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.  

Want to find out more about Claire and her new novel?  You can find her on facebook, twitter, goodreads, and at her website.  

Thanks, Claire!