Niteblade Contributor Interview with Beth Cato

Beth Cato‘s stories have appeared in numerous issues of Niteblade.  Her work is available in print and online.  Beth’s novels are represented by Rebecca Strauss of the McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency.

When did you first recognize yourself as a writer?

When I was four or five years old. I loved books and I made my own at home with scrap paper and staples. However, as an adult I didn’t make a serious commitment until I was 26, stuck at home with a baby, and losing my mind. Writing helped me to find my brain again. Mostly.

What draws you to speculative fiction?

I love the “what if?” element of spec fic. The real world has so many limitations and is often dull. If you bring magic or aliens or the end of the world into the mix, well, you have a different set of challenges to live by.

Is there a piece of writing advice you’ve never followed?

Yes. I avoid advice that I MUST write 1,000 words a day or I MUST write so-and-so. Everyone has their own style and it changes over time. Some days you can make 1,000 words and some days you can be grateful for 50. I had to learn to be flexible and forgive myself for falling short sometimes.

Your work has made several appearances in Niteblade.  In the March 2009 issue, Rhonda chose to publish your story, “The Pacifier.”  Is there a story behind how it came about?

I read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road and was haunted by what the book didn’t show. How would a person survive with a baby in a post-apocalyptic environment? What would they resort to in order to stay alive? The trilogy about Jessie and Aaron emerged in those answers.

What have you been working on lately?

I recently acquired a literary agent—and that still boggles my mind—and I’ve spent the past week working on edits. It’s scary and exciting to think of my NaNoWriMo labor of love actually going out on submission to publishers in the next few months.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with Niteblade’s readers?

I can say “Niteblade is awesome,” but I’m probably preaching to the choir. If you want to read my Niteblade stories, you can find links in my bibliography at BethCato.com. Thanks for having me here!

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Unless otherwise stated all books reviewed here were received free of charge from their author or publisher. This, of course, does not affect the content of our reviews.