Author Interview: Catherine Haustein

Meet an author not afraid of mixing genres, Catherine Haustein! Drawing on her background as a chemist, she infuses comedy into serious tales about female scientists. Her dystopian with strong romantic comedy elements, MIXED IN,  releases this spring.

1. Tell our readers a little about yourself and your work. 
In many ways, I’m your typical bespectacled nerd. My fiction takes a humorous look at female scientists and their lives. I honestly believe great science needs great art and plenty of humor to give it humanity. As an analytical chemist, I’m trained in the use of chemical instrumentation and am curious about chemicals in plants. I’m a professor and develop “green” laboratories without harmful chemicals for my students. On a personal note, I’m a Midwestern mother and grandmother and took fifteen years off from writing fiction when my kids were adolescent.

2. What genres do you write or want to write in the future?
I have a comic regency era romance in mind and would like to see if I can write a paranormal because it would be very challenging.

3. What attracted you to City Owl Press? 
I was familiar with it and was finishing MIXED IN when I saw Heather’s wishlist for 2016. It included a call for a unique dystopian for adults with strong romantic elements. MIXED IN is about a corporate chemist in a sexually oppressive agriculture based city-state and her relationship with a bar owner who has a dangerous side business. It looked like a perfect fit.

4. What has your experience been like working with City Owl Press?
Things have gone smoothly.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I will either still be writing novels and doing chemistry in my sleepy small town or I will have run off somewhere unexpected. I don’t gamble so I will NOT have won the lottery.

6. Tell our readers why they should pick up your book. 
The novel touches on serious issues but it’s a comedy and a little naughty. And it has beer. It’s a cross between a Margaret Atwood novel and the classic movie Idiocracy.


CATHERINE HAUSTEIN has spent most of her life as a chemistry professor in the small town of Pella, Iowa. She attended the University of Iowa where she got degrees in both chemistry and creative writing. She’s a mother and grandmother who took a fifteen-year hiatus from writing when her children were at home. She enjoys walking, beaches, and public service. She blogs and has been a regular contributor to Sheros of History. Her favorite beers are ales and stouts. Her students say that she has the world’s lightest footfall.