Friends!! I have exciting news! In today’s blog post, I have the honor of sharing an interview with YA author and book blogger extraordinaire, C.G. Drews (also known as Cait @ Paper Fury). Cait is one of my most favorite authors/bloggers and I am so, so excited to have her here today. Keep reading for behind-the-scenes info about her new book, and more!
Annie: Hi Cait, and welcome! I’ll start off with a question about blogging and its relationship to writing, as I know many of your readers know you from both your blog and your books. What are some of the biggest challenges and benefits that have come out of being both a book blogger and a published author? How has being a blogger impacted you as a writer, and vice versa?
Cait: I do feel like I’m probably known as a blogger first, author second, haha. Which is funny to me, because I started blogging to fill in time between writing drafts and querying for an agent (back in 2013!). I’m glad I immersed myself in the book blogging world for so long though. I met other writers through blogging (including my critique partners) and also have spent years honing my analysing skills and listening to other bookworms discuss and critique books. This was amazing for improving my writing and learning to listen!
Annie: The Boy Who Steals Houses is your second published novel. Which elements from your debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, can readers expect to see in The Boy Who Steals Houses as well, and what new and exciting things will we experience for the first time in your sophomore novel?
Cait: A lot of people finished ATPN and proceeded to yell at me. (I looooove you all too!) I will slyly confirm similar reactions may occur while reading The Boy Who Steals Houses. I love to write books that will make people both laugh and cry. But unlike ATPN, The Boy Who Steals Houses has a lot more light and fun scenes. It gets dark fast towards the end, but I also tell the story of a quiet, stolen summer of watermelon and blue skies and falling in love.
Annie: Haha, I was absolutely one of those people. Speaking of A Thousand Perfect Notes, I was recently reminded by your Instagram story of the fictional band that you came up with for the book, Twice Burgundy. What sort of music do you think Twice Burgundy would make? Are there any real-life bands that you think they would sound like?
Cait: They were inspired by listening to Imagine Dragons and Civil Wars! I’m really honoured people have gone and looked up their music and been disappointed they didn’t exist. It’s a huge compliment that I described them well then! (They also make a cameo in The Boy Who Steals Houses!)
Annie: The Boy Who Steals Houses includes #OwnVoices autism representation. What have been the easiest and hardest parts of writing an #OwnVoices story?
Cait: For me, writing an #ownvoices representation was a balancing act of putting my experience and knowledge into a character…but not writing myself. Sam is my narrator and his older brother, Avery, is autistic and this definitely impacts their lives and how they relate. Sam is fiercely (dangerously) protective over Avery and Avery is extremely vulnerable and naive. I did love being able to write about the sensory side of autism, which I feel doesn’t come up in YA books with autistic characters as much as it should.
Annie: What was the first full-length book that you’ve ever drafted and what was it about?
Cait: It was a very cliche epic fantasy about a lost prince and a talking horse…and will never see the light of day, solid nope. (I was fifteen when I wrote it…and still a huge fan of Narnia haha.)
Annie: I’ve read that The Boy Who Steals Houses explores the theme of family. What is your own family like, and did it influence the way that you tackled this theme in the novel?
Cait: Family is probably the most important theme I explore! I tackle both the complexities of blood-family (with Avery and Sam loving each other fiercely and also hurting each other just as hard) and found-family (where Sam ends up entangled in the lives of the De Laineys and their seven kids). I also have 5 siblings, so I was able to draw off personal experience for some of the De Lainey big-family shenanigans. That was fun!
Annie: Finally, and most importantly, what is your favorite type of cake?
Cait: My heart forever belongs to chocolate brownie cheesecake.
Annie: Yum, now I’m hungry. Thank you so much Cait for joining me!
I hope you all enjoyed this interview with one of my favorite authors/bloggers!!
Now that you’ve heard a bit about it, I hope you’ll consider adding Cait’s upcoming novel, The Boy Who Steals Houses, to Goodreads (here’s the link!), or if you’re able, pre-ordering it from Amazon, Book Depository, or Waterstones, or requesting it at your local library!
Chat with me in the comments—are you excited as I am about The Boy Who Steals Houses? Have you read Cait’s first book, A Thousand Perfect Notes? What’s YOUR favorite type of cake?