By way of introduction, here is Cait Marie’s bio.:
Cait Marie has been obsessed with books her entire life. The love of writing didn’t hit until 2017. Since then, she has held multiple positions within Coffee House Writers, including C.O.O., Advertising Supervisor, Editor, and Writer.
In 2018, she used her passion for reading to create Functionally Fictional. In 2019, she joined the indie staff of YA Books Central as a reviewer and then Indie Assistant Blogger.
Cait graduated with honors in 2019 from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, and she is currently enrolled in their Master of Fine Arts program.
She lives in Indiana, where she freelance edits and provides a variety of other author services. When she’s not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching Disney movies or Brooklyn Nine-Nine, creating bullet journal spreads, or singing along to various soundtracks and showtunes.
Now that you’ve been introduced to Cait Marie, let’s get to know her a little better.
Hello, Cait Maire, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
When did the writing bug ensnare you?
I never liked to write, but I always loved to read. When I moved back home in 2015, I started reading more, and a book didn’t go exactly how I wanted.
So, I said to myself, “Why don’t I just write my own book? Then I can put anything I want in it!” I basically wanted all the tropes in one story, and I was bored.
Is writing your full-time profession?
No, it’s not. I am a freelance editor, and I offer a number of author services. I also own the book website Functionally Fictional, which I am working on building into a full company.
It’s my goal to offer self-publishing authors help throughout the entire process, from writing and editing to publishing and marketing.
How long have you been writing?
I started in 2015, but I didn’t start seriously writing with the intent of making it a career until 2018. Even then, I was still getting a psychology degree and writing wasn’t my main focus.
I thought the books would be something on the side. In 2019, I decided to apply to an MFA program instead of continuing with psychology after graduation, and I decided to start self-publishing.
How many published books have you written?
My first book releases today, March 18, 2020.
A big CONGRATULATIONS!
Which genres do you write?
Young adult fantasy, contemporary romance, dystopian, and some science fiction, as well as new adult fantasy and contemporary romance. Most of the books border the YA/NA line.
What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?
Usually, the distinction between YA and NA is the most difficult for me. I don’t know how to categorize most of my books because they’re written more like YA, but the characters are in their early 20s a lot of the time. NA also has a bad rep in the book community, unfortunately.
What are you working on now?
I am writing a YA contemporary romance, The Last Summer, which I’m aiming to release in June.
Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
I read a lot and watch a lot of movies. Well, not the latter so much anymore, but I used to.
I tend to pull my favorite qualities from a number of favorite characters and kind of mix them up for the specific story. For example, Adalina in The Lost Legends was greatly inspired by Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean.
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
I haven’t published yet, but I have sent out the advanced readers copies, and the reviews have started coming in. Seeing that people actually love my book has been so rewarding.
I’ve had a lot of self-confidence issues in the past, so to read these amazing reviews, especially from strangers saying they read the whole thing in one sitting because they couldn’t stop… it’s just incredible. It’s an 82,000-word book—it isn’t short. That takes some serious commitment.
What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Plan ahead and don’t give up. It is a lot of work. A LOT. But it is so worth it. Definitely plan things out though.
Too often I see authors doing things last minute and not putting a lot into the marketing aspect of it. The marketing side is just as important as the writing if you want your books to actually reach readers.
That’s one of the reasons I am building up my website. I know this part is hard for many authors, and I want to help.
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
See above answer haha. I really want to help indie authors. There are so many good books out there that people don’t know about because they don’t have the reach.
I don’t have the biggest following by any means, but I want to help. I just finished editing a book, for example, that was unbelievably good. It could easily be compared to some of the YA fantasy books from big publishers.
I do not know how big this author’s readership is, but I hope it gets the attention it deserves.
What message are you sharing in your books?
To follow your dreams and your heart, and to never give up. And that it is okay to believe in fairy tales.
What are your favorite books?
All of the Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare. The A Court of Thorns and Roses series and the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi. The Ravenspire series by C. J. Redwine. Michelle MacQueen and Ann Maree Craven’s two contemporary series, Redefining Me and Discovering Me.
If you could create an author’s group with writers from any time period, who would you invite?
Honestly, I’m not sure. Confession time, I’ve actually never read a full book from another time period. I’ve read bits and pieces, but never a full book.
I really struggle with them… So, here are some cliché answers because I love the movies based on their books: Jane Austen, J. R. R. Tolkien, L. Frank Baum, and C. S. Lewis.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
Probably Sarah J. Maas for many reasons. First and foremost, it was her books that caused the love of reading to fully take over my life.
They sparked the reading frenzy that led to the creation of Functionally Fictional because I needed a place to talk about books. I needed to find others who loved them as much as I do.
This then led to my involvement in the writing community and then my own books. More than that though, her books made me feel something I never had before.
The way she makes readers connect to her characters is so powerful, and that’s something I strive for now with my own.
When you’re not writing where can we find you?
Usually reading, editing, doing homework, working on promotional stuff for my books, or Functionally Fictional stuff. I also use a bullet journal and love creating new spreads.
A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie, and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?
Probably someone in the background in the Tugora tavern scene if they could make my wheelchair blend in somehow.
An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?
I have no idea. See if he’s okay, then ask about his name and tattoo…
What are your most effective marketing strategies?
Start early and PLAN! Plan when you’re going to do different types of promotion and work ahead.
For example, for my book that released today, I sent the book to the editor in November, then immediately started planning the marketing.
I decided to begin promotion January 1, with the cover reveal and pre-order opening a couple weeks later. After that, I did a different teaser graphic or book-related every Wednesday, and will continue to until the release, which is today.
However, I didn’t just plan this first book. I planned out the whole year, with a book coming out every four months. And each book will follow the same basic marketing timeline. I will gladly share the exact details of this with other authors if they’re interested.
Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?
All of the above. Here’s a list of most of my links:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/caits.inner.circle/
Functionally Fictional: https://functionallyfictional.com/
Newsletter Sign-Up: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/v1d5i1
Where can we find your books?
Thank you, Cait Marie, for spending time with us and sharing your story. Good luck with the new book. We wish you lots of success!
A plague. A prophecy. A centuries-long curse.
All her life, Princess Adalina heard tales of the legendary, immortal warriors known as the Nihryst. Cursed and bound to a deck of tarot cards by her ancestors, the Nihryst were stranded on a remote island nearly a century and a half earlier.
Her brother, Prince Shane, is destined to rule the kingdom of Detmarya. Though preparing for this role has encompassed his entire life, control of the kingdom may come sooner than expected due to their father’s sporadic behavior.
Discovering the king’s plan to set a war in motion with a mass assassination, Ada unwittingly joins a crew of pirates in search of the only beings powerful enough to stop him: the Nihryst. Meanwhile, Shane and a group of underground rebels make a haunting discovery of a plague infecting the streets of Detmarya.
With a looming deadline to save multiple kingdoms and thousands of innocent lives, both royal siblings join quests worthy of Ada’s beloved fairy tales.