This weeks Author Spotlight we interviewed Caroline A. Gill. Caroline is the author of the acclaimed Flykeeper Chronicles, Flying Away, Flying Blind and the 3rd book Flying free is due for release on the 10th August.
Caroline took time away from her Facebook release party preparations to take part, so thank you!
Q. At what point in your life did you realise that you wanted to be a writer?
Caroline: In the third grade, we made our own books. Stitched together paper with needle and thread, used pencils to mark the lines, wrote the draft, and coloured the cardboard cover, it took days. I wrote Super Cluck, the story of a chicken who saved his girlfriend from a fox. It was a massive hit.
We had no television on purpose. So I read everything. I spent days sitting in the children's section of the library, going through books like boxes of candy. That's where I fell in love with the sauciness of Dr. Seuss, the yearning romanticism of Shel Silverstein, the dark heart of Mary Shelley, the grand visions of Tolkien, CS Lewis, Frank Baum, and so many others. I first found fantasy writers when i was introduced to David Eddings, Goodkind, Lackey, and McCaffery. And then of course JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, James Dashner, Brandon Sanderson, and Stephen King.
I was fostered in my love of the written word by my high school English teachers Robin Adair and Chris Skelton. They pushed me to do more, to write my own voice, to find my own song, and to visit worlds no one had ever before landed upon. Their support made all the difference.
Q. Where to you drawn your inspiration? Do you ever in some ways use real life experiences?
Caroline: Well, a foundational aspect to my writing is: Magic is found in the most ordinary of places. I feel like finding the wonder in our own lives is the real trick. We can't all be hidden princesses. When we see the beauty of the world immediately surrounding us, that's when we rise to our strength, when we find our joy.
And the basis of all my stories is that: Joy, Friendship, and Family will always lift us to be better versions of ourselves.
Q. Do you need peace and quiet to write or do you need a playlist to keep you going? If you do, would you share it with us?
Caroline: When writing emotional scenes, I need music that speaks to that quality, that mood. With Flying Away, and the whole Flykeeper Chronicles, I listened to the Guardians of the Galaxy Soundtrack. Oldies but goodies all of which had a punch. That helped when dealing with the confusion and anger of my main character, Iolani Bearse.
Q. Are your characters always a complete work of fiction or is there an element of someone you know to start the idea rolling?
Caroline: Bits of people I know, mostly. That's what makes them stand out, the likes and sayings, the attitudes and assumptions they make. Cheesie, Al, Calvin Chong, all have basis in people I know. Friends, even. Because it's the ticks that make the characters live.
Q. What are your experiences of being an Indie Author, do you find that social media is a help or a distraction to your writing?
Caroline: It is both the best and the worst of things: Facebook has connected me to so much talent. So many readers and bloggers have been found within the social media community. There is truly power in the reach of these connections. Getting noticed is ever more difficult as the market is glutted with 100k books and then more and more. Standing out in the crowd is difficult. Social media makes it easier only if you have a brand, and can market effectively. Social media for family and cat pics? Not so helpful. But dang cute.
Q. What are you currently working on, or is it a secret?
Caroline: I am working on the third book of a vampire hunter serial, Kinship: The Uncertain Life of a Vampire Hunter. The first book is due out in October. I am also working on a thriller/space opera prequel that should really be a blast!
Q. Flies may be seen by some as an unusual focal point, what let you to choose that idea?
Caroline: So many stories start with the unknown hero who has the magic ability to....... or the magic item that opens a fantastic world. I think magic is found in the most ordinary of things, if they are loved. Have you ever notice how you meet someone and they don't register on your radar. It's only when they are kind, when they include you, that we start to see them, really. And those that we love shine with an inner light to our eyes. Love makes ordinary things beautiful. Love helps ordinary people step into greatness.
Q. If you could be any character you have written, who would you choose?
Caroline: Probably Jackie. There is a loyalty to her friendship that matters. I treasure her.
Q. What are you currently reading?
Caroline: Heartless, by Kelly Martin. Frantic, by Casey L. Bond, Ballistic, by Aria Michaels, the Revolution: Utopia 2016 Anthology.
Q. Fictional dinner party. Give me 5 fictional characters or authors who you would have as dinner companions.
Caroline: Jo from Little Women, Oliver from Oliver Twist, Peta from Hunger Games, the Walrus from Alice and Wonderland, and Portia from the Merchant of Venice. That would be some party, Right?
Post-Apocalyptic Playground - wow, that really would be some party! Thank you again Caroline for taking part in our Spotlight interview.
Please come and join Caroline on Facebook between the 10th and 11th August for the release of Flying Free, we will also be taking part with a takeover slot on the 11th, would love to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/531873903680618/