Dexterity: skill in performing tasks

I’ve used the word prolificity in a previous post. The word describes this week’s installment of the Weekend Name Drop, along with a another impressive word: dexterity. Meet Cat Connor.

Name: Cat Connor

Creative field: Author

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Best known for: Authoring the _byte series, co-founding the Writers Plot, Readers Read bookshop in Upper Hutt, running creative writing workshops

My connection: I first e-mailed Cat and co-founder Caro Lankow when I heard  they were calling for books to stock their new shop in Upper Hutt, Writers Plot, Readers Read. The shop stocks books by New Zealand authors who are published independently or by small presses. They have been stocking all my novels since they opened. Since then, I’ve connected with Cat on Twitter, seeing her progress as an author of her _byte series. She and I also have mutual author/Twitter friends including ZR Southcombe. Just this week, it was announced that Cat’s new book, Eraserbyte, is entered in the Ngaio Marsh Awards for Best Crime Book. I look forward to meeting Cat in person one day, perhaps at the shop which regularly hosts events featuring authors with books in store.

Inspiration for this writer: In terms of prolificty, I count fifteen books written by Cat since 2009, including seven in her _byte series. In addition, she writes short stories and blogs. In terms of dexterity, like James Russell and Bianca Zander, she has written her books within her parenting lifestyle, working in and around her children’s schedules. Her advice to mums who want to write: “Write. Keep writing. If you really want to write you will find the time. It doesn’t hurt kids to eat spaghetti or have to amuse themselves while you get some writing done. In fact, it’s good for children to see their Mum following her dreams.” (NZ Book Council). Not convinced? Consider how much she’s written as a mother of seven children. Like me, she has written after everyone in her household has gone to bed, working late into the night/morning. Unlike me, she is able to write with noise, listening to Bon Jovi as she composes! If only I could do that while still listening to Springsteen . . .

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Why you should check her out and share with others: Cat’s _byte series features her recurring protagonist, SSA Ellie Conway. While I haven’t read from the series yet, I suspect it may appeal to fans of Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell and Janet Evanovich. And her series covers are very cool. There is more to come in the series as the eighth book, Psychobyte, is on its way. Cat is also a generous supporter of other writers, having conducted creative writing workshops for several years and founding the Writers Plot, Readers Read shop, an initiative which may well serve as a prototype for similar shops around the country, catering for independent and small press writers, as well as for readers who may not otherwise have knowledge of or access to what’s available. Not that Cat and Caro need the competition – I’m sure they’d prefer you order from them online, as all their books in the shop can be ordered from afar.

Sample of work:

Eraserbyte_Ebook (2)Gloomy, cold and drafty. Not a fan of abandoned old factories. Puddles gleamed as lightning lit the interior. There were better places to be during a thunderstorm. The structure leaked like a sieve. Another clap of thunder shook the walls and vibrated under my feet. Water trickled down the wall on my left, feeding a large puddle in the broken concrete.
My LED flashlight lit the area with white light. I scanned the walls. Lee was with me, Sam and Kurt several paces behind us.
“On your three o’clock,” I called to Sam.
The flashlight illuminated a solid-looking metal door on my right. I kept moving forward down the corridor but looked back quickly as Sam turned ninety degrees and tried the door handle. 
With a reverberating clang, the door hit a wall. Kurt and Sam disappeared.
Moments later, I heard Sam’s voice. “Clear.”
Lee looked at me.
“Our nine,” he said as his flashlight shone through the doorway, onto more puddles.
“Got it.”
I followed Lee into the room. He went right. I went left. Nothing but decrepit machinery, rusted hunks of metal, and more puddles.
“Clear,” Lee said and we moved on.
I wanted to move on completely and go home. It was a miserable afternoon. The dank corridor stretched in front of us with no end in sight.
A door banged. The echo bounced off the walls and slammed into us, directional information distorted by the echo.
“Where was that?” I asked.
“Ahead?” Lee said, glancing over his shoulder at Sam for confirmation.
Sam nodded. “Ahead. The tip might have been right. Someone is in here.”
Or a big rat can close doors?
I felt Sam and Kurt close behind us. We’d walked two abreast earlier but in single file now. 
Lee had point, then me, then Kurt, then Sam in the rear.
Another door closed, this time quietly.
“They know we’re here,” I whispered to Lee.
That was a given. We weren’t exactly in stealth mode.

“Yeah, carefully does it,” he replied. “They have the upper hand for now.”

Here’s more about Psychobyte, in Cat’s preliminary trailer for her next volume in the _byte series:

Find out more: catconnor.com, blog, Rebel ePublishersFacebook, TwitterGoodreads, AmazonYouTube

The Weekend Name Drop is a weekly feature on this blog, promoting people I have encountered who are doing creative things.

Antony Millen is a Canadian living and writing in New Zealand. He is the author of three novels: Redeeming Brother MurrihyTe Kauhanga and The Chain.

Smashwords Cover Te_Kauhanga_Cover_for_Kindle (2)The_Chain_Cover_for_Kindle

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