Author Interview: Elizabeth Caroline
Do you enjoy Sweet Romances? Like Soft Fantasy?
This week, I'm chatting with Elizabeth Caroline about her YA series, Adapted.
The Adapted series has those heart-tingling moments of a first romance as well as elements of an Urban Fantasy!
I've had the pleasure of reading both Books 1 & 2 of the series. You can read my full reviews here.
Here's the blurb for Book One: Heat
Claudia had lived a life of rejection before being taken in by a research facility that sought to use her for her unique ability rather than help her. After seven years in the facility, she finally escapes and, with help from the one doctor who had befriended her, searches for the answers she'd never had. Instead, she finds Westpoint and the father she never knew he had. There she embarks on a mission, unlike any of those she had undergone before - to learn what it's like to live a typical life. And when the high school quarterback is thrown into the mix, being normal feels very strange.
LQ: How long does it take you to write a book?
EC: I go through phases of getting a lot of words out in a short period to getting nothing at all out. So, I think it depends on how I feel and how well I know the scene I'm trying to write.
When I wrote Book One of Adapted, it took a number of years, maybe, if I look at it from the initial draft to what was finally published. It did go through quite a few changes, though. Book Two, however, took less than a year. I think by then, I was more familiar with how to portray the characters and the flow of the story.
LQ: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
EC: I don't get any time during the usual hours to dedicate to writing because of work and family, so I usually write during late-night hours. Which means I'm up until the early hours of the morning. When I wrote book two of Adapted, I had a deadline set so, I didn't get much sleep. I was sometimes still up by the time my children woke up.
LQ: What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies or special interests?
EC: No, I'm a little boring. When I'm not working, I like spending time with my children. I don't ever feel I have enough time with them, so I try to make up for it when I can. We usually play silly games or tell stories to each other, or we might watch anime. Anime is a big love of mine which I squeeze in whenever I can.
LQ: What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
EC: The characters. I love book characters and find that I can get a lot deeper into a book when I feel strongly about the characters. I believe that the characters drive the story, so for me, this is what I pay a lot of attention to when writing.
LQ: What inspired the idea for your series?
EC: It was a series of stories that I used to tell my children. I had the idea of this girl whose father was similar to Superman and whose mother had died in childbirth, and although she had these special abilities, the stories were more about her feeling as though she has never belonged and just trying to find her place. I have always been a big fan of superheroes, so it was fun telling stories about a hero who didn’t believe she was a hero because of all the negative things that had happened to her through her childhood. It’s pretty close to just being a normal teenager, but with the superpowers, she got into a lot more problems. Of course, a lot of things changed as I started writing as I didn’t want it to be similar to a Superman story.
LQ: Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
EC: Definitely Claudia. We’re pretty similar in the way that we’re a bit awkward and sceptical about people and friendship, so I usually get why she does some of the things she does. For example, how she second-guesses those around her and even herself a lot of the time.
LQ: If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?
EC: Probably Winston from Book Two. He wasn't an original character, he just kind of appeared when I was writing one day, and I've had to learn a bit about him. He's sweet, while at the same time, he's a bit cheeky and mischievous. A story about him could be entertaining. He has the type of ability that I can see getting him into a lot of funny situations.
LQ: What are the essential characteristics of a hero you can root for?
EC: Someone who has an honest heart and may not always do the right thing, but has peoples best interest at heart. I think it’s good when they have a level of vulnerability too. Most of us do and, although a hero should be able to stand out, we should be able to see their struggles because, to me, someone who can still get up and fight when they’re feeling weak brings a different level of inspiration than someone who’s always poised and knows what to do.
LQ: What books did you grow up reading?
EC: I went through quite a few trends when I was growing up. I think in my younger years, I enjoyed fantasy style books. Roald Dahl was a big favourite, and I probably read all of his books at that time. In my teens, I got into books that I felt had some kind of symbolic message in them, and I've read a few of them several times since then. Like Animal Farm. I don't know why I loved that book, even though it did scare me a little. Also, Lord of the Flies, another book I loved and still do. It's one of my all-time favourites. By the time I got into my late teens, I had gotten into reading romance. I liked many different types, but first loves were, and still are, my favourites.
LQ: How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
EC: I have three main ideas that I hope to work on throughout this year along with Book Three of Adapted. One of these ideas is something a bit different to what I am used to writing, but I feel compelled to give it a shot. It’s a clean romance set in an apocalyptic world along with some groups of child survivors and zombie-ish creatures. It was an idea that kind of popped into existence one day after a strange dream. I have already started writing, but as I am a true pantser, I can’t explain exactly how it will unfold. However, you can expect some suspense, a little horror and a lot of feelings.
Interested in Adapted? You can order it here.
What are some of your favorite YA novels? Drop it in the comments and let's chat!