Interview: Cait of @PaperFury

Today I am delighted to host one of my favorite bloggers of the vast internet, Cait of Paper Fury! She is an Aussie word ninja and lover of chocolate in addition to being a fantastic authority on all things in current bookish affairs!

Hello Cait! Thanks for stopping by. What first got you to start Paper Fury?

I actually had no idea at all of ever what a blog even was when I started! But my older sister convinced me that I needed one and, well, you DO what your older sister says, okay?! Safety first. I started out blogging with my little sister (I have far too many sisters apparently) about our month-long adventure in China and then she wandered off and it turned into a sole endeavor by me called Paper Fury: an entire blog dedicated to books. Because really, what else is there in life. (Well, apart from cake obviously.)

(Older sisters always know best. Speaking as one, I can confirm. 😉 )How has being a fiction writer influenced your blogging?

I blog so insanely differently to how I write that the two are like opposite worlds for me! However, blogging has definitely influenced my writing. Since I started sneaking about with the bookworms, I’ve taken notes on: what’s popular in YA, what topics readers are shouting for, what’s not being written about, and exactly how much cake people want in their books. (Spoiler: lots of it.) So blogging is definitely an amazing help to my writing career.

Hanging out with the cool kids sure can’t hurt. Have you ever gotten to meet any of your favorite authors?

No, sadly! All my most favourite authors are American and I live in Australia. And while I’d love to meet incredible Aussie authors like Jay Kristoff, Steph Bowe, Amie Kaufman, and Claire Zorn…I’m never close enough to the right cities! I shall just sit here and pout quietly and glare at the teeny tiny country town I live in.

🙁 Former small town girl here knows your pain. It really seems like you have to live in a booming metropolis.What is your dream job from any book you’ve read?

I would not say not to working in a bookstore with Sam and Grace out of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. Or if there’s an opening for dragon queen, I’ll take that too. I can do both? Bookstores on the weekends. Slaying evil on weekdays. Multitasking like a boss.

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OH YES! I think we would all gladly play third wheel to Sam and Grace’s perfect romance! <3 How (if at all) do you think the bookish community in Australia differs from say, the US or the UK?

I’m honestly the kind of bookworm who frolics about in both communities so much they’ve all merged for me! I do think we Aussie bloggers tend to spend most of our conversations on twitter making fun of each other. Like the kind good souls we are. ‘STRAYA MATE. Friendly and relaxed.

Hehehe…it’s good you keep each other humble. Countries in books you’d like to visit? (Real or imagined.)

  • Paris because croissants and coffee and all the old famous authors used to go there.
  • Thisby from The Scorpio Races and not just for the November cakes…like it sounds all Irish and beautiful and full of deathly water horses and…November cake.
  • Red London from A Darker Shade of Magic, because I’m 67% sure I’d make a fabulous magician if I didn’t fall on my face and embarrass myself first.
  • Narnia, and I keep checking my wardrobe. It’s bound to let me through soon, right???

I’m strongly reminded you’re a Stiefvater fangirl and NARNIA ALL THE WAY. Favorite part of being a blogger/writer so far?

CREATIVITY. I absolutely adore creating worlds as a writer, or creating art as a blogger. And the amount of epic people I’ve met who are just as obsessed about books as I am?!? It’s marvelous. It’s also extremely satisfying to create a little bloggish kingdom out of nothing and gather the nerds to you so you can all flail together. MY PEOPLE.

Thanks so much for having me, Elisabeth!

The creativity really is a massive bonus and thank YOU again for stopping by! 

About Cait:

I am Cait. But I also respond to “your majesty” and “ruler of all”.

I read quite furiously and have been known to swallow whole books before breakfast. I’m taking over the world. It’s happening. JUST YOU WAIT. I also write and plan to be a famous author. Currently my stories are about sad characters with cake deficiencies. I’ve written 16 miserable manuscripts and someday you will read them all and either a) proclaim my genius, b) weep, or c) feel driven to eat cake.

I live in Australia. I’m 21. I’m agented by Polly Nolan of Greenhouse Literary Agency.

I make origami things and sell them. I love superheroes and comics. I read anything and everything YA. I’m 5’1. I play cello. I’m a very intense obsessive fangirl. My brain is extremely hyper but I am extremely shy. My bookshelves are arranged by colour. Humans make me anxious. I’m in love with my Nikon D300. My puppy’s name is Atticus. I like to zentangle. Cake is life.

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Interview: Elly Gard of The Spilled Inkwell

Today I am delighted to be hosting a young lady I have had the pleasure of knowing through the magic of the internet. I am incredibly proud of her despite having nothing to do with making her as amazing as she is. When I critiqued her manuscript, The Hidden Pharaoh, I nearly cried because she wrote twice as good as some adults I’ve workshopped and she was only 13 at the time. In other words, she’s going to be big, people. And now…let’s get to the interview!

elly

Elly Gard is a writer, an over-thinker, an inventor of words, a dreamer of improbable dreams, and a Catholic who strives to find God in little things. She is a senior in high-school, is, and has been homeschooled all her life. At heart, she loves rainstorms, but she lives in the desert with her parents, her brother, two dogs, and a cat who thinks she’s a Russian tsar. When she’s not conversing with her characters, indulging in her inkwell, spending time with her soundtracks, or adventuring with her associates, she could probably be located in her room nursing a novel. She possesses an undying fondness for all things Broadway, likes watching TV shows on Netflix that got cancelled ten years ago, prefers swing dancing to karaoke, and puts too much granola in her yogurt. You can read about her adventures on her blog, The Spilled Inkwell.

Welcome, Elly! What got you into writing?

A lot of things got me into writing! I’ve been thinking up stories since I was old enough to hold a crayon, and I think my family’s encouragement at that point was crucial to my passion growing into what it is now. Then, the stories usually involved talking animals; one time when I was seven my friend and I wrote a fairy tale about a girl who turned into a horse. Our moms had it printed out and laminated and we thought we were the next Mary Pope Osbournes!  When I was a little older, my parents encouraged me to enter a few of my stories and poems in 4-H contests, and I began attending a writing club at a local middle school. My teacher – Mr. Taylor – encouraged me to keep writing. During those years, I wrote stories and poems galore; eventually I had binders full of them.

But…I couldn’t write novels. Give me a prompt, and I could give you a ten-page suspense story. Give me a picture and I could summon up a purple-prosed poem. Tell me to write a book? I didn’t even know where to begin. Then, in 8th grade, my mom found a homeschool curriculum called One Year Adventure Novel (OYAN).  I wrote my first historical fiction novel (The Hidden Pharaoh) that year with the help of OYAN’s guidelines, outlining templates, and live webinars. Other students on OYAN’s online Forum both encouraged and critiqued my work, and that first year of the curriculum was invaluable. I’ve now written three novels and one novella. I intend on writing many more. 😉

Elly was awesome enough to send me this bound copy of THE HIDDEN PHARAOH! (That is not a stain on the cover. It is the lighting, I swear.)

I too wouldn’t have started writing without homeschooling. Cheers for supportive moms! What has been the highlight of your writing thus far?

Last year, my first fantasy novel (Of Lavron) placed as a finalist in the OYAN Contest. This really encouraged me to keep writing the series I’d previously viewed as an experiment. I’d only written historical fiction up until that point, but last fall I thought I’d give medieval fantasy a try. I ambitiously and very messily “plotted out” a fantasy trilogy and began writing the first book. I didn’t know if I’d actually accomplish that series, if my idea would stick, or if the story was even good; but I kept writing anyway. I’m so glad I did. I love writing the Lost Princes series, and even though I’m taking a break from Of Lavron’s sequel to edit my two-year-old NaNoWriMo monster (Riding in the Red), I look forward to continuing the series soon.

Yes, fantasy is the best! (Said the fantasy lover in a wholly unbiased way.) What genre(s) are your favorite to write/read?

I’m partial to historical fiction. It is my favorite genre to write, and it’s usually my favorite genre to read, too. (I also love BBC’s period dramas, and am rather a guru for history in general). Unfortunately, well-written his-fic doesn’t dominate the YA market right now, so you often have to dig to find the gems. Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Ruta Sepetys’s Salt to the Sea, and Genevieve Valentine’s The Girls at the Kingfisher Club are some of my favorites.

Recently I’ve also found myself drawn toward fantasy. Last winter, I happened upon Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener, and it was so wonderful that it automatically had me searching for more whimsical fiction. Around the same time, I also became a fan of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles (if you haven’t read them, give them a try! I usually don’t prefer popular dystopian, but these are exemplary). Likewise, Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series has – in the past thirty days – enthralled and captivated me. I guess my favorite genre changes with the seasons. It’s a good way to keep myself well rounded.

It is always good to read a little outside your comfort zone now and again. (Maggie Stiefvater will ruin your life. Just FYI.) Have you ever gotten to meet any of your favorite authors? What happened? If not, who would you like to meet?

Well… I have met several people who became some of my favorite authors. For example, a lot of my friends are writers, and I think they write beautifully (@Elisabeth!). The OYAN Summer Workshop has allowed me to meet several authors (Jill Williamson!) whose Blood of Kings trilogy I later read and obsessed over.

Also, a lot of my favorite authors are dead. It’s rather unfortunate. I can’t tell you how much I’d love to have tea with C.S. Lewis and discuss theology with J.R.R. Tolkien. Victor Hugo would be cool to talk to if we could get past the language barrier.

If I could meet let’s say three of my favorite [currently living] authors, I’d really like to meet J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter), Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Cycle), and Elizabeth Wein (Code Name Verity). I’d ask J.K. Rowling for advice on writing a theme-incorporated series, because I love how everything in Harry Potter leads up to The End. I’d ask Maggie Stiefvater how she writes her characters so beautifully, because I absolutely love how realistic and true they feel in her books. And, I would ask Elizabeth Wein how to successfully research a historical fiction novel and implement that history throughout the story so that it becomes an undeniable part of it.
Goodness, I feel like I’ve cheated all the other authors I admire. (I didn’t forget about you, Gail Carson Levine!)

Yes, I’m still jealous about you meeting Jill. 😛 What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?

People are really funny when I tell them I used to write ghost stories. They usually say something like, “Oh, Ellie, you’re so nice! I feel like you’d only write happy things.” At that point, I usually laugh it off so I can maintain my “nice person” façade.

I think I try to write redeeming things, but I don’t know if I’d call myself a happy-book writer. My books are usually rather melancholy in nature, and if they’re not that, they certainly aren’t sunshine and rainbows. It’s something I’m actually proud of. I’m a really happy person, but my alter ego could be considered vaguely morbid.

This world needs more redemption stories, in my opinion. What will let you know when you have “made it” as an author?

When I see something I wrote on the shelves of a book store, I think I’ll feel like I made it. In the larger scheme of things, I think that if I can look back on my life at the end of it and know that someone read my story and was moved by it, I’ll know that I’ve made it as an author.

Thank you so much for making the time to stop by, Elly!

Visit Elly on her blog