Rising Calm is young adult fantasy about a sixteen-year-old girl. Her parents are distant around she and her younger sister, like they don’t quite know how to raise children now that they had them, so Cara Weaver, my protagonist, spends a lot of her time taking care of her sister. She just moved for the eighth time to a new state, and when she starts school she meets two boys who have just moved in as well. They’ve kept completely to themselves until she comes, and when they seem to have no problem with getting to know her, Cara becomes curious and just a little wary. But the secret she believes they’re keeping is bigger than she could have dreamed, and she’s about to find herself in the middle of it.
2) What inspired this book?
There are a lot of things that inspired my book and that continually inspire my writing. This particular book came out of my desire to write something that was set in another place, somewhere more medieval in setting, somewhere magical and mystical and new, but also my love of this world and all the things in it. I know our world, so I wanted characters from here for my first book, people I could write well and relate to and really understand. But I had all these fun new ideas that I had gotten everywhere, and I wanted to use those too. So the book became a combination of my love of all kinds of things, inspired by my favorite books and movies and quotes and songs and people.
3) Please tell us about your main characters.
There are a lot of characters in this book, but the three main characters are Cara Weaver, Crispin Calaway, and James Sable. Cara is the protagonist, the girl whose point of view the book is set in. She’s sixteen, takes care of her little sister because her parents don’t, and has been moved from state to state for as long as she can remember. Cara gets along well with new people, isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or what she believes in, and is stronger than she’s been given credit for. She has abilities she doesn’t even know about, and she’s confident in—though not arrogant about—who she is.
Crispin Calaway is one of the two boys Cara meets when she moves to this new school. Blond-haired and blue-eyed, he’s smart and confident and clever, and he’s rarely embarrassed by anything. Crispin gives off the feeling that he knows exactly who he is and who he’s going to be, even though he’s only eighteen. And he’s pretty special in ways that I can’t give away…
James Sable is the second boy. Much quieter than Crispin is, James continually gives off the feel that he knows more than he’ll even let on. He’s dark-haired and enigmatic and carefully observant. James isn’t as quick to speak his mind as Crispin or Cara, but he always has his own opinions. His past was rough, which gives reason for his hardened and slightly closed-off personality, but he isn’t unwilling to open up.
4) What primary themes does your book explore?
Well it is first and foremost a coming-of-age series, like many YA books are. But I also think it will come to be about finding strength when you don’t think you have any left and discovering which people will stand behind you until the end. It’ll be about courage and loss and sacrifice and learning what things are worth dying for.
5) This is your first novel. What challenges did you find in the process that you did not anticipate?
It takes longer than I thought. The writing of the actual book takes a lot of time, which I knew it would, but the entire editing and formatting and publishing process takes a great deal of time, too. I wasn’t quite prepared to be patient for all that time, too! But, honestly, I think the process I went through for this book was much smoother than anyone could have anticipated, and definitely easier than most first time writers get.
6) Do you plan any sequels to this book?
Yep! I sure have. I’m working on the sequel right now, as a matter of fact, and unless I change something there will be three more after that.
7) Please tell us about your other future projects.
Well, I can’t say much because the future projects are so general right now, and I don’t want to give anything away before I’ve had a chance to fully prepare them. I will say I have a couple different ideas for dystopian series and one stand-alone book, as well as the rest of the Rising Calm series. And it’s been hard to try to balance the time to write a little bit of all of them.