ID: A screenshot of Procreate open with an illustration of five pregnant seahorses

Works-in-progress aspire to be full-grown books!

Well, it’s 2021, and we’re still in the height of a pandemic, so what better thing to do than start an indie press, right?

While I adore my current publisher, Renaissance, and wouldn’t have launched my career without them, I also want to try my hand at being an independent author. My plans are still to submit works to Renaissance, but I’d like to release some of my other works into the world.

This began with a short story I wrote in 2020 called Ranger of the Sea. You know when you submit something, then get a huge idea, and hope it gets a rejection? That. Ranger of the Sea was not a good fit for one anthology, but that was perfectly fine! I realized I wanted to create a series of illustrated books called Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups.

Last year I’d found it difficult to concentrate on reading, so I thought back to the time when my mother would read me a little story and how cozy that felt. I pondered the question: Why can’t grown-ups have those types of books?

So, it is with fear and trembling that I am also taking on the task of illustrating the work myself. Thankfully, I’m consulting with the brilliant Nathan Fréchette from Renaissance, or else I’d be hiding under the covers. (I am probably going to laugh at my apprehension one day, but it’s my first time, folks!)

ID, book cover: A mermaid with aqua skin and blond and aqua hair bobs out of the water and is in the motion of doing the ASL for "sea." She's in calm waters under a blue sky. There are large rocks jutting from the water.
(Cover concept)

When I was 25 years old, ahem, just five years ago… Okay, 26 years ago, I’d begun my first-ever space opera novel. It was supposed to be a journal. My therapist at the time encouraged journalling. Oops. But I revisited the work at age 50, and even though Past Cait needed to learn a lot about writing technique, the world-building was there, and like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, it just needed a little love.

I started the rewrite last year and decided I want to give this book a new life. The protagonist is an alcoholic space captain named Catt Roan, who’s been on the run from her past for over a decade. By her side is her ever-loyal bot, Norm, who has endured her debauched existence and perhaps takes her word a little too literally. That’s how they end up on the matriarchal Moon of Antosha, where a sheltered first-princess is current fleeing an arranged marriage, and ends up on Catt’s ship. Into this mess floats an escape pod carrying… a hippie? In space? It’s all good because none of this is a burden to Catt, especially because her twin homeworlds are still occupied by the ruthless Sendryk warrior Lady Jiv Dall, and did I mention Catt’s dad and her partner Jayla have been imprisoned there for a decade as well? Yeah, this is fine…

The book is called The Incredible Groovy and Way Out Misadventures of Captain Catt Roan. And no, the title is not going to be shorter.

Book cover image: A purple space background with a floating peace symbol, illuminated in purple. In the foregroung is a tall woman with purple skin and purple hair. Her left hand could be a peace sign or maybe she wants two more drinks. She's dressed in a form-fitting black jacket and trousers, thigh-high purple boots, and a top that's black and peuce.
(Cover concept. I drew Catt Roan, but Nathan Fréchette will do the final cover!)

So, there it is. I am going to attempt a thing. Well, nothing ventured—or misadventured—nothing gained!

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