Cat Connor Redux: Updates and a history lesson

The lovely, the talented, and bikini-less Cat Connor has graced these pages with another interview:

1. We’ve been hearing rumors of new books. What are these rumors?

I, too, have heard the rumors…actually there is a good chance that I started them? New books, where to begin?

Lemme see – I’m pretty sure that since we last talked the paperback versions of Torrent, Archive, and Snakebyte received new covers and newly edited contents. I released my third short story collection, Array,

which contains 12 new byte shorts and four non-byte shorts—currently only available in paperback—yeah, yeah, I’m getting to the digital versions. I have a short story in the British anthology, Tales of the Fox and Fae by Fox Spirit and, also, in The Girl at the End of the World anthology by Fox Spirit. It’s quite a buzz being asked to write for anthologies. For The Girl at the End of the World antho, I was specifically asked to write an SSA Conway short story, so that was a lot of fun.

AND the big news … Databyte – the sixth byte novel is now available (prior to the official release on June 13), currently available in paperback only.

Here’s the blurb:

When information becomes misinformation how much of what you see should you believe?

When information becomes misinformation, the result is mayhem for Supervisory Special Agent Ellie Conway. Wanted for a murder she didn’t commit and on the run from the FBI, seemingly irrefutable evidence against her mounts at an alarming rate. The life of an actor with close ties to Delta A hangs in the balance and Ellie must also protect him, while trying to catch the real killer. Her only hope at returning to her life rests on her innate ability to see the truth.


Also…Killerbyte has had a facelift and new edit.

Both Databyte and Killerbyte will be launched officially on June 13 at Upper Hutt Library. Exciting!! You coming?

2. Rumors of poetry exist. Are dirty limericks involved?

Yeah nah, I don’t really do poetry. I know nothing about poetry, but I know what I like and I know what works for me.

In Killerbyte, Ellie’s brother steals her poetry (and Mac’s poetry) and publishes said poetry in book format. That book is titled Whispers in the Water. It’s mentioned in a few of the byte books, as Ellie and Mac used the proceeds (it was a best seller, of course!) to fund The Butterfly Foundation – to support the children of mentally ill parents.

Earlier this year my lovely 15-year-old daughter, The Girl Wonder (formerly known as Weather-Girl, formerly known as Squealer), said I should put all the poems from the byte novels into a book—just like the book in the series. I questioned her wisdom on this and she informed me she wanted to be able to read them. Fair enough. So, I pulled the poetry from a PDF that had lurked on my website untouched for years and gathered all the poems from scraps of paper and all the poems written for various byte novels (both published and as yet unpublished)…the result about 76 poems. I’m in no way saying any of them are good, because (see above) I know shit all about poetry. For the most part they’re fairly dark and a little scary maybe…Ellie’s life is often dark and scary, so you can’t expect fluffy clouds and unicorns, can you now?

Sadly, no dirty limericks, but there are a few poems that contain a bit of heat. And a couple that I wrote after visiting a particular battle field, which make me smile because I remember how much fun I had and how much I learned. We’ll always have Antietam. (See how I didn’t mention sausages?) [Admin note: Private joke. Shall remain a private joke]

3. Cast an eye upon the self-publishing world and give us your take.

That’s a big ask. It’s kinda like you asking me to hold a grenade while watching you throw the pin away. No matter what I say it’s still going to go bang and I’ll end up a sticky red mess.

I think it’s too easy for people to self-publish and quality control is sadly lacking. As much as the idea of a gatekeeper irks…gatekeepers are necessary to prevent drivel cluttering the world.

4. Now cast an eye on trad pub’ing and hold forth.

Are you serious?  See above!

Okay, sticky red mess here I come…I still like trad pub’ing but I think the trad publishing houses need to join the real world. Digital versions of books should not cost more than $6 ever. Yet the big houses are selling kindle versions for about $10 (sometimes a lot more) and often the paperback is only $12. Ridiculous. Just recently I saw a kindle version of a book I wanted (non-fiction) for $60. Really? Get a grip you greedy buggers.

5. Any other projects pending?

Pending projects: Eraserbyte was dropped onto my editor’s desk in Feb. It’s the 7th full length byte novel and it will find its way into the world next year sometime. This is the book that was loosely based on a trip to D.C. with the admins; for a while it was called ‘adminbyte.’ Tricky to write at times but I got there in the end! You might find some of the characters ever so slightly familiar. Something to keep in mind.

I’m working on a secret project. It’s big and time consuming and a whole different thing to what I’m used to, so, taking it slow and working my way through the process and actually enjoying it when I get a chance to sit with it for a bit.

Also toying with a novella length work with SSA Kurt Henderson as the main character. I’ve been messing with this idea for a while now. I’ve a decent amount written but it’s tricksy so I’m taking my time. Of all the Delta men, he’s probably the easiest for me to write but he’s still a guy and I am not. Challenging!

But wait there’s more … the 8th byte novel: Psychobyte. And, yes, it is what it sounds like. Only about 15 chapters into Psychobyte so I have no idea where it’s going to end up but so far its masses of fun. A few things have cropped up that I expected but not in this book and that always makes writing interesting. And then there is the one thing I didn’t see coming and crikey that’s really put the cat among the pigeons.

6. How far do you see the byte series going?

Short answer: I have no idea how far it will go.

Sometimes I try to envisage the end of the series…and then Ellie smacks me upside the head and tells me to get back to work.

I know how it will end because there’s only one way this can end. But I don’t know how we will get there or when. To be honest, I thought Eraserbyte might have been it. There was a helicopter crash and I couldn’t hear Ellie any more. Luckily, she was okayish. A joke was made soon after that (well I think he was joking) that Mitch will end up with his own series spin off. Who knows? Who’s Mitch? Read Snakebyte, you’ll find out who Mitch is.

7. Are you guys having the same crappy winter we did?

No, not yet anyway. It’s autumn, and it’s crappy…but better than our shitty summer!

8. Didn’t St. Patrick drive the snakes out of New Zealand?

He must have, we have no snakes. That we’ve never had snakes seems irrelevant? Obviously St. Patrick was a clever bugger and got rid of the snakes before we even knew we had them.

9. Besides, Ellie Conway, who’s your favorite Byte character?

That’s quite an unfair question. It’s like asking me to pick my favorite child!

When it comes to the cast of the Byte Series, I love them all equally yet different. I couldn’t imagine Delta without Sam, Lee, and Kurt. I really like Caine (always have liked grumpy older men)—he makes me laugh. Sean O’Hare is all kinds of cool. And there have been a few interesting characters who stuck around for a while, like Mac (hard not to love Mac), and Rowan (something about rock stars…) and Mitch (he’s not going anywhere in a hurry) and Mike (hmmm, Mike)…okay, if I absolutely had to choose only one (apart from Ellie) it would have to be…SSA Kurt Henderson.

10. The history of New Zealand in 25 words or less:

As with North America…the British came and did what they did best: took lands, caused upheaval, spread disease.

The time line looks a little like this:

The Maori reached New Zealand in about A.D. 800.

The first European explorer to sight New Zealand was Abel Tasman on 13 December 1642. Captain James Cook, reached New Zealand in October 1769 on the first of his three voyages and was the first European explorer to circumnavigate and map New Zealand.

Colonization began in earnest around 1840 – also the year the Treaty of Waitangi was signed.

A series of land wars between 1843 and 1872 ended with the defeat of the Maori.

On 19 September 1893 NZ became the first country to grant women the right to vote.

The British colony of New Zealand became an independent dominion in 1907 and supported the UK militarily in both World Wars. (And so forth.)

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One Response to Cat Connor Redux: Updates and a history lesson

  1. Cat Connor says:

    Thanks for having me over … enjoyable as always. 🙂