Kate Laity (aka K.A. Laity aka C. Margery Kempe aka Kit Marlowe aka Kate Wombat) has to be one of the most interesting authors I've crossed virtual paths with in a long time. For starters, just look at the different names she uses. Combine that with a lot of international traveling and a multi-language repetoire of light bulb jokes, and you might think she's a spy.
She didn't fess up to being one in this interview, but that doesn't mean you can't make up your own conspiracy theories. Enjoy!
You've picked up the proverbial torch for the seventh installment of Paul D. Brazill's noir-werewolf series, Drunk on the Moon. What drew you to the series? Have you contributed to a series before?
What drew me to the series? Well, you get Mr B drunk enough and he'll promise you anything. He didn't come through with the Lambourghini though, so the best he could offer was a slot on the werewolf gravy train, which I took and ran with. I showed him!
It was fun playing with his toys. Have I done a series before? Nah. I've written just about everything else -- probably the closest thing is the comic I do with Elena Steier called JANE QUIET. Collaborative work is always interesting because you come up with something you'd never have done on your own.
You do a ton of traveling across Europe. What's different about readers from country to country? What are some similarities?
Readers in different countries have different words for just about everything. The French call a ham sandwich a croque monsieur. The Spanish call it a bocadillo de jamón. It's like you have to translate everything. And their senses of humor are different too. The Swiss never laugh at light bulb jokes but the Dutch laugh uproariously at them and Russians find light bulb jokes tragically sad. It's a mystery.
You teach medieval literature, film, New Media and popular culture at the College of Saint Rose. How does this influence your writing, and vice versa?
I teach things that interest me: the best way to learn something is by teaching it. I try out new ideas on my students and see what works. I study brilliant works of art -- books, films, plays -- and pick them apart to see how they do what they do. Whatever I'm obsessing about at any given moment makes it into my teaching and writing.
Tell me about your pseudonyms, C. Margery Kempe and Kit Marlowe.
C. Margery Kempe writes steamy romance like the spy thriller Chastity Flame, a sort of female Bond. She writes a lot of funny, sexy fairy tale stories as well. Kit Marlowe, on the other hand, writes mostly funny historical romance that isn't so steamy, including a comic gothic novel The Mangrove Legacy and an on-going serial Airships & Alchemy [kalaity.blogspot.com].
Did you use to publish a magazine? What was it about?
I used to do a zine, which was a very 90s thing -- the last of the pre-digital DIY publishing. It was called Wombat's World, which was the name of a film I did as a student. It was just a collection of mad stuff that I and some of my friends wrote. It has evolved into my blog, but sometimes I miss my saddle stitch stapler and drawing Hello Kitty parodies.
What's next for you and how can people find out more about you?
I have an SF/urban fantasy/alt-history/road trip/retelling of the descent of Inanna novel coming out from Immanion Press in a few months called Owl Stretching. I've got a bunch of short stories on their way and some non-fiction writing, too. I don't even know what might come out of my head next or where I might be, so I advise people to drop by my website or find me on Facebook or Twitter if they want to keep up with the mad swirl that is my life.
Any final words?
Thanks for having me here, Ben.