Thursday, April 30, 2009
An Interview with Cate Masters and a Chance to Win A Book!
Alisha: Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Favorite memories?
Cate: My family lived in the country, out of walking distance of most neighbors. I’m the youngest of seven, so we learned to entertain ourselves. I began writing because I spent so much time alone (the others being older, they didn’t waste too much time at home!) and we lived in such a beautiful area, I tried to capture it in words. Even in grade school, my friends were all either musically inclined or we wrote poetry (actually, we wanted them to be song lyrics some day, but that never happened. Good thing, because I never learned to play any instrument very well!)
Alisha: Tell us about the hero and heroine in your latest release.
Cate: The inspiration came, of all places, from the Word of the Day. The word was duende, defined as kind of a demon muse who can sometimes drive the artist to madness. That single word brought to mind a character, who became Devon the duende. Melinda the muse is the heroine, who’s at her wit’s end trying to inspire her lazy student to write. Devon’s assigned to light a fire under them both – and he certainly does!
Alisha: If you were granted three wishes by a genie, what would they be?
Cate: That my family were all healthy, their lives fulfilled and that I could support them with my writing (I keep telling my husband someday I’ll take care of him as well as he’s taken care of me!)
Alisha:If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
Cate: So many places! I’ve always wanted to go to Egypt, England and Ireland, and Yosemite. I’d settle for a good concert at this point. I don’t get out much.
Alisha: If you could see anyone tomorrow (dead or alive), who would it be?
Cate: I always thought I was born in the wrong century. I would have loved to have lived at the same time as Sam Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. I saw a documentary about him and fell madly in love with him because of his irreverent wit, and his complete dedication to his wife was so romantic! And I love his writing, of course.
Alisha: Sigh...yes, he was wonderful. If you could choose six people to spend one week on a desert island, who would it be and why?
Cate: I don’t know if I’d choose particular people, but the six would have to include a poet, a comedian, a musician, a philosopher, an engineer and a cook. The philosopher could keep us sane with reason while the engineer works on a plan to get us the heck out of there. Meanwhile, the poet and musician would keep us entertained, and the comedian would keep our spirits up. And the cook, well, that’s so I wouldn’t have to!
Alisha: What word or phrase tingles in all the right places for you?
Cate: I don’t have a particular favorite. Any well-constructed sentence can do it for me.
Alisha: If you had one day to spoil yourself, what would you do?
Cate: Write. Hmm, I spoil myself a lot!
Alisha: If you could change one incident in your life, what would it be and how would you change it?
Cate: I don’t believe in regrets - I believe everything that happens in life happens for a reason, whether good or bad. Everything’s a learning experience. And I don’t believe in failure, either – the only way to fail is to give up.
Alisha: What’s the sexiest thing a man has ever done for you or said to you or both?
Cate: My husband’s the sexiest guy I’ve ever known. Luckily, I get to spend every day with him! He’s wholeheartedly supported my writing, for which I’ll always love him. (But then, he knows how cranky I get when I’m not writing!)
The Duende and the Muse – Available May 6
Melinda is startled when she notices a dark figure leaning against a booth across the aisle. He stands out like a charcoal etching against the background of clouds—harsh outlines, jagged features. Menacing yet compelling. He smiles, and lightning flashes from his dazzling white teeth, zinging through her.
She’s never seen a muse like him, but he must be one—otherwise, he wouldn’t be here. He wouldn’t be stepping toward her with the intensity of a jaguar, a laserlight in his eye, teeth bared in a hungry smile.
This guy looks like a Vanity Fair ad—layered hair mussed just so, sandals with a jacket and jeans that fit really well. She runs her hand across her belly to quell the tiny pinpricks. She’s been so busy with work lately, she hasn’t met anyone new.
“Who’s that?” Her wings can’t beat fast enough to cool the heat rising from deep inside her.
Calliope turns to Euterpe. “Oh my. How did he get in here?”
Euterpe squints in his direction, then furrows her brow. “A duende. They’ll let anyone in these days.”
That explains it. She’s heard of them—said to be a combination of charm, magic, inspiration, fire, magnetism—and demon. Muses were warned at an early age not to take up with duendes. Tales of muse-duende liaisons were fraught with disaster and downfall—for the muse. Duendes managed to carry on unscathed, though their methods of inspiration could be deadly for their students. The thought vanishes quicker than a flicker of sunlight on water as he moves toward her and says hello in a voice whose timbre resounds within her.
“Hi.” She stares, entranced by his dark beauty.
His smile envelops her. “I’m Devon.”
She extends her hand. “I’m Melinda. So nice to meet you.” Fire sparks in her fingers as he takes her hand in his, then leans to kiss it. A tingling crawls up her arms and neck and into her head, where it scrambles her thoughts. His gaze lingers on her lips, and they quiver open like a rosebud blooming in sunlight.
His voice is like a hot wind in the desert. “The pleasure’s all mine.”
Oh, she doubts it.
Here’s the trailer:
Alisha: Thanks for being my guest of honor today, Cate! Come back soon!
Cate: Thanks so much for letting me visit today, Alisha! I’m excited that The Wild Rose Press is releasing The Duende and the Muse, my Faery Rosette, on May 6. I’d like to offer an advance copy to a random commenter today who tells me whether you’re inspired by a muse or a duende (if it drives you crazy!), and a little bit about your own inspiration. And if you miss your chance today, come to my blog at http://catemasters.blogspot.com on May 6 – I’ll have another contest then!