The Year of the Rooster by Kait Carson

I love Chinese food, or at least what passes for Chinese food in this country. Never having been to China, I don’t know if what we have here in the States is even close to the real thing. I suspect it may not be. One thing that seems to be a constant in US Chinese restaurants, at least on the East Coast, are placemats. Placemats depicting the symbols of the Chinese zodiac. I’m a dragon. Frankly, that describes me better than my astrological sign of Cancer.

The traits of the Chinese and astrological overlap and braid together to form character. When I sit down to plot a character, I will often take both their birth date and their birth year into consideration and use the information to chart their salient character traits. The information provides a touchstone for me when I face the inevitable question of what will my character do now. Hayden Kent is an Aquarius born in the year of the Tiger. Her birth sign and birth year share traits. She is truthful, curious, imaginative, and optimistic. She also has a tendency to get off track and to run from emotion. Her color is blue green. Her friends refer to it as Hayden blue.

In much the same way, Catherine Swope is Virgo and a Rooster. This puts her very much at odds with herself. Virgos are reliable, intelligent and overly reserved while roosters are well, cock of the walk. They are brave and hardworking, but also can enjoy the spotlight and be vain. Catherine can get herself in trouble when her Rooster traits come to the fore, and there are other times when she needs those very traits to get her out of trouble. Hers choices are harder than Hayden’s and a good bit of the conflict in the Swope books is internal and more difficult to write.

My current WIP is the next book in the Swope series. In it, everything Catherine believes will be called into question. The foundations of all of her relationships will be shaken. As the turmoil swirls around Catherine something else more timely will be going on. 2017 is the year of the Rooster as well.

Without turning to politics, which have no place in this blog, I can only say that each year seems to have a unique character, both globally, and personally. This is the year that chickens seem to be coming home to roost. Large decisions will be made. Events long forgotten, or long thought forgotten will be brought to mind and things will change. For better, or for worse, that remains to be seen.

The year of the Rooster arrives on January 28th. Are you expecting roosting chickens?

Kait Carson lives in an airpark in south central Florida with a pilot husband, eight tropical birds, and six rescue cats. By day, she’s a practicing probate and litigation paralegal, in the evening, legal pads give way to a keyboard, and she spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the tropical heat. Kait writes two series, the Catherine Swope series, set in Miami, and the Hayden Kent series set in the Fabulous Florida Keys.

Kait loves to hear from readers, check out her website at; follow her on Facebook at, on Twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at



13 thoughts on “The Year of the Rooster by Kait Carson

  1. Kait, are you going with a traditional publisher, or self-publishing this next Swope story? I was considering dipping a toe into the self-publishing world…only reason I ask.


    P.S.–Love the turn of phrase “cock of the walk.” Don’t hear many Millennial’s saying things like that!


      1. I am lucky to have a very talented husband for the covers. I have a wonderful friend who is a retired professional editor for my beta editing and I use a developmental editor as well once I have done all I can do.


  2. What a fascinating way to plot character Kait. Very creative thoughts there. It is a kind of mapping them out. Like a good friend who you have a pretty good idea about what they will say or how they will react. It leaves them free but gives some structure and control to the writer. I don’t have a clue what the year will bring re my writing or in the larger picture all things considered regarding roosters.
    I’m just moving along with my books and actively awaiting what happens. I look forward to reading your new book. Terrific post!
    Hi Max

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Over the centuries the Chinese people have had a lot of influence on the people of Vietnam. I don’t know whether or not this is “real” Chinese food or Vietnamese, but while I was in Vietnam during 1967-68, street vendors would carry trays filled with what we Marines called “chicken on the half-shell.” The bottom half of the egg shell would be filled with the baked body of an unhatched baby chick. Yep, the whole critter, guts and all intact. They were grayish in color if my memory serves. I never knew of any Marines trying one, but they were obviously a delicacy to the native people.

    I was in Vietnam when the New Year of 1968 dawned, the Year of the Monkey, also known as the infamous TET Offensive. I’m a Leo by birth, and was greatly influenced by that Monkey on my back. Hmm . . . that might explain a few things! 🙂

    Interesting post, Kait. I don’t know about roosters, but if I see any monkeys hanging around I’m outta here! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m a Leo, too, but none of the things about temperament or personality apply to me. I, personally, don’t put much stock in astrology. The Chinese culture is very interesting to me though, particularly the Cultural Revolution.


    2. I would reply with LOL, but I know better. I too have heard of the chicken on the half shell, from my brother and from some of the nurses I know who served. My thought, yuck. But I never tried it so what do I know, right? The Chinese have a saying that if its back faces heaven you can eat it. I hadn’t remembered that TET was in the year of the Monkey. It was not a very good year. 1968 was the year my brother went to Japan, if you know what I mean. Not a good year at all. We’ll hope for the best from the Rooster, but I personally hate it when chickens come home to roost.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was in China for three weeks in the early 90’s. We stayed with my Chinese girlfriend whose husband worked for Michelin.We got to go places tourist don’t go. The food was fabulous and very much like in a very nice restaurant in the US. One experience we haven’t forgotten, a persons holding a teapot with a six foot spout and pouring tea into small teacups.
    My friend believes in all of the myths and traditions. I have never thought about using it for my characters.
    Very interesting! Sheri

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome. I would love to go. I have wanted to ever since I read Taipan. I know that China is gone, but I am betting parts of that China still live on. Traditions never really die. A six-foot spout. WOW – why am I thinking Alice in Wonderland here? What a terrific experience. The very best way to see a country is with someone who truly knows it.


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