Tag Archives: beth cato

NaNoWriMo 2013 – Take Nine


This month I am participating in my ninth NaNoWriMo challenge (Username: Midnyte If you’re participating feel free to add me. Drop me a line & I’ll return the favour). I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo yearly since 2003 (though I skipped one year because I just wasn’t feeling it). This year I’m going to write a new first draft of a story you’ve been listening to me talk about writing since July of 2011 — Hollow Children. For November I’ve taken all my previous abortive drafts, scenes and papers and stuck them in a drawer and I’m going to leave them there until this draft is done. I’ll peek at them again when it comes time to revise but I don’t want to get hung up on comparing drafts and such until I’ve got all the words on the page.

My biggest obstacle as a writer is myself, getting out of my own way and putting words on the page. That’s where NaNoWriMo comes in handy because for me the most difficult part of writing (even 1,667 words a day) is sitting my ass down and doing it. During November and NaNoWriMo I feel extra accountable and that helps me get my butt in the chair. So I’ll be doing 50,000 words on this draft in November and then hopefully continuing on until the entire draft is done. I’m hoping for somewhere around 80-90k altogether.

In addition, because sanity is overrated, I’m also going to be doing the November Poem A Day Challenge. The PAD challenges at Writer’s Digest (in November and April) have also become sort of a tradition for me and are the source of most of the poetry I write in a year. One of my favourite parts is that I know my friend Beth will be doing them too, and even though we don’t compare notes every day or whatever, as the month goes on we do check in with each other to see how it’s going, and it’s nice to feel like you’re not alone. This year I’m working on a sekkrit collaborative project with someone (not Beth) and I’ll be using the theme of that as my theme for NovPAD. It should be super efficient (which my vulture brain loves) and fun. Win/win.

Oh, and did I mention the renovations? We’re having our yard dug up and weeping tile installed starting the middle of the month… so that’ll be… fun.

I’ve also decided to drop out of the ‘Not the Whittakers‘ challenge I was participating in. Historically speaking the Whittakers have provided me with the incentive and momentum to write some great short story first drafts but this year I’m not really feeling it and am seriously time-challenged. Still, I should be kept plenty busy and challenged even in their absence 😉

Between NaNoWriMo, NovPad 2013, reading for Fae, promoting Metastasis, readying the December issue of Niteblade and just, ya know, having a life, I think I’ll be kept pretty busy, but not quite as crazy as last month.

Metastasis Contributor Interview: Beth Cato

Metastasis Cover - artwork by Jonathan Parrish, Cover design by Carol HightshoeOver the past couple days I’ve been sharing super short interviews with Metastasis contributors. The next in our series is of Beth Cato. Beth has not just one, but two poems in this collection and I’m pretty sure you’re going to love both of them. I do.

Who was the inspiration for your poem in Metastasis?

I have two poems in the anthology, and one of them is personal. “Hunter” is directly inspired by my cat Palom, who succumbed to cancer last year. He was a meddlesome brat–the sort who stuck his nose in every grocery bag and delivered terror to Christmas tree ornaments–and also the most lovable, social cat I’ve ever known. He greeted everyone at the door, inspected purses and shoes, and groomed people if necessary. I miss him every single day.

When it comes to cancer, what gives you hope?
That science fiction is becoming fact. That when a family member of mine had prostate cancer, a robot removed his prostate without any issue–and the man remains healthy several years later. That my mom had benign lesions growing in her eyes and underwent radiation to save her sight. This technology didn’t exist ten years ago. It makes me excited for what will come next–and who it will save.
You write a lot about healers. Is that because of a personal connection to cancer?
Yes. When I was four, my grandpa was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a severe bone marrow disorder, and was told he had six months to live. He lived another seven years. Because of immune issues, he also was fighting valley fever, cancer, and other ailments by the end. I grew up with the awareness that he was dying. Soon after his death, I discovered role playing games and the healer archetype: white wizards, clerics, priestesses, etc. They’ve been something of an obsession for me ever since. My steampunk novel due out next year has a healer as a main character. If I could have any superpower, without any hesitation I would ask for the ability to cure the sick.
Palom napping


Beth Cato’s debut steampunk novel will be released by HarperCollins Voyager in late 2014. She’s originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Arizona with her husband and son. Her short fiction, poetry, and tasty cookie recipes can be found at http://www.bethcato.com.





Metastasis is available at:

Paperback – $14.95
Kindle – $6.95

ePub – $6.95

Smashwords — Use coupon code LM63L in order to receive 25% off your order
ePub – $6.95
Kindle – $6.95
PDF – $6.95

Createspace — Use coupon code TGERED9J in order to receive 25% off your order
Paperback – $14.95

All coupons codes expire on October 31, 2013.

A is for Apocalypse

What do you get when you take 26 amazing writers, assign them a letter of the alphabet and give them complete artistic freedom within a theme? In 2014 we’ll find out with the release of the first of a series of anthologies:

A is for Apocalypse

A is for Apocalypse is going to be filled with 26 apocalyptic stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) by incredibly talented writers whose diverse styles and preferred themes leave no doubt that this collection will have something for everyone. The writers who are contributing to this collection are:

~ Brenda Stokes Barron ~ Marge Simon / Michael Fosburg ~ Milo James Fowler ~ Beth Cato ~ Simon Kewin ~ Suzanne van Rooyen ~ Alexandra Seidel ~ Sara Cleto ~ Kenneth Schneyer ~ KV Taylor ~ Gary B. Phillips ~ BD Wilson ~ Ennis Drake ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Michael Kellar ~ Cindy James ~ Brittany Warman ~ K.L. Young ~ Pete Aldin ~ Cory Cone ~ Damien Angelica Walters ~ Samantha Kymmell-Harvey ~ Lilah Wild ~ Jonathan Parrish ~ Alexis A. Hunter ~ Steve Bornstein ~

Five Questions from Beth Cato

He Loves Me Not - Photograph by Rhonda ParrishBeth Cato is an incredibly talented writer and poet who I’m proud to call my friend. Very recently she offered me the chance to be interviewed about Metastasis, my upcoming anthology from Wolfsinger Publications. I jumped at the chance.

Her interview went live on her blog today. You can check it out here — Five Questions for Rhonda Parrish, Editor of Metastasis. As you may have guessed from the title, the interview is short, only five questions, but it covers a lot of ground just the same. If you’ve submitted to Metastasis, are thinking of submitting or just want to know a little bit more about me or the anthology, check it out. It’ll be well worth your time.

C: Cato, Beth – The Pacifier

The Pacifier - Original art by Marge SimonA lot has changed since 2009 when I first read and accepted The Pacifier by Beth Cato for Niteblade. Though I consider her a good friend now I barely knew her then. She was a member of NaNoLJers like I was but that was about as far as our connection went. So that’s changed. What hasn’t changed is how much I love this story. Everyone I talk to loves this story. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale that will leave you holding your breath.

When Beth eventually wrote two sequels to it (The Empty Crib at the End of the World and The Teething Ring), I was honored to accept them for Niteblade as well, and later to nominate the trilogy for a Pushcart Prize. Though I love all three stories, it is The Pacifier that has a special place in my heart and the bookshelf in my brain. I mentally take it out, dust it off and relive it regularly.

Off topic a little bit? If you pop over to read The Pacifier (and you should) it’s also very much worth checking out Following Rabbits by Gregg Winkler which appeared in the same issue. I wanted to include Following Rabbits in my month of Niteblade blogs, but I couldn’t fit it into the alphabet on its own.


A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9This post has been written as a part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. My theme this year is ‘Niteblade‘, that being the magazine I publish. I chose this theme to help draw attention to the magazine during this, it’s 2nd annual fundraiser.

My first post in this series was about choosing stories and poems to nominate for awards and, on a related note, I’ve gone through a similar process in deciding what to write about for these posts. Not only did I have to choose stories and poems I loved, but they also had to fit with the A-Z theme. Tricky!

Blogging from A to Z 2013:

A: Award Nominations
B: Brenda Stokes Barron
C: Cato, Beth – The Pacifier

Next Big Thing

I try to blog every week, but lately it’s been difficult to keep my mind on writing-related stuff so when Linda Bloodworth invited me to to participate in The Next Big Thing blog train I agreed. Inretrospect that may not have been the best decision, because my current WIP is in very early stages, but I’ll answer the questions as best I can.

What is the working title of your book?

We’re currently calling it Hollow Children. I say ‘we’ because I am writing it and Danica is illustrating it.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

To paraphrase Neil Gaiman, I made it up. In my head. I’m sure I could come up with half a dozen influences for this story, but that would only touch on the obvious ones. The truth, of course, is that I just made it up. I combined dozens of thoughts and images, brainstormed with Danica and asked myself a lot of questions  and I came up with the very skeletal idea for this book. It’s fleshing it out that is going to be tough part.

Oh. As part of the brainstorming process Dani picked the image you see to the left there to be used as our cover picture sure we decide to self-publish this story. It definitely helped conjur up some ideas and lent a feeling to the story.

What genre does your book fall under?

Um. Yes. I’m not sure. We’re aiming for YA horror but it may end up more on the paranormal end of the spectrum. We’ll have to wait until the first draft is done to find out for sure, I think.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t know. I suck at this game. For what it’s worth, I never pick actors/celebrities to represent my characters physically for me either. I suspect these two things are related 😉

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

When her younger sister starts acting weird and disappears into the haunted hospital across the street it’s up to Morgan to rescue her and save her broken family at the same time.

Huh. That’s actually not terrible for something I came up with off the top of my head LoL

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Are those my only two options? LOL

I don’t know what is going to happen with this book. I need to finish writing it before I can worry about selling it. I would very much like to see it published with Danica’s illustrations though, which might make it more suitable for self-publication (I have no idea how difficult it would be to find an agent willing to sell a YA book with illustrations by an amateur artist but I imagine it’s not the easiest thing in the world) but… we’ll see. For the most part I prefer to have a publisher other than myself behind my work.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’ll let you know when it’s finished LoL

Haunted Hospital, a photograph by Rhonda ParrishWho or What inspired you to write this book?

This question is remarkably similar to “Where did the idea come from?” The answer is, no one inspired me to write this story. The what of it is that Danica and I wanted a project to work on together and this the one we decided to do. It’s not anymore complicated or exciting than that, I’m afraid. The process of creating it may be, but we’re not deep enough into it for me to know for sure yet 😉

That being said, I was inspired to include the haunted hospital that is just a few blocks from our home as one of the most important settings in the novel because, c’mon, it’s a freaking haunted hospital. How could I not?

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Danica is a fantastic artist and her pictures will keep you turning the page just to see them. What’s more, Morgan is a sympathetic character who most people will be able to relate to and will really want to succeed in her mission.

And now I’m supposed to tag five people. The problem is, when I asked for volunteers to be tagged on Twitter and Facebook no one raised their hand LOL I know the posts got out there because I had one maybe and a couple ‘I’m not working on a novel right now’s but not a single yes. So. Here’s the deal. If you want to be tagged leave me a comment and I’ll tag you otherwise, um… here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite bloggers you could check out.

Beth CatoSimon Kewin ~ C.S. MacCath ~ Milo James Fowler


Other Writers

I feel like I’ve been talking about myself an awful lot this month, and you’re probably more than ready for a little break from all the ‘Me, me, me’ stuff So…

See that photo? I took it while I was at a retreat for writers a while back. I flatter myself that it could be considered inspiring, which is what makes it the perfect image to go with this blog. You see, I’m going to talk about other writers. Writers I find inspiring.

In trying to decide who to include on this list I found that really it wasn’t all about what these people wrote, or even how they wrote it (though they are all super freaking talented and often inspire sparks of envy in me). The main reason I picked these people to share as the writers who inspire me was because they are good people. They inspire me to want to be a better person, not just a better writer.

In no particular order, let me share introduce you to some of the people who inspire me.

Beth Cato: She’s probably going to blush when she reads this, and that’s part of why I love her so much, she doesn’t seem to know how awesome she is. One of the things I like the most about Beth is that she sets goals and then she reaches them. It sounds so simple, until you think about it. It doesn’t matter what distractions, what obstacles, what things come up to try and make her stray from her path she doesn’t. She’s human, so I’m sure she’s missed deadlines on occasion, but it’s not for lack of trying.

I really got to know Beth after I published her story The Pacifier (which is freaking awesome, and you need to read it. Now. Go ahead, I’ll wait) and she’s become one of my dearest friends even though we’ve never met in person. Yet. I really can’t emphasize enough how inspiring and motivating it is to watch her pursuing her goals and accomplishing them, one by one.

Carrie Jones: Carrie is nice. No, she’s not nice in that that sugar-coated fake way that so many people are, she is honestly and sincerely nice. Carrie is the kind of person who will (and does) go out of her way to help a stranger. She’s got one of the biggest hearts of anyone I’ve ever *met* and also has an ability to really evoke emotion in her readers without slipping into the realm of melodrama — I suspect the two are related. She’s goofy, and fun, and, did I mention nice? One day I’m going to meet her in like, three dimensions, and that will be a good day. A very good day.

Jim Hines: Jim. What can I say about Jim? He makes me laugh and he makes me think — often both at the same time. I respect his no-nonsense straight talk about controversial issues, his ability to listen to other people’s opinions and respond thoughtfully, and his willingness to pose like women off book covers. He donates his time to charity auctions (and know from experience his critiques are incredibly valuable) and when Danica (a few years ago) sent him a piece of fan art for one of his goblin books, it made her month that he took time to send a personal reply. In my opinion he is made of win.

Kyle Kassidy: I know Kyle more for his photography than his fiction writing, but there is no question in my mind that he belongs on this list. I was introduced to Kyle through his blog on Livejournal, which is a complete adventure in itself. What I love the most about Kyle is how completely non-judgemental he is of people and the positive attitude he always seems to have. Also, he seems so. freaking. unselfish. It’s amazing. When I read his blogs or look at his pictures it almost always picks me up. When I grow up I want to be more like him. Truly. He once wrote ‘Make something beautiful’ and those words have stuck with me ever since. It’s how I’d like to live, making everyday into something special, and Kyle gave me that image, that ideal.

There are a great many other people I could have included, though, but this is only one blog post and I had to stop at some point. Maybe I’ll continue to expand on this list over the coming months as time allows.

Who would you have included that I missed? Why? Do they have a blog, or a book out, I’d like to get to know them if I don’t already 🙂


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter O. If you come back tomorrow I’ll be talking a bit about Poetry. Also, don’t forget to check out Niteblade’s Fundraiser. We really do need your help, and we want to give you goodies for offering it 🙂