Katherine, a geologist and IT specialist, stepped away from the international petroleum industry to follow her passion for writing. An avid traveller with an insatiable curiosity, you never know where you’ll find her next! But most days, she’s in Vancouver, Canada quietly plotting murder and mayhem under the watchful eye of a cat. She is an award-winning presenter and the author of the thriller THIRST.
Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?
London, England because it has all the theatres, culture and energy of New York City, the rugged shoreline of Canada’s east coast and easy access to Europe and beyond.
State a random fact about yourself that would surprise your readers.
One summer, I spent four months working out of a tent in the Canadian Yukon, travelling to mountain-tops by helicopter and hiking with a pack filled with too many rocks most of the time!
What’s your current guilty pleasure?
Endangered Species dark chocolate with cranberries and almonds.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
An astronaut. Since Neil Armstrong’s first moon walk I’ve been absolutely fascinated by space and I’d love to count myself among these modern day explorers.
When did you decide to become a writer?
When I had finished the second draft of Thirst and I was still excited to work on it every day, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
When did you begin writing?
About ten years ago I sat down to write the story that just wouldn’t leave me.
Aside from writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m a passionate traveller and photographer so I’m either planning a trip, taking one or sifting through the thousands of photos I bring back! I also quilt and read, and I’m on my yoga mat as much as possible or out for a long walk.
What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you in promoting your work?
At my very first Left Coast Crime conference just after Thirst was released, a woman who had chatted with me the first day flagged me down at the door to the hotel. She was excited that she had caught me just before she flew home because she wanted me to personalize her copy of Thirst. That one moment when I connected with a new reader made the long hours of the conference worth-while!
With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you think sets you apart from the others?
Each of my stories is built on current headlines and told through the lens of a woman working in an intriguing male-dominated profession, geology. The fact that I’m a geologist myself means I offer an insider view and very-real science.
What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?
Never stop learning your craft. I take advantage of every opportunity to attend workshops and classes, especially those offered at writer’s conferences.
What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?
I really enjoy meeting and talking to people, so conferences and festivals are a lot of fun for me and I do well at them. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a fearless presenter!
What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?
I find blogs the most difficult because it’s a one-sided conversation. I’d rather chat with readers and answer their questions directly than try to guess at what they would like to know about me and my writing.
What are your favorite books and authors?
My top three favourite books at the moment are The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy and Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I’m also a huge fan of Daniel Silva, Steve Berry, P.D. James and Elizabeth George.
Which genres do you prefer to read?
Mysteries and thrillers, but I also read science fiction, fantasy and literary fiction.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I recently met two debut British Columbia authors, R.M. Greenaway and Marty Allen, who write police procedural crime novels. Their books, Cold Girl and Cordelia intrigued me enough that both are now on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George.
Are there any particular books and or authors that inspired you and continue to do so?
Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy are by far my biggest influences. Crichton used science as a cornerstone of fascinating stories and Clancy concocted sinfully good complex plots.
How many books do you read/month?
When I’m writing the first draft of a new book, it might drop to one or two and I tend to stay away from mysteries because I don’t want anything to influence my storyline. Otherwise, I typically read about four books a month.
What is the one book that you think everyone should read?
I’d have to say The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I’m amazed by the complex world Tolkien built and he wove compelling sub-plots into a real page turner. I also think it’s an interesting reflection on life in general with its underlying “power corrupts” theme and the importance of friendship, loyalty and co-operation.
Do you have an all time favorite book?
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. It’s an intriguing mystery filled with rich history and the medieval monastery library setting with its labyrinth of rooms drew me in.
How important do you find the communication between you and your readers?
I write to share stories with readers, and hear what they have to say about those stories. At the end of the day, it’s incredibly rewarding to speak to a reader who enjoys something I’ve written.
Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?
Yes, to both. I respect the time it takes for a reader to pen a message or review, so I give time back to them.
Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?
Facebook by far, because it allows more interaction with others.
Where can fans find you?
My website www.katherineprairie.com is the hub of my communication with readers. It’s where I keep a current list of in-person events, guest blog appearances and snippets of life. I can also be reached via Facebook and Twitter.
Do you have a local independent bookseller you would like to mention?
Otter Books, a bookstore in the small town of Nelson, British Columbia was the first store to stock Thirst. They carry a fascinating mix of books, highlighting those set in the local area and I’m proud to see Thirst on their shelves.
Thirst is my first novel, and it is the first the Alex Graham suspense thriller series.
Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds of your latest title:
Science. Politics. Deadly intent. In the thriller Thirst, mining geologist Alex Graham joins the search for a suspected toxic spill deep in a Columbia River Valley rocked by violence and controlled by a joint US-Canada military force. But the lethal contamination is no accident and she soon finds herself directly in the path of a killer.
Where can we buy it?
Through almost all independent North American bookstores, Amazon, iBooks, Indigo/Chapters and Barnes and Noble.
If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?
Where in the world would you like to see Alex Graham venture to next?
What topic do you enjoy hearing an author speak on other than about his/her book?
I like to hear about their research experiences – what it’s like to visit the Vatican library or an antique book shop on a backstreet in Paris.
Are you working on anything new and when can we expect to see it?
I’m hard at work on the second Alex Graham mystery, a book that will be available late 2017.
Is there anything else you’d like to share to your followers and readers?
I’m grateful that readers have embraced Alex Graham because I’ve grown to really enjoy her company.
What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?
I keep a sketch book that I use to draw scenes from my books and it also holds photographs of places and people that I find intriguing.