Today my guest is Beth Cato, Nebula Finalist and Author of the Clockwork Dagger series as well as a new series that debuts in August with Breath of Earth (which I’ve been fortunate enough to read already!)
And today she has a new novella out (which I’ve also read!), another from the Clockwork Dagger world: Final Flight: A Clockwork Dagger Story
Another breathtaking short story from the author of The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown, set in the same world…
Captain Hue hoped he was rid of his troubles once Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett disembarked from his airship Argus. But he was quickly proved wrong when his ship was commandeered by Caskentian soldiers. He is ordered on a covert and deadly mission by the smarmy Julius Corrado, an elite Clockwork Dagger.
Now Captain Hue must start a mutiny to regain control of his airship, which means putting his entire crew at risk—including his teenage son Sheridan. As the weather worsens and time runs out, it’ll take incredible bravery to bring the Argus down….perhaps for good.
Now…on to the Beasts!
1) Let’s start with the obvious: Tell us about your pet.
Porom is my cranky old lady cat. She turns sixteen in May; she was diagnosed with kidney and thyroid deficiencies last year, but the medication and low-protein diet have actually made her healthier now than she’s been in years.
We adopted Porom and her brother Palom in June 2000. I had been married all of a month to my Navy sailor husband, and had a hard transition to South Carolina. We were dirt poor–literally living on ramen and cake mix–but we had some spare money, so we adopted two kittens from the SPCA. We all moved to Washington state in 2003, where my two kitties kept me company during deployments and pregnancy, and then to Arizona when my husband became a civilian.
Palom was my buddy cat, the most extroverted, happy cat I have ever known. He developed cancer in 2012 and quickly succumbed. I still miss him every day, though Porom has actually thrived as a solo cat.
2) How does she help/hinder your writing?
Porom likes to hang out near me. Right now, for example, she’s snoring in an Amazon box a few feet from my computer. She’ll demand affection a few times a day, and she is ardent about getting her canned food and medication at exactly 6am and 6pm. Our big cuddle time is before I go to bed. If I’m not in my appropriate chair by 8:30pm, she will find me and scream at me. Once I’m in my chair, with tea and a book, I help her arthritic body make the jump so she can cuddle at my hip.
3) Do they appear in any of your works?
Palom was a major inspiration for the gremlins in my Clockwork Dagger series. Porom was a direct inspiration for a recent story published in Nature: “The Human is Late to Feed the Cat.”
4) How does being a pet owner affect your writing (philosophically?)
Oh, it’s huge. My cats have taught me so much about compassion and love, and those are certainly themes in my writing. My Nebula-nominated novella Wings of Sorrow and Bone is all about saving gremlins from foul experimentation, and that directly goes to my affection for cats and other animals. I will never be one of those people who goes bonkers over babies, but if you bring out kittens? Oh yeah. My book heroines are distinct people, but they do take after me with reactions like that, too.
Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair west of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham.
She’s the author of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER (a 2015 Locus Award finalist for First Novel) and THE CLOCKWORK CROWN (an RT Reviewers’ Choice Finalist) from Harper Voyager. Her novella WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE is a Nebula nominee. BREATH OF EARTH begins a new steampunk series set in an alternate history 1906 San Francisco.
Follow her at BethCato.com and on Twitter at @BethCato.