Hello everyone!

Now that I’m making a committed effort to use my powers for good, muhahah ;) — I want to introduce some other cool authors that I know to you! Here’s a recent interview I did with the lovely Beth Cato — Beth writes both short stories and novels and she has an amazing imagination.

So tell me about your recent publications? Where can we find them? What are the stories (without too many spoilers ;)) about?

Well, one of my stories is “Red Dust and Dancing Horses,” which can be summed up as a horse story on Mars, where horses can’t exist. That can be found in the March edition of Stupefying Stories, which is in ebook on Amazon, B&N, and iTunes. I also had “213 Myrtle Street” published at Flash Fiction Online in April, and that’s about a sentient, enchanted house that can’t accept its owner is gone.

How do you transition from short to long? How do you know how long a project is going to be?

I tend to work on short and long works at the same time. I reach a point where my brain has been in novel revision mode for a week or two, and I get all restless and I MUST write something new. I figure out the length by how complicated it all gets in my head! More plots, more characters, more words… and well, if I can’t figure out an ending, either I have a major problem or a potential novel. Or both.

Are there certain topics or themes you find yourself exploring in different ways, sometimes short, sometimes long?

I favor healer characters for my novels, and even though my characters differ in personality, they both have to wrestle with that conflict of being unable to save everyone, and having to kill when absolutely necessary. In my short stories, I’ve had a weird theme lately of grandmother-granddaughter stories. My grandma is almost 90 and her health has been worsening and I’m not nearby to help, and I think my subconscious is coping with that through these plots.

I know you’ve written a book about an EMT — how did you do research for that? What drew you to that field? (After reading your blog, I think you should write a book about a magical baker!)

*laughs* I actually published a story called “A Recipe for Rain and Rainbows” that was about a family that bakes magical pies. But to get to your main questions, I’ve been attracted to white wizard and healer characters since I was 12 and obsessed with role-playing games. When I sat down to write an urban fantasy, though, I didn’t want simple hand-waving healing magic. I wanted accuracy. Emergency medicine stood out to me because it requires fast wits, and in the case of my character, showcased her skill in a very public way. I read through a whole pile of EMT biographies and also a full EMT training textbook. That textbook probably has a hundred sticky-tab bookmarks in it.

I’m always interested in hearing about hurdles that authors overcome. What’s the most challenging part of any writing project for you?

Pushing the “send” button. Whether I’m posting a work for critique or submitting it to a magazine, it’s always scary. There’s that constant fear I’m embarrassing myself.

What do you find to be the most fun?

That final revision stage when everything is finally coming together. It feels smooth, ready, like someone a lot better than me did the writing! If I can read my work and enjoy it in a detached way like that, it’s good to go.

I know a lot of writers are superstitious (okay, maybe just me). Do you have a lucky totem on your desk, or anything of the sort?

See, my birthday is on the 13th of January, so I’ve always embraced superstitious stuff. For me, a black cat crossing my path is good luck! When it comes to writing, I try to make my own luck by making lots of lists that tell me what to do daily, weekly, and monthly. Yes, I’m officially obsessive-compulsive. One of my things is that I write down everything I do or plan to do in a writing journal right by my computer. As I accomplish things, I check them off. I would be so lost without my journal… and I would have no clue what I had accomplished on a daily basis these past few years!

Ha — I find lists addictive too! Thanks Beth!