Like most of the other writers I adore today, I first met Catie Rhodes on social media back in 2011. We pretty much hit it off immediately… talking about writing, TV, mysteries, movies, and more.
Some of you may recognize Catie’s name from our Original versus Remake monthly blog series. She almost always covers the classics, also known as the originals, and she lets me review the newer films—luckily for me, my selections usually include eye candy… No film is off-limits for our series; but if you leave it up to the two of us, we’ll almost always choose a horror or slasher flick. Why? Because that’s what we like. I’ve only met a handful of people who like gore and psychological thrillers the way I do, and Catie happens to be one of them.
But what really drew me to Catie, besides her personality, was her love of true crime, ghosts, and hauntings. Her blog, Long Roads and Dark Ends, is one of my favorites out there. She has introduced me to plenty of haunted Texas spots, and one day I will go on a spooky tour. Hopefully with Catie…
After a year or so of our chats on Twitter and Facebook, we extended our friendship to email and texts. I cannot express how much I adore this girl. We’ve never met in person, despite only living four hours apart, but I know we will. It’s actually probably a blessing that we don’t live any closer; it’s likely we’d meet for coffee and desserts too much and not get enough writing done.
But before I ramble on, here’s a little bit about Catie in her own words:
Catie Rhodes grew up in the piney woods of East Texas where there wasn’t much to do other than daydream and make up stories. She decided to turn her love of lying into writing fiction after getting fired for telling her boss the President was on the phone. (That’s actually a lie, but it got your attention, didn’t it?)
The truth is, Catie knew from an early age what she wanted to do when she grew up. She just went down a lot of dead end streets on her road to becoming a writer. Her travels and trials taught her life is short, and one has to go for the gusto or get left behind.
Drawing on her East Texas roots, her love of true crime, and her love of the paranormal, she writes the kind of stories she wishes the bookstores sold. Catie relishes being that kid your mother warned you about, the one who cusses and never washes her hands after petting the dog.
She lives in the overcrowded, overly noisy, and overrated Houston, Texas suburbs where all the houses look exactly the same.
Before we jump into the interview, check out Catie’s blurb for her debut ghostly suspense novel, Forever Road…
Seeing Ghosts Is Rough, But Owing A Ghost A Favor Flat Out Sucks.
My name’s Peri Jean Mace, and I’ve seen ghosts ever since I can remember. Don’t get too excited. Seeing across the veil branded me as a loony during my growing up years, and I learned to keep my yap shut about it.
Now I’m not sure I can anymore.
See, my cousin up and got herself killed the very same day I promised her a favor. Now she’s back in spirit form and determined to make me pay. If I don’t solve her murder, she’s going to haunt me forever. Talk about the debt collector from hell.
That’s not my only problem. An obnoxiously hot cop wants to arrest my best friend for the murder. My bigmouthed archenemy holds a clue to the killer’s identity. And there’s this mean—and ugly—woman who wants to beat me up.
None of this can turn out good.
When you were a little girl, did you dream of one day writing a bestseller, or did you have something else in mind?
The earliest memories I have are of wanting to be a doctor. By the time I was twelve or so, however, I wanted to write a bestseller. I loved making up stories much more than I loved science.
Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?
Life, current events, TV, folklore, ghost stories, true crime…you know, the normal stuff.
Who are a few of your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Larry Brown, Jim Thompson, Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Billie Sue Mosiman, Todd Brown, Joe Lansdale, Robert R. McCammon.
When I was a teenager, I devoured Jackie Collins’s and V.C. Andrews’s novels.
The cover art for your book is amazing. Did you design it yourself?
Thank you, and no. lol
The illustration on the cover is by Kimberlee Ketterman Edgar of Darkstar Artwork. I had very clear ideas about what I wanted and was lucky enough to work with a professional dedicated to helping me achieve my vision.
Indie Author Services did the lettering on the cover.
Many writers imagine a celebrity or familiar face when developing their characters. Did you have anyone particular in mind when writing Peri Jean and why?
Peri Jean looks a whole lot like Winona Ryder when she wore her hair in a pixie cut. I’m not sure why I chose Winona Ryder. That’s just who felt right.
Speaking of celebrities, who are you thinking of at this very moment?
Paul Walker, who looks a lot like Dean Turgeau, the male lead in Forever Road.
Besides writing, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
Research. I love to find a topic that grabs my interest and learn everything I can about it. This hobby is probably clearly evidenced in my blog posts on true crime and paranormal.
I wouldn’t be myself without asking about television – what are your four favorite television programs airing today?
Only four?! You’re cruel, girl. Just downright cruel. In order:
1) Breaking Bad
2) The Walking Dead
3) The Killing
4) Sons of Anarchy
I think I see a pattern…
What is your favorite movie of all-time?
Another hard one!
Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2
Okay, I cheated a little since that’s technically two movies. But it’s only one title. Sort of. Fine…I cheated.
What snacks do you order when at a movie theater?
Sweet Tarts and bottled water. Count on me to live large.
You blog about so many interesting haunted and spooky locations. Which spot was your favorite to visit and did you sense anything out of the ordinary?
I used to visit New Orleans, Louisiana a lot. One place I found deliciously creepy was St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. Marie Laveau is supposedly interred there. At least, there’s a grave with her name on it.
Though I saw nothing in St. Louis No. 1, the place had a great spooky vibe, and I could smell death. At the time we went, we were advised not to venture into the cemetery alone and couldn’t afford to take the tour again. But I’d love to go back and let my husband (the photographer) take some good pictures.
Being a fellow Texan, any haunted locations I should visit?
Next time you go out to the Hill Country, go to Longhorn Caverns in Burnet, Texas. Gorgeous place. Many of the structures were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during The Great Depression. It is also supposedly very haunted. If you feel like it, do a google search on “Longhorn Caverns + Catie Rhodes” and view my ghost picture from our visit.
Isn’t Catie great?
Need more Catie? I mean, seriously… who doesn’t want to go to a haunted location with her? I do! Be sure to catch up with Catie at her website, or follow her via her Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Do you have a question for Catie? Have you read Forever Road yet? How about this—do you believe in ghosts? Have any haunted tales to tell? We’d love to hear from you!
Before we go, Forever Road is on sale for 99 cents today and tomorrow (July 5th and 6th). Be sure to grab a copy if you haven’t already… and check out Catie’s short story, Haste, while you are there.
A short story about rage and consequences.