I cannot be more excited to welcome Catherine Peace to the BookEnds family and as the newest member of #TeamMoe. Her debut YA grabbed my attention like no other with the simple pitch: Victorian teenage murder novel. If you recognize her name, she’s also written romance novels as well. So now, learn more about Cate in her own words!
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
Most often I write in my living room. I *finally* got a desk, but don’t have a chair yet….
Do you have any writing rituals?
A lot of the time I’ll find something on Netflix to use as background noise or I’ll go to my book playlist on Spotify. If things get really dire, a tasty adult beverage will be within hands’ reach.
What do you love about writing speculative fiction?
For me, the best part of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, and everything in between) is the sheer amount of possibility that exists in those worlds. Science fiction books and tv shows have been predicting new technology for decades. Fantasy allows you to use your wildest imagination, whether you want to go “traditional” fantasy like Tolkien or you want to take it in a whole other route, you have the opportunity.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I blame my dad. He introduced me to science fiction/fantasy/horror at a young age (one of the first movies I ever saw in the theater was Terminator 2). And since then, we’ve enjoyed watching all kinds of movies and tv shows together, especially back in the day when Syfy did SciFi Sundays where they played movies all day long. And not Sharknado. Like, the Last Star Fighter. That movie’s awesome.
What is the hardest part about writing speculative fiction?
I think reining it in, honestly. My brain likes to go BIGGER, BETTER, AWESOMER all. The. Time. It’s like being cranked up to 11. If I didn’t make myself stop, I’d spend all my time with worldbuilding and none of it with the actual words part.
What book do you wish you had written, and why?
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s just flat-out incredible. The worldbuilding is flawless, and the characters are so flawed it hurts. From page one, I was hooked. I actually almost quit writing because of it, and when I tweeted Paolo, not at ALL expecting him to reply, he told me he had those books too and to keep writing. I think that above even his excellent craftsmanship is what’s made me such a huge fan of his.
If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?
I am a gamer through and through. Been playing since…forever. It’s the only thing I’ve been doing longer than writing. My two faves are Mass Effect and Dragon Age (going back to the genre thing, I guess). I’m also a fan of fishing, and I have the two doggos to tend to.
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
The Book of Faces: http://www.facebook.com/lexcade
Instagram (it’s like 90% dog pictures): http://www.instagram.com/catepeace
What’s the last book you read?
Exactly Like You by Lori Sizemore. It was the result of a collaboration between her, myself, and my writing partner Landra Graf. Before that was Shipbreaker by Paolo Bacigalupi—I immediately wanted the companion novel.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
South of France, right on the water. Perhaps in a castle.
What’s your favorite quote about reading or writing?
“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” ~ Shannon Hale
What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received?
Don’t edit while you’re still writing. I’m a perfectionist, and rereading and editing has kept me from finishing a lot of stories. So I’ve put that advice into practice, and it’s made my progress that much better.
Plotter or pantster?
I was a hardcore pantser back in the day, but my writing partner talked me into plotting and it has made a WORLD of difference. Reformed pantser right here, ladies and gentlemen.
Synopses, love them or hate ‘em?
Do you have a writing playlist or a vision board? If so, what’s on them?
I love making playlists. I listen to music pretty much all day every day (apart from the aforementioned Netflix binges), and it tends to be a lot of hard rock and heavy metal. For the last book I wrote, the playlist consisted of hard rock with Amy Winehouse, Gin Wigmore, Escondido, and Panic at the Disco thrown in. It’s whatever fits with the mood/tone of the book or helps me visualize a scene.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
SO MANY. Argh. I have a lifetime of shows and movies to build on. I also get a lot of inspiration from video games. Things like Star Wars, Assassin’s Creed (especially Syndicate, for reasons), Bioshock, Star Trek, Stargate, loads of comic book movies and alllllllllll the CW DC Comics shows, Merlin, Lord of the Rings, the Last Unicorn, and this list goes on and on and on and on. Sometimes it’s something about the setting, or a particular character, or just the feel of a scene or the entire show/movie/game.
Drink of choice when writing? When not writing?
Wine for writing. I love to have a glass of wine and settle in with my work in progress. When not writing, I’m typically a bourbon girl. Larceny, y’all. Larceny.
What excites you most about joining the BookEnds family?
EVERYTHING! I know the BookEnds reputation and the successes that have come through the agency. It’s been on my Top List for years!
What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches?
Hold on because you honestly don’t know where your break will come from. Keep writing, keep following your heart, and write your passion.
If you could meet any author, living or dead, who would you want to meet and why?
Paolo obviously. Patrick Rothfuss is another who made me almost quit writing (seriously, the prologue of The Name of the Wind is incredible). Victoria Schwab, Marissa Meyer, Libba Bray, Justin Cronin, Julie Kagawa, Angie Thomas, Maria V Snyder—their prose, their worldbuilding, their unforgettable characters, their spirits and souls, I just want to sit at their feet and learn everything I can.