Please welcome our special guest, Kait Carson, to Maine Crime Writers.
Thank you, Maine Crime Writers, for inviting me to blog with you today. I’m an avid reader of this blog. The topics are diverse, and always interesting. I’d also like to thank Maine for its warm welcome. Maine has a reputation of shunning new residents, generally known as “people from away”. My experience has been quite the opposite. Maybe it’s a Valley thing, as in the St. John Valley. In the Crown of Maine, folks are warm and welcoming. Winter, not so much.
In 2005 hubs and I decided to pull up stakes in South Florida and move to northern Maine. The County, to be exact. We’d had it with the heat, and we won’t talk about hurricanes. There was only one problem. I was a Florida probate litigation paralegal. Not much call for that in Fort Kent. Can you see my secret smile? The happy dance in my heart increased with every mile. Torts were about to give way to tomes. In my world, this is known as living the dream.
There is something about Maine that fosters creativity. Whether it’s tales from long-time residents, the long, dark, nights, or the mysterious shadows of the pine forest, inspiration creeps into your soul and bubbles out through your fingertips. Words flow and ideas collide faster than you can capture them. Nirvana for writers.
We weren’t in the Valley a week when new friends took us out to dinner. As the wine flowed, our hostess reached across the table and patted my hand. “Strange stuff happens around here.” She slewed her eyes in the direction of the road to the Allagash. “My late husband worked for the railroad. The stuff that goes on in the woods has no explanation.” She declined to elaborate when her boyfriend gave her the one-eyebrow raised look. Didn’t matter, I soon had my own experiences to mull over.
Daylight comes late in the north woods. One morning I glanced out my office window to see the side of my driveway illuminated by a pillar of light. I reached for my phone to take a photo, but when I looked back, the woods were completely dark. Then there was the night I sat on the porch to catch a meteor shower. As stars flew through the sky, the treetops on the south side the property lit up as if bathed in a spotlight. There was no sound, we’re too far from the road for it to have been reflected truck headlights, and there’s no road behind or to the side of the property. In fact, if you walk out our back door, you can walk one hundred miles straight to the St. Lawrence Seaway and not encounter another human being or habitation except for the remains of abandoned logging camps. Nothing there to cast light on the tops of the trees.
Maine’s mysterious topics continued to provide fertile soil for a myriad of short stories and essays, but I wasn’t ready to expand the setting into longer works. So, when I learned of the National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRMO – NANO for short), I returned to my Florida roots for my first attempt at a novel. Maybe there is something to Hemingway’s “write what you know” exhortation.
I plundered my dive logs for material. After all, what better place to hide a body than under one-hundred and twenty feet of water. One dive, on the wreck of the Thunderbolt, stood out. A flesh-colored plastic bag floated from the wheel house of the long-sunk vessel. I caught sight of it from the corner of my eye and for a brief, shocking, moment, the undulating plastic appeared not as a bag, but a hand. That event provided the infamous inciting incident for Diving Diva. The book morphed into the full-length novel titled Death by Blue Water. The first of the Hayden Kent mysteries recently re-released and now available on Amazon.
Florida and scuba diving provide the backdrop for two more novels, Death by Sunken Treasure and Death Dive. The dark reaches of the northern Maine woods are set to feature in the Sassy Romano mysteries with the first, Deadly Deception, scheduled for release in the fall of 2023. Sassy inherits her family’s inn and artists retreat from her great aunt. What can possibility go wrong?
Kait Carson writes two series set in the steamy tropical heat of Florida. The Catherine Swope series, set in greater Miami, and the Hayden Kent series set in the Fabulous Florida Keys. A new series, the Maine Lodge mysteries, features Sassy Romano, a newly divorced thirty-something, who puts her past behind her when she inherits her family’s Inn and artist retreat.
Like her protagonists, Kait is an accomplished SCUBA diver, hiker, and critter lover. She lives with her husband, four rescue cats and flock of conures in the Crown of Maine where long, dark, nights give birth to flights of fictional fantasies.
You can reach Kait at email@example.com
Welcome Kait. I’m looking forward to reading Death by Blue Water.
Thank you for the warm welcome and invitation. I’m excited to be here!
I hope you enjoy Death by Blue Water.
I love all of this! Welcome to MCW and glad you’ve left Florida behind. I’ve seen enough “Florida man” headlines to prefer any random spooky pillar of light, LOL.
LOL – I am thrilled to be here, and at Maine Crime Writers.
Miami had a “the rules are different here” advertising campaign a number of years ago. There was a lot of truth in the slogan.
Glad you’re here.
Kait! I had not had a chance to really appreciate you or how you are drinking in your soul-filled Maine life … until this post. It’s terrific. I look forward to many more and am getting Death by Blue Water. Thank you. Thank YOU!
ps: Kait, don’t think the link to your website is working……
How wonderful to see your blog post here after you’ve posted comments so many times about mine! Welcome to Maine and I hope we meet in person sometime. Also “from away,” I’ve lived here 45 years and was also inspired to write by the magic of this state, its people, and its landscape.
This is such a nice post, Kait. I’m so glad we had the chance to meet and hear from you, given that you are such an active commenter here. Welcome! I look forward to reading your books and more posts from you, too.