Drum roll please…
This is a VERY exciting blog post as it heralds the beginning of a brand new blog series – as I dip my toes for the first time into the mysterious waters of author interviews.
Having watched so many fantastic interviewers (Tricia Drammeh and her Authors to Watch series, AFE Smith (see below), Katrina Jack and her New Authors section and Susan Finlay’s ‘Meet the Author‘ series to name a few of the best – please check out their wonderful blogs), I’ve always been a little reluctant to throw my hat into the ring…but here goes!
One of my all-time favourite worldbuilding PC games, is Sid Meier’s ‘Alpha Centauri’. So, in homage to that (and a shameless rip off of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ and AFE Smith’s brilliant blog series Barren Island Books), here is my own author interview series – Distant Worlds.
To kick off the Distant Worlds strand, over the next few weeks I will be focusing on fellow fantasy and sci-fi authors from ultra-cool UK publishing house, Grimbold Books and their imprints, Kristell Ink and Tenebris Books – a bunch of uber talented and whacky characters who I am also proud to call friends. Grimbold Books are also doing a fabulous ‘Summer Promotion’ from 31st July – 4th August, where ALL of its wonderful titles will be priced at only 79p/99c across Amazon platforms. Check it out guys, awesome fiction at awesome prices!!!!
Right, now to our very first author…the awesome…
Kate, YOU find yourself cast adrift in deep space, your colony pod’s life support is failing, your only chance of survival is a distant habitable world…
What 5 essentials would you choose to help you survive?
Water purification tablets, some kind of shelter (a sleeping bag if not a tent), some kind of emergency ration bars, a knife and some duct tape – yes, I live with an engineer!
What 5 personal items would you salvage from your crashed ship before it explodes?
I would say my laptop but only if it had some sort of portable power source! Let’s go with a notebook and pen, books (multiple books count as one item, right?), my favourite jumper, and probably my two cats as they’re daft enough to not jump out when the ship crashes.
Would you seek life-forms for help or go it alone?
Definitely seek help – who knows what you might find out there?
What 5 fantasy/sci-fi books would you have to keep with you and why?
- China Mieville’s The Scar. I took this travelling round the world with me, and it kept me going for three months – it’s readable and re-readable and read-again-able!
- Gaiman & Pratchett’s Good Omens, because the humour always makes me laugh, and it’s a fun read.
- Diane Wynne Jones’ Deep Secret. I love the characters and the world she’s created, and it makes me smile – “Eyenose cuzidin lyebeans” is possibly my favourite phrase ever!
- Frank Herbert’s Dune. I love the universe, the hints of politics and meanings and plotlines that aren’t explored, the people and worlds created that are so alien yet so realised. It’s something I have read multiple times and can always pick up again
- And finally, one new book! The next in my TBR pile is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, so I’d probably take that as something new to keep me occupied.
What 5 songs or albums could you not live without?
- Skylarking by BT; it always makes me smile
- The Joshua Tree album by U2 – an old favourite.
- Pachabel’s Canon – also an old favourite. It sent shivers down my spine the first time I heard it as a child, and it’s always been something special for me.
- Send Me On My Way by Rusted Root; it was nearly the first dance at my wedding but it has a lot of good memories, and always makes me want to dance.
- And whatever I’m currently writing to. At the moment it’s Forget It by Breaking Benjamin but it tends to change by the day.
You are all alone on a distant world with little chance of being rescued…do you choose water, vodka or coca-cola to drown your sorrows?
I’d love to choose vodka, but the hangover ain’t worth it…let’s stick with water.
Random comet question: Marmite – love it or loathe it?
Sort of meh, actually – it’s ok but I can usually find something nicer to eat.
You have 30 seconds (max 100 words) to tell the alien approaching you about your latest book. Remember this is more pressurised than an elevator pitch – screw up and he’ll eat your brains! Go!
Catter’s trying to find a legend, and when the Lord-turned-inventor Toru Idalin offers to take him up in his flying machine, he thinks it will solve his quest. But their crash in the mountains is only the start of Catter’s problems, and Toru’s soul-bond to a dying Healer creates even more trouble…
The book is the first in a world of magic that’s just discovering technology, and the changes that electricity, flight and communication bring to the characters and their lives. The series follows a range of people across multiple lands as they adapt, grow, love, grieve and fly.
How would you choose to spend your time on this distant world?
I’d probably flit between reading, writing and exploring.
What 5 things would you miss most about Earth?
The changing skies, my friends, a reliable source of power for my laptop, the availability of multiple books, and chocolate.
What 5 things would you NOT miss about Earth?
People, the dark underbelly of the Interwebz, the irritating weather, having a job (more writing time! Wooh!) and having a building site next door.
Time-traveller questions (for Dr. Who fans): What is the one thing you wish you could turn back time and change? If you had the chance again to go on this deep space adventure, would you take it?
Not a Dr Who fan, unfortunately…but I’m always up for an adventure.
What 5 indie authors and books you would recommend to any carbon based lifeform – and why?
Brave New Girls by Mary Fan & Paige Daniels (eds) – a wonderful collection of stories.
I really like Fox Spirits (publisher) – I’m currently working my way through their publishing list! They always have something interesting and some very good writing.
Vermillion by Molly Tanzer – very good writing and an entertaining story.
If you like Steampunk, Tales from the Scriptorian Vaults is a brilliant collection.
And I’m going to have to give a shout-out to Grimbold Books, and particularly a new book by Kate Coe…
What advice can you give to fellow space travellers (writers and readers) out there?
Write and read what you love, make sure your oxygen tank’s full and working before you step out of the spaceship, and don’t eat the green wobbly bit.
Before we leave you and blast into another parallel universe, please tell us about yourself, your inspirations and your publishers!
I’m an accidental librarian, DIY enthusiast and write when the cats give me a moment. My inspirations…Terry Pratchett, China Mieville, the sky on a windy day, Redwood trees, anyone and everyone I meet, my oldest friend, Renaissance technology, clockwork…anything and everything, really!
My publishers are the awesome Grimbold Books, with a range that includes fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, dark fiction and anthologies (about cats, too!). Check out their range at http://www.grimboldbooks.com.
I’m a librarian with a background in classics and law, I live with an engineer and very grumpy bearded dragon, and I fill my spare time in between writing with web design, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). My favourite character is a sloth with a speed addiction, my best writing moment was when one of my characters fell in love and completely changed the plot, and I write because I can’t imagine not doing it – and it gets the voices out of my head for five minutes…
Kate’s Links – the best place to find out more about Kate and her wonderful writing!
In a world of magic, wind, and electricity, Catter Jeck is offered the chance to explore a myth. Travelling from city to city, his search for the centre of the magic catches others in its coils. When the Lord Heir of Meton offers to continue the search in his flying machine, the consequences of their crash—and Toru’s accidental link to a dying Healer—suddenly become of central importance to all of their lives.
If you haven’t grabbed yourself a copy already, I can highly recommend Kate Coe’s new novel, Green Sky & Sparks. A beautifully written and brilliantly original read! 😀
Thank you, Kate and congratulations, you are survivor! A passing freighter has honed in on your distress beacon, you’re going home!!!
Happy Horizons! 😀 xx