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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Paulson

Author CP Daly's detective emerges from a dark, difficult past

CP Daly writes her mystery thrillers from the east coast of Canada, and I'm thrilled to host a fellow Canadian crime author on my blog.

The development of Kelsey Woods, her detective, is fascinating and unique. Read on to learn more about CP, as well as Kelsey's difficult past and her survival instincts.

You are the author of the Kelsey Woods mystery/thriller series. Why did you decide to write it?

While on a family vacation twenty plus years ago, I watched a newscast that caught my attention and my imagination. It was regarding a corrupt prison. The police had arrested prison guards, and other prison staff, who were involved in smuggling prostitutes into the prison at night. Prisoners were paying the prison employees for time with the prostitutes. It was a regular occurrence within the prison, and many of the inmates with financial means were involved.

My mind immediately started to bounce around all sorts of scenarios. What kind of girl would agree to be smuggled into a prison in the middle of the night? Certainly, not by choice. Desperation? Fear? Money? Drugs? Were the girls forced? By whom?

This stayed with me, and many years later I began to write about it. I tried to write a sensitive story of a girl who believed she had no options, no family, and no support system. She made bad decisions, for money, for a roof over her head, to survive. My main character did not see herself as a victim; this was a choice. An end to a means.

Suzie, my main character, was in it for the money. It paid well above what she would have made if she had worked the streets. In her mind, this would fast track her for the fresh start she dreamed of — moving to a new city and living a life she could be proud of. She wanted to make something of herself, get an education, be safe and have a place to call home.

But of course, I write thrillers. The road to happiness is a bumpy one.

Tell us a bit more about your main character.

Suzie is a girl with attitude. She makes bad decisions, and somehow justifies them to herself. She’s also a product of her environment. Adopted at a young age, and then returned through no fault of her own, she was placed into the foster care system.

There are so many layers to this girl, and as we peel away the layers, we get a glimpse of how damaged her thought process has become. Years of self-preservation will do that to a person.

I adore Suzie, flaws and all. She is determined to make something of herself, and to find a place to call home. She does not see herself as a victim, but as a woman who does what is necessary to move forward in her life, a survivor.

Suzie takes on a new identity for her own safety. She becomes Kelsey Woods, and that is how The Kelsey Woods Trilogy came to be.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you become an author? Have you always written, or was there an inspirational moment?

While raising my family, I wanted to do something for myself, a night out. I enrolled in a creative writing class at a local university. It was wonderful and intimidating at the same time.

This led to more classes, and many short stories. I was hooked.

Writing a book was not on my radar; that was for people who lived in exotic places. Definitely not a girl from the East Coast of Canada.

The years flew by and my passion for writing grew. It wasn’t until after my family was grown and I retired that I took my writing to the next level. At the age of sixty, I found myself with a completed novel, Dead After Midnight, and now a completed trilogy. No one is more surprised than I am.

Little did I know the real work had just begun.

Can you share some fascinating personal facts?

Sorry to disappoint. I’m confident I don’t fall into to the fascinating category by any stretch of the imagination. I live a simple life on the East Coast of Canada. I love where I live and the people who make it special. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family, six awesome grandkids and people who I am lucky enough to call my friends.

I consider myself to be a disciplined and self-motivated person. I start my day early, around six-thirty in the morning at the local pool (to the horror of many of my friends who think I’m nutty to get up so early). After my swim, my writing day begins. I like to change up where I write, from home, to the beach, library or coffee shop. Change of scenery helps with my creativity.

Do you have some favourite authors who have inspired you?

Many authors have inspired me. I’m in awe of talented, prolific writers, who never disappoint their readers in getting books out there. I respect and admire their work ethic. It’s hard work, writing a novel, and coming up with new ideas to sustain a novel.

I have eclectic reading tastes and admire a variety of authors, as I learn from all of them as my journey in writing evolves. A few authors I look up to and find their work inspiring and are masters in their genres: Louise Penny, Harlan Coben, Stephen King, Karin Slaughter, Agatha Christie, Linwood Barclay, Lisa Scottoline and Sandra Brown. I could go on and on; there are so many talented writers, and many more to discover.

Do you write in other genres?

I consider myself to be a thriller/mystery writer, although, I do have plans to write a contemporary romance novel under a pen name in the near future.

What are you working on now?

I am working on my first stand-alone thriller set in Nova Scotia. It’s about three girls who were besties throughout their school years and are reunited twelve years later. Murder and secrets are revealed as they reunite.

I would love to be able to share the title with you. Sadly, I struggle with titles, and never come up with one until after the book is completed and back from the editor.

It will be released in 2023.

Thank you so much, CP. It’s been wonderful getting to know you, fellow Canadian author.

Thank you, Joanne, for guesting me on your blog. I am grateful for the opportunity. I wish you great success in your writing endeavors.

You can find CP Daly and her books at:


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Naomi Lane
Naomi Lane

What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing.


W Bayne
W Bayne

Love this insight into another Canadian author I must read.

Joanne Paulson
Joanne Paulson

Thank you so much, Wendy!

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