Today’s featured guest writer is Caitlin Hensley. She is such a cutie! Thank you for being here today.
Our readers want to know more about you and what you do.
Where are you from?
I’m from Criner, which is a rural Oklahoma community that’s so small it can’t really be considered a town. Except for a church and a few houses, there’s nothing but rolling hills
Tell our readers about yourself.
I’m eighteen years old, and live with various family members and quite a few cats and dogs. I was homeschooled, so that gave me plenty of time for writing.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I think I really became serious about it in late 2011 when I attended a class on writing, and actually had a few people outside my family read some of my work. The feedback I got was fantastic, and started me down the path I’m on today.
What inspired you to write your first book?
One day several years ago, I overhead my sister on the phone to a friend, and what she said sparked an idea. I hurried to my room and started writing frantically in a notebook, and so was born the very first draft of Paranormal Legacy.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to write in first person, present tense. I used to write in past tense, but after reading several YA books in present tense, I decided that I really liked that style, and started using it for my own work.
How did you come up with the title?
Paranormal Legacy was originally called “The Supernatural,” which is a very bland title. I came up with “paranormal” and started playing around with different ideas, and eventually came up with “legacy,” and those two words combined to perfectly match the theme of the book.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroin you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)
None of the events in Paranormal Legacy are based off anything that’s happened to me, since I’ve never met any British vampires or sarcastic hawk shifters. I tried to make my main character, Haily Long, as different from me as possible. For example, she’s addicted to coffee, but I can’t stand the stuff. Though, and this is kind of funny in a weird way, the main antagonist in PL is named Chris, and long after writing the book, I had some troubles with a guy named Chris. So that’s kind of strange.
What book(s) are you reading now?
I’ve been rereading all of Meg Cabot’s books; I really love her writing style. Also, I’ve just started The Indigo Spell, which is by Richelle Mead.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
To name a couple off the top of my head, Susan Kaye Quinn and Trish Marie Dawson.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on five separate books right now, and four of them are YA, while the last one is more adult. All of them are paranormal or fantasy, though the subject matter of each of them is very different.
If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?
The first actor that popped into my head was Zac Efron. He has those gorgeous blue eyes, which means that he might work to play Jake West, the sarcastic hawk shifter I mentioned above.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)
The books I’m writing at the moment are first drafts, so they definitely aren’t ready to be seen by anyone. 🙂 I’ll share a little from Paranormal Legacy.
There’s a noise behind me, a floorboard groaning under a cautious foot. I start to turn, but a sweaty hand clamps over my mouth, forcing my lips shut.
My attacker shoves me down onto the bed, and I bounce twice on the mattress, smacking my head against the headboard.
I squint up at the figure looming over me, standing beside my bed. It takes a moment for the blur that’s his face to snap into focus, then I recognize him. It’s the guy from the coffee shop.
“What the . . . what are you doing in my room?”
His lips twist into a smirk. “Remember me?”
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I usually have trouble writing endings, since I don’t want them to be too dark, or too cheesy. And when I start the first book in a new series, it usually takes me a while to become acquainted with the characters.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book?
Only in my imagination. 🙂
Who designed the cover?
I came up with the design for Paranormal Legacy’s cover, and then Marcy Rachel from Marcy Rachel Designs helped me finalize it. I didn’t have Photoshop back when I was working on this cover, so I was having a rough time getting things to look right.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I wouldn’t say the writing was hard, but the editing was. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve edited PL, but I know it’s up there in the double digits.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’ve learned a lot from the process of writing PL. I discovered so much about the structure of writing, such as how to avoid telling in favor of showing. I’ve also learned so much about the editing process, and the publishing process. So really, the book has been a journey of learning for me in every way you can imagine.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Trust your dreams. If you want to write, write. And if you want to publish your books, do so. Don’t let other people crush your dreams and talk you out of them; if you have a goal, don’t give up.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just want to thank everyone who’s supported me so far, and I hope all of you enjoy reading Paranormal Legacy as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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