Featured Author - April // C.G. DREWS

April 24, 2018

   I told you that I had some epic author interviews coming up, didn't I?

   Guys, please welcome the stellar C.G. DREWS to the blog!

Featured Author - April // C.G. DREWS [post title image]

A few epic Cait-things you should check out:
paperfury.com blog header image
her awesome (and hilarious) blog, paperfury.com
cait @paperfury Instagram image [credit: cait @paperfury]

her gorgeous Instagram account, @paperfury

and her epic Twitter account, @PaperFury

C.G. Drews' debut novel, A Thousand Perfect Notes, which RELEASES IN JUNE

Savannah Grace: Heya, Cait! Thanks for being here today - I'm super excited to have you on Inspiring Writes, this is going to be so fun! What are a few quirks about yourself that people might be surprised to know? 

C.G. Drews (Cait): Oh this is a fun one! Let’s see, I…

1) I’m very double jointed and it creeps people out haha.
2) When I was little, my sister and I used to communicate in 90% Disney quotes.
3) I sit on the floor to write more often than at a desk (whoops!)
4) I collect pretty boxes!

Savannah: Ha, my sisters and I used to LIVE off of The Chronicles Of Narnia, so I definitely get speaking 90% in quotes xD. I think that's half the reason I started writing in the speculative fiction genre - I was immersed in it everyday! Speaking of genres, do you have a “pet genre”?

cait @paperfury Instagram image [credit: cait @paperfury] C.G. Drews: I love writing in multiple genres, but when I was 15, I started my writing life with fantasy, so I think it’s always my comfort zone. The possibilities are endless and the stakes can get so high. Plus you can have magic and pirates. Lately I’ve been obsessed with contemporary, though, I have to say I’m IN LOVE.

Savannah: "Plus you can have magic and pirates." <---- TRUTH But contemporary is pretty epic, too! I love it when fantasy writers switch to contemporary, it just gives it a different feel when one who looks for magic writes about the real world. And your debut novel (it comes out in June, y'all - you should check it out!) is a contemporary, and the cover is stunning! What was your reaction when you first saw it?

C.G. Drews: I was both so in love! I decided not to have any expectations on what the cover might be, and luckily I was freakishly happy seeing the early drafts of the cover. The butterfly has a lot of meaning in the book and the red gives a hint that the story is a bit dark and bloody. So it works perfectly.

Savannah: Well the cover is UBER-GORGEOUS, so I'd be surprised if you weren't freakishly happy! And it's epic that the cover pertains to the story in so many ways, I love that <3. Are any of the characters in A Thousand Perfect notes novel based on yourself or people you’ve known?

C.G. Drews: My characters tend to have smidges of me in them. For instance, Beck (the protagonist of A Thousand Perfect Notes) is very socially awkward and I am too! I also play piano like he does, but I enjoy it a lot more than the agony he goes through. (Evil author moment, sorrrry Beck.)

Savannah: Oh gracious, social awkwardness is absolutely something I can relate to - it may or may not be half the reason why I'm an introvert! The sidelines are just fine for me ;D. And what with your characters seeming so deep, I'm really curious as to what message is underlying A Thousand Perfect notes. What is the theme of ATPN, and why is that theme so important to you?

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews [cover image]
C.G. Drews: One of the themes is self-worth. I think it’s so so easy to tie your worth to your accomplishments or what other people think of you, and this can ruin you so deeply. In ATPN, Beck has very low self-esteem due to his abusive mother always telling him he fails as a pianist. It’s an important theme to me because I think a lot of people don’t value themselves and if I can whisper “you are absolutely worth it” through a book, I really hope it’ll encourage someone somewhere.

Savannah: ... you're just an amazing human being Cait, you know that? I love that "you are worth it" is the message your book sends <3. And now you're got me curious: according to you – as a reader – what’s the most important aspect of an epic story: prose, theme, characters, or plot?
C.G. Drews: When I’m reading (and writing actually!), it’s always characters. Plots can be excellent, but without characters I can root for, it all falls a bit flat, right?! I love reading about complex, emotional characters who make messy mistakes but always keep fighting.

Savannah: CHARACTERS, YES *highfives*. I mean, if the cast from The Scorpio Races just sat around and ate pie, I would read about it, because sometimes characters alone are just that good <3. Okay, topic hopping - Anyone who knows you knows that you are an Instagram guru. When and why did you start up on there? (and what’s one of your favorite pictures you’ve ever posted on your Instagram?)

C.G. Drews: I started back in 2015! It took me a little while to find my style…which is now basically “fit as much as you can into the frame!” and full of rainbows and intensity! I am all heart-eyes over book covers so this is such a fun way to be creative with them.

credit: cait @paperfurycredit: cait @paperfurycredit: cait @paperfury

Savannah: Your Instagram images are always stunningly gorgeous, so you are doing an EPIC job being creative with book covers! Also, I might get a smol thrill every time I see one of your Instagram pictures with YOUR BOOK in them. Your book is coming out! You're a writing superstar! And now I have to know: when was a time that you literally felt starstruck?

C.G. Drews: I once got to interview Cornelia Funke for a blog post and I was SO awed!

Savannah: That's so cool, Cornelia Funke is an amazing author (I'm still obsessed with The Thief Lord <3). Alright, one last question and then we'll let you get back to all of your epic writing things: can you share a snippet from any of your recent work?

C.G. Drews: My current project is a secret (hopefully I’ll be sharing news on it soon though, ahh!) but I can share the first line of A Thousand Perfect Notes, which is: What he wants most in the world is to cut off his own hands.

Savannah: Okay and now I'm flailing because SECRET PROJECT and then THAT LINE. Such an intriguing first sentence! Thank you so much for chatting with us today, Cait - you are an epic and inspiring human being <3. It was awesome getting to talk with you! I can't wait to buy your book. Keep being awesome! <3

C.G. Drews headshot image

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her piano and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novels to make you laugh or cry (or both). She never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.

She blogs at paperfury.com.

   Isn't Cait an amazing human bean? (hint: the answer is yes) I had so much fun getting to interview her, she's such a sweet person. Who else is beyond excited to read A Thousand Perfect Notes? June can't come fast enough!

   I hope y'all enjoyed this interview - keep being epic, you guys <3.

~ Savannah Grace 

what's the first line of your book/WIP?
feel free to chat with Cait in the comments!

Featured Creator - April // ALEA HARPER

April 20, 2018

   And its time for the first Featured Creator interview post on Inspiring Writes! It's also a very special post, because I'll be interviewing my lovely friend and graphic designer who has done the headers for this blog, both when it was Scattered Scribblings and for Inspiring Writes, and the most gorgeous mock covers ever. I'm happy to introduce you all to the incredible Alea Harper!

Featured Creator - April // Alea Harper [post title image]

A few epic Alea-things you should check out: 

Elvish Pens Fantastic Writings [blog header image]

her twitter, @alea_harper

Savannah Grace: Heya, Alea - I'm super happy to have you here today, I'm excited that we're able to do this! What are a few quirks about yourself that people might be surprised to know?

Alea Harper: Thank you so much for having me here, Savannah! Well, contrary to popular belief, English is not my best subject.  I much prefer history, probably because it’s one giant story.  English just involves a lot of essays (a.k.a. torture devices) and mediocre books (besides Pride and Prejudice, Hamlet, and Cry, the Beloved Country, which were joys to read).  Second, my room is always a mess, but I’m actually an organized person.  This probably seems like an oxymoron, but I tend to forget where I put things, so I leave out the stuff that I use a lot.  Third, I love Hallmark Christmas movies. Yes, I know they are terribly written, cheesy, and all have the same plot, but they are so addictive and adorable.  Every.  Single.  One.  So, yeah, don’t let me touch the remote at Christmastime.
Savannah Grace: Oh my gracious, same about the mess (and essays being torture devices xD) - I just call it organized chaos! My notebooks are always scattered everywhere, and yet I always know where each one is in the jumble. Its only when they're all cleaned up that I get confused ;D. Sometimes I think creative people live on a little bit of chaos xD. Speaking of creativity - what's your favorite thing about graphic design?

Alea: I love the trial-and-error process.  Since I design stuff using the computer, there’s always a magical undo button that gives me the freedom to try anything and everything.  Each design project is a learning experience because I get to stretch my knowledge of what is aesthetically pleasing.

Savannah: You are the MASTER when it comes to aesthetically pleasing designs, I've honest-to-goodness never been disappointed by any of the work you've done for me, whether it be blog graphics or mock-up covers! Have you designed covers for any published books? 

Alea: I’ve done quite a few, actually!  Currently, I have seven of my designs on published books and one more is coming soon!  Some of these include The Mystery of the Midnight Trespasser by Hosanna Emily, The Rizkaland Legends by Kendra E. Ardnek, and Dreamings and Musings by Daley Downing.

Savannah: Ooh yes, I ADORE the designs that you did for The Rizkaland Legends series, they fit those books so well <3. I've been meaning to finish that series for forever, and your cover designs make me want them on my bookshelf even more! Out of all the covers you've ever designed, which ones are your favorites?

Alea: This is such a hard decision!  My favorites are probably Dr. Flynn’s Shelter for Peculiar Animals by Caitlin Eha (a story on Wattpad), Neverworld (a play that I wrote), and I Am Stardust (my Camp NaNo novel).

Neverworld CoverI Am Stardust coverDr. Flynn's Shelter For Peculiar Animals cover

Savannah: And they're all stunning! My favorite is probably Neverworld, but I'm partial to Peter Pan AND the color blue, so I'm terribly biased xD. You're so talented, Alea! What are your favorite creative outlets?

Alea: Writing, watercolor, and graphic design.

Savannah: That's epic - and you're so good at all of them! I also know that you're interested in writing for film and plays (*cough* Neverworld *cough*), what inspired you to give screen writing a shot?

Alea: I’ve always loved watching and producing movies.  My first “film” was called The Spring Gem, which my dad edited using iMovie.  After that, we usually just ad-libbed our movies, which made them crazy and nonsensical, so I decided that I should probably start writing scripts for them.  Sometimes I wrote the script, and sometimes a friend would write the script.  Now, I typically write scripts for stage productions. (Sadly, not musicals because I know nothing about music.)

Savannah: Oh, gracious, same - when I was younger (read: a LOT younger) the kids in my neighborhood would get together and we'd randomly put together movies with no script and the barest semblance of a plot. We sure had a heap of fun, but BOY were those movie strange (and none of them were ever finished ;D)! Have you tried your hand at filmmaking (or anything close to filmmaking) yet?

Alea: Definitely!  When I was 8, I made my first movie with my dad and sister.  It was based on a short story I had written a couple of years prior.  Since then, my sister and I have made multiple movies which will stay buried forever. Recently, we made a few scenes from Pride and Prejudice into a movie.  It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life because the people I worked with were extremely talented.

Savannah: "which will stay buried forever" <--- Oh dear me, I think everyone here can relate to those words xD. Okay, and now I'm curious - what's is your favorite genre to write in?

Alea: Science fiction.  When I first started writing, I thought I’d be a fantasy writer, because Lord of the Rings first got me into writing, but I gravitated toward science fiction.

Savannah: Ooh, science fiction, that's one of my absolute favorite genres <3. It's so cool that you like writing it! Okay, jumping subjects - I heard that your agent is Tessa Hall! Was she first agent that you queried? How did you get her as your agent? 
Asher Grey mock cover image
mock cover for my Asher Grey by Alea
Alea: So many agents and publishers rejected me before I signed with Tessa.  When I first started querying, I really had no idea what I was doing.  I also thought that my book was the most brilliant, original thing out there and that no publisher could ever reject it.  I knew that my book had flaws, but I still thought I’d be the exception to the rule.  To quote Thorin, “I’ve never been so wrong in all my life.”  At Realm Makers two years ago, I pitched my book.  I thought something would come of one of the pitch sessions, but I was rejected.  After exhausting all of my small press options, I realized I needed an agent. (Prior to this realization, I didn’t really understand that you don’t pay your agent until you sell your book, and then they take a percentage of your royalties. So, I thought I couldn’t afford an agent.)  I started finding agents on Google.  I queried and queried but always got either a rejection letter or a lack of response.  Then, Tessa posted on her blog that she was a new agent seeking clients.  I’d followed Tessa’s blog since I first began writing, so obviously I freaked out.  I knew this was God telling me not to give up hope.  That night, I prepared a book proposal and sent it off.  The next day, she responded and said she was interested.  I may or may not have shrieked and started crying because she had been a role model for me since the beginning of my career, AND she was interested in my book!  She asked me if I would be willing to add 5k words to my manuscript and I jumped right on that.  Literally, I finished the edit in 10 days (which was also my birthday!).  Then, she set up a phone call with me.  We talked on the phone for a few minutes and then she offered to be my agent!  A little while later, a signed the contract and it was official!
Savannah: You can never go wrong, quoting Thorin ;D. And the story of how Tessa became your agent is SO COOL, I never get tired of hearing about it! I absolutely cannot wait to see what else comes of that (when you get published I WILL SHRIEK ABOUT IT ALL OVER THE INTERNETS because I won't be able to help it ;D). Alright, one last question and then I'll let you go do some more epic creative things - who are three of your greatest inspirations, and why?

Alea: Nadine Brandes is my greatest writing inspiration because her books are incredible and she is one of the most encouraging people that I know.  Hosanna Emily is another one of my inspirations because she’s extremely wise and motivating.  Katie Grace inspires me to write more and faster because she’s a writing queen!

Savannah: Oh gracious yes, those three woman are incredible superstars (Nadine is on my list of auto-buy authors, and there's VERY FEW authors on that list ;D). It's super cool that they inspire you so much, they inspire me, too <3. Thank you so much for being here today, Alea! It was super fun to chat with you - you are an epic and talented human being. Keep being amazing! <3 

Alea Harper headshot image

Alea Harper is an aspiring author of fantasy, science fiction, and any other weird genre out there, probably because she wishes it were real.  When she isn't writing, you can find her blogging, reading, fangirling, chatting with friends, designing book covers, making a movie, or sipping tea.

   Isn't Alea just the best, you guys? If you aren't following her on social media, you need to be, she's just the sweetest person (and she surprised me last night with a mock cover for my current WIP, The Chained Circus, and I DIED, it was so gorgeous and fit the story so well <3). 

   Keeping being epic, y'all - I hope you enjoyed the interview ;).

~ Savannah Grace

have you ever made a cover for your story? (or had one made?)
go ahead and chat with Alea in the comments!