Cathy Perkins is an award-winning author of financial mysteries. She favors writing both dark suspense and light amateur sleuth stories. Calling for the Money is the fifth Holly Price Mystery.
From the wilderness to the headlines
“The original idea for the Holly Price series arose when my husband and I were hiking along the Snake River and had to struggle through some thick brush at the water’s edge. ‘What a great place to find a body,’ I called over my shoulder.”
Cathy said it’s fortunate that her husband laughed, but idea stuck with her. “Who stumbled across the body, how the victim ended up by the river, and what drew the heroine to the site grew from there into So About the Money, the first book in the series.
Calling for the Money began on a more serous note, a heartbreaking news article. Cathy said, “The original idea came from a newspaper article about a young veteran with PTSD. Caught in a sexting scam, he crumbled under the con artists’ pressure and committed suicide. I didn’t want to get that dark with this story, but the dark side of the internet with revenge porn and sexting blackmail called out for me to shed some light on the issue. The sexting scam in Calling for the Money underlies the main mystery plot but the abuse issue (sexting is another form of abuse) is also reflected in the criminal conviction of one of the owners that Holly uncovers during her corporate transaction due diligence.”
Washington State—an exotic locale?
“One interesting item about the book is the primary setting,” Cathy said. “I’ll never forget a New York based editor telling me that eastern Washington was an ‘exotic location.’ Either she didn’t get out much or else for her, exotic location meant a place not many people have visited. Most of the action in the earlier books in the series are set in eastern Washington, in either the Tri-Cities, located at the confluence of the Columbia, Snake and Yakima rivers, or in the thousands of acres of open land around them. I knew Holly had to deal with her father during Calling for the Money. The issues between her parents and the impact on both Holly and the family business have played out over the series. (Family is another consistent theme in my stories.)”
Cathy said that in earlier stories, she hiked through the brush in the Washington backcountry. But, for this book, she moved everything to LA.
“I’d been to Los Angeles—specifically Venice Beach— a few times. I’d watched the transformation/gentrification of an interesting, if somewhat seedy, section of LA as the tech companies moved in. I decided to include that evolving transformation in Calling for the Money. I also included some of the fun restaurants we dashed to for lunch and the pushback from some of the being-displaced locals.”
She also said that when she was at the beach, she’d go for a run and watch the early morning surfers. She sometimes saw homeless people who’d been sleeping on the beach or in the lifeguard stands, but they never bothered her.
“One morning the sky had an amazing pearly light, so I dashed back to my room, grabbed a small sketchbook and small set of watercolors. I perched on a concrete bench and dashed off a quick impression of the sunrise, water and palms. When I looked up, the skateboarders were waiting patiently for me to finish. I’d inadvertently set up in their skate park. Oops.”
Learn more about Cathy Perkins at cperkinswrites.com )a Rafflecopter giveaway