Writer Wednesday: Beth Cato

Please welcome guest author, Beth Cato.  Find out about what she is crazy obsessed with, what she’s working on now, her favorite author, and more…

1.  First things first…a name and bio:

Beth Cato is an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, with stories in Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, and Stupefying Stories. Despite how often her husband’s co-workers beg, she will not quit writing to bake cookies all day long. Information regarding current projects can always be found at http://www.bethcato.com. Sometimes those projects do include cookies.

2.  Where are you from?

I’m from Hanford, California, located in the smack dab middle of the state. I live outside of Phoenix, Arizona now. Both places smell like cow manure.

3.  Tell about your latest story.  What made you want to write it?

My story “Overlap” is in the new anthology Cucurbital 3, published by Paper Golem and edited by Lawrence M. Schoen. Every story in the book had to use three prompts: madness, darkness, and mattress. My story’s about teleportation, and I had to overcome a lot of my own insecurities about writing hard science in order to get the tale out. In the end, though, I think I created one of my favorite stories.

4.  Where can people find your stories?

I have a full list of my publications over at my bibliography. A lot of my short fiction is available to read for free online, and most everything else–like my Chicken Soup stories– can be found at Amazon.

5.  What are you working on right now?

I’ve been working on a lot of little projects–flash fiction and speculative poetry.

6.  What inspired you to be a writer?

It sounds cliché, I know, but I always wanted to be a writer. I was the kid at age four who was writing and illustrating her own books, always about horses, unicorns, or cats.

7.  What is your favorite comfort food?

I’m a crazy, obsessed baker. I love making all kinds of cookies and breads. Therefore, my ultimate comfort food has to involve bread: clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. It’s a dish that transports me to a foggy day along the central California coast.

8.  What character from your stories was the hardest to write?

I recently wrote a story with a character who was elderly, Armenian, and mute. This proved to be an immense challenge because she needed to help my young protagonist realize some things integral to the plot, and with no writing involved. A lot had to be said with body language and painful whaps of a cane.

9. What’s the biggest challenge about being a writer?

Writing? Actually, I take that back. It’s really about hope in the face of constant rejection and criticism, and the very worst critic is in the mirror.

10.  Do you have any advice for beginning writers?

You have to make a decision to constantly improve yourself as a writer. That also means making yourself vulnerable. Success doesn’t come without that risk.

11. Who is one of your favorite authors and why? 

Elizabeth Moon.  She’s a prolific, amazing author of fantasy and science fiction who made her career while raising a son with autism; she’s an inspiration to me, especially when my own autistic seven-year-old is having a rough day and I really want to get some editing done!

12. What books have most influenced your writing?

I have to look back at my younger years. As a kid, I adored historical fiction and fact. Laura Ingalls Wilder and Patricia Beatty were favorites of mine. As a teenager, I was obsessed with Dragonlance. Those books made me want to write fantasy, too.

15.  Where can people find out more about you and your stories?

BethCato.com

16. What question(s) did I forget to ask?

“Hey, you mentioned cookies in your biography? What’s up with that?” As noted above, I love baking. It gets me away from the computer. On my blog, I have a feature every Wednesday called “Bready or Not,” where I post recipes and pictures. And yes, I post a lot of cookies and yummy sweet stuff. I am the diet saboteur.

One thought on “Writer Wednesday: Beth Cato

  1. It’s always nice to learn something new about a friend :) This was a nice interview and I’m glad I stopped by. I’m also looking forward to reading the story with the elderly Armenian lady armed with a cane ;)