Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spotlight/Author Interview: Fear Familiar by Carolyn Haines

About the Book

Genre:  Mystery, #1 Fear Familiar Mystery Series
Publisher: KaliOka Press
Release Date: April 10, 2017

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When Eleanor Duncan rescues the unusual black cat from a university parking lot, she suspects he has run through at least eight of his lives. But it’s his ninth, and potentially last, that concerns her most. Alarming events appear to have followed him into her life. Eleanor is assaulted by a stranger and interrogated by the CIA. More terrifying is her husband’s seeming return from the dead.

A trip to veterinarian Peter Curry reveals an even deeper secret. Familiar is an escaped research animal. The secret he carries opens the door to conspiracy, danger, and romance. Peter and Eleanor are determined to save the black cat’s life and prevent his return to the lab. Their decision to help Familiar turns their world upside down—and begins the saga of Familiar, the black cat detective.

Author Interview

Please join me in welcoming author Carolyn Haines to Socrates’ Book Review Blog. I’m honored to be interviewing the author of one of my favorite mystery series, “Fear Familiar”. She also authors two other mystery series, Sarah Booth Delaney and Pluto’s Snitch mysteries. It’s a pleasure to have her visit with us today.

1. What made you decide to re-release your Fear Familiar mystery series?

As luck would have it, I was able to obtain some of my old Harlequin Intrigue titles back. When I realized I had half a dozen of the Familiar titles, I remembered how much I’d loved writing about this character and how popular he is. He still gets fan mail! I’d been wanting to really explore the waters of indie publishing and this seemed like the perfect project.

2. Is it difficult writing animal characters vs. human characters?

Since I mostly prefer animals to humans in almost every situation, no. I run an animal rescue and I have dogs and cats and horses. They are so capable of communicating their thoughts to me. Animals have psychic abilities that humans haven’t honed. They sometimes just know things. And I’m endlessly fascinated by spending time with them. And of course the characters I write about all love animals, just like me!

3. The last Fear Familiar book was written in 2009. Will there be any new additions to the series?

Never say never. I don’t plan on writing Familiar right now, because I’m involved with a brand new series about Trouble, son of Familiar. He’s a black cat detective who takes after his father. Familiar views himself as a Humphrey Bogart kind of cat. Trouble sees himself as Sherlock Holmes—as played by Benedict Cumberbatch. More of a modern Sherlock!

4. What about your other mystery series? Can you tell us a bit about them and do you have a favorite?

Each series has something very special about it—at least special to me. I love the cat’s voices in the narration of the Familiar and Trouble books. Sarah Booth, Tinkie, and the Zinnia gang in the Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery series are such good friends. That friendship and their love of place (Zinnia, Mississippi) is really important to me. And then there’s Jitty—the wise cracking haint. I love the humor of the stories, too. In the Pluto’s Snitch series (there are only two so far THE BOOK OF BELOVED and June 26 THE HOUSE OF MEMORY) I get to explore the spirit realm, which takes me back to my childhood love of ghost stories. And these are historical mysteries. I love the 1920s. And I love the complexity of a contemporary mystery that wraps back into the past. It takes a lot of work to write, but I love that kind of story with just a hint of chill in it.

5. Can you give us a preview of upcoming books to look for?

STICKS AND BONES, May 16 (Sarah Booth is back!)
FAMILIAR TROUBLE (the first of the new Trouble books) July 12
TROUBLE IN DIXIE (Rebecca Barrett is the author of this new Trouble book) Aug, 14
TROUBLE IN TALLAHASSEE (Claire Maturro is the author of this new Trouble book) Sept. 11

My writer friends are joining me in the Trouble adventures, so readers will have a chance to get a little different take on my black cat friend.

6. Any booksignings coming up?

Alabama Book Festival April 22
Wylie Library in Wylie Texas (with Kelley Armstrong) May 27
Luncheon with Books, July 12, West Point, Mississippi
Bay St. Louis/Hancock County Public Library book event July 18

Thank you for taking the time visit with us, Carolyn!

It was a real pleasure. A nice break from making up stories! Thank you for the interview. For those who’d like to know more about me, here are some links.

Amazon Author Page:

Personal Facebook:
Author Facebook:



  1. I really enjoyed your review on the Familiar book the other day so was pleased to see this interview! So interesting! Sticks and Bones sounds like a good read and I'm adding it to my TBR.

  2. Thanks, Katherine. I grew up reading all kinds of stories, and now as a writer, I enjoy writing from dark to humor. Thanks for giving my books a chance.


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