Sharing a fabulous #TenThings today is author BC Harris. She’s certainly had some interesting and sometimes hair-raising experiences in her life! Her novel, Conspiracy of Cats, is available now. You’ll find buying links for various retailers below. Thanks to Kelly at Love Books Tours for the invitation to take part in the #booktour.
- Back in the dark ages of 1976, when I was a wee pale 12 year old lassie from Edinburgh, my parents took me abroad for the very first time. It was another world full of sunshine, strange smells and suntans. That first night it was pitch black in the apartment and I needed to go to the loo. I remembered the wall light above my bed, but knew it wasn’t connected; the short cable and plug were hanging down from the lamp. Feeling for the plug holes with my fingers, I inserted the funny little, two prong plug with my other hand. The resulting shock catapulted me backwards across the room and blew the power in the entire block. I still have an irregular heartbeat, but little else of note has happened to me since almost killing myself in Benidorm. That is, until I met my third husband, Ian (my third time lucky in so many ways.)
- When I was 47 Ian took me to Jamaica for the first time. We took a small catamaran out and, wearing a lifejacket, I thought it would be a good idea to slip off the side into the crystal clear water and go for a swim. But the water was a lot deeper than imagined and, with the theme from Jaws playing loudly between my ears, I decided I wanted out of that warm, blue water as quickly as possible. Easier said than done, because I could not for the life of me get back into that boat. The breeze had picked up some pace by then, and Ian tried his best to sail at the same time as trying to haul me back up into the boat but, in the end, I had to be towed back to shore. Much to the amusement of the water sports centre staff.
- I learned to drive when I was 48, then promptly beached Ian’s brand new car. The lawn climbed as the drive dropped, and I had two wheels on the grass as I reversed down and around the low wall butting up against the elevated lawn. The car ended up perched on that dry stone wall. It wasn’t my garden, or my wall. I’d only popped in to stick a brochure through the door. Three blokes having a drink outside a nearby pub ambled along with their pints once they’d stopped laughing. They helped me down from the mid-air driver’s seat and called a local farmer to come rescue the car using a sturdy rope and his big blue tractor. The three blokes, and a fourth man passing by with his dog, kept the driver’s side raised until the tractor had pulled it back onto the drive, saving the undercarriage from all but the slightest damage. The next round was on me.
- I learned to ride horses when I was 50 after another visit to Jamaica and a trekking day trip through a plantation. We swam with the horses at the end; an experience we loved so much we did the trip again a few days later. I was then so taken with the idea of a holiday on horseback, I signed us both up for riding lessons as soon as we got back. The following year we flew to Argentina to live on an estancia for two weeks. We were right on the edge of the Sierras Chicas. Surrounded by mountains and the high Pampas at the start of spring. Every day was spent on horseback, checking on the cattle or rounding up some of the hundreds of other horses belonging to the ranch. It was everything I’d imagined, and so much more. Elaborately carved leather tack, huge saddles with high pommels and cantles, sheepskins to sit on. I felt like I was starring in every western movie I’d ever watched as a kid, and walked like John Wayne for weeks… despite my supply of arnica and colourful, padded Equitech underwear. It was a fabulous experience, and one we hope to repeat. It also gave me great insight into not just riding, but caring for horses too. Experiences I borrowed from, and built upon, for the main character in ‘Making Sacrifices’, which is my second book.
- When I was 51 we flew to South Africa in the December to work at a wild animal rehab centre in the bush close to Kruger National Park. It was their summer, really hot and the work was hard. But we got to walk a trio of huge lion cubs daily, and learned so much about both the animals as well as the environment. I used this experience and more to help bring certain events in ‘Conspiracy of Cats’ to life. On Christmas Eve we left the centre for the second half of our trip; a safari lodge. Sheer luxury, especially after the very basic accommodations shared at the rehab centre. A bar, a pool, great food, nights out, lots of wildlife all around us, but definitely no cleaning up poop. Absolute heaven. On Christmas Day after breakfast we set up by the pool in the shade of a big umbrella. We were exhausted after two weeks at the centre, and quickly fell asleep. When we woke much later the sun had moved around, and we both looked like bacon. Our back halves were still pale and sunburn free, but our fronts were so red and sore we could barely walk for the next three days. Merry Christmas!
- I couldn’t speak a word of the language when we packed up our lives and moved to France with two dogs and Daisy the cat. I was 53. We lived there for four years, and now I’m pretty good at French. We bought an old house in a lovely little hamlet. It had been empty for 12 years. The garden was so overgrown in places we expected to find Sleeping Beauty once we’d hacked away all the brambles. We kept bees there, and I discovered a talent for growing fruit and veg, as well as a love of gardening that I had no idea I was capable of. We did a lot of the renovation work ourselves… thank you YouTube for all those vlogs on re-lining roofs and unblocking pipes. We dragged our much extended, roots in the 17th century house, into the 21st century. We turned it into a lovely home, with a wonderful kitchen, a statement bathroom to go with the beautiful garden. It was in this house, inside the back porch looking out over the garden, that I wrote ‘Conspiracy of Cats’. The renovations were done, and suddenly I had time to write a story that had been turning over in my mind for twenty years, because a horrible little virus put the world into lockdown, and time was available in copious amounts. But covid also made us reassess our priorities and, fearing more lockdowns and further isolations from friends and family, we sold up and moved back to Scotland last year.
- We live on the Kintyre peninsula now, close to Campbeltown, closer to Belfast than Glasgow. I can see the Atlantic Ocean from my much smaller garden, and a few palm trees from my relocated desk. It’s windy, and there has been some spectacular storms over winter. But nowhere has proved to be warmer than the hearts of the local people who continue to welcome us into their community. This is where I finished ‘Making Sacrifices’ which is due to be published later this year. Another murder mystery with a supernatural twist. Another story that’s been rattling around in my brain for a great many years.
- Now Making Sacrifices is with the publisher I’m working on book number three. The birth of this story goes back to 2009 when I made some basic notes on an idea. I then set it loose to join the other two stories running around inside my mind, giving it time to grow, to mature, to find its personality. That seems to work for me. I spend years thinking about the characters living in my head. I get to know them. Who they are, what they do, where they live and where their story is taking me. Once I can see the point of the story… how it will end, that’s when I start writing. I’ve been working on this one for several months now. A much deadlier, and more supernatural tale this time. It stars Jade Cochrane and Felicitas Wolfe. Jade is just 19, Felice is 81. Jade is her carer. Felice is… well, Felice has a lot of secrets. Unravelling the mystery of Felice, causes Jade to change from carer to killer, and The Accidental Assassin is born.
- I’m so into writing now I’ve got started. I find it not only addictive but quite cathartic as well. I’ve murdered dozens of people… mostly in The Accidental Assassin, but I have two more murder mysteries simmering away inside my head, all the characters growing and developing, taking shape, just waiting for Jade and Felice to shuffle over and make some room. Who knows how many books I’ll write, or how many characters I’ll create and maybe kill? Only time will tell, and I’ll keep writing now until I just can’t anymore. Maybe I’ll run out of ideas. Maybe I’ll just be dead. Either way I will have had a lot of fun creating stories to entertain booklovers. I’ve had some incredible feedback from readers of ‘Conspiracy of Cats’, and I’m really excited to see the book out on another blog tour. I look forward to more feedback, because that is what matters most; finding out what people think after reading my book.
- Much of the above has taken place over the past decade of my life, so I’m pretty sure you’ll know where I’m coming from when I say that I think of myself as being an unremarkable woman, doing remarkable things in her 50s. I’m a mum, I’ve often worked two jobs in the past just making the ends meet, and sacrificed my hopes and dreams on the altar of reality. In my 20s and 30s I wondered if I’d ever get to experience so many of the things I was desperate to do, but never had the time, the money or the freedom. Never in a million years would I have foreseen all the things achieved and experienced back when I was younger and fitter. But life is very different for me now I’m all grown up and post-menopausal. Older and bolder, I might be pushing 60, but I relish my future and where it might take me.
About the Book
CONSPIRACY OF CATS… a supernatural murder mystery.
An apprehensive Jos Ferguson travels from Edinburgh to Northern Tanzania to visit the house her Uncle Peter built before he died. But Peter isn’t as dead as he should be… he was murdered, and he wants his niece to help him exact revenge upon his killer. With a little Maasai magic and a conspiracy of cats, Jos sets out to do exactly that.
A beautiful house. A horrible death. A brilliant revenge.
Who knew death could be so lively?
Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBCHarris
International books https://www.intlbooks.com/AuthorPage/819
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.co.uk/B.-C.-Harris/e/B09CQCHPJR…
Goodreads author page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21921104.B_C_Harris
‘FULLY BOOKED’ Facebook book group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2890431834618695
Blackwells Books (free delivery within the UK)
W H Smith
Direct from Olympia Publishers
For all other outlets and retailers, please use the following ISBN – 978-1-80074-032-7
One thought on “#TenThings about BC Harris #author of Conspiracy of Cats | @BCHarris64 @Lovebookstours”
Thank you for being a part of the tour. Kx
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