Hi there, I’m the new kid on the block. Being invited to blog with the Maine Crime Writers is a dream come true. You have no idea how much this blog meant to me when I lived in the steamy Florida heat. It was a breath of fresh air in more ways than one. Now, I’m proud to be a member.
Originally from New Jersey, I fell in love with Florida at the ripe age of five and vowed to return. I moved to the Miami area for college and never looked back. Professionally, I was a paralegal with an estates and trusts practice. Lots of story fodder there. Amazing what families get up to when the will is read and the gloves come off. For fun, I became an avid scuba diver and occasionally worked with law enforcement as a civilian volunteer. When I began to write seriously, I wrote what I knew. Law and diving.
It’s easy to write what you know. As a paralegal, I’d absorbed the finer points of interviewing and legal process. As a civilian volunteer, I’d been to crime scenes, knew how to protect and process them, understood the macabre but elegant ballet that takes place between investigators and medical personnel. All of that was familiar ground, and I had a cadre of resources ready to fill in the gaps of my knowledge. Albeit the information often came with a side dish of snark. There must be a class in that in law school and the police academy!
Real life and The Miami Herald provided topics for more books than I could ever write, but Maine called. My home is in the Crown of Maine on almost two hundred wooded acres. There’s a quality to the silence here that is tangible. Anything can happen, help is far away, long dark nights and isolation do something to the human psyche. The crime rate is extremely low in the County, but the imaginative crime rate is a far different statistic.
In the depths of winter with the Northern Lights dancing on the horizon I began my first Maine novel. It’s set near a fictitious town in the Allagash. My main character has inherited her family’s long closed lodge and discovers a fresh kill body on the premises. This story, so easy to write had it been set in Florida, came to a screeching halt while I desperately researched Maine crime scene protocol in an area where everyone, from investigators to medical examiners, have to be imported. The logistics are astounding. The Maine State Police Public Information Officer has become my very best friend. All errors will be mine, and I confess to taking some liberties to serve the story.
The move from Florida to Maine felt comfortable and familiar. When it comes to crime writing, the move from Florida to Maine is like learning a new language. The goals of each law enforcement community are the same. The mechanics of achieving these goals are by necessity, varied. The differences are fascinating, and the list is long.
Kait Carson writes two series set in the steamy tropical heat of Florida. A new series is in the works, the Maine Lodge mysteries, paying homage to Kait’s current state of residence. Like her protagonists, Kait is an accomplished SCUBA diver, hiker, and critter lover. She lives with her husband, four rescue cats and a flock of conures in the Crown of Maine where long, dark, nights give birth to flights of fictional fantasies.
Glad you’re part of us.
Thanks, John! I’m very glad to be here.
Welcome. And thanks for highlighting an issue crime writers sometimes miss: that the culture and climate of different areas mean different approaches and different challenges.
Thanks, Kate! I knew it when I began writing, but how little I knew came as a surprise.
Welcome, Kait, and thanks for sharing something crime writers often miss—that the challenges and culture of crime scene investigation can vary widely.
Thanks, Kate. The differences were a bit of a surprise, and the differences given Maine’s vastly different geographic areas was eye-opening.
How terrific to open the blog and see your first post here today, Kait! It’s been fun to interact with you in the comments over the years and I look forward to your posts and reading your books, too. Welcome to MCW!
Thank you, Brenda. I am thrilled to be here.
Welcome, Kait. I was just in the keys last week and across to the Everglades thinking how prime that area is for mystery books, as is Maine. It’ll be fun see how the two different styles come out.
Thank you, Matthew. There is something in the air and just under the surface in both places that makes them ripe for unanswered questions.
Welcome to Maine and to the blog. (I used to be a member, but retired.) I’ve read some of your novels and look forward to your Maine-set one.
Hi Susan, Thank you!
Great blog post, Kait. My imagination is running wild with your setting.
I feel privileged to sprint with you on Romona’s site in the morning.
Thank you Sharon! I wish Ramona could be here to see this. She would be tickled. I owe her a lot.
Yay for your move to Maine and here! Looking forward to seeing snow instead of swamps!
I’ve been following this blog for many years. It’s great to read a post from you!
Welcome, Kait. Looking forward to many more posts from you and to your Maine series. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the diving mysteries.