Welcome to BookView Interview, a conversation series where BookView talks to authors.
Recently, we talked with Catalina DuBois about her book Infinity: Detroit Nights. Catalina has published five award winning novels, including Book of Matthew: House of Whispers which won the 2018 Literary Titan Book Award.
Catalina DuBois was born in a small town in Missouri and now lives in Roswell, New Mexico with her husband, Brian, and daughter, Casey. She attended the University of Michigan where she earned Higher Education Awards. DuBois later transferred to Eastern New Mexico University, where she graduated in 2011. She has published five award winning novels, including Book of Matthew: House of Whispers which won the 2018 Literary Titan Book Award.
She is currently writing her new novel, Book of Matthew II: Ancient Evil. Follow her page for free books and updates. https://catalinadubois.com/free-downloads/
Infinity: Detroit Nights Book Trailer
BookView Review: Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?
Catalina DuBois: Definitely a dilemma. The Infinity series features Matthew and Sarah, a pair of star-crossed lovers cursed to endure hardships in every lifetime. While I enjoyed writing their adventures throughout history, I was often asked by readers if I’d ever consider writing a contemporary lifetime for them. The problem with present day stories is that they just don’t hold my interest for the six months it would take to write one. As a compromise, I wrote Infinity: Detroit Nights. It takes place in the 1930’s prohibition era and it’s my most modern story. Detroit Nights isn’t present day but it’s recent enough to have cars, guns, and phones. So far my readers have enjoyed it.
BookView Review: What’s more important: characters or plot?
Catalina DuBois: I know that most will expect and demand that I choose characters, but as a lover of suspense the most important element is the plot. An author is first and foremost a storyteller. If you cannot tell a compelling story you have failed as an author.
BookView Review: Which scene or chapter in the book is your favorite? Why?
Catalina DuBois: My favorite scene is of Matthew and Tony at the baseball stadium. They were watching the Tigers play the Yankees. For me it was very emotional to see Babe Ruth walk up to the mound with the roar of a crowd. Fans are munching on peanuts and Cracker Jack singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. It was a very patriotic and nostalgic moment to remember how much we loved the American pastime before the Corona Virus emptied our stadiums and took so many of our people.
BookView Review: Which scene was most difficult to write? Why?
Catalina DuBois: That huge battle between the two gangs was the most difficult to write because it involved the most characters and the most action. It took many drafts to get it right.
BookView Review: Which scene, character or plotline changed the most from first draft to published book?
Catalina DuBois: The character who made the greatest transformation throughout the story was Matthew. He grew up in the Jim Crow south, a place of racial segregation and bigotry. Initially, Sarah is the exact opposite of his ideal woman. She’s not submissive. She’s not religious. She’s not a virgin and she’s not white. Sarah is equally repulsed by Matthew. He’s too young, too self-righteous, and too racist, but Matthew’s time in the big city begins to open his mind and his heart to new possibilities.
BookView Review: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Catalina DuBois: I was in kindergarten or first grade the first time I ever experienced racism. I was in line at the water fountain when I heard the words, “Niggers have aids. Pass it down.” I had never heard the word before so I unknowingly passed on the message. That’s when a kid shoved me and shouted, “He’s talking about you, stupid!” I was then pushed to the back of the line by every one of the students in my all white class while my teacher watched and said nothing. I learned that their words could hurt others. I learned that my teacher’s lack of words condoned the abuse. The most important thing I learned was to be careful about the way we speak in front of our child because words have power. One boy with hateful parents was enough to poison an entire class against me.
BookView Review: What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
Catalina DuBois: No matter how different we seem, where we grew up, or what political views we have we can respectfully disagree while embracing one another as Americans. We are one nation under God.
BookView Review: What’s the most difficult thing about writing a novel?
Catalina DuBois: Accepting the fact that I can’t please everyone. If I write a historically accurate novel, there are always complaints from readers about the racism and misogyny. If I sacrifice historical accuracy for sake of political correctness, history lovers will draw and quarter me.
BookView Review: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Catalina DuBois: It depends on the scene. Romantic/Suspense is roller-coaster of emotions. Happy romantic scenes energize me. Chapters about family and friendship give me joy. But Dark terrifying scenes make me feel like a towel that’s been wrung out. I write some horrifying villains and it’s hard to have a monster in your head for weeks at a time.
BookView Review: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Catalina DuBois: Choose a different profession. Many books and movies have been ruined for me because I can recognize lazy storytelling, immoral messages, and poor character development. Had I never become a writer I would have remained in blissful ignorance.
BookView Review: Tell us some more about your book.
Catalina DuBois: Matthew is your average prohibition era teen until the moment he is kidnapped by gangsters and forced to brew illegal alcohol. The beautiful but deadly Sarah Brodeur is the girlfriend of a notorious mobster. Matthew locks horns with the femme fatale from the very start. She loathes the southern bigot and the feeling is mutual. As they fall prey to the dangers of the criminal underworld Sarah and Matthew form an attraction as deadly as it is undeniable…
You can read this story for free at https://catalinadubois.com/free-downloads/
Categories: BookView Review Interview
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I so love this book! I am a huge fan of everything that Catalina Dubois writes everything from her earliest works as a child in Grammar School to watching her develop her craft as a young writer in college and Beyond . And while all of her novels are my favorite. This Detroit knife has really made it hit with me. Because the ending was a very big surprise that I never seen coming and no I’m not going to spoil it for anyone else. Kudos to to you Miss Dubois. A man by the name of mr. Ad Silas who happens to be my 73 year old father love the book Detroit nights he said reminded him of stories that his father used to talk about the prohibition era therefore Miss Dubois has truly done her homework I look forward to reading more of her stories keep up the good work young lady you will go far God bless you
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I went into nostalgia narrating the trials and trauma in a more subtle and calliberated manner in Detroit nights is nothing but nightmare.
I for one like to ask the author if it is possible to put in writing all the untold dreams of hate, jealousy, ill-will and so on .
I tried but failed as the stories I dreamt off never really realised in paper.
Kudos to your tour of realism , which is not magical but real to the core.
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