Motivation Monday: Interview With YA Author Tabitha Caplinger

Hi, Tabitha! Thank you for joining us today! How long have you been writing? What inspired your quest to become a writer? I’ve been writing for about six years, or is it seven? If my creative writing classes in college count, it’s longer, but I never truly thought about being an actual writer until about seven years ago. So let’s stick with that.

I really never thought writing would be a thing for me. I liked stories, I liked losing myself in my imagination and creating my own little worlds, but it wasn’t anything I thought would actually become something. I was focused on student ministry and pursuing that calling. I didn’t see how writing would fit. I thought I had to write devotionals, non-fiction. It took five chapters into Bloodline and a lot of time with Jesus to realize that fiction was where I needed to spend my writing time.

Tell us a little bit about Bloodline! It’s girls with swords trying to save the world and each other from shadows and darkness. It’s a story of pursuing your purpose even when it’s difficult. It’s got demons and angels and pies and sass. . .and a lot of hope and faith. Or, at least, fighting to keep a grasp on hope and faith, which isn’t always easy when grief and doubt slink in.

What is the greatest praise you’ve received about Bloodline so far? It was compared to Buffy and Supernatural and the Gilmore Girls, and anyone who knows me and my love of TV, especially these shows, knows what that means to me.

On a more serious note, because I can be serious, getting notes from readers who have been inspired to seek the Maker or pursue faith in their own life has been beyond awesome.

Describe your writing style in three words. Wow, tough one. Wait, does that count as my three words. Ugh, this is hard. I would say sassy, fast-paced and, I’m totally gonna make up a word here, but go with it. . .Televisionesque. (I think in terms of television episodes when I write. It’s how I visualize scenes and break them down in my head and on the page.)

What is your favorite thing about writing? What is your least favorite? I love getting lost in a story. I always have, even when I’m watching TV or a movie. I want to get so caught up in it that the lines of reality get blurred in the moment. I want to feel like I’m right there, living the story with the characters. Writing lets me do that whenever I want. I can sit down with my laptop and enter this new world for a few minutes or hours.

My least favorite part isn’t really about the writing, but after the writing. Once you have the story, you have to market it and that is hard and not nearly as much fun. Maybe if I could figure out how to work sword fights into the marketing, it would help.

Your most creative ideas come when. . . I want to go to sleep. When I close my eyes, my characters seem to open their mouths and yell things at me about the scene I’m working on, or, more usually, the one I’m not working on. I have learned to grab my phone, make a quick note and then go back to bed.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Keep a notepad by your bed. Just kidding, sort of, but that isn’t a bad idea. Really, it would be good to do your homework. I started this whole writing thing not having a clue. I thought I would write stuff and it would get published and people would buy it. There is so much more to it than that. Learn what makes a good story and work on your craft. Learn about the publishing industry, because it can be brutal and knowledge is power. Learn about what comes after the book is finished: marketing. (Actually, you have to start that part before the book is finished, so study up.) But most importantly, if you have it in you to write, write. Don’t give up.

Can you give us a teaser about your WIP? Most of my effort right now is focused on finishing the final installment of The Chronicle of the Three Trilogy. I am so close to the big finish and I’m excited to see how it all ends. Writing it has been hard, though. Not sure if it’s because it’s the last book or because I have another book trying to worm its way to the front of my brain. I’m excited about that one too. I’d love to tell you what it’s about, but I am still flushing out enough details to actually put it into words. All I can say right now is that it’s about a band of rebels –or maybe they’re more like gypsies– who are hidden away from creatures who came from somewhere and offered what looked like world peace. . .but at a cost. There’s more, but it would just sound like gibberish right now.

Your favorite character to write is. . . I don’t think this is a question I can answer. I mean, I love Claire. I have made that perfectly clear. I want to be Claire, so writing her is always fun because I think she gets the biggest parts of myself. But Maggie is fun and optimistic and full of life. I love Lucas’ snark. I also love writing the villains. Meredith and the Destroyer are a fun kind of evil, not that evil is fun, but writing them is because I think that’s when I am farthest from myself, which is always interesting.

So, yeah, I definitely can’t answer this question. I didn’t even go into all the feels about writing Zoe’s pain or Daniel’s doubts. Ugh. I love them all. They are each unique and writing each of them is a unique experience that makes the writing process most fulfilling.

 

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About Tabitha

Tabitha Caplinger is a wife, mom, youth pastor and professed TV addict. It’s seriously a problem, but she doesn’t plan on getting help anytime soon. Mostly because she loves the stories. She can’t help but get lost in the worlds created and invested in the lives of the characters. She brings that same passion for the story to her own writing. The first book in her YA trilogy, The Chronicle of the Three: Bloodline, is currently available  with the second book releasing in early 2017. Aside from writing and watching TV, Tabitha can be found singing off key and dancing in the kitchen or car with her two adorably sassy daughters and awesome husband who she thinks is kind of cute.

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