Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Author Interview: Caitlin Sinead Jennings

Today I'd like to welcome Caitlin Sinead Jennings to the blog! I asked her a few questions about her new book Denali in Hiding, and here is what happened.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was seven and my mom was proud of my second-grade scribblings.

Which authors inspire you the most?
I read across the board and enjoy a lot of types of books, from literary to fluffy romance. I really enjoy authors who shake things up and give us something a little unexpected. For example, Stephanie Kuehn’s Charm & Strange or Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book.

How did you get the idea for Denali in Hiding?
There’s a stigma against scientific research into psi/paranormal phenomena. Psi researchers have trouble getting funding, publishing their research, and, I imagine, being taken seriously at cocktail parties. This stigma may be well earned. However, I got to thinking: wouldn’t it be interesting if there were people with psi abilities and they were actually the ones promoting that stigma? They ran an underground campaign to ensure that no serious resources went to psi research because they feared being discovered.  

Just to be clear, I don’t think that’s happening. I’m a writer, not a conspiracy theorist. :) I like imagining crazy “what ifs?” and seeing how they unravel on the page.

I put Denali at the center of the story and gave her a sexy psi trainer because I also really like writing kissing scenes. :)

You are choosing to publish Denali in Hiding in a rather unconventional manner, could you talk a bit about that?

I tried to pitch Denali to literary agents, and while I got some encouraging feedback, most agents said YA scifi/paranormal is really hard to sell right now. :( I moved on and wrote more books and one did get me an agent and a two-book deal with Carina Press/Harlequin. Yippee!

But I was still thinking about Denali. When I heard about Wattpad and how it’s best to post novels in a serial format over a few weeks, I thought that could be a perfect way to get Denali out into the world as the book is set up as journal entries. Her entries start on August 27 and end on January 4 and I’ll be posting them in “real time.” So, we’ll see her go through the seasons and holidays all while she tries to prevent something horrible from happening at a January 3 event.  

What other projects do you have out or in the works?

Heartsick will come out in early 2015. It’s a New Adult book set in a college town that is grappling with town/gown tensions and a mysterious epidemic. Oh, and it has a sexy cop in it. (Did I mention I like writing kissing scenes?)

Another one of my New Adult novels, Vice, will come out next summer. It’s about the daughter of a vice presidential candidate who has to deal with rumors that her deceased father isn’t biologically related to her.

In three sentences or less, why should people read Denali in Hiding?
If you liked Four in Divergent and have been itching for another trainer/trainee dynamic, I think you’ll like this one. Also, it’s free and you get to experience the plot points at the same time as other readers.  Here it is!

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