My name is Cathy Strasser and I’m an author and occupational therapist. I live and write in Sugar Hill, NH. This small town is located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, just north of the Franconia Notch. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the northeast, much of it preserved in the White Mountains National Forest. The area’s numerous hiking trails showcase the mountains, rivers and valleys and provide the setting for my first book An Uncertain Grave. I love this area, despite the weather extremes. People in this part of the country joke they have five seasons: ski season (winter), mud season (early spring when the dirt roads thaw and turn into quagmires), black fly season (late spring), summer, and foliage season (fall).
I want to introduce you to this part of the “North Country” through the characters and settings in An Uncertain Grave. Actually, the towns and trails in and around the White Mountains are as much a character as any of the people in the book. "An Uncertain Grave" is my first book and it will be published in August of 2014 by Oak Tree Press. Here is a quick description of the book:
A stray hiker reports finding a partially decomposed body on Mt Lafayette in the “North Country” – the top third of northern New Hampshire around and above the Franconia Notch – where the rugged terrain and sparse population provides enough space and isolation to keep any number of secrets. The investigative team of Cliff Codey and Mike Eldrich – New Hampshire State Troopers with the Bureau of Investigation – is sent out into the woods, trying to solve the case in spite of the weather, reticent and eccentric locals, and a bored, nosy New York reporter who overhears the rumor of a body and competes with the troopers to discover the victim’s identity. As the investigation widens, both teams contend with a variety of local residents who have secrets of their own they don’t wish to share and a shadow from Cliff’s past that becomes intertwined with the current investigation. All these threads combine as the killer starts to advance out of hiding and prepares to take action to keep his secret and himself safe.
My short story “Afterward”, published in the Chrysalis Reader, was nominated for the 2007 Pushcart Prize – Best of Small Presses. I have had short stories published in the Mom Writer’s Literary Magazine, The Literary Bone, Touched By Wonder Anthology, r-kv-r-y quarterly, Under the Stairs Anthology, Writing From the Heart Anthology and was a finalist in the “Family Matters” competition of Glimmer Train Magazine. Some of these stories are included in the Short Story section of my website and there are links to the rest there as well.
Writing professionally as an Occupational Therapist, I have had weekly columns on improving children’s fine motor skills published in the Caledonian Record and the Bangor Daily News.