Welcome to Who Stokes the Fire—the newest feature in bookdragonism (one word, lowercase) where I talk to content creators who keep the flames burning in our bookdragon hearts. They also water our crops, feed our growling stomachs, and breathe life into our lifeless corpses. LEGENDS THROUGH AND THROUGH.
This time, I’m having a very special guest who is one of my greatest inspirations and is probably the greatest necromancer of this generation. I never would’ve started this blog without her and I wouldn’t have come this far without her support. She’s a blogging royalty and is now a writer who continues to inspire bookdragons while drinking their tears. Her debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, was one of my favorite reads of 2018 and her second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses will be out next month which will surely break thousands of hearts once more.
This intro is getting long and as much as I want to compose ten essays regarding her greatness, I really can’t do that now. This interview is too great to miss. Allow me to welcome the Queen of Cakes and Glitter, C. G. Drews (a.k.a Cait of PaperFury)!
Let’s start this interview, shall we?
Rain: How do you manage being a bookdragon, bookstagrammer, blogger AND a writer? What kind of sorcery are you using?
Cait: ALL the sorcery. At least five pieces of sorcery, maybe more. (But also my secret is: I don’t do them all at once! I might spend a day intensely bookstagramming, and then on a separate day I’ll blog. I squash writing and reading into the empty corners.)
R: I have seen your journey as a debut author and know that it wasn’t particularly easy. How different is your experience now that your sophomore book is about to be published?
C: It’s definitely always wild when you’re in publishing…! My second novel was a little easier because I knew more of what to expect.
R: I am aware that your latest book, The Boy Who Steals Houses, is a genderbent retelling of a beloved tale (Goldilocks). Can you tell us more about it?
C: Basically my book is about a homeless teen named Sam, who breaks into houses when the owners are away on holidays— not to steal, but just to live. He and his autistic brother Avery are actual disasters who make terrible decisions, but they love each other fiercely and Sam protects his brother like nothing else. Then Sam messes up and steals a house that isn’t truly empty and ends up entangled in the lives of a big messy family. He craves this life, but if they find out why he’s homeless and what he’s running from…he’ll lose it all.
R: When I read A Thousand Perfect Notes, I totally fell in love with your characters (except the Maestro who definitely deserves to be thrown off a cliff) and felt as if Joey were my missing twin. Among all the characters from your books, who do you relate to the most?
C: I am totally fine with the Maestro “falling” off a cliff somewhere totally on “accident”. (Also I am very evilly keen for you to all met the villain in The Boy Who Steals Houses, mwahhaha….) But I definitely feel there are little pieces of me in most of my characters, probably Sam and Moxie the most!
R: I can’t relate to all the writing struggles (no talent for fiction writing here) but I do see my sister cry in blood while she edits her first chapter for the hundredth time. What is the most difficult part of writing in your opinion?
C: The blood tears are so part of the process for us all. Definitely agree. The hardest parts for me are: (1) developing a story and wondering if it’s good (?!? panic mode !!) and (2) editing for the millionth time and wondering if there is an end to rearranging commas and finding new typos.
R: The world of publishing has its ups and downs. How do you cope up with all the pressure of publishing?
C: My very professional reaction to the stress it to cry and eat chocolate. (I also keep all the encouraging tweets and photos and messages my readers have sent me after reading my first book. These keep me going!)
R: The general populace shed A LOT of tears for A Thousand Perfect Notes. How does it feel to drink your readers’ tears?
C: So I just got a very shiny glittery mug with a vicious look dragon on it and I intend to use this for more readers tears. I am thriving.
R: Now, this is a very important question: How many rolls of tissue do we need to prepare before reading TBWSH? We really need to be ready for all the upcoming pain, you know…
C: I’m curious to know what readers will say! Who will hit the feels the hardest: ATPN or TBWSH? They do share a few similar themes, like: finding yourself a family, protecting vulnerable siblings, and crying thankfully when fed cake.
R: The most painful books are oftentimes the best books. Aside from your two sons, can you give some book recommendations that will rip our hearts out of our chest cavity?
C: Oh YES. If you want your heart shredded while you thank the author for your suffering, please try: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, The Wicker King by K. Ancrum, All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and Letters To the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer!
R: I know these kinds of things are top secret™, but can you tell us bits and pieces about your future writing projects?
C: I unfortunately have nothing to hint at! I’m hoping hard that TBWSH finds lots of success and love amongst my readers so publishers pick up more novels from me. So an immense and grateful thank you to everyone who has supported me! Writing is my absolute dream so I hope I get to continue telling stories. 💖
R: Bonus question. Dragons or cakes?
C: You just want to end with a question to make me cry as payback for my books, don’t you??? I love both of these so much, but I guess I have to choose cakes because I would not eat a dragon, but one must eat.
Thank you so much Cait for alloting some of your time for this interview! Having you here is such a huge honor (definitely fangirling and doing a happy dance here). The Boy Who Steals Houses comes out on April 4th and you can pre-order it on Amazon, Book Depository, and Wordery, among others (Book Depository and Wordery offer free shipping worldwide). I’m currently reading this book and I’m telling you that it’s just as phenomenal (if not more) as A Thousand Perfect Notes. Watch out for my full review soon. SUPPORT THIS BOOK, Y’ALL!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Can two broken boys find their perfect home?
Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.
But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
Is The Boy Who Steals Houses on your TBR? (If yes, look forward to ten more years of clear skin. If no, GO AHEAD AND ADD THIS BOOK TO YOUR READING LIST) Do you cry often while reading a book?