laying on the beach.
When you go back, stay at the Monteleone. I love both the location and the hotel. One place we never stayed in New Orleans (but talked about) was The Cornstalk Inn. It always looked so neat.
You know they can follow you home from a ghost tour, right, Kass? lol Sorry, couldn’t resist. *evil grin*
Hmm, might rethink that ghost tour.
Catie, I loved that story! I’m not a paranormal gal, but I like a good story with a shiver if I’m at a safe distance, LOL. Congrats on the book release! Woo-hoo!
Sorry I’m just now replying to this. Thanks for the congrats, Kathy. 😉
I love New Orleans. So much history there. So many ghosts. I bet you could find another haunted hotel to say in, Kassandra. 😉 Fun share, Catie! Sorry your visitor didn’t let you get a good night’s sleep.
Glad you enjoyed the post, Debra. I thought we got off light. Some of the stories I’ve heard from other hotels were pretty intense!
Hi, Debra! So many ghosts, so little time I bet. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve heard Catie’s ghost story before, but it is still one of my favorites. And I am very jealous of her New Orleans experiences.
As for Peri, she is truly a great character. I think it would be awful to have to deal what she does, but that is a big part of her character arc, and Catie does a great job with that.
Sorry I just now saw this. For some reason, I did not get the notification email until today. Ugh.
New Orleans is a neat place. I think everybody should see it at least once. If you like to eat, they’ve got great food. If you like architecture, they’ve got that. If you like history, they’ve got that. And, if you like the spook, they’ve got that in abundance!
You pulled the blankets over your head? I think I’d have jumped up and started a fight! (or something else my wife would use as excuse to have me committed) I like your New Orleans story, and I really like your new book! It has all the elements that I am looking for in a supernatural tale. What a fun read!
Thanks for stopping by, Rich! And I have to agree, Catie’s book was a fun, supernatural read 🙂
I am so glad you liked the book, Rich! Re: pulling the covers over my head — isn’t it funny how your mind words when you are sleepy or you think you shouldn’t be seeing something?