Today, Spellmaking is given over to an interview with Cate Gardner, weird fiction writer extraordinaire.
Cate's latest work, Theatre of Curious Acts, is now available from Hadley Rille books, and she's embarking on a Travelling Theatrical Tour to help spread the word. I'm delighted to be one of her stops. Cate is a wonderful writer; when I grow up I want to be as good as her.
On with the questions!
Q. Tell us about your new novella, Theatre of Curious Acts. What's the premise?
A. A soldier, returned from The Great War, wants the world to end and, after falling into a surreal otherworld, finds himself battling (and falling in love with one of) the four horsewomen of the apocalypse. It appears he (and his friends) are humanity's only hope in the greatest battle of all.
Q. You come up with such delicious titles for your books and stories. Do you start with the titles or do they come later?
A. Sometimes I start with the titles. I keep a note of anything I think would make a good title in a little book. Although, that book is very precious to me, you wouldn't know it because I've had to hunt for it so many times. My desk is messy. And, of course, sometimes I have to think of a title during or after I've finished the story - although waiting until I've finished is rare and even then I'll have used a temporary title.
Q. Do you consider yourself "a writer" or "a speculative writer" or "a writer of weirdness" or what?
A. Gosh. I don't really consider myself at all. Seriously. Erm … a weird speculative fiction writer, I suspect. And I put "weird" at the front on purpose. The beautiful power of words.
Q. If you had to describe your work using three words, what words would they be?
A. Work in Progress.
Q. I buy my story ideas from a blind man on a local market-stall who sells the broken and rejected plotlines of others in cheap packs of five. At the risk of asking you the Most Annoying Question In The World, where do you get your ideas from?
A. From the rats who travel along the brook, which runs under my street. I suspect they're overcharging me. Maybe I'll try your market stall man.
Thanks, Cate! If you're intrigued - and who wouldn't be - do drop by her blog to find out more.