Suburban Noir author, Cathryn Grant, is giving away a Kindle!

Today’s post is longer than usual because it’s an interview with author Cathryn Grant, followed by the rules for her Kindle giveaway contest. In case you’re unfamiliar with Cathryn’s debut novel, you’ll be interested to know:

“The Demise Of The Soccer Moms” tells the story of a seemingly quiet suburban neighborhood which is upended when a provocative single mother saunters onto the school playground for the first time. Her Doc Marten boots, tight T-shirts, and in-your-face attitude stir up buried fears and sexual anxiety.

In the dark corners of her home, a woman battles crippling memories that threaten to destroy the family she wants so desperately to protect. A suspicious death forces her best friend to make a hard choice between marriage and friendship.

Paranoia, jealousy, and maternal instinct collide, leading to the demise of the soccer moms.

NOW, please listen in as I interrogate interview, Cathryn Grant, aka The Queen of Suburban Noir!

LCL: I know you’ve talked about this on your blog, but for my readers would you please tell us what led to your decision to become an Indie Author?

CG: It was a long process, but there were two turning points. One was when I took a class on using Web 2.0 tools to market fiction. The class focused on podcasting, but one of the points the instructors emphasized was how podcasting allowed them to connect directly with their readers and find their fans without the agent-publishing house buffer. I’d spent a considerable amount of time researching publishing, all of it focused on identifying agents. It suddenly hit me that it wasn’t about finding an agent or getting a contract, it was about finding readers who like my work. It sounds so obvious, but it completely changed my thinking.

The second was a culmination of so many things – realizing the work of promoting my novel was my responsibility, that books are only on the shelves for 2-3 months (if a bookstore even elects to carry a debut novel), and that if my first book didn’t earn its advance (which I understand most don’t), my writing career would be short-lived. At the same time I was becoming aware of this, it seemed like everything around me shifted quite dramatically. People were having success self-publishing, taking pride in their decision rather than doing it as a last resort. A number of authors were making money at it. What a concept – a writer making money. Put that together with reaching your audience on your own and it all seemed kind of exciting.

At this point, I’m grateful that I didn’t have an opportunity to sign a traditional publishing contract because I think I’d feel locked in, that I had no control over how my work was presented, and even some lack of control over its success. (ok, that was a lot more than two turning points)

LCL: If you Google the term “Suburban Noir” most of the top hits link to you. Have you always written Suburban Noir? And why are you attracted to writing of the dark side of human nature?

CG: I started calling my fiction Suburban Noir because I couldn’t figure out where I fit in the market. So I haven’t always written under that banner, but I’ve been interested for a long time in writing from the POV of someone who commits a crime, especially homicide. I tend to think a lot along the lines of, “There but for the grace of God go I.” I know how moody I get and I have a pretty great life. I also think a lot about the idea of people living “lives of quiet desperation”.  So I don’t necessarily see it as the dark side of human nature. I see it as people who have a traumatic past, or face difficult circumstances, problems piling up, and perhaps they make a few wrong choices. Before they know it, they’re in a terrible situation. Or, sometimes they’re neurotic and start to lose their grip. When I read about murder in the newspaper, I always think about the “why”.

LCL: I’m always curious where a story idea originates. What inspired The Demise of the Soccer Moms? Do you have soccer mom experience?

CG: The idea originated with a line of dialog that floated through my mind one day, seemingly out of nowhere: “That woman’s not wearing a bra.” (A line in the novel.) I thought about how women judge each other and how suburbia breeds conformity. I think of soccer moms as women who try to control every moment and every event of their children’s lives. It’s the natural desire of a mother to want to protect her children and give them the best, gone awry. I’ve never played soccer and neither have my daughters, but I’ve known mothers who are a bit “intense”.

LCL: How long have you thought of yourself as a Writer rather than just someone who likes to write?

CG: It’s hard to remember, but I think it was when I started making time to write every day.

LCL: Several of your short and flash stories have been published in print and online magazines. What was your first publication, and do you remember the thrill you felt?

CG: My first publication was a short story “Peace On Coolidge Drive” in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. I definitely remember the thrill! Every day for a long time after, I would wake up and the moment I remembered, I felt the thrill again and grinned to myself.

LCL: Which of your personal traits best enhances your writing? Which most hampers your writing?

CG: My husband is reading this question over my shoulder and he said, “That’s easy. What enhances your writing is your tenacity to get up early and do it every day, and what hampers it is your fear of what people will think.” [He’s right.]

LCL: I know you’re working on your next novel. Can you give us a preview?

CG: The title is BURIED BY DEBT. It’s about a young couple in a wealthy community. They have well-paying jobs but are deeply in debt and trying to hide it from their upscale friends. It turns out that some of their friends have secrets as well, and as the deceit escalates it leads to murder.

Thanks for your very thought-provoking questions.

LCL: Thank you, Cathryn, for responding to my questions.


Enter the Suburban Noir contest for the chance to win a copy of “The Demise Of The Soccer Moms”. The grand prize is a Wi-Fi Kindle. Rules for the Kindle Giveaway:

1. Between February 4 and midnight PST, February 11, comment on any one or all of the 7 participating blogs to get one entry per comment. Limit of one comment per blog for a possible total of 7 entries.

2. Between February 4 and midnight PST, February 11, tweet any one or all of the participating blogs to get one entry per tweet. Limit of one tweet per blog for a possible total of 7 entries. Tweets must have @CathrynGrant so I can track them.

3. Participants can have a total of 14 entries between commenting on blogs and tweeting.

4. Ten people will win their choice of an eBook or paperback copy of Cathryn Grant’s Suburban Noir Thriller, “The Demise Of The Soccer Moms”. One additional person will win a Wi-Fi Graphite Kindle (valued at $139) pre-loaded with a copy of “The Demise Of The Soccer Moms”. Please note the paperback copy will not be available until March. Winners will be chosen by a random number generator.

Participating blogs are listed below.

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<p class=”MsoNormal”>Not everyone will like it—and that’s all right.</p>


87 thoughts on “Suburban Noir author, Cathryn Grant, is giving away a Kindle!

  1. Awesome post, Linda and Cathryn! Two things:

    1) “mothers who are a bit… Intense.” HAHAHA!! Yup. I know EXACTLY who you mean! I think that’s why your book is resonating with me so much. 🙂

    2) The debt thing: My husband and I are big Dave Ramsey groupies, and we have taught his financial management class four times. We’ve heard some really horrific stories about what people do when they are caught in that hopeless spiral of debt and keeping up appearances. I think that’s a brilliant idea for a novel. I can’t wait to read it!

    Great interview!



  2. What a great interview. Thanks to both of you for both the insightful questions and the thoughtful answers! I agree – understanding the underlying ‘quiet desperation’ brings a truth to the characters and their stories – and gets under the reader’s skin.

    Looking forward to reading your next novel, Cathryn. And, Linda, looking forward to the Brevity of Roses as well.

    (Now all I have to do is finish something and follow y’all…)


    1. Hi Nancy, Thanks for sharing this on your FB page. I thought I’d hate twitter but have ended up loving it because I’ve met lots of great people that I never would have met in “real” life.


  3. I love the Cathryn’s inspiration came from a line totally out of the blue.

    It reminds me of a quote from Phillip Pullman:

    “People ask me where my ideas come from. I don’t know where they come from, but I know where they go. They go to my writing desk. And if I’m not there, I miss them”


    1. I love that quote! Thanks for posting it. I heard something similar about “the muse” – that you need to be in the same place every day so the muse can find you.


  4. Hi all,

    I’ve entered you in the contest and will keep stopping back to check for new comments. Good luck, and don’t forget to check out the other blogs this week for more chances to enter.


  5. I read your directions again, and the comment was to be “why I love to read.” The answer to that would be “It’s like going on a vacation!” Reading is directly connected to the “pleasure center” in my brain, along with lots of other activities, of course.

    The other blogs could not be found by my computer, but I will try again.


  6. ” It suddenly hit me that it wasn’t about finding an agent or getting a contract, it was about finding readers who like my work. It sounds so obvious, but it completely changed my thinking.” Amazing – and you’re about how that shift can change everything!!

    When I was reading Demise of the Soccer MOms, Cathryn, I kept thinking was that I really hope not too mother’s experience this thought. I told my sister about the book and her response, was that so many mothers are obsessed to this degree. You really got across that feeling you speak of here – the women in your novel who did wrong weren’t bad or evil, but just people gone astray.


    1. I laugh at myself when I think about how my writing subtly shifted toward thinking about marketing and enticing an agent. Now that Demise is out, I can hardly write fast enough because I feel this sense of freedom that I used to have with writing that somehow deteriorated over the years.


  7. I’ve literally just finished reading Demise of the Soccer Moms so this was definitely an interesting insight into the bitter, twisted mind behind it (only joking Cathryn).

    Am definitely looking forward to Buried By Debt, sounds like it will be very topical!


    1. Thanks, David. I’m sure my mind is only slightly more twisted than most writers. 😉

      I’m getting excited about Buried By Debt, working on back story and it’s really coming to life.


  8. Great interview, Linda!

    Cathryn, Several times I’ve had the same experience – where one line of dialogue (or even just one line) will sit in my head until I put it down on paper and into a story. I love the power behind that kind of line.

    And, I love your thought that you felt more like a Writer once you started writing every day.


    1. It’s amazing how that feeling can ebb when I don’t write every day. When I let two or three days slip by, I feel slightly lost. And then when I get back to it, I think, what was my problem? Why did I let that happen? Because even five minutes is enough!


  9. Yes, I also loved this interview. Great questions and anwers. The idea of indie publishing is so freeing. Not long ago someone asked me why I blogged, and I responded as most would: because I love to write. But, also because I can write AND publish without having to submit.

    I know I’d benefit from a good editor, but I like writing and reading blogs because the writing has a certain rawness that is not always evident after the formal publishing process. Good for you Cathryn – charge on!


  10. I’ve known a few soccer moms in my time, and an intense soccer dad, too, one of my relatives. Because I love mysteries and people, this book sounds like something I would be interested in reading.


  11. I love this line Cathryn said during your interview: I thought about how women judge each other and how suburbia breeds conformity. Just so true! I am definitely going to be reading her book after devouring this interview – just really well done – questions were amazing and her responses were thoughtful and inspiring!


  12. Hi. Thanks for putting on this contest. I am a writer, too. Mostly, I love to read inspirational books or non-fiction books that help me learn and grow. I certainly appreciate the talent of others who can write exceptional novels.


  13. Fantastic interview. Loved the line from the book, “She’s not wearing a bra.” How simple a statement and yet so much to be said, judged and assumed from the people talking and the person they were talking about. Fantastic. I love how life throws us those little nuggets of gold to play with. Mmmmmm.


  14. Linda and Cathryn, I’m loving getting such an in-depth look at the behind the scenes (!) stuff of The Demise of the Soccer Moms as I make my way around the blogs. Cathryn, I’m fascinated, too, by the choices people make or don’t make. Having marked some time in the suburbs and feeling like an outsider…or rather an observer, as a writer, the idea of Suburban Noir is also very interesting. Good stuff. Thanks to both of you!


  15. I’ve been playing up Cathryn on some websites that have been picking on the indie author as of late…daring them to read her book and find fault. I haven’t started the book just yet, but have read the beginning on her blog. I purchased a copy for my kindle phone app and I can’t wait to finish my current reading projects so I can start reading it.

    Finding what works for you is the only thing that matters. At some point in our lives I would hope what other people think of us won’t interfere with our desires.


    1. I loved this part, Sabrina: “At some point in our lives I would hope what other people think of us won’t interfere with our desires.”

      I think it just took me a lot longer to reach that point than it does some other writers. It’s MY time now, and if it seems selfish to others, that’s their problem.


  16. Commenting here, too, for the kindle. {grin}

    I love how you created your own genre, and I’m facinated by the idea of direct-marketing a novel.

    I have a new friend who writes fan fic, and she says it’s the only way to go. She has friends and authors she’s read that sell a respectable couple thousand copies of each e-book, and at $2-$3 each that’s not an unhealthy return compared to a standard advance.

    Again, “from what I hear.” It’s not like I have direct experience.


  17. Hi again Amy Jane! I guess if you don’t fit neatly into any genre, you have to invent your own 😉 Now that advances are typically a lot smaller than they used to be, it’s definitely something to take into consideration.


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