Her childhood was spent reading about and inventing imaginary worlds. Now, she's here because she's finally written and published a middle-grade fantasy novel!
Claire M. Caterer
1. What do you feel about the number '13'?
1. What do you feel about the number '13'?
I actually love the number 13. My house address even has two 13s in it! I’m also a fan of black cats—there’s one in THE KEY & THE FLAME. I think the history of superstitions is fascinating.
2. What's the best thing that happened after your book was published?
Other people finally got to read it! I heard from so many people who loved the book, and some of them weren’t even family members.
3. How did you celebrate the publishing of your book?
I had a fabulous party at my local independent bookshop. I invited everyone I knew, and everyone they knew. We had about 140 people there, including about 35 kids. Some of them I hadn’t seen since high school. The party was like a big, warm hug, and I loved it.
4. Do you read reviews of your book?
Sometimes I can’t help it, but it’s not really the best idea. People have differing opinions, and that’s exactly how it should be. But it can be disheartening. Luckily, most reviews I’ve read have been very kind.
5. What is your best or most unforgettable moment with a fan?
I spoke to a fourth-grade class at one of our local schools and the kids were fantastic. One of them asked me to autograph his head. I figure I’ll probably never get another chance at that!
6. Was there any book/s from other debut author of 2013 that you loved?
Oh, so many! The 2013 debut authors are a very talented group. I could name a dozen or more, but I’ll control myself. For the YA audience, I loved INFINITE SKY by C.J. Flood and 45 POUNDS MORE OR LESS by K.A. Barson. For middle grade, I adored BETTER NATE THAN EVER by Tim Federle; SUNNY SWEET IS SO NOT SORRY by Jennifer Ann Mann; GENIE WISHES by Elisabeth Dahl; and so many others!
7. Are you interested in writing in a different genre or for a different audience?
I love all kinds of books and would love to experiment with different genres and audiences. It’s a matter of finding the right idea. If I come up with a great idea for a contemporary YA, I’ll write it. I’m also interested in writing for adults. But I think middle-grade fantasy or speculative fiction is my first and most enduring love.
8. Share us one embarrassing moment you've had.
I really try to block them out as they happen, and when I can’t, I plead the Fifth.
9. Favorite color?
So many, but let’s go with an oldie: ADAM’S RIB, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy at their most marvelous.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Geez, just one? There’s a gelato place near my house that created a flavor called Celebration Cake. It tastes like birthday cake—fantastic!
“Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. And also “Vienna,” from Billy Joel’s 1977 album THE STRANGER.
Ultimate celebrity crush (dead or alive)?
Let’s leave the dead guys out of it, since that gives me too many to choose from. I watch everything that Scottish actor David Tennant stars in, from his stint as Hamlet and the tenth Doctor Who to the recent crime miniseries Broadchurch. He’s handsome, charming, a great actor, and (by all accounts) a really nice guy.
10. What's next for you?
Right now I’m working on edits for the sequel to THE KEY & THE FLAME, which is tentatively titled THE WAND & THE SEA. It’s slotted for publication sometime in 2014. And I’m playing with some ideas for completely unrelated projects too.
More about Claire!
Claire M. Caterer was born in the Motor City and raised in the suburbs of Kansas City with a large assortment of cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, mice, and other creatures. Her childhood was spent reading about and inventing imaginary worlds.
Claire holds a degree in French from the University of Kansas and spent several years working in publishing in New York City. Today she lives in the Kansas City metro area not far from where she grew up. She shares her home with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a host of imaginary friends. Because she never properly grew up, she spends her time writing the kinds of stories she loved as a child and still loves to this day.
Haven't seen Claire's debut novel? Here it is!
by Claire M. Caterer
Published April 2nd 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Eleven-year-old Holly Shepard wants nothing more than to seek adventure outside of her humdrum American life. She gets her chance at last when her family travels to England and Holly receives an unusual gift: an iron key that unlocks a passage to the dangerous kingdom of Anglielle, where magic is outlawed and those who practice magic are hunted. When her friend Everett and brother Ben are captured by Anglielle’s ruthless king, Holly must rescue them. But that means finding—and using—the magic within herself and learning which magical allies she can trust. The Key & the Flame is the first in a brand-new fantasy adventure series for ages 8 and up.
Check out Oops! I Read A Book Again for debut author Louise D. Gornall!