Talking blogging, writing and world-conquering.

I suggest you grab a snack, a drink, tea, coffee, whatevs, because you're in for a treat today!

Now, I'm going to bore you off with some backstory - I know but I have to!
When I first ventured myself into the blogging world, I had no ideas that there were blogs for everything, literally everything! I started following some random bloggers that talked about fashion and makeup even though I wasn't a fan of either but I had to learn how to blog myself and what better example of those who were actually doing it?

I was very Hilary Duff in The Perfect Man, blogging my life out without people being interested in what I had to say. In an era where all the first bloggers had at least one stable reader - their moms - I had none. I didn't know what I was doing wrong, maybe I didn't have a voice yet or maybe my adventures weren't entertaining enough - no Hilary Duff here, lads and gents - but I just couldn't get anyone to read my blog.

Until one day, while browsing for reviews on The Raven Boys - debating if I had to give it a chance or not - I stumbled upon a blog that, not only made me want to buy the book - and the whole series - but also made me want to stay for more. More books, more reviews, more cake fun.
Needless to say, that blog was Paper Fury.
Since then I knew what I was doing wrong: I was writing about things I didn't really care about, I wasn't building connections, creating a community, keeping people hooked on my words, all things that Cait does extremely well.

After years of blogging - and making all of us giggle and relate to her - and writing, she has finally come out with a debut novel of her own! Chapeau.
I've been lucky enough to talk to her over on Twitter - and I did stalk her on her blog - and every time was like talking to a friend, laughing and replying with funny gifs that are so #relatable

When she announced the book deal I was so happy for her! As a writer, you do find joy in seeing people going your same path and succeeding and even though my writer's brain is trying not to be jealous, I think it's fair to say that Cait bloody deserved it. I mean, she can write a whole book in three days! Three!!! I honestly don't know anyone more deserving than her!

But enough rumbling! I've got the chance to ask Cait a few questions and she oh-so-kindly answered in a very long e-mail that made me giggle and left me feeling inspired.

So here you go, folks! Everything Cait and I chatted about, is all yours now. Enjoy!

Q: You are a book blogger, was it your n°1 goal to be an author or it just happened after years of blogging?
A: Wanting to be an author definitely came first! I actually started blogging because I wanted to be an author and I thought... why not surround myself with books between writing them?!

Q: What are common traps for aspiring writers?
A: For a lot of writers it can be hard to finish think it's not good and the writing isn't perfect and you can tumble down your plot holes and land in Wonderland. It's FRUSTRATING! But the biggest thing you have to do is: finish. Learn how to rewrite and edit. No one writes a story perfectly the first give yourself the room to write sloppy messy drafts if it helps you get them done. Then rewrite!

Q: How many unpublished or unfinished books do you have?
A: I do finish all the books I start, although there are plenty of 1st drafts I will never go back to fix up haha! But I've written, altogether, 29 books over the last 7 years. A Thousand Perfect Notes is being published this year and another (still secret!) in 2019!

Q: What are the hardest scenes to write for you? Also, what's easier: dialogues or descriptions?
A: I find finales hard to write! Banter and fight scenes are fun and explosive to write but ohhh when you get to the part where you have to untangle emotions and play puppeteer to get all the characters in place for a satisfying finale?! It's hard. I also confess I take the longest to write romance scenes because they're tricky. I definitely pick dialogue as my favourite to write! Nothing like two characters snarking at each other.

Q: How do you select names for your characters? Do you know them from the very beginning or you learn about them as you go?
A: Names are my bane! I actually will write whole 20K outlines and still have no names for the characters, ooops. Generally, I just pick out names I like. But for A Thousand Perfect Notes, all the names have double meanings. But they're spoilers though so I can't say yet!

Q: What's the process of pitching your books? And what process did you go through to get your book published?
A: I went the querying-through-the-slush-pile way! I wrote my query and refined it a billion times and then sent it to agents I thought would be a good fit. Then Is at there refreshing my inbox for 10 months and eating a brick wall in nervous anticipation. Then I signed with Greenhouse Literary UK and we went on submissions to publishers.

Q: Do you have any website or resources for aspiring writers?
A: As a teen, I was always on and learnt so much from there. Now I mainly listen to a lot of writing advice from authors on twitter! And Pinterest. Does Pinterest count? I'm 99% sure pictures of chocolate cake, gifs, and aesthetic boards is totally the key to writing a good book.

Q: Is there any "diverse" character in your book?
A: I do explore two variations of mental illness through Beck, my protagonist, and his abusive mother, and how they deal with them.

Q: Is there anything you find challenging when you write or is it as smooth and easy as you make it seem on Twitter?
A: Oh writing is always challenging! I'm sure there's not a writer in the world who finds it totally easy, right?! I think the whole process is hard, to be honest, although extremely fulfilling and satisfying when you finally wrangle those words into pleasing order.

Q: Where do you find the inspiration to write a story? And what do you enjoy most about writing?
A: I looove creating worlds and characters who are so real that their troubles will stab readers in the feels and everyone gets to cry all over the place. It's lovely. Definitely no evil authors over here (har har). And inspiration comes from everywhere, doesn't it?! For A Thousand Perfect Notes I was inspired to genderbend Cinderella + add in music since I'm also a pianist + have plenty of references to historical classical composers' lives.

Q: What do you think most characterizes your writing and what makes your book stand out from the crowd?
A: I like to write with a very raw and personal 3rd person perspective, so you'll get so close to Beck that hopefully, you'll be deep in the journey with him. I also like to mix bantery scenes with heartbreaking ones!

Q: What would be your n°1 tip for aspiring writers with anxiety, forever doubting themselves and their work?
A: Keep going! It doesn't sound super helpful, but it is. Plus once you put the hours in, like you would for any skill, you do get better and you trust your judgement more. After 7 years of writing, I still worry everything is a puddle of nope...but I've written millions of words. I know my voice. I know my style. I know I can do this! So just having the years of work behind me is a huge boost of confidence that I've gotten better.

Q. You've been blogging about books for years now, what's some advice you'de give to someone choosing the same path?
A: Write the blog you want to read!

Q: Final question - and the most important one! What are you doing whenever you're not writing/reading/planning a world domination with your army of dragons?
A: I'm often pledging allegiance to my lord of all, aka, my incredibly bossy dog who thinks it's confusing that I don't pay 24/7 attention to him. And sometimes I rearrange my TBR pile to see if it'll get smaller?? So far no??? It's so odd.

And there you have it, folks! A very long and fun interview with Cait. Hopefully, you will find some inspiration in her words, the strength to keep writing and doing what you enjoy the most. Sometimes it's hard to follow our passions when it seems like nobody is on our side or if we don't see the results immediately. Keep pushing. Keep creating. Keep believing in your dreams and work for them because it'll be worth the wait.

Cait's debut novel A Thousand Perfect Notes is already out and you can buy it here! You really don't wanna miss on this one!
You can also follow Cait on Instagram, Twitter and of course on her fantabulous blog!

Thank you so much, Cait for this interview! It was such a pleasure to speak with you - more like e-mailing each other because #anxiety - and if you're reading this - and you are, I'm making sure I'm bombarding your Twitter page with links 😂😝 - you are such a special human being, an inspiration for me and my writing! 
Now, let's celebrate and eat lots of chocolate cake, shall we?