Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Casey Hays!
Casey Hays lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. She is a former high school English teacher turned author. She loves Young Adult Fiction as well as supernatural, fantasy sci-fi, and dystopian–all with a twist of romance. She is the author of four works: “The Cadence” a YA supernatural romance, and Arrow’s Flight, a YA dystopian sci-fi series: Breeder, The Archer, and Master, which released on January 15, 2016. Her short story “Edge of a Promise” is featured in the collaborative anthology PREP FOR DOOM, published June 18, 2015. Currently, she is working on a series of novellas for Arrow’s Flight, as well as a YA supernatural romance based on the legend of the Phoenix.
I love reading author bios. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Ever since I was a little girl! But I really got serious about publication in 2008, at the ripe old age of 36. I was teaching high school at the time and decided I wanted to write a YA novel for my students.
Why did you choose to write your genre? Actually, I don’t really choose genres. I just sit down and write, and it becomes what it does. In fact, I didn’t even know what Dystopian was until Cheer Papworth told me that’s what I had written when I wrote Breeder, the first book in my Arrow’s Flight series. I was like… okay then… let’s go with it! After that, Dystopian novels kind of became my obsession. But I never write with a genre in mind. I just write, not trying to fit it in anywhere, honestly.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written? It would have to be Breeder. And clearly the title speaks for itself. I never thought I would write a story about a community of breeders, haha. But suddenly, there I was, making it happen. My main character, Kate, the Rebel Breeder, became so dear to my heart in her dissension against her village, and the story just exploded into something very different. I also pride myself in writing an entire series where a breeder is the main character, and yet you will not find one indiscretion or indecent scene.
What are you currently working on? I just released The Scent of Lilac last month, which is the first of four novellas I plan to write for the Arrow’s Flight Series. This story is told by Mia, a supporting character in Breeder, and it takes us back to Kate’s village. It’s very much a companion book to Breeder.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? The Scent of Lilac was influenced by a group of my fans who, after attending my reading marathon, had a lot of unanswered questions about supporting characters in the main three books of the Arrow’s Flight series. I realized that I had left quite a bit of room to pursue some different avenues to make the complete story even more well-rounded. These novellas contain original plot lines in and of themselves while still fitting into the main message of the entire series. It’s been a blast writing them.
What was the hardest story for you to write? I would have to say Master was probably the most difficult book I’ve ever written. One reason being that it was the third book in the series. There is so much history you have to consider. You can’t always just go with the flow because this book must be consistent with what you’ve already published in the series before it. There are timelines to consider, and things that happened you can only change with a very clever turn. [Yes!] It was difficult, but oh so worth it!
What process do you use to plan your novels? All my planning is done in my head. I think. Think. Think some more. I let the characters come to fruition in my brain, let them talk to me, talk to each other. A story begins to develop in my imagination before I ever put one word on paper. After this, I just sit down and write. When I feel blocked, I stop for a few days and think some more until my characters start up the story again. I don’t do outlines, but I do have some nice timelines that I create along the way to keep me on track through a series. And I keep notebooks lying around in case I need to jot down an idea that I don’t want to forget.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? That’s tough. I love so any of them. I suppose I would have to say Kate, the MC in the Arrow’s Flight series, but I also have come to really admire many others along the way.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I have. I stop writing and let myself think. Sometimes it will be a couple of months before I sit down again. I never force writing. I just move back deadlines. I will never rush a project if I’m not feeling it. That can lead to very poor and unsatisfying writing.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? It’s possible. If so, not intentionally. But looking back, I think a few may have some of my traits mingled in there.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? Why? I have written YA Contemporary Fantasy. That is one of my other favorites. But I would love to write historical fiction. I never will though. You have to truly have a gift to make that work, so I’ll just keep reading it instead. And I would love to write a werewolf book someday. We’ll see.
Which authors inspire you? Anya Seton, Francine Rivers, Khaled Hosseini, Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Collins, J.K. Rowling, ER Arroyo, Sarah Noffke, Casey Bond… to name a few.
What novel would you read multiple times? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klaus. That book does something to me…
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) Shakespeare, hands down. He’s the best playwright to ever live. Clever as they come.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary?
Schnauzer… and a dragon. Maybe I should create a mixture and call it a Schnagon
What is your favorite color? Pink, pink, and pink. Any shade will do.
What do you do when you’re not writing? I work full-time as a Trial Court Administrative Assistant for a District Judge. Fun times…
Catch up with Casey online at:
It was so great having you here today, my friend!
Join me next week when I’ll have K.D. Wood!