In Your Next Beach Read, we want to introduce you to a new author every day in June in the hopes that you’ll find the next book you want to take with you to the beach, the pool, or the comforts of air conditioning.
Today’s author is Cate Bronson, author of Clonedroid: The New Wave.
What’s your name and where are you from?
I write as Cate Bronson and live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with my husband and two rescued dogs. I’m originally from a small city nestled between the Great Lakes in Northern Ontario.
How long have you been writing? How did you start?
I was a creative child and started daydreaming up stories in elementary school. I even sketched detailed scenes to storyboard my ideas. However, the muse did not officially strike me until eleven years ago, and I debuted with an award-winning story. Since then, I have authored fiction and nonfiction pieces for a variety of publications, including Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Who are some of your influences?
The list is long: Gene Roddenberry, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Ayn Rand, Philip K. Dick, Micheal Crichton, Aldous Huxley, Charles Dickens, Plato, H.G. Wells, and Robert J. Sawyer, to name a few. Living with a family of avid readers and remarkable storytellers hasn’t hurt, either. My parents and husband have been my greatest influences.
What is your book about?
Clonedroid: The New Wave is my debut science fiction novel about Abe, a clonedroid prototype. He is humanity’s crowning achievement. He is also an intelligent, sentient being. And he is about to die. This story focuses on the ethical dilemmas surrounding artificial intelligence and genetic engineering and demonstrates the pitfalls of playing God while pursuing technology without appropriate safeguards. It probes many of the challenges that face our global societies today.
Where did you get the idea?
I literally dreamed it up in the middle of the night. Science fiction stories about artificial intelligence and genetic engineering dominated books, movies, and my life at the time. So, I’m not surprised this story emerged at the subconscious level, likely from a sci-fi overload.
How long did it take you to finish it?
Far too long! Clonedroid: The New Wave. began as short fiction eight years ago, then other projects got in the way, and I shelved it. Three years ago, I dusted it off and evolved the story into a novella, then into a novel with series potential.
Is this your first book, or have you written more than one?
Yes and No. This book is my debut novel as a science fiction writer. However, I produced the epic narrative nonfiction Blue Mountain: Ruth’s Story in 2015. Written only for family, that book was based on my mother’s extraordinary childhood spent in the northern wilderness during the Great Depression. It attracted so much attention that I’m now preparing it for general publication.
We all like to write about people we know, even if we never name them. Who are some people who inspired characters or situations?
To give my characters depth, I draw inspiration from real people in my life, but in the end, my characters are unique, fictitious individuals. The same is true for specific scenes. Elements may appear to parallel real environments or dialogues, but every aspect of the novel is a fabrication.
What’s your favorite scene in the book?
All of them. Seriously, it’s like having to choose one child or pet over another. However, the scene that I had the most fun writing was the one between the project manager and the Reporter. Writing it felt so real to me.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever got?
“Don’t follow the trends. Make them.”
What’s the worst?
“Your work should reflect this or that because it’s what the industry expects.” I’m paraphrasing what I’ve heard from writers caught up in the fashion craze. When I follow that advice my distinct style and voice as a writer evaporates. Method writers are more successful, letting a story flow organically, rather than trying to squeeze it into a preconceived mold.
Where can we buy your book?
Clonedroid: The New Wave is available on Amazon, Goodreads, and BookBub and at http://www.catebronson.com
Include your author’s bio.
Cate Bronson is a Canadian-American author and Writer’s Digest mainstream literary short story winner. She is also a political science graduate, and investment accountant turned writer of science fiction and narrative nonfiction. Cate has authored stories and articles for a variety of publications, including The Florida Writer and The New Barker magazine. In 2018, she became a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul. She also volunteers as a literary judge for the annual “Mayor’s Youth Showcase of Achievement,” an awards program that encourages students to pursue their dreams.
Do you have a preferred date for this article to appear?
Late June, please.