Cate Gardner, she of the clever and creepy Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits*, is the third cab off the chapbook rank at Spectral Press. Following true to form for this lovely independent press, her contribution Nowhere Hall, has sold out ? you will need to beg, borrow or steal it from someone fast enough to get a copy or smart enough to get a subscription to the series.
Her short fiction has appeared in the likes of Fantasy Magazine, New Bedlam, Postscripts, Red Penny Papers, Poe Little Thing, The Tangled Bank and Shock Totem.
Keep an eye out for Theatre of Curious Acts, a short novel from Hadley Rille Books and Barbed Wire Hearts, a novella from Delirium Books.
* …is a smorgasbord of the surreal with strands of absurdity ripping through its core, each quirky story riffing on an internal logic with echoes of Monty Python at its most bizarre and informed by a delight in language that matches the exuberance of Bradbury at the height of his powers… There is an addictive quality to these stories, so that as soon as you finish one you want to rush on to the next…
… Peter Tennant, Black Static
1. If I wasn’t a writer, I would be …
… a receptionist. Possibly because I am one. I suppose hobby-wise (although, I don’t think of writing as a hobby) I’d be a collector of things. I can be obsessive.
2. What are your writing fetishes, i.e. what can’t you write without?
A pen, paper and a computer. Oh but that’s a boring answer, so maybe I’ll say my collection of Nightmare Before Christmas figures, and Doctor Who figures, and a wee man I call ‘The Wolf Dude’. They watch over me as I write and I’m sure they encourage me in their plastic way.
3. You get to be your favourite fictional character for a day, you can go anywhere and anywhen. What do you do and who is your companion?
Actually, my favourite fictional character is Windsor Horne Lockwood III, a character in Harlan Coben’s thrillers. But as he’s psychotic, I foresee problems and I don’t want to be a bloke so instead, I’d be Willow (from Buffy) and my companion would be Spike. I’d take him on a tour of broken railroads and we’d hijack a steam train and cross the US slowly, making demons lay the tracks ahead of us.
4. Putting together ‘Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits’ was …
… fun. I loved it. And working with Aaron Polson was a delight (he not only published, and edited, but also designed the cover art). It also gave me the opportunity to publish a couple of stories that I’d retired, and to my delight, those stories are often the ones that reviewers pick as their favourites.
5. Donuts or danishes?
Do I have to choose? Being made to choose between cakes is torture. I’m the kid who spent an hour in the sweetshop because she couldn’t make her mind up. And the adult who brings a selection home because she can. Although, for my last meal (just before the zombie hordes eat me), I’d have a hot sugary donut, the kind you get at the seaside. Assuming the zombie horde chases me to the seaside, otherwise my last meal is stuffed.
Her site is here.