Chasing the Book Interview: Claire M Caterer
Claire M. Caterer’s new middle grade novel, The Key & the Flame, came out yesterday. Congrats to Claire on her debut! I’m happy to have been able to ask her a few questions about, of course, her bounty hunting preferences.
First, what we’re all here for. Tell us about the book.
Middle-grade fantasy: Three ordinary kids find their way to an extraordinary world where magic is outlawed and magical beings are
hunted by a ruthless king. It’s up to 11-year-old Holly Shepard to harness her own magic to save her brother and his friend and help restore magic to its rightful place in the kingdom. First of a five-part series. Book II coming summer 2014!
Yay. I love middle grade. Now for some adventure of your own–you’ve skipped bail, and a bounty hunter is looking for you. What three things do you bring with you?
1. My laptop. Not only can I keep a journal of my travels—because I’m an obsessive journal writer—but I can use it to keep track of whoever’s tracking me. I might Tweet about the experience.
2. My Kindle, because I can carry a ton of books with me this way. If that’s cheating, then I’ll take a giant omnibus of writings by P.G. Wodehouse. He wrote the best ever British humor, and I’ll probably need a few laughs.
3. Some serious martial-arts skills. I don’t have them, but surely they can be purchased somewhere.
If you find said skills available for download, let me know. I’d pick up a few myself. So, you’re on the run with your devices and your skills. Where does the bounty hunter find you?
I could be one of two places: squirreled away in an anonymous Paris apartment, because I adore that city; or hidden in an English cottage in the Cotswolds.
If your Paris apartment is in the Latin Quarter, I will join you, fugitive or no. Let’s switch it up. Say you’re the bounty hunter. When three things do you bring with you while tracking your skip?
1. I really don’t like guns. Maybe a big frying pan to threaten him with? Or a stun gun.
2. Handcuffs—I mean, that’s a no-brainer. Maybe a person much stronger than myself.
3. I still want the Wodehouse omnibus.
Not to condone violence, but maybe you could combine them, and have a person much stronger than yourself brain the skip with the omnibus. So now you’ve found your skip, right where you thought they would be. Describe your location and approach.
I play the subtle, hi-just-getting-to-know-you game. If he’s holed up in a cave somewhere instead of hanging out at the local pub, that may be tricky.
You could always pretend to be a spelunker. Either way, using your awesome interpersonal skills and your purchased martial arts, you’ve just caught a skip, and you’re surprised to find them attractive. What three things make them irresistible to you?
1. He’s handsome in kind of a bookish, doesn’t-realize-it kind of way. Hair is mussed up.
2. He talks like Stephen Fry. Gosh, he might BE Stephen Fry, in a not-gay way. In other words, very smart, and a British accent doesn’t hurt, either.
3. He listens and empathizes really well. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m not turning this guy in.
Who would? Anything else you’d like to tell us?
THE KEY & THE FLAME does include imprisonment and rescue—so it’s tangentially related to this topic! I truly hope I’m never a bounty hunter nor a skip, though I love reading about such adventures. However, if I ever were arrested and things looked bad, I’d skip in a heartbeat. The idea of being in prison is just about my worst nightmare.
If you’re ever up for bail, we’ll pretend we never heard that.