Jamel Cato

 

Interviewed by a few of his characters

 

Interviewer: Yefet Niles from The Anubis Tales

Yefet: Hey Cato.

Cato: [Smiling] My favorite character. You look as beautiful as a sunset at the Equator. And you smell good.

Yefet: Stop flirting.

Cato: Why?

Yefet: Because you’re married. And I don’t date short guys.

Cato:  

Yefet: [Laughing] You know I’m taken. You wrote it. Now, can we please get on with this interview? I want to be done before Latanya gets here.

Cato: Okay. Ask me anything.

Yefet: Where are you from?

Cato: I was born and raised in Philadelphia.

Yefet: Degrees? Profession? You know, the usual.

Cato: I have multiple degrees. I went to Georgia Tech. I work in technology. I live in New Jersey with my wife and children. However, none of that is what I really want people to know about me.

Yefet: What do you want them to know?

Cato: That I’m a man interested in ideas and the life of the mind.

Yefet: How would you describe your personality?

Cato: I’m reserved and low-key.

Yefet: What's the correct pronunciation of your last name?

Cato: Phonetically, it's k-toe. There are no cats in my house or my name.

Yefet: Can you summarize your writing in one sentence?

Cato: I write stories about people with extraordinary abilities experiencing the most exciting times of their lives.

Yefet: Just for fun, tell me how you would get my phone number if you met me in a coffee shop.

Cato: I'd tell you about the time I was swimming in the ocean while on vacation in Virginia Beach and a shark attacked a boy right across from me. On the local news that night, they showed helicopter footage of a whole school of sharks circling in the area. I was in the footage.

Yefet: Wow.

Cato: I know right. That's why I only swim in pools now. I need my arms to type.

 

Back to top

 

Interviewer: Preston Tiptree from The Ghost Hunter Chronicles

Tiptree: What’s good, Cato?

Cato: Everything is everything, Tree.

Tiptree: Was that Yefet I just saw leaving?

Cato: Yes.

Tiptree: You should write a story where she and I form a deep emotional bond while helping each other survive riveting events that shake the world and our worldviews alike.

Cato: So the two of you can have a sex scene?

Tiptree: No, so we can save 15% with GEICO. Yes so we can have a sex scene.

Cato: Your characters exist in different literary universes.

Tiptree: Save that salt for the supermarket. All your main characters make cameo appearances in other series. That’s why you call it the Catoverse.

Cato: I’ll see what I can do, Bruh.

Tiptree: [Taking off his special eyeglasses and studying Cato] You know I have supernatural vision, right?

Cato: I do, but you can’t read minds.

Tiptree: But I can read people. And right now, I can see you’re pouring some Haterade all over the idea of me and Yefet celebrating the rising of the Nile inside one of those huts built over water near Teo’s island.

Cato: You’re supposed to be asking me interview questions that will help us sell more books. And you’re not sounding anything like a paranormal researcher with a doctorate.

Tiptree: I got you. Check it: Can you give us some insight into what made a quiet, introspective man like yourself create an outspoken character like me who manages to be politically incorrect on multiple planes of existence? Having met you, it strikes me as a fascinating dichotomy.

Cato: People like you have better stories.

Tiptree: Like the time I taught that horde of raging demons to do the Cupid Shuffle?

Cato: Like the time you let that Mesopotamian spirit convince you his ancient tea recipe would become the next Starbucks, only to discover it was turning people into vessels for the undead.

 

Interviewer: Xavier Osiris Hill from The Anubis Tales

Xavier: I just have one question: Is my character based on you?

Cato: Yes.

 

Back to top

 

Interviewer: Latanya Rothwell from a forthcoming mystery series

Latanya: Are you done talking to the skinny people?

Cato: Here we go.

Latanya: I get it. You want to sell books and pretty people on the cover does that like nothing else. But what’s interesting is that you only follow half the script.

Cato: What do you mean?

Latanya: You know what I mean. Almost all of your books have a person of color on the cover, which the data consistently shows is much harder to market.

Cato: Race is not a safe topic to discuss. Didn’t you get the email?

Latanya: I read it as a set of loose suggestions.

Cato: But the subject line was "Absolutely Prohibited Topics".

Latanya: Are you going to answer the question or do I have to drag Being Mary Yefet back in here to get even a modicum of cooperation from you?

Cato: There’s no political motivation behind it. I’m not intentionally spitting in the wind. I just think all readers deserve heroes they can relate to, including the small heroism of honest cover art.

Latanya: Speaking of race, you’re African American, right?

Cato: What? Yes. What kind of question is that?

Latanya: The kind you ask really light-skinned people who look like John Legend.

Cato: Why are you even on this page? This site is devoted to my fantasy fiction.

Latanya: [Hands Xavier a sheet of paper]

Cato: What’s this?

Latanya: God created elementary school so you could learn to read.

Cato: [After reading the paper] Tanya, listen, I write action-centered fantasy that appeals to a male demographic.

Latanya: [Laughs out loud]

Cato: Did I say something funny?

Latanya: Boy, sometimes you’re more off base than a health food advocate at a Krispy Kreme convention. You do know that women make up of 75% of the worldwide fiction audience, right? And have you looked at the demographics of the people who click on the Facebook ads for your books?

Cato: What do they say?

Latanya: They say your typical reader is a woman in the United States between the ages of 30-54, followed closely by women in the UK between 30-54.

Cato: Did I mention that I write idea-driven fantasy that appeals to a female demographic?

Latanya: The female demographic wants to see me in a happy relationship with a man who has the qualities on that paper. I can’t spend all my time solving intriguing mysteries with my formidable intelligence and country-fried wit. It gets cold at night.

Cato: Can I use that?

Latanya: Which part?

Cato: The part about solving intriguing mysteries with your formidable intelligence and country-fried wit.

Latanya: You can use it on one condition.

Cato: What’s that?

Latanya: That you write us just as we are.

Cato: I'll do that. Until then:  

 

Back to top