Cat Bauer has lived in Venice, Italy since 1998. She is the award-winning author of contemporary novels featuring the young protagonist, Harley Columba, (Harley, Like a Person and Harley’s Ninth) and was a regular contributor to the International Herald Tribune’s Italian supplement, Italy Daily. Her blog, Venetian Cat – The Venice Blog shares an insider’s view to cultural events around town, and has been featured in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine.
Let the conversation begin!
What’s one rule you’re dying to break?
Oh, I think I’ve broken just about all of them.
What advice would you give young writers?
Read. Write. Imagine. Create. Believe in yourself even if no one else does — if you really are a writer, you are right and they are wrong. Norman Mailer called writing, “The Spooky Art.” If you understand why it’s spooky, then it’s the life for you.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Count your words.
What one word describes you?
Durable. I know how to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and fear no evil.
What would you like your life to look like in ten years?
Sunny and harmonious with a baby grand piano in the background.
What element would you add to your writing space if money wasn’t an issue?
A fairytale forest.
What’s the first item on your bucket list?
I don’t know what a “bucket list” is.
What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?
Go to the sea and lie in the sun.
Do you let anyone read your work-in-progress?
I like non-writers to listen to me read aloud a chapter or two. Especially if they are Italians who are not completely fluent in English. If it holds their interest, then I think it’s okay.
What initially drew you to writing?
It was the other way around. Writing drew me into its world. I think I was born that way. I started writing as soon as I could formulate words and hold a pencil. I was about six-years-old. Then I would go around the neighborhood and sell what I wrote. “Children of Other Lands,” was my first book, complete with illustrations. It was inspired by a pack of cards.
If there is one genre you’d never write, what is it?
Is there a cowboy genre? I don’t think I will ever write a cowboy book. It’s not that I don’t like cowboys, but I have other topics that interest me more. You never know, though. I could end up writing a book called, “The Wild, Wild West.”
Would you rather publish a string of mainstream books or one classic?
One classic. Definitely. A classic can last longer than an empire.
Do you write with music?
Yes, to classical music, mostly Bach and Mozart. But I prefer to write with silence playing in the background.
Describe your dream vacation.
It would include lions in the wild and exotic food.
If you could only write one more book, what would it be about?