Thursday, October 4, 2012

An Interview with Rachel Caine

Q: Patty Campbell talks about the germ for a piece of writing being like the sand in the oyster.  What is your grain of sand?  Do you begin with character or setting or something else?
A: It really depends on the project. With some -- like the Weather Warden novels -- I started definitely from the character herself. Her voice was very distinctive to me, so I started from that. But in the case of the Morganville Vampires series, I started with the concept of the town itself -- literally, from the distance between streetlights. So it really does vary!
Q: What do you hear from your readers?
A: I get the most incredible email! I love it so much. I get loads of questions, of course, but I also hear some really touching stories from people who tell me the books helped them become passionate about reading. I think my favorite story was from a 21-year-old who had never read a book all the way through, but who checked out books from the library to fool people into thinking she did ... and her power went out one day, and she'd checked out one of my books. She was bored, so she started to read. She told me her lights must have come on, but she didn't realize it because she read the whole book in one sitting. Her question to me? "What else should I read?" WOW.
Q: Why do you write for Young Adults or Adults?
A: I write for both young adults and adults, and honestly, I don't think I make a conscious choice to write for a specific audience -- the story and the age of the characters dictates where the story will be sold, but I write the story, first and foremost. The audience has always been very supportive, whichever aisle I'm on in the bookstore. Though to be honest, I really love writing in the YA field because of the great enthusiasm and passion of the readers!
Q: In high school, where did you fall? (Prom Queen/King, Gamer Geek, Brainy/Book Nerd, Jock, Shy/Quiet Scholar, Skate Rat, Stoner, Class Clown, etc.)
A: Oh dear ... I was definitely band geek all the way. I was also kind of brainy/book nerd, and shy/quiet scholar. I was a bit of an outcast, I suppose -- like most creative people tend to be in school. I had friends, but they were mainly music friends. Hell, I only had my first date when I was 17. Talk about shy ...
Q: Do you have a pet (pets)?  Tell us about it (them) and how they help/hinder your writing.
A: Until this year, my husband and I had exotic animals -- specifically iguanas, tortoises and lizards. Our iguanas (we had 3) gradually passed away, and we lost the eldest, Darwin, just at Christmas last year. We're making a conscious effort not to adopt any more pets right now, because of the aggressive travel schedule -- I want to be able to really enjoy being with them! 
Q: What is the hardest part of waiting for a book from the end of your writing to when it is released?
A: Honestly, I don't think it's hard ... because I'm not waiting. I'm usually two books onward when that book you're referring to comes out ... I guess the hardest thing for me is to just keep up with the pace and schedule! (But it's fantastic, and I love being busy.) 
Q: How often do you dream about the writing you are working on?
 A: Rarely. For some reason, my dreams most often deal with my personal life and my family, but almost never with my fictional characters! I kind of wish I did dream about it. Maybe it would shorten the plotting!

Thank you for your time, Rachel. We look forward to seeing you at the festival.

Read more about Rachel Caine at her website

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