Being able to interview an author is always a pleasure, especially debut authors. This is because they are new to the world of publishing and are able to clearly identify their path and identify what they did right and where they may have mis-stepped along the way. I recently had the pleasure of asking author Cathi Shaw, author of Five Corners: The Marked Ones about her debut novel, her writing process, and things she might have done differently if she could go back.
Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she teaches rhetoric and professional writing in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College and is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today. You can find Cathi on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumbler.
Which writers inspired you?
Tolkien, Jane Austen, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Suzanne Collins, Lauren Oliver.
What inspired you to write Five Corners: The Marked Ones?
Where my ideas come from really is a mystery to me. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by teenagers at this stage in my life so they do inspire me to a degree but I think a lot of the creativity just emerges from the cosmos.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about Five Corners: The Marked Ones?
I would take back our January release. I underestimated the importance of an awesome cover (I’m not a visual person myself so I didn’t think it mattered so much). I think releasing the book twice in the same year probably wasn’t the greatest thing but I’m glad I got to fix the erroneous typos when the new edition came out in May. And the current cover really captures the essence of the story!
What did you edit out of this book?
It’s funny I found an old original draft of what would become Five Corners just last week. It was completely different from the published book. It included time travel and all sorts of stuff. I don’t remember editing that out but I guess I did.
When can we expect to see Book 2?
Book 2: Finding Refuge is almost complete. I’m hoping it will come out in early 2015.
What are you working on now?
I’m actually working on 4 books right now: 1) a dystopian novel, 2) a historical YA novel about a girl named Genevieve who is what we would consider a feminist only she is stuck living in 1860 England, 3) a modern romantic novel, and 4) a biographical story about my cousin, Erik Bjarnason, and his ordeal on Mt. Logan where he lost all his fingers in 2005.