public speaking

Tucson Festival of Books on March 10th

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in Blog, public speaking | Comments Off on Tucson Festival of Books on March 10th

Tucson Festival of Books

The Tucson Festival of Books is this weekend, and I’ll be attending on Saturday March 10th! (Psst. I’ll have cookies.) I will be wandering around, and then I have the main event:

Magical History panel from 4-5pm
Gail Carriger, Beth Cato and Mindy Tarquini, authors of novels filled with magic and mystery will discuss alternative earth histories where magic, the paranormal or time travel are real. Assistive listening devices available.
Where: Student Union Santa Rita
A signing will immediately follow the panel at the UA BookStore Tent on the Mall

I hope to see you around!


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Pixel Project Live Chat via YouTube Sunday at 6pm PST

Posted by on Mar 2, 2018 in Blog, call of fire, public speaking | Comments Off on Pixel Project Live Chat via YouTube Sunday at 6pm PST

Pixel Project

Sunday at 6pm I am participating in a YouTube Live chat with The Pixel Project, an awesome organization working to stop violence against women. They work with artists and authors throughout the year, and I’m delighted to talk with them for the first time! Tune in to ask questions or simply watch as I discuss my books and even read an excerpt from Call of Fire.

Directly access the chat at this link.

Be sure to check out the other women authors who are taking part in the coming weeks, too!


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World Fantasy Schedule

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Blog, public speaking | Comments Off on World Fantasy Schedule

I’m headed to World Fantasy Con in San Antonio next week! My panel schedule is light for once–that means I actually get to attend other panels and readings! Yay! I will also be doing the tourist thing with Novella the Sloth as my stalwart companion. I’ve been to San Antonio a few times before, but there is always more to see… and taste. I’m going to hunt me down some good BBQ.

I am already being asked,” Will you bring cookies?” The answer, of course, is YES! That said, I’m encouraging folks to get cookies at two particular places:
– I’m donating cookies to the Tiptree Award bake sale that takes place Friday 12:30-3pm in the hospitality suite. Buy my cookies, support a great cause!
– I’ll be at the Fairwood Press booth in the exhibit hall to sign Red Dust and Dancing Horses. You don’t have to buy a book to get a cookie, but the books will be right there, so I hope some people will be enticed to acquire new reading material.

Thursday Panel
02:00 PM to 03:00 PM (1 hour)
Where: WR – ExecSalon 2 (Ardath Mayhar)
Guns, Gears and Wheels: Making Plausible Historical Choices in an Industrializing World
Some fantasies focus on the natural magics inherent in the world; others on derived magics found or developed by human or nonhuman cultures. Writers have to balance the existence of magic with the development of technology over time. Tolkien envisioned human industry and technology as part of the evil. Roger Zelazny played magic against technology in his Changeling stories. Neal Stephenson directly examined the place of technology in a monastic society in Anathem. Our panelists will discuss what historical inventions would change in a world that includes magic. What are the continuing prospects for technology in historical fantasy and who is doing it right?
With Alan Smale (mod), moi, Stina Leicht, Tracy Caulfield


If you want to know where I am (and where my cookies are), follow me on Twitter and Facebook.




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Words of Wisdom on NaNoWriMo and Star Wars

Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Blog, poem-a-day, public speaking, roar of sky, writerly advice | Comments Off on Words of Wisdom on NaNoWriMo and Star Wars

Are you preparing to take part in NaNoWriMo in November? Striving for 50,000 words in a month is a major undertaking. At the Once and Future Podcast blog, I offer 4 tips to reduce stress during NaNo.

(I’m not taking part in NaNo this year; I wrote a rough draft for Roar of Sky in March and April this year, and I’ll be working on the edits for it this November. I will, however, be doing the Poem-A-Day Challenge.)

In other geeky news, a whole bunch of authors contributed posts to Unbound Worlds on what Star Wars personally means to them. As “Da Wars” was among my first words spoken as a baby, I have very deep thoughts on the subject.

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An Agoraphobic’s Guide to the Writing Life — a #HoldOnToTheLight post

Posted by on Sep 29, 2017 in Blog, public speaking, writerly advice | Comments Off on An Agoraphobic’s Guide to the Writing Life — a #HoldOnToTheLight post

Definition of Agoraphobia, from
:abnormal fear of being helpless in a situation from which escape may be difficult or embarrassing that is characterized initially often by panic or anticipatory anxiety and finally by the avoidance of open or public places

Hi. I’m Beth Cato. I’m agoraphobic. It’s part of my sampler pack of mental issues, including depression, generalized anxiety order, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I’m going to focus on agoraphobia today as it is discussed less often than the others. (If you want to listen to me delve into this topic, it also came up in my interview with Mur Lafferty on the I Should Be Writing Podcast.)


What is agoraphobia?
The Greek roots of the word translate to “fear of the marketplace.” It essentially means a person has a deep fear of leaving home or other select safe zones. It also means a deep fear FOR those safe zones, like heightened anxiety when away because the oven might be left on/house will get broken into/cat will explode. It’s complex and different people experience it in different ways.

Agoraphobia isolates a person, and keeps them isolated. Yeah, it can be embarrassing sometimes. A lot of other people don’t get it or don’t want to make an effort to understand. For me, going out and doing errands isn’t a spontaneous act. It’s one that requires careful planning, and sometimes days or months of preparation.


How can it be treated?
Prescription drugs may help, as they do with other anxiety disorders. Personally, I rely on coping strategies and rigorous planning. Yeah, I still have limits on what I can do, sure, but I’m fairly happy, stable, and I am actually getting out of the house. I’m in a much better place than I was ten, fifteen, twenty years ago.


How does agoraphobia impact a writing career?
How doesn’t it? I want to sell what I write. That means I need to communicate with people and it also means I need to escape the house at times and attend conferences and travel.

Driving is hard for me. I don’t even like being a passenger, especially in big city traffic. I have only had my license for about 10 years now and I am only comfortable driving within a small radius of home and during the daylight. Most bookstores around Phoenix are well beyond my cozy radius and require passage through downtown with its multitudes of lanes and confusing exits and mergers.


How do you get to these events, then?
I try to line up the majority of them with my husband’s schedule and we make a family trip out of it. If I have to make it on my own, I plan around rush hour and otherwise prepare myself as much as possible. I have found Super Shuttle is fantastic to get to and from the airport.


Why do you go to conventions if it’s so hard on you?
Because I love conventions and panels and geeking out over books! You can love something and be terrified about it at the same time. Conventions give me a rare chance to hang out with friends. I soak that in.

I try to stress out in advance and plan out everything as much as I can. That way, I get there and I can enjoy myself.


How do you plan ahead?
This is where my OCD plays a helpful role. Starting months ahead of time, I will study where I will be. How to get from the airport to my hotel and back. What is in walking distance of my hotel and the convention center or other venues. I hit up Yelp and start bookmarking restaurants with food that I like. I study Google Maps and find more restaurants and other cool stuff. Then I go down to Street View, and explore how it looks on the ground (i.e. does it look safe, are there crosswalks, how do I get from here to there, etc). If there are guidebooks available, I buy and study them. If there are Facebook pages about the con, I lurk and take in all the info I can get.

I essentially try to become as conversant as a local. I know routes. I can recommend restaurants based on their popular dishes or friends’ dietary needs. I have Lyft and Uber apps so I can get around (because I sure am not renting a car) or I know when the local transit runs.


Does this usually work?
Most of the time, yes! Mind you, I can’t plan for everything. Sometimes, you gotta lock yourself in a bathroom stall to quietly experience a panic attack, then dry off your face and go out to Adult again.


But when you’re home, you’re fine?
I’m still me. I’m happily neurotic. The internet does make it easier to communicate. I can avoid using the phone–oh, I hate the phone! Except when my agent calls. Her calls are almost always wonderful. Sometimes emails are difficult and I require a few hours or days to work up nerve to reply. I add tasks like that to Habitica, a role-playing game-styled to-do organizer, so that I don’t forget.

Here’s the thing. I have disabilities. I deal with them as best I can. Does it suck sometimes? Sure. But am I happy? Most of the time, yes! Ten years ago, I would have NEVER imagined I would be traveling by myself all over the country and being as active as I am on social media. I never would have written a post as personal as this, either, but I sincerely hope it helps other people out there.

About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.
Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Hope for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to and join us on Facebook.



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New Publications & Podcasts to Start September

Posted by on Sep 4, 2017 in anthology:story, Blog, breath of earth, call of fire, online publication, public speaking, red dust collection, writerly advice | Comments Off on New Publications & Podcasts to Start September

It’s Labor Day already? How did that happen? I fell behind on website updates, as in often the case with book release time, but my Bibliography and the Blood of Earth Trilogy media page are now current. Below are some highlights from August… and two chances to enter to win my books over on Goodreads, including a galley of my collection, out in two months!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Red Dust and Dancing Horses by Beth Cato

Red Dust and Dancing Horses

by Beth Cato

Giveaway ends September 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Clockwork Crown by Beth Cato

The Clockwork Crown

by Beth Cato

Giveaway ends September 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

New Story:
“Excerpts from the 100-day Food Diary of Angela Meyer,” Nature

– O&F Podcast, Ep. 161: Once & Future Live Megacast, Gen Con 2017: Beth Cato & Mercedes Lackey
The Two Gay Geeks podcast 127: interview with Beth Cato
– Unscrambled Authors Episode 32: Beth Cato

Call of Fire Guest Blogs:
– Scalzi’s Big Idea: Beth Cato’s Call of Fire
My Favorite Bit: Call of Fire
Historical Research Tips from Beth Cato
– Author Beth Cato on Writing Her First Sex Scene
– Page 69 Test: Call of Fire

Other Guest Blogs:
At the Nature Blog: The Story Behind the Story of ‘Excerpts from the 100 day Food Diary of Angela Meyer’
– Feature: Five Books Set in the Pacific Northwest


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