#4: Steampunk, Dieselpunk, and Alternate History With Author Beth Cato

This week I interview Beth Cato, a steampunk and alternate history author with dieselpunk leanings.

Beth has a fascinating Blood of Earth series set in an alternate San Francisco, and her Clockwork Dagger series is “Final Fantasy meets Agatha Christie” (inspired by Murder on the Orient Express, hello!), among many other interesting works.

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What You’ll Find in Episode 4

This interview features lots for readers, makers, and authors alike. Beth has a unique approach to her author blog, where she’s incorporated another passion of hers: baking! Come learn about her Bready or Not posts, which have a nice side benefit of helping her market her stories.

Personal Update

This week my update gets a bit meta, because I talk a bit about this little matter of starting a podcast–a podcast with video, just to make things more complex.

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I also share a bit more information about the series I’m finishing: Peacock Lavine and the Aetherian Fates of Nott. If you’d like to get involved as a beta reader, please fill out the form at CindyGrigg.com.

Interview With Steampunk, Dieselpunk, and Alternate History Author Beth Cato

Here’s a list of questions I asked Beth:

  • In this show, we discuss “the punks”, and today we’re focusing on steampunk. Since everyone defines steampunk a little bit differently, what’s your take on it and what do you feel qualifies as steampunk?
  • Tell us about each of your steampunk books or series and why new readers should check them out. Specifically, what themes do your books focus on?
  • You’ve written alternate history steampunk as well as stories in your own steampunk worlds. Could you tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of each approach for you as a writer? Is there one you prefer over the other, now that you’ve written both?
  • Your books contain diverse characters. How do you carry that off so well? Is it mostly a matter of research as evidenced by the impressive bibliography found on your site, or are there other tricks of the trade you can share?

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  • From Twitter: A user posted this in response to your recent promotion for Clockwork Dagger: “Bought. Looks excellent, ticks just about all of the boxes for me :D.” I want to mention this because it raises a really good question. Which boxes do you find readers are looking for you to tick as a steampunk author?
  • Phone Line Message: Steve from Ely, Nevada stated, “I would like to know how you come up with your story ideas and story lines.”
  • I love the recipes and baking posts on your author site BethCato.com! What insights do you have for other authors about sharing a non-writing interest with your readers?
  • Some people feel the time for steampunk has passed. Is steampunk still important? If so, why does the world today need even more steampunk?


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