About Caitlin (in her own words): I write Young Adult and New Adult stories that range from sci-fi and fantasy (because I love making worlds and things up), to contemporary (because I kind of sort of fell into it and discovered I’m not half bad). I read voraciously as a kid, and still do whenever I can. I drive a Jeep, love the outdoors, take pictures of everything I can, and write every chance I get. I’m also a member of the YA Misfits.
About EYRE HOUSE: When eighteen-year-old orphan Evan Richardson signed up to work at Eyre House, on the sleepy tourist getaway of Edisto Island, SC, he never expected to find himself dodging ghosts. But Eyre House seems to have more than its fair share of things that go bump in the night, and most of them surround his employer’s daughter.
Back from her freshman year of college, Ginny Eyre is dangerous from word one. She’s a bad girl with ghosts of her own, and trouble seems to follow her everywhere she goes. But living or dead, trouble isn’t just stalking Ginny. When her ex-boyfriend is found murdered in the pool, Evan knows he’s got two choices – figure out what’s going on, or become the next ghost to haunt Ginny Eyre.
Diana: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Caitlin: About ten years ago. I’d written a lot as a kid, and then kind of let it fall away. I’m not sure what prompted the renewal of my writing desires, but I just realized one day that I wanted to craft the kinds of stories I read all the time. So I did.
Diana: What’s the story behind your story (which sounds like a really cool concept, by the way!)?
Caitlin: Ah, well, Eyre House is a retelling of Jane Eyre. I’m not sure what sparked the original idea, or what really spark any of my ideas (which are all brilliant, of course). But I was talking over the beginnings of the idea (which, if I remember right, involved an old house on the beach with a lot of secret passages, and some crazy person using them to do all sorts of things) with one of my CPs (Kat Ellis), and she made an off-hand comment that it could even be a Jane Eyre retelling. Obviously I told her she was the most brilliant and smart person in the world, and immediately started working it out.
Diana: Why did you choose Edisto Island as the setting for your story?
Caitlin: When I first got the story idea, I knew it would be in the South, on a beach. I spent a long time on Google maps looking at coastal towns and islands. Growing up in Virginia, I have a real soft spot for the Charleston/Savannah areas. Edisto is right outside Charleston, and the more research I did on it, the more perfect it became. Quiet island town, the tourism is laid back, and a very rich history. It really just fit the story I wanted to tell.
Diana: What drew you to write New Adult Fiction?
Caitlin: When I first started writing, I LOVED YA (still do), but I wanted the same feel with an older protagonist. Which, at the time, was pretty much a no-go. So when NA came along, I jumped at the chance. The college years are just as confusing and formative a time as the high school years, and the added dimension of a time where you’re supposed to be an adult, but you’re not really, and you’re struggling to figure out how all that works is something that really speaks to me.
Diana: Tell me a little about Eyre House’s journey from your imagination to publication.
Caitlin: Oof. Hahaha. It had an interesting one. Eyre House was originally written as YA. I wrote it in 3 weeks, which is probably the fastest I’ve ever drafted anything. I also plotted, for the first time in my life, but I realized to do a redux, I had to. After months of revisions, I queried it widely (as you do), and got a lot of requests, even a few R&Rs, but they all came back as no’s in the end. It was a really rough road, until Leigh Ann Kopans suggested I try self pubbing it as NA. I’ll confess I fought the idea for a while, until I realized that NA would fit the story so well.
Diana: What do you like to do for fun when you aren’t writing?
Caitlin: Wait, you mean there are things to do other than writing?? I’m actually an outdoor nut and a photographer.
Diana: What do you find to be the hardest part about writing? The easiest?
Caitlin: All of it. No, seriously. Some days it’s all so easy. Some days just opening a manuscript is the hardest thing in the world.
Diana: Based on your experience, what advice would you give other writers?
Caitlin: Don’t give up. Writing is something I live for, and I haven’t really met a serious writer who doesn’t feel the same. It can be hard and heartbreaking, but it’s always, always worth it, even when it seems like it would be so much better to quit.
Thanks so much for the interview, Caitlin, and for being my guinea pig for the first edition of Featured Writer Friday!
You can find out more about Caitlin on the web: