Friday, September 9, 2011

Interview with Cathi Stoler, Author of Telling Lies

Also joining us today is Cathi Stoler, author of Telling Lies. Cathi was an award-winning advertising copywriter. Telling Lies is her first mystery/suspense novel. Other novels in this series will include Keeping Secrets, which delves into the subject of hidden identity, and, The Hard Way, a story about the international diamond smuggling. She has also written several short stories including "Fatal Flaw," which was published online this April at Beat To A Pulp and Out of Luck, which will be included in the upcoming New York Sisters in Crime anthology, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices. In addition to Sisters in Crime, Cathi is also a member of Mystery Writers of America.

When did you begin writing?

I believe my love of reading from when I was very young gave me a latent desire to write. The first thing I remember writing is a short play for the Girl Scouts. After college, I started working as an advertising copywriter and have done so for many years. At some point, I thought about writing a novel, but was very hesitant to give it a try.

I finally took a course at Marymount Manhattan College entitled “How to Overcome Your Fear of Writing Your Novel.” While it all seemed a little scary, it was the impetus I needed and a great beginning. It gave me the confidence to actually begin my novel writing career. TELLING LIES and my upcoming books, KEEPING SECRETS, and THE HARD WAY, are the results.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Yes, to all of the above. I still have a full-time job and have to make time for my writing whenever I can. I try to write a little bit everyday, but it’s a challenge to juggle work, writing and family life. It’s also very rewarding.

What is this book about?

TELLING LIES is a complicated tale of murder and suspense told from multiple points of view. It begins in Florence, Italy and ends in New York. With stolen Nazi art, a 9/11 deception and a ruthless Mussed agent crossing their paths, my two protagonists, Laurel Imperiole, a magazine editor, and Helen McCorkendale, a private investigator, are thrown into a maze of deceit and lies that could end in death.

What inspired you to write it?

After 9/11, which I unfortunately witnessed firsthand, I always had the feeling human nature being what it is, someone must have taken advantage of this terrible tragedy to leave behind a life they were unhappy with and disappear. I’d also been reading about the skyrocketing prices in the art market and thought that would be a good element to layer in to the plot as the reason for the main villain’s deception.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Somewhere along the way, I became very attached to Helen McCorkendale, my PI. I didn’t have any pre-conceived notions about a favorite character when I began the novel but as the story progressed, her voice seemed to resonate with me more than my other characters. I think it’s probably because I felt I could invest her with a more knowing sensibility. She’s an adult. She’s around the block a few times, knows what’s going on and enjoys life immensely. At least, I hope readers will think so.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My family: my husband Paul and my daughter, Lauren. They encouraged me and supported me all along the way. My husband is my biggest promoter, telling everyone we meet that they should buy my book … which can be a little awkward at times!

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

Yes. I would have started writing novels 20 or 30 years ago when the business was very different and the road to publication a lot simpler. Although, who knows if I would have been ready then, or if my work would have had the same feeling it has now.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

TELLING LIES is available online at, Barnes&, from the Apple store for iPads and through my publisher’s website: You can also ask for it at any bookstore.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My website is: It has information about my writing, my novels, short stories, reviews, interviews and upcoming events.

I also blog at on a regular basis.

Readers can visit me on my website or find me on Facebook at Cathi Stoler Author, or on Twitter at @cathicopy.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

My book trailer for TELLING LIES is up on my website in my media section. It can also be viewed on YouTube at:

What is up next for you?

I’ll be attending Bouchercon 2011 in St. Louis from September 15 through 18 and will be participating in the panel, All About Eve, which will focus on strong female characters. So, if any of you will be there, please stop by and say hello.

I would definitely like TELLING LIES to be turned into a movie. In the meantime, I just completed the edits on the second book in the series, KEEPING SECRETS, which deals with hidden identity and identity theft. I’m also writing the third story in the series, THE HARD WAY, which is about International diamond smuggling.

I’m a member of the New York chapter of Sisters in Crime and have a story in our upcoming anthology, MURDER NEW YORK STYLE: FRESH SLICES, which is also being published in this September.

Thanks for spending time with us today, Cathi. It was great to learn more about you. I wish you continued success.


Tribute Books said...

Cheryl, thanks for hosting a great interview with Cathi. I always learn so much about the authors from your questions. It's great to hear about their backgrounds and what inspires them to write their books.

Cathi, I'm a fellow Girl Scout so I definitely appreciate how the organization encouraged your love of reading as a young girl. Plus the title of your Marymount course is fantastic, “How to Overcome Your Fear of Writing Your Novel.” Plus I love how your husband tells everyone to buy your book - don't be embarrassed, he's such a great promoter :)

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Cheryl, you always ask such great questions.