Hey, folks! 🙂 I’m sure many of you are familiar with Cait, the brilliant mind behind Paper Fury. Her passionate book reviews, tongue-in-cheek writing advice, and love of cake have graced the blogosphere for 6 years and earned her the adoration of readers worldwide.
I’ve been following her blog ever since I started my own 4 years ago, and I instantly loved its energetic tone and distinctive voice. So when she recently announced that her debut novel, A Thousand Perfect Notes, will be published in June 2018, I was thrilled and had so many questions! I was sure many of my readers would feel the same, so I asked Cait for an interview…and she said YES! 😀 😀 😀
Cait has revealed a few details about the book on her blog, but much of the story is still a closely guarded secret (even the cover art). A little more will be revealed closer to the print date, but right now we know that A Thousand Perfect Notes is the story of Beck, whose mother forces him to play piano for hours and hours every day, meeting any hint of rebellion with abuse. Beck longs to compose his own music but lives in fear of his mother, until he meets a girl named August who opens his eyes to new possibilities.
Of course, even that tiny taste of the story is powerful, but Cait has expressed her desire to avoid revealing too much too soon.
That in mind, I chose seven questions related to Cait’s writing process and inspiration for ATPN, along with upcoming projects—enough to satisfy our curiosity for now, while still getting a few delicious details about what we’ll have in store when we crack open A Thousand Perfect Notes for the first time.
So here we go!
AN INTERVIEW WITH CAIT (C.G. DREWS)
You’ve mentioned on your blog in the past that you gravitate towards darker themes in your books. Why do you think these themes resonate with you as writer?
Oh yes, I am a fan of the dark side. Obviously it has the cookies (that’s reason enough) but also because I’ve always been a rather intense and serious person. So I like serious topics that are shrouded in the “morally grey”. As a writer, I love exploring things that make me think. Violence is definitely a big theme in A Thousand Perfect Notes and I wanted to explore not only a violent action, but the repercussions and reasons and effects it has.
Where did you draw your inspiration for this book?
I get a lot of my inspiration from the sheer amount of books I consume! I’m the kind of voracious bookworm who devours 200+ books a year and so I’m absolutely filled with their magic and questions at all times. I also am a quiet person so I watch and listen a lot, like for instance, I’ve “stolen” a lot of the setting for ATPN from my own hometown! I also really adore retellings and I’ll admit I was slightly influenced by gender-bent Cinderella themes here too!
You and I both love food, and I know you like to include it in your writing. Is there any food you can tell us about in this book?
It couldn’t have been written by me, if there wasn’t any food, right?! Food actually plays quite a big role in the book and there are several pivotal scenes surrounding food: and one of them is unsurprisingly all about an almond-fruitcake.
How have your past experiences as a musician helped you in writing about a fellow musician? Is there anything that stood out as easy or difficult when it came to writing about music?
I definitely drew a lot on my own musician experiences to write this book! I have a musical family like my character Beck, except my family is lovely and his is very very messed up. (I’M SORRY, BECK.) But as a pianist there were little details I could slip in to make Beck’s playing more authentic. However the biggest difficulty, obviously, with music is turning sound into words. I also name some of the pieces that Beck plays in the book, so hopefully readers can listen while reading his pianist scenes!
So your next book is coming out in 2019 (!!!). Is it due to be a companion book to A Thousand Perfect Notes or is it its own thing?
It is going to be a very separate novel, though they’re set in the same town. And there is a name mentioned in ATPN who will be a big deal in my next book! I can’t say anything else but I’m deviously pleased with the Easter Egg.
You noted on your blog that you’ve been working towards this goal for a very long time. Is there any advice you’d like to offer potential authors who have been trying to get published for several years?
I’ll be horribly cliche and say: DON’T STOP. The thing with pursuing publishing is that it’s slooooow, so it’s easy to get discouraged with all the waiting. I handled that by just always writing (and blogging and reading…as you can probably tell from my furiously enthusiastic blog). As soon as I signed my deal, I just kept writing more and more books. There are some lucky people who sign an agent and get their amazing book deal in 3 weeks…but it’s rare and you’re not a failure if it takes you 2 years or 7 years. I signed with my agent in 2013 and my debut comes out in 2018…so KEEP GOING, EVERYONE.
I’m a food blogger, so I have to ask this: What’s your favorite food?
Will it be a shock if I say cake? Because CAKE. I also have infinite love for orange-flavoured hot chocolates!