Friday, December 05, 2014

Roots

Here I go again—welcoming my Wednesday guest on Thursday. Nonetheless, please extend a sincere welcome to Kait Carson, author of the newly released Death by Blue Water. Kait has been writing mysteries since the fourth grade when she penned the words, “pop, pop, pop, here comes the cop” for a story poetry assignment. She opted for a career as a paralegal practicing in the area of probate, tax, and probate litigation. When she’s not writing, you can find her scuba diving or in the air with her pilot husband. Kait and her husband live with, eight (count ‘em) rescue cats, a conure (parrot-like bird in case you, like me, didn’t know), cockatoo, and a harlequin macaw at an airpark in Fort Denaud, Florida. In addition to the Hayden Kent series, Kait has written the Catherine Swope Mystery Series, Zoned for Murder and Murder in the Multiples, available now from Amazon. She is hard at work on Death by Doubloons, the second in the Hayden Kent series, and a third Catherine Swope mystery, tentatively titled Murder is a Mistake.

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I’m a country girl. No matter where I go, or where I live, or how I live, I take the country with me. My roots were planted on my great-grandparents farm in upstate New York. A farm without running water, electricity, or piped in heat. I can cook on a Queen Anne stove, know how to take care of chickens, milk cows, and care for the horses. The first thing I ever drove was a Farmall Tractor circa 1930 or 40 something. My husband and I own a house and acreage in northern Maine, and we live in an airpark in South Central Florida. Right in the heart of cattle and citrus country. This girl has not wandered far from her roots. Our roots inform us. They give us a foundation we can build on.

I believe that in fiction, especially mystery fiction, characters drive the story. Hayden Kent, the protagonist of my newest series, makes her first appearance in Death by Blue Water. Hayden is a Conch. She was born in Fisherman’s Hospital in Marathon, one of the Florida Keys (first in her family born in a hospital, she’s proud to say). She comes from a long line of Conchs. Her people, like most of the people in the Keys prior to the 1970s, were fishermen and divers. They made their living from the sea.

The Florida Keys were a hard place to live. Oh, there was year-round summer to be sure, but there were also hurricanes and floods. Mother Nature extracted a hefty price for living in paradise. Many Conchs rarely left what they refer to as “the Rock.” Homes, after the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935, were built to withstand the annual blows that came. Hurricane houses, only a handful of which have survived urbanization, had anchor chains running from roof to reef. Many surrounded the chains with brick cylinders that concealed steps and a loft. A safe place to crouch above the floodwaters while the storm raged.

These realities formed Hayden’s roots. Is it any wonder that she is a rabid scuba diver? Or that when
she found a body on a deep wreck and found herself accused of murder, she took destiny into her own hands. She, along with Officer Janice Kirby and Mallory Corbett, determined to discover who killed Richard Anderson, and why. The investigation nearly cost Hayden her life. She continued because, even though she felt sure she was safe from prosecution, she wanted to give justice to Richard, and his family. That’s the code of the Conchs. Hayden knows that in the Florida Keys, life
can change in an instant, and under water, no one hears your screams.


 

Find Kait at http://kaitcarson.com/

4 comments:

Susan said...

This sounds like a great read, Kait. I will check out buying it online. You are so right, I think, about characters driving the story. They also bring readers back. Best of luck with your new mystery.

Kait said...

Thanks Susan, appreciate the kind words. Hope you enjoy the book.

Kait said...

Hi Judy, thanks for having me on your blog. I had a great time. Always wonderful to visit with you.

Judy Alter said...

Thanks, Kait. It was a pleasure to have you as my guest.