Author Interview: Caytlyn Brooke @caytlyn_brooke #ya #interview #scifi #contemporary

To celebrate the recent release of her new book, Wired, I’m sitting down with award-winning author, Caytlyn Brooke.

Welcome!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

Caytlyn_BHC_WebHello! My family is from English decent and I have the freckles and pale skin to prove it. I have lived in six states, but currently reside in the Southern Tier of New York where camouflage is the epitome of fashion and everyone drives a Ford F150.  I’m working on convincing my husband to move south to the beach, but for right now I’m enjoying rolling hills and cornfields.

 

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story? 

It’s amazing how much thought and planning goes into creating a story. My favorites, in both what I read and write, are stories that make you feel as if you’re right there running alongside the characters. Description is the biggest thing for me. I want to be able to picture everything and everyone as if I’m watching a movie. I enjoy books with a fast-paced plot that make it impossible to put down. I especially love cliff hanger endings! I know many readers who like deep, complicated plots that make you think and analyze, however that’s not me. I don’t have a lot of time to read, so I prefer exciting stories with an immediate hook that aren’t afraid to jump right in.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book? 

Dark_Flowers_C_Brooke_FCI’ve wanted to be a writer since third grade. I loved when my teachers would assign a prompt and let our imaginations go wild for half an hour. My friends would barely craft a paragraph and I’d be on my fifth piece of paper. Growing up, I was obsessed with fairies, goblins, nymphs, you name it. If it involved any mythical creature I was hooked. It was out of that love that I created my first novel, Dark Flowers. Every little girl dreams that she finds fairies in the woods, dreams that she dances with them and is invited to be one. I took that idea and layered it with a touch of darkness. I’m a big fan of the Grimm Brothers and enjoy taking innocent stories and twisting them to keep my readers on their toes. Not every story has a happy ending and in Dark Flowers I changed the beautiful fairies everyone is familiar with, to sinister creatures that will make you rethink walking alone in the woods.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing? 

Trying to find time to write is a job in itself! I have two small children and a full time job so most of my writing gets done on my lunch break and at ten o’clock at night after I get everyone to bed. As you can imagine with that schedule it’s pretty slow going so I taught myself how to type pretty fast. Most nights I’m up past midnight writing, but I love it. I feel bad for my husband because he waits up for me and my, “I’ll be done in ten minutes” always turns into another hour and a half.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

Hmm an interesting writing quirk. I guess that all my novels originate from my notebook, old school pen and paper. I always keep a notebook by my bed because most of my story ideas come from my dreams. As soon as I wake up I jot down the idea or image and then expand upon it from there until I have a solid concept. Then, I just start writing. Rather than create an outline and detail step by step what will happen, I just sit down and let my mind wander and craft the story as I go.

Question 6) Tell me about your latest book. 

Wired is a mix of YA contemporary/scifi.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book? 

Wired_Caytlyn_BrookeOne of the most surprising things I learned after writing Wired was how spot on my imagined world was! I started writing this novel three years ago and back then cell phone usage and dependency was annoying, but nothing to the degree it has reached today. In the slightly futuristic world I created, people have iJewels which are essentially Smart Watches. I remember last year hearing my co-workers talk about how they had to have the new Apple Smart Watch and my eyes bulged. It was exactly like the technology from my book! Wired focuses on cellular device addiction and when Maggie isn’t “connected” she experiences the same withdrawl symptoms as a drug addict. Come to find out, people are actually going to rehab for cell phone addiction and there is even a term called Nomophobia that explains the intense fear and anxiety people have if they become separated from their phones. I wrote this book because I noticed an unhealthy dependency people were forming with their phones and now it’s actually coming true. Maybe this means I’ve predicted the future?

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

wiredfeedback.png

I look around at everyone seated. All of them are staring at me blankly, colorful Vertix H2’s all implanted successfully on their necks. It’s like they’ve been brainwashed. My heart rate speeds up as fear grips my stomach. “I want to leave,” I whisper, pushing back further in my chair, but the feet are stopped and when I turn around, another rep is staring down at me.

“It’s an incredible experience,” Brad says, his smile growing wider. “And you’ve already paid for it. Just try it. If you still don’t like it, we will give you a twenty-five percent refund.”

I can feel the rep behind me grip the back of my chair and I realize he’s sliding me forward, back to the table. The copper device still whirs in my hands, the green light seeming to grow brighter and brighter. A cool breeze grazes my neck and I stiffen as the rep pulls my hair away from my neck, depositing the heavy bulk onto my chest.

“Have fun,” he whispers in my ear before stepping back.

Brad is still staring at me, waiting for me to follow his instructions. With shaking hands I lift the copper Vertix to the back of my neck, wincing as the searching sensors brush my fingers. It’s going to be fine, you’re going to be fine, I tell myself over and over again as I breathe steadily through gritted teeth. Just do it for a minute, then they’ll let you go.

The device slips from my sweating fingers and lands with a solid thud onto the back of my neck. Involuntarily, my hands grip the smooth edge of the table and I close my eyes, anticipating the sharp pain I witnessed everyone else endure to make the connection. The bug-like legs dance atop my skin, settling into place. Then, without a sound, the sensors still and then plunge into the soft skin on either side of my spinal cord.

My eyes flash open and my fingers stiffen into claws as a burst of pain washes over me. I can feel the sensors inside my body, reaching, reaching for some unknown destination. A moment later, all four seize upon my brain stem and the Vertix H2 deepens its hold. My vision blurs and the eerie blue up lighting spins and swirls as the Vertix infiltrates my brain.

The connection has begun.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future? 

More books! I have several in the works, including a YA fantasy trilogy that I’m super excited to release next year. My other novels revolve mostly within the fantasy realm with mermaids, trolls, and witches and all border on the darker side. You can also check out Dark Flowers, if you’re into creepy fairies and muggy swamps. 

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

DI4oQC2VAAEfEEpThe best money I ever spent as a writer was when I went out to South Dakota last year for the Literary Classic Book Awards. Dark Flowers won the silver medal in the YA Horror category and I was invited to attend the awards ceremony. I didn’t win a cash prize, but I was able to tour the Black Hills of South Dakota, wear a pretty gown, and meet a fantastic group of authors from all over the country. That was such a fun experience and I’m hoping I get the chance to go out there again.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can find me on Facebook and Twitter at the links below. Some days I have some fun things to say:

https://www.facebook.com/Caytlyn-Brooke-659444394222760/

https://twitter.com/caytlyn_brooke

You can also find me at my publisher’s website www.bhcpress.com to learn more about me http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_Caytlyn_Brooke.html and http://www.bhcpress.com/Books_Brooke_Wired.html

Thanks for having me!

 

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Book Spotlight: The Vault by Brian Harrison #newrelease #Tuesdaybookblog #Tuesdayteaser #familylife #contemporaryfiction

The Vault

Why would a multibillionaire create a customized vault that is controlled by watch mechanics inside and have a self-destruct mechanism inside to destroy the billion dollars worth of artifacts inside?

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Simple, because he can.

On paper, Sam Montgomery is your typical eccentric philanthropic pharmaceutical billionaire whom has literally mailed five dollars to everyone in the US so they can “pay it forward.” But what people didn’t know when made a rare public appearance was that he was announcing he had leukemia. And more shocking was that when he said, “I’d rather die than give my sister the opportunity to save my life,” no one even knew he had a sister.

Elena Diamante nailed the sit-down interview – at his small home on the tiny island of Antikythera in Greece. She was only planning on getting the scoop about Sam and his apparently estranged sister but she was also going to be the first journalist to see inside Sam’s custom-made vault. It was built using watch mechanics, so it was completely self-sustained, and only opened once a year. It was even rumored that if it were ever tampered with, everything inside would be destroyed in a custom acid.

Come to find out for Elena, there would be one item inside Sam’s vault that could save his life, or end it even quicker, it was just a matter of whether or not the vault would open in time.

The vault explores Sam’s family dynamics and how they inspired him to become the successful man he is. The story is also told using Sam’s own family photos growing up, as well as text messages and Facebook/Twitter. There are even hyperlinks within the novel as “Easter Eggs” for those readers that want to explore even more of Sam’s personal life, further blurring the lines of fact/fiction.

Interview with R.A. Andrade #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present R. A. Andrade author of The Field Trip.

Hi Ron, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

Ron: First, I would clarify that the world I come from is planet Earth to dispel anyB1uXJ7qnXrS._UX250_ rumors to the contrary. I was born and raised in New England, and then moved to Michigan after graduating college.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Ron: If people enjoy reading a story, it is a good story. What is a story people enjoy reading? I believe everyone guesses at the answer to that question, or write what they like and get pleasantly surprised to discover other people like it as well.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

Ron: There was a point in time when I became addicted to reading novels at any opportunity. I would read anywhere and anytime, even if only there was only a fifteen minute window. Primarily reading science fiction and mysteries, many of the plots became repetitive and all too familiar. Hungering for something different, the urge to try writing my own story overtook me…so I did. I worked on that novel in the same manner I had been reading…nonstop. When finished, I considered it great; in need of little editing, which I could surely do myself.

Reading through that first novel now, only one word comes to my mind…trash.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Ron: There is no schedule. I write when I make the time, which can be any time of day or night. I usually write daily in blocks of time that fit opportunity and flow of thoughts. This most often occurs late night but the story still works in my mind during other daily activities that allows me to escape to my work. 

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Ron: Nothing terribly interesting, but most short fiction I write begins with an idea intending to be a science fiction story. Somehow, I lose control of the stories along the way and the results are something else…a spooky murder where a crow is the victim…Santa Claus straightening out management at a corporate staff meeting…and of course a superhero squirrel tale.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Ron: The Field Trip. The back cover states it is “An adventure mixe23702427d with a touch of fantasy. Add a twist of love.” Some readers classify it as science fiction.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Ron: That my spelling improved dramatically. This was unintentional since I have always bragged about being a poor speller. Fortunately, there are some words I continue to misspell although used thousands of times.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Ron: These are a few paragraphs from an upcoming novel:

Glen backed the Mustang to the park entrance road, and then proceeded in. They passed the deserted collection booth, following the arrows that indicated the route to the lake. Parking at the edge of the lot that would have normally been crammed with a hundred or more cars and trucks on a hot August day, they sat alone.

They all got out of the car, Sunshine and Glen pulling bags, a cooler, and a blanket from the trunk. Traci watched the two in disbelief, her hands on her hips. “The world is coming to an end and you two are going to have a picnic?” She looked down at the T-shirt she was wearing that Glen had found for her, pulling it away from her body. “And who the hell is John Denver? I would die if anyone saw me in this.”

Closing the trunk, Sunshine said to Glen, “When I get my memory back I hope I don’t discover I have children. They are a pain in the ass.”

Traci mouthed “what”, and then yelled, “You know I’m standing right here.”

Sunshine chose a location on the side of a small hill overlooking the lake. Spreading the blanket on the well-manicured grass, she knelt looking across the water. The fog bank traversed the lake, hiding the far shore. She shivered.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?

Ron: A novel entitled, “Sunshine at the Oasis.” The excerpt in the last question is from that story. It may be science fiction, or maybe a mystery, or maybe….

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Ron: That is an easy question. Undoubtedly, the money spent for my laptop. It transforms thoughts into printed words. All I need to do is place my fingers on the keyboard and it writes stories for me. Very cool.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Website: raandrade.com

Goodreads: R.A. Andrade

Amazon: Author page