Hi everyone! I’m super excited to welcome back ALBTALBS friend Cathy Pegau! <3 Not only is she super awesome generally, she also helped bring in so many of the guest authors we’ve met this month! Thank you, Cathy, and thank you for guesting!
Queer Girls Belong Everywhere
Once I started writing my science fiction romance Rulebreaker, I began seeking out more lesbian and bi women’s fiction to read. Though it wasn’t always so easy then, I found stories in a variety of genres: speculative fiction like Nicola Griffith’s Ammonite, historicals such as Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, and contemporary stories in the vein of Georgia Beers’ Starting From Scratch or Carsen Taite’s Nothing but the Truth, among others. There are still difficulties with wonky results (bare, manly chests in my search for lesbian fiction, Amazon? Really?), but search engines are improving and getting your queer girl fix in whatever you like to read isn’t the time-sucking, frustrating slog it used to be. Mostly. Continue reading →
Hi friends! So, more fun/not fun with hosting and I’m just losing my mind – beyond the time cost there have been actual monetary ~losses on my part and I’ve just sat there wondering if I should scrap this whole thing. For now, however, we’re holding strong, and Smithsonian Women’s History Month marches on! In fact, we’ve got Cathy Pegau visiting with us again today. This time, she’s talking about one of her favorite female historical figures. I want to say all of us who are stateside know of Nellie Bly – possibly friends overseas as well, but I remember learning about her in elementary school. <3
Hello my lovely little friends! (Big friends?) As you see, we have Cathy Pegau visiting with us today! (ETA and we also see that I’ve had problems with the “publish” button so let’s all pretend it’s Tuesday, shall we? So bonus – Tuesday, but also the weekend! Whoo!) Geez o Pete. It’s May already. *faints* As usual, our author of the month elected for an interview. Wonder why. 😉
1. How many times do you hit snooze in the morning? Or are you happy to roll right out of bed? Or are you someone who doesn’t even need an alarm clock?
I smack the snooze at least once, usually twice. Happy to roll out of bed??? Who does that???? (No offense to the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed out there.)
2. Would you rather win the largest SuperMegaZillions lottery in history or be #1 on the NYT Best Seller list for 25 weeks?
Can I elect to share the millions and be #1 on the NYT list for 12 ½ weeks? No? OK, I would go for the Best Seller list. Money is great, and I do think about it more than maybe I should, but as an author I sort of need to know people like my stories. Don’t tell my husband I opted out of the millions. He wants a new boat ; P
3. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done for research? what’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned while doing research? In general, or for this book?
I love research. Most of mine is done online, so not terribly interesting as far as gathering goes, but I learn some cool things. I did a lot of research on mining techniques for Deep Deception. Who knew mining was so vast and varied? Well, other than miners, I mean.
I’ve been doing some historical research at our local library and museum here for a current WIP. That’s been loads of fun. Crazy stuff happened in this town back in the day. And I’m hoping to go up in a small plane this summer to check out a site that’s the setting for another story.
4. What are your five most prized possessions?
I wear a silver pendant of a tree with four small stones, the birthstones for my kids, my husband and myself. I never take it off except to clean it. Another is my wedding ring. The last three, in no particular order, are my coffee maker, my laptop, and my Subaru.
5. Tell us two truths and a lie – the catch is you have to tell us the lie in the comments.
I have eaten walrus liver, stuffed moose heart, and whale blubber.
I have a tattoo on my shoulder blade: a heart with my kids’ birthdays.
I got lost on my first day of a biology job while wearing a compass around my neck and spent the night on a mountain.
6. What is the super power you would most like to have? And least like to have?
I love to be able to control time. Stopping it when I’m on deadline or have too many things to do at once, or fast-forwarding to the good parts. Would make mornings easier on me too : )
I’d least like to have X-ray vision. Unless you’re paranoid or searching for someone, it’s not a great power. And what if you can’t turn it off? I don’t need to see through people’s clothes or bodies!
7. What is your secret plan for world domination?
If I told you, it wouldn’t be much of a secret. On the other hand, if no one knows I’m trying, how will they ever learn to bow down to me? Mostly it relies upon my training cats to obey my every command, releasing them into the world and having them adopted. They will, in turn, train their “owners” to do as I bid. Fool proof.
8. What’s the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you at school? How about at a conference?
I think I’m managed to block out most of the stupid things I’ve done. The closest I’ve come is chatting up a big-time agent at a conference without having a bloody clue who she was until later. Maybe that was a good thing? I don’t think I said anything too stupid, but you never know : P
9. Can you name at least four US Supreme Court Justices without looking?
Sotomayor, Ginsburg, Kagan, Roberts,Thomas, Scalia, Alito. I cheated a little and looked up spelling of names, but these are the ones I know off the top of my head.
10. Which would you most like to go to? Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, Mesopotamia, Africa, or South America? Why?
Ancient Greece. Lots going on there that I would have loved to see being developed. Exciting times.
11. If you had to live in a constant climate of 15° F weather, or 105°F weather? Why?
Oh, give me 15°F over 105°F any day! I’m a cool weather girl. Anything over 75 and I melt. Also, it gives me a good reason to retain my internal layers ; )
12. Do you eat marshmallows straight out of the bag, hold them at the edge of the fire till they’re lightly golden brown, or torch ‘em till they’re black and crackly on the outside?
Lightly golden brown. “Raw” marshmallows are too cloying. Burnt sugar is too bitter, and super-heated marshmallow that sticks to everything like napalm? No thanks!
My May release from Carina Press, Deep Deception, drops on the 27th, but you can win an early copy here or one of my earlier releases, Rulebreaker or Caught in Amber. Your choice! Check them out at my website.
Here’s the blurb for Deep Deception to whet your appetite ; )
Colonial Mining Authority agent Natalia Hallowell doesn’t always play by the rules, but she wouldn’t compromise a case either. Put on administrative leave under a cloud of accusation, with no support from her boss, Natalia seeks a little anonymous companionship at her favorite bar. But she’s surprised when the woman who catches her fancy starts buying her drinks.
Desperate, Genevieve “Gennie” Caine has no choice but to seduce, drug and tie Natalia to the bed to get her attention. With the Reyes Corporation after something she has, Gennie needs Natalia to open an investigation and distract them long enough for her to get off Nevarro.
Natalia doesn’t trust Gennie—despite the growing attraction between them—but the corporation’s suspiciously high profits and abnormal business dealings convince her that they must be hiding something. She has no idea just how deep the deceptions run…
So what questions do you have for Cathy? Come on – top the crazy that I asked! And you know, finding out more about her will only help you in the monthly May contest. 🙂
Hallo loves. I’m still a bit under the weather, but we’ve got a calendar to follow! As you see we’ve got author Cathy Pegau visiting with us, and she’s new to ALBTALBS! (Sorry, I wish I were more together to make this more exciting.) And hey – you’ll want to join in and answer her questions. There might be a good reason for it. 😉
Series, Sequels and Stand Alone Books: A Reader’s Frustration, An Author’s Bugaboo
My husband travels quite a bit and is an avid reader. Whenever he gets the chance, he’ll stop at a bookstore in whatever city or airport he’s traveling to or through and buy books. When asked, he’ll give me a “Yeah, it’s good” or “Meh” response to my inquery about them. Not much a reviewer, my spouse.
I picked up one of his “Meh” purchases (we both enjoy science fiction and fantasy but not necessarily the same ones), started reading and was lost. I had no idea what was going on. Less than halfway through the story I found myself flipping back to see if I’d missed something. Nope, not one mention of Bob the Goblin’s brother, so why is he popping up now and no one in the story seems surprised? Why isn’t the author giving me a bit more about Bob and his relationship with Biff? I kept reading, understanding my husband’s “Meh” rating. The story was lacking some serious information.
Then it hit me. I turned back to the title page and cover. No mention of this one being Book Two of the Goblin Chronicles, no “the exciting sequel to ‘Bob’s Brother Gets Lost’,” no indication that this story is connected to any other the author wrote. The list of “also by” books can be a hint that you’re reading number seven in a series of twelve, but it’s not foolproof and in this case unhelpful.
Only after some sleuthing and Amazon searching for publication dates did it come to light that this particular book was number THREE in the series. No wonder my husband had a less than enthusiastic reaction. By starting the story in the middle, he missed some important growth the characters had achieved and had only a vague idea of the overall arc for the series.
As a reader, jumping into the middle of a series can be confusing and frustrating. An author has to balance “catch up” information with moving the current story forward. You don’t want each book to retell previous novels, just a few hints. Too little background and a new reader might not pick up previous books or continue buying the series. Too much of a recap will bore those who have been following all along. “We know this! Why is the author wasting time???”
Theoretically, each book should be able to stand on it’s own.
My husband is the reason I decided to write connected sequels rather than a true series. Rulebreaker, Caught in Amber, and Deep Deception (not out yet) are all set on the same mining colony and share characters. Though they’re connected by these things, I wanted to tell each story as a somewhat separate entity. I hope I’ve been successful in the execution, allowing each to stand alone yet hopefully entice readers to try them all.
During the writing, I had to be careful not to reveal major plot points of other books while including information necessary for the current story. Caught in Amber and Deep Deception are more closely related to each other than to Rulebreaker because of the characters, not the plots. I’ve asked beta readers and others who have read Deep Deception, and only that book, if they felt lost or if they think Caught in Amber was “spoiled” for them. So far, no one has said as much. Whew!
So here’s my question. If you pick up a book and discover it’s the second or third in a series, are you likely to get the other book(s)? What would turn you off? What would encourage you to buy?
Author Bio: Cathy Pegau prefers to write speculative fiction because she can make stuff up and not become overwhelmed by extensive research for historical accuracy or other bothersome issues.