These Foolish & Harmful Delights: Cate Gardner

1. What do new readers need to know about Cate Gardner?

She’s currently wondering why she’s living on a movie set and everyone is running past with toilet paper. Enough of that third person bullshit. I’m loyal, fierce when it comes to protecting my friends, a weakling when it comes to protecting myself, and married to the awesome writer (and person) Simon Bestwick. I live on the Wirral peninsula, near the beach, have a nephew-dog, hail from Liverpool, and dream of living in Wales. I had my first story published in 1993 (when I was 4, obviously), and have had several dozen stories published over the years.

2. What was the inspiration for These Foolish & Harmful Delights?

Honestly? A huge gap since my first collection, Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits, was published. Also, I wanted to collect my published novellas together, especially as three of them are now out-of-print. Another motivation was I wanted my novella, Barbed Wire Hearts, to be published again. I’m not certain if I’m allowed to say this, but it’s the favourite thing of mine I’ve written.

3. What draws you to writing the weird?

I wish I knew. As a kid, I loved the Magic Faraway/Enchanted Forest books by Enid Blyton, and they seriously had some odd adventures. I guess my brain is just fried that way. I like odd things and odd people, maybe because I consider myself far too ordinary.

4. Which books are you looking forward to reading this year?

The entirety of my to-read-shelf (shelves). I’ve not read as much as I should over the past few years, so in January I decided to dig into and clear my to-read pile. Unfortunately, I keep adding to it. It’s not actually unfortunate at all. I have all kinds of wonders there from people such as yourself, Priya Sharma, Rob Shearman, Laura Mauro, Mr King, Thana Niveau, and so on. I need to pick up a copy of Georgina Bruce’s novella Honeybones from TTA Press. I read her collection last year and it was weirdly delightful.

5. What’s next for Cate Gardner?

Oh man. I have one short story due to be published, and that’s not until Jan 2021. That is so pathetic. I’ve not been in the best of mental health for a few years. I’m now coming out the other side (or was until the world went insane) and settling down to write again.

Bio: Cate Gardner lives in the wilds of Wirral and is currently pining for the beach thanks to self-isolation. Her latest collection, These Foolish & Harmful delights is available from Fox Spirit Press.

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