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Author Interview: Cat Rector

Name: Cat Rector
Pronouns: She/her
General info: Dark fantasy author from Canada, currently living abroad
My Linktr.ee: https://linktr.ee/CatRector

Interview

Use three to five words to describe yourself.

Makes readers cry. Sorry? 

Can you give us a little background on your debut?

The Goddess of Nothing At All is a dark fantasy Norse myth retelling in the same vein as Circe, The Witch’s Heart, and other lady-led myth stories. The book follows Sigyn as she falls in love with Loki and finds herself deeply entangled in every foolish mess he makes as they hurdle towards Ragnarok.

While it starts out as a light-hearted story, it gets progressively darker, and readers can find a list of trigger warnings on my website if they’d like them: www.catrector.com/post/triggerwarningsgonna

Book 2 is also in the works, but that’s fairly secretive for the time being 😉

Can you give us any insight into your planning and writing process?

I tend to exist somewhere in the half-way point between plotter and pantser. I love to outline all the major scenes and get the plot in order, and then leave a lot of details blank. I can’t see characters living through the scenes without writing it and often get my best ideas in the moment. And yes, I’m fully aware that this is nightmare fuel for some people XD

Silence or music or other when writing/editing?

I like instrumental music if there’s people around me, like if I were working in a café or my spouse was home, but if I can get silence, I’ll take it!

You can erase one book or series from your mind entirely so that you can read it again for the first time, which do you erase?

Hmm, great question but I’m horrible at answering things like this because I basically do forget most things a year after I’ve read them and I rarely re-read books.

I keep thinking of when I originally read Divergent. Not because it was an extraordinary, groundbreaking book, but because of how it made me feel when I read it. I was just getting out of a rough patch in my life and I needed a book that made me feel like I could do anything. I was so in love with that feeling that I almost got a tattoo about it. If I knew I could erase that book from my mind and recapture that feeling, I would absolutely do that.

Who are some of your favourite authors/books?

I love the work of Lyra Wolf and Erin Kinsella, because they write amazing stories but also because they’re the best colleagues I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Genevieve Gornichec’s The Witch’s Heart is fantastic. Probably my two all-time most influential books are White Oleander by Janet Fitch and Celeste Ascending by Kaylie Jones.

Who are your favourite book characters?

I’m bad at loving characters. I love types of characters, but the large majority of actual characters fade from my mind. As a teen, Gemma Doyla from A Great and Terrible Beauty was my first good example of finding my own strength. I tend to gravitate towards characters who face adversity and claw their way out of it. Alternatively, if we’re just having a good time, I also love a snarky bad boy.

Do you have any favourite magic systems?

Anything of medium complexity. I get why some people love complex magic systems, but my focus is almost always characters, and some magic systems have me feeling like those nightmares where the teacher is asking you to solve for x, but the board is in Latin. I know it’s someone’s idea of a good time, it’s just not mine XD

You can bring one world from a book or series to life and live there, which world do you choose

I feel like my lame-but-true answer is Middle Earth. I know it’s war-torn and everything and quite dangerous, but I could pretend to be a tall Hobbit and just chill, couldn’t I? I’d prefer the elves but I my confidence would take a hit if I had to see all those pretty faces every day XD

What book or series would you love to see on the big screen?

The Kingkiller Chronicles, except that the thing I love about the books most is the flowing prose, so I might regret this answer.

You can collaborate with one other author, who do you choose?

The cool thing about being indie is that I get to collaborate with lots of authors all the time! It just usually happens in Discord chats where no one can see it 😉 If we’re talking about working with traditionally published authors with large acclaim, I can’t think of a single person that I wouldn’t completely freeze up in front of…

Have any cultures/civilisations inspired your writing?

The Goddess of Nothing At All is a Norse myth retelling, so of course it’s highly inspired by their mythology and culture. I also have a future project which is inspired by Puritan-Age North America.

What is your favourite mythical creature?

I’ve always had a soft spot for vampires. I was like 7 years old when Buffy the Vampire Slayer came out and I was a teen for the Twilight craze, so I never stood a chance. They fell off my radar for years because I didn’t like the direction it was going, but maybe I’ll get to recapture that love as an adult!

What is your favourite mythical race?

100% lame, uninspired answer, but elves. They live forever and look like sunshine and are perfect in every way. Except sometimes they have a snooty personality.

I’m now realizing that based on my actual life, I’d probably be a dwarf.

You can have one superpower, what is it?

Teleportation. I’ve been living abroad for years and my life would’ve been much more joyous if I’d been able to teleport back and forth across the ocean to see my family and friends whenever.

You have the ability to morph into any real creature. Which creature do you choose?

Bird. No question. I’m not even going to be picky about what kind. Give me wings so I don’t have to ride on the bus anymore.

You can go back in time and live a different period of history, when do you choose?

I wouldn’t want to live in any other time. I enjoy running water and the internet. However I would absolutely want to visit Viking Age Norway and later Iceland. When you write about something for so long, you’re just hoping to do right by them, and I’d love to see it for real.

You can meet any five people in the world, who would you choose?

You really love the hard questions, don’t you? XD

Hank Green – His charitable work has inspired me for years
Dr. Alok Kanojia (Dr. K) – His work in gamer-focused psychology has been a game changer for me, both personally and in many aspects of my writing
Patrick Rothfuss – I’d love to talk prose and his influences
Erin Kinsella – Despite being friends and colleagues for years, we’ve never been in the same room! I owe her so many cookies.
Lyra Wolf – Same as Erin, but make it Norse. I want to drink too much coffee and discuss Odin’s wardrobe choices.

Would you rather…

  • ride a dragon or fly a spaceship?
  • have the ability to fly or be indestructible?
    • Fly!
  • be an elf or an orc?
    • Elf
  • have the ability to travel to mythical worlds, from your favourite books, or the ability to travel faster than light and visit planets and solar systems in this universe?
    • Mythical worlds!
  • face one orc or three goblins in battle?
    • One Orc
  • be an expert swordsman or archer?
    • Archer, f*ck Melee
  • be able to wield elemental magic or raise and control the dead?
    • Elemental magic
  • live in a city under the ocean or one floating in the clouds?
    • Floating in the clouds
  • be able to see the past or see the future?
    • Future

Thank you for taking the time, we really appreciate it.