B|t|B : Interview with Author, Baker and Steampunk Enthusiast, Beth Cato

Today’s Interview  is my first  with an Author, and what a whirlwind of an interview it was. I’ve never seen such enthusiasm, not since my friend Mark and I discovered Googlewhacking.

Beth was everything I could have ever wanted in a interview subject, she was enthusiastic, nice, gracious and as efficient as the Swiss made watch. If she had said she enjoyed tea, I would have strongly suspected she was secretly British. I am very much indebted to Beth for partaking in this interview, especially as she was ran off her feet, with it being the week of The Clockwork Crown ‘s book launch.

Beth’s other Stories, but not including her first novel of her recently completed Duology The Clockwork Dagger have appeared in numerous publications, including Beneath Ceaseless SkiesInter-Galactic Medicine Show, and Nature.

It is my  privilege to introduce you to Beth Cato.

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Please introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us what attracted you to the Steampunk genre?

I’m Beth Cato. Author, baker, geek!

Steampunk combines things I have loved since childhood. At about age 8, I fell for historical fiction like Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rosemary Sutcliff, and Patricia Beatty. At 12, I found the fantasy genre and series like Dragonlance. Steampunk combines all the delights of history and twists it in wonderful ways through new technology and magic.

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Can you tell us a little about your new release, The Clockwork Crown. How long did it take for you to write it, and what issues did you have if any?

ClockworkCrown_662x1000 ClockworkDagger_PB_cover1000x664The Clockwork Crown is the sequel to The Clockwork Dagger, and finishes up the duology. I have written a number of books and it’s usually a prolonged, agonizing process. Clockwork Crown was a very different. I had everything  heavily outlined because I knew exactly what plot points I needed to resolve in the two-book cycle. I was also writing under contract for the first time, and I was terrified out of my mind! Under all that pressure, I wrote the entire rough draft of 83,000-words in one month, and then the editing process was pretty straightforward after that. I have had 4,000-word short stories that have been much more painful than that book!

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Where did you find your inspiration for your interesting characters such as Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett?

Octavia arose from my need to write about a heroine who truly means well in whatever she does and who hates for people to suffer. I took a lot of inspiration from the strength and resilience of battlefield nurses and doctors, especially from World War I.

As for Alonzo, I wanted him to be noble within a society that scorns idealism and righteousness. However, he’s more realistic than Octavia in a lot of ways. He’s not afraid to kill someone if it will keep them alive, and he’s not above subterfuge or lies. He and Octavia balance each other quite well.

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When you are writing do you have any specific methods to how you plan your working, writing, & researching?

I work every single day, though the type of work varies; around a book release time like this, I devote a lot more time to promotional work than to fiction writing. Once I start on a new project, though, I tend to tear through it quickly. I read a lot for research. I try to read a few fiction books, then a work of nonfiction. I space things out so that I won’t burn out if I am heavily researching a particular era or subject.

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How important do you find social media, conventions and networking to be in the life and career of a published writer?

Very important. Writing is a very solitary activity and it means a lot to have a strong support network of other writers and to stay connected with readers. The danger with social media is that it can become a major distraction, too. Conventions are like dessert after months of deprivation. Those face to face interactions are much more profound than typing words over the internet! I’m a reader foremost, and I love being able to geek out when I meet my literary heroes.

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Will you be attending any large events this year? And will we be seeing you on English soil anytime soon?

Oh goodness, I wish I could visit English soil! That would truly be a lifelong dream come true. Unfortunately, I’m contained to brief trips within the United States. I’ll be at San Diego Comicon for a day and also will be at WorldCon in Spokane.

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And finally what are you reading at the moment?

I’m working on two books: a Japanese take on young adult steampunk called Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff, and an advanced reading copy of a more literary work, Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth.

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If you wish to find out more about Beth Cato, follow her on Twitter, and have a look at both the her Official Website, all of which are listed below.

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Website : www.bethcato.com
Twitter: @BethCato

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Until next time, read more books..

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