Publication date: March 15th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Thora Green had a life once upon a time. But that ended the day her parents enrolled her in a sleep clinic prison. At the facility, her chronic months-long insomnia is observed by scads of doctors, but she is never actually treated for her dire disease. In a feat of desperation, Thora escapes for New York City. Buried deep in the city’s underbelly, there is rumored to be a secret haven called the Insomniac Café: a place where people like Thora can find relief.
As Thora joins forces with Aiden and Florence, two fellow insomniacs, their quest will take them from the dusty bookshelves of The Strand, to the smokey underground clubs in the Lower East Side, to countless taxi and subway rides. Clues leading to their final destination are waiting for them at every turn. But so are Sleepers—a powerful core of sworn-enemies to all Insomniacs—who wish to see Thora and her friends destroyed at any cost.
Today we welcome Cady for an interview!
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I always wanted to write my own stories, but I went through other dream job phases, too: actress, journalist, computer scientist, librarian, professor. It wasn’t until I read a wonderful writing book by Janet Evanovich that I became serious about a pursuing a writing career and knew it was the one thing I wanted more than anything else.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
I can write a first draft in about six to eight weeks, and then I spend another two months or so revising. I usually write what I consider a “zero draft” which is a messy skeleton of the story, and I go back and layer in character development and world-building later on.
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
My themes are usually things I think a lot about. One of the themes in Never Sleep is finding a place where you fit in. Thora’s quest to find the Insomniac Cafe is about finding a cure, but it’s also just as much as finding a home where she can be Thora Green, whatever that entails.
Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I’m also a PhD student, so I fit writing in during my breaks and late into the night. I have a lot of online writing friends, and we schedule 15 or 30 minute sprints throughout the day to help reach our daily word count goals.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I don’t get much sleep! :) What I find helps is the sticker and calendar method. So, I have daily writing goals, daily PhD goals and daily exercise goals. If I hit them, I get to put a certain colored sticker on my calendar. Something about being able to mark off progress really helps.
What elements do you think make a great story line?
Great characters. My favorite stories in the world are the ones with characters that captured me. Harry Potter is wonderful for many reasons, but what stands out most about those stories is the amazing cast of characters.
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
The hardest part of writing a book is when I’m about 30k in. The excitement of beginning a new story has worn off, and the dreaded middle sets in. If I can slog through that section and hit 50k, it’s all a wonderful rush to the end from there.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
So far, I have written six novels. My favorite is my fourth book, which was the first one published. It’s called Bone Dry, and it’s about a teenage shaman in a New England town who gets in way over her head with magic. It was the book of my heart, and I poured a lot of myself into it, so it’s still my favorite of all of them.
Do you have a favorite character?
Holly from Bone Dry. She’s tough, and she loves comic books, and she’s a bit awkward when she likes a boy. So, we have a lot in common.
Where do you write?
Anywhere and everywhere. My favorite place is on train rides through the English countryside.
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I originally intended to go the traditional route, but the indie publishing market has really grown into something pretty amazing in the past few years. A friend of mine directed me to Lindsay Buroker and Hugh Howey, and my eyes were opened to the possibilities. I love having control over pricing, promotional sales, cover concepts, release schedules. It’s a lot of work, but I love it.
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My family aren’t big science fiction and fantasy fans, but they’ve been incredibly supportive over the years. They’ve always told me to keep at it and never give up, which is the best feedback they could ever give me.
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
Read, travel, watch the Welsh sunsets, make goofy videos, hang out with my boyfriend, and binge-watch Netflix shows.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Write the story you’d love to read and try your best to turn the internal editor off. A crappy first draft is better than no draft at all.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
J.K. Rowling is my favorite author, so it’s no surprise that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is my favorite book. That series is what has inspired me the most to write, though there is a long list of other amazing authors that have really made an impact on me: Scott Westerfeld, Rachel Vincent, Maggie Stiefvater, Lisa Shearin and David Levithan.
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
I have two wonderful beta readers/critique partners who I speak to on an almost daily basis. We’ve known each other for almost ten years now, and we regularly brainstorm, bounce ideas off each other and beta read chapters and novels. They are invaluable, and I couldn’t do it without them!
Are you working on anything now?
I have a couple of things in the works. Right now, I’m drafting the sequel to Bone Dry, which I mentioned earlier, and editing a book called Clash, which is the first book in an urban fantasy series about a goddess at college in New York City.
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Cady! Great to have you!