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Wednesday 24 February 2021

ℚ The Widow Catcher: Delia Frost [1] - Jonette Blake

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Widow Catcher (, Jonette Blake, 260 pages), a Thriller, book one in the Delia Frost series.

"The Widow Catcher is a fast-paced, suspenseful murder mystery. Blake excels at crafting well-timed reveals that keep readers engaged and intrigued. This murder mystery feels authentic and original. It's set apart from its contemporaries by the unusual crimes and unlikely but determined heroine." ~ The Booklife Prize

"The plot was well-paced, and the characters were skillfully done. The ending was worth the wait." ~ Netgalley

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Jonette Blake; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Widow Catcher?

"It was an idea that had been brewing for a while, ever since 2007, when I started work at a small bank in Batemans Bay after relocating from the city.

It was here I learned that most of the residents of Batemans Bay were retirees. It sparked the idea of someone misusing their trust in the community.  And I decided, who better to get caught in the middle of a web of lies, deception, and murder than an honest bank teller."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I never thought I would get to ever use the year I worked in a bank in a novel.  Who would want to read a story about an honest bank teller?

This bank had many customers who were elderly, which put the tellers in a position of trust.  I’ve held many positions of trust in my working life and I still do in my day job as a Payroll Officer.  So both of these parts of my personality are reflected in the book.

This book was always going to be about one character who breaks a position of trust, and the other whose sense of right and wrong is tested."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for The Widow Catcher - why you chose that concept.
"I wanted a cover that gave a sense of someone getting ‘drawn into’ the murders. 

There are three characters in this book: the victims who are sitting in the house unaware they are being watched; the killer who is standing on the road outside the house; and Delia, the person standing on the outside seeing all of this. 

Right at that moment Delia has the option to look away or do something about someone standing outside a house."
Why should we read The Widow Catcher and the Delia Frost series; what sets it apart from the rest?
"People should read this series if they are looking for a unique protagonist.  Delia Frost is not the typical snooping amateur sleuth, and she is not the typical middle-aged woman with a back story that is so damaging it borders on depressing.

Delia is 53 years old, suffering from empty-nest syndrome, and her husband wants her to quit her job to spend time together after his heart attack.  These are both very normal circumstances that have created a lot of internal conflict for Delia.  She doesn’t want to uproot her life.  She misses her kids.  She is in a situation where she’s facing spending twenty-four hours a day with her husband, whom she loves, but she is also enjoying being Delia Frost, instead of just ‘mum’.

I think a lot of people identify with her because she is a new phase of her life."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Widow Catcher, its story and characters?
"I have a quirky pet in the book.  Monty is an African Grey parrot. 

I decided that Delia ought to have a pet, something else to take care of.  She has to take care of kids, a husband, the house, work a job, why not add a pet into her already busy life?  But I wanted it to be a quirky pet, one to fit the theme of the story where the deaths are surreal, so the pet must be surreal too.

Monty is based on an African Grey parrot my grandfather in Wales had for fifty or more years.  His name was Smokey.  My mother told me many stories about this parrot.  He was a character, one I’ve wanted to include in my books for a while, and I finally found the perfect home for him."
Who would you recommend The Widow Catcher to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this book to older readers, over thirties, maybe even over forties because of the age of the protagonist.  I think they’d definitely relate to the reluctance of this character to get involved in solving murders. 

I’m turning 51 this year, and I already have too much to do to go, let alone going around solving murders.  So if readers are expecting a Lara Croft type of character they will be disappointed.  Delia Frost is more Lara Craft!"
If you could / wished to turn The Widow Catcher and the Delia Frost series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I would love this book to be turned into a series.  I wouldn’t care who played Delia Frost so long as they gave the role to a mature-aged actor.  I would cringe if they gave it to a 30 year-old and changed her age to suit Hollywood.  Though they’d probably still make Richard 55 because that’s a Hollywood cliché.  So yeah, anyone so long as she was in her fifties.  I am proud to write a book with a 53 year-old character."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I write across a few genres.  Under another author name I write paranormal fiction and science fiction.

When I start a story I think about the setting and genre and what will tell that story the best.  Some stories need a little bit of supernatural, some need to be set in the future, depending on the theme of the story. And some need a real life setting. 

The Widow Catcher
is my first novel that does not use supernatural or sci-fi elements.  I have always wanted to write thrillers.  I plan to write a few more.

I write across multiple genres because I have always read across multiple genres.  My books shelf is filled with classics, romance, women’s fiction, science fiction, horror, thrillers, young adult fiction.  I don’t like the idea of being limited to one style of book or clothing or TV show."
What is your writing process?
"I look at my current catalogue of books and I think about what books I would like to release in the next 12 months.  I usually write an enticing blurb to get me excited.  Then I start the overview of the book, chapter breakdown, things that must happen.  Then I decide on how many words this books needs to be based on the genre.

I write the first draft, aiming for 1000 words a day.  Sometimes I hit this target, sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I write more.  But I keep writing until the first draft is done.  Then I do a read through and make a note of what’s missing, what needs to come out or be changed.  My books go through many edits, some even get majorly re-written which is annoying because that puts the schedule behind.  But the story is the most important factor for me, not releasing 10 books a year.

And then, because I get bored, I play around with cover design.  I check covers to buy, covers for books that are similar, and I create a few concept, always coming back to the one that excites me the most.  Then I have to figuratively slap myself to get the book finished because nobody can read what isn’t published."
What is in store next?
"I hadn’t planned on a series for Delia Frost.  But the reviews for the first book have been so positive that I will give her a few more books to discover more about herself. 

I will give you a hint, in the end of The Widow Catcher, Delia mentions that she is going to Queensland to have a holiday with her son and daughter.  Bad things will happen at the holiday resort.  That’s all I will say for now.

I just have one project I’m finishing up then I’m on to writing the sequel to The widow Catcher, which I’ve titled The Thief Catcher."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I do have a pet.  Her name is Teeka.  She is a 13 year old mini fox terrier cross with cattle dog (we think).

She is a rescue puppy, I got her from the pound when she was 3 months old.  She is the most previous thing in mine and my husband’s life.  She is spoiled rotten and rules the house.  And everyone loves her.  How could they not?"
Hello Teeka, you are a very beautiful girl!  Lots of head-scratches and belly-rubs from all of us at BooksChatter 😀 

Jonette, thank you so much for sharing Teeka with us.  We hope you are having a great tour!

Retirement can be murder.

The Widow Catcher
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads


CMash said...

I'm now interested that I want to knowmore about Delia

Jonette Blake said...

Thank you for this interview opportunity. I'm having such a fun time on this book tour. And I gave Teeka lots of hugs and kisses from you all.

Jonette xx