This week’s interview is with Casey Fae Hewson, who blogs over at Books In The Vine, so some of you might already know who she is.
She was one of the eight writers to (generously) agree to take part in a Q&A, and stopped by to talk about her book Haven River.
Q: Had you always planned on becoming a published author?
A: Not really. As long as I can remember I just loved to write stories. I write for the love of writing (and still do!).
Q: What inspired you to write Haven River?
A: My favourite book of all time is the Young Adult book The Outsiders by S E Hinton. The story of three brothers trying to survive and bond after their parents died really resounded with me. I’ve read it well over 10 times and the raw emotion never fails to move me. I wanted to write something about brothers and the difficult relationships they can have with each other.
Q: What made you choose this genre?
A: I love to read Young Adult books and it just seemed the most natural place to attempt to write something.
Q: What is the book about?
A: The book is about overcoming adversity and choosing your own path in life.
Q: Did you find it easiest to write with a schedule or with no time restrictions?
A: I self-published so didn’t have any real time restrictions. However, after two years and still drafting and redrafting I decided that 2016 was the year I was going to publish, and I did! I set some mini milestones and there was a great deal of satisfaction ticking them off!
Q: Can you choose a favourite character?
A: It would have to be Luke Conway, the story’s protagonist. I went on the whole journey with him and felt his pain.
Q: Was there ever a point while you were writing your book when you wanted to give up?
A: Many times! But I’d gone too far down the track to throw it all away. I have a great partner who encouraged me to keep going. I also set up a motivational Pinterest board to view when it all got too much.
Q: What is the worst part of the writing process for you?
A: Drafting and redrafting. I’m doing that now with my second novel Aqua Bay. I’m up to my fifth redraft and I hit low points sometimes when I think I’m such a bad writer that it’s all a bit of a waste of time. But I take a break, focus on my goal, dig down, follow the process and I’m away again.
Q: How much of your stories do you plan, or do you find it easier to make them up as you go along?
A: I’m half-way between a planner and a pantser. The big mistake I made with writing Haven River at the start was there was no plan. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even know I needed a plan. I just had random scenes in my head. I read lots of stuff about writing and realised I needed to plot my novel properly. So I definitely do that now but leave it open as inspiration and scenes come to mind and as I get to know my characters better they quite often tell me where the story should go.
Q: Do you have a favourite piece of writing advice?
A: Write drunk, edit sober!
Q: Where can people learn more about your books?
Q: What have you learned since you started writing?
A: Gosh, where do I begin? I was such a newbie when I started writing and I still seem to be a newbie. But I have learnt so much about writing, editing, publishing, marketing, social media and blogging. At times it has seemed a bit overwhelming, but I’m learning so much and am embracing the challenge.
Q: What’s next for you?
Well, hopefully not too many more drafts of Aqua Bay! My goal is to publish this year. And then I’ll begin my next novel, which has little scenes already popping around in my head.