Interview with Beth Cato

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Welcome to UTC, Beth! Let’s get to know you better! Who is Beth Cato? Tell us five interesting things about yourself that readers wouldn’t know! 

Hi! I’m delighted to be here at Under the Covers. Here are five fun facts about me:

– At my wedding, I walked down the aisle to the Final Fantasy video game theme.

– I’m a frozen yogurt addict! No matter how my day is going, a stop at my local shop makes me happy.

– I’ve had stories in over a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

– I’m a California girl who lived all over the country during my husband’s time in the Navy. We’re in Arizona now.

– Every Wednesday I blog about a new recipe at I’m notorious for my cookies!

Tell us about The Clockwork Dagger. Where did you get the inspiration to write this story? 

I wanted to write about a healer in a steampunk setting. I was struck by the idea of doing a take on Agatha Christie’s MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, but on an airship.

Tell us a little bit about Octavia Leander.

She’s twenty-two and has spent the past ten years training as a medician–a sort of healer-wizard. Much of that time has been spent in medical wards on the front line of a war that’s dragged on for about fifty years. Her healing magic is drawn from a world tree known as the Lady, and her connection with the Lady is unusually strong. Octavia really wants to get away from war and tend to people in a quiet village somewhere, but instead she’s dropped into a web of murder, poison, and betrayal.

The world you have built is so complex and intriguing. How in the world do you keep track of it all? 

I’m a list-maker and note-taker. I have a series of documents that I can reference as necessary, explaining everything from world history to uses and descriptions of herbs. I often fact-check myself to make sure I keep things consistent.

The Clockwork Crown is in the works. What can we expect from this release? 

More danger, more romance, and–to the delight of many readers–many more gremlins.

How many books do you plan on writing in this series? 

It’s a duology, so Octavia’s story arc is completed with CLOCKWORK CROWN next year. That said, I’m very open to writing more in this world!

If we had a sneak peek into your purse, what items would we find there? 

Other than the standard wallet, sunglasses, and cell phone, you’d find a nonfiction Civil War book called SOUTHERN LADY, YANKEE SPY that I’m reading for research, and a whole bunch of wintogreen mints. I’m known for my ready stockpile of mints.

Time for some quick fire questions! 

Best way to relax: In my favorite chair with a book, hot tea, and my elderly cat.

Best book to reread: THE LONG WINTER by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Favorite drink: Crystal Light Grape with Caffeine. It’s my afternoon writer fuel.

Sunrise or sunset? Sunset. Arizona in the monsoon season has amazing sunsets.

Beach or mountains? Mountains.

Print or ebook? Print, but I read a lot of ebooks, too.

Thanks for sharing with us today!  And an early congrats on the release of THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER tomorrow!


Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger

“The Clockwork Dagger was just what I needed: A steampunk adventure with an uncommon heroine, a fascinating magic system, and a young gremlin! I’m hooked and can’t wait for more Octavia and Leaf!”
—New York Times bestselling author Kevin Hearne

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.

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About Beth Cato

Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair west of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham.

Beth's short fiction can be found in Orson Scott Card's InterGalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many other magazines. The Clockwork Dagger is her first novel. The sequel, The Clockwork Crown, will be released in 2015.

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Great interview I really enjoyed reading it

[…] Another interview at Under the Covers. […]


Sounds intriguing…thanks