(Photo by Karla Thomas)
Lisa Cach is the national bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen books, including Have Glass Slippers, Will Travel (available from Pocket Books). Her novel Dating Without Novocaine was named one of Waldenbooks' "Best Books of 2002," and she is a two-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America -- for her novella in the 2003 A Mother's Way anthology and for her paranormal novel Come to Me. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.
For more info on Lisa, visit her sites:
Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: March 31, 2011
Summary: Caitlyn Monahan knows she belongs somewhere else. It's what her dead mother's note suggested, and it's what her recurring nightmares allude to. Desperate to flee these terrifying dreams--and her small town--she accepts a spot at a boarding school in France. Only, when she arrives, her nightmares get worse. But then there are her amazing dreams, so vivid and so real, with visits from an alluring, mysterious, and gorgeous Italian boy from the 1500s. Caitlyn knows they are soul mates, but how can she be in love with someone who exists only in her dreams? Then, as her reality and dream world collide, Caitlyn searches for the real reason why she was brought to this school. And what she discovers will change her life forever.
1) Thank you Lisa for gracing my blog with your presence. I am eager to know what inspired you to write your latest book, Wake Unto Me?
LC: I wanted to write a book about a girl with Caitlyn’s unique paranormal gift — one I’ve never read about before — and began to build a story around who that girl would be, and how she would slowly come to understand what was happening to her. As I began to flesh out the story, I needed details and a setting.
I spent two weeks in the Perigord Noir region of France a couple years ago, hiking the trails between villages with my husband and a couple friends; we even stayed one night at a castle. It’s a beautiful area, with the Dordogne River running through it, and limestone hills riddled with caves and littered with fortresses. History is deep and dark in the area, not only with the violence of battle but also with tales of witchcraft and werewolves. One castle in particular, Beynac, is perched on the edge of a cliff above the Dordogne, and it seemed a perfect setting for The Fortune School and all that happens there. So that was one inspiration.
Another was a portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. I saw it during my first trip to Europe, fifteen years ago. When I came around a corner and met Lucrezia’s eyes, her cold, knowing gaze stopped me dead in my tracks. Her haunting image has stuck with me ever since, and she was the main inspiration for the 16th century witch, Bianca de’ Medici. http://www.elizabethan-portraits.com/LucreziaPanciatichi.jpg
2) Throughout your novel, who was your favorite character creation? Did any of your personality traits or those of someone you know inspire this character?
LC: I have a sneaking fondness for Naomi, Caitlyn’s night owl friend. She was inspired by my roommate in college, who — like Naomi — was an Ashanti princess from Ghana. Really! And like Naomi, my roommate had no interest in becoming queen. She was a little older than me, and a lot wiser.
3) Caitlyn, your female protagonist, earned a scholarship to a French boarding school. Did you do any research on French boarding school standards?
LC: Caitlyn’s winning of the scholarship was mostly because of her paranormal abilities, and her possible relationship to the Renaissance witch Bianca de’ Medici, so French educational standards weren’t much of an issue, fortunately -- otherwise I doubt Caitlyn would have gotten in! An academic star, she is not (although very gifted in other ways).
4) I see you also write romance novels, was it hard transitioning to Young Adult?
LC: It was great fun making the transition. The biggest change was having a heroine who was a little younger than in an adult novel, and who is living a different type of life — one that is restricted by school and parents, which are forces difficult to escape. Caitlyn, of course, escapes in dramatic ways, to places where no one can ever follow. Other than that, though, I didn’t change my thinking to try to fit a different audience. I don’t think YA readers need to be talked down to any more than I myself need to be.
5) Out of all the books you've written, which one remains your favorite?
LC: It’s hard to choose! The Mermaid of Penperro will always be a favorite, though. It’s set on the coast of Cornwall in the early 19th century, and is about a smuggler and a girl pretending to be a mermaid. It’s funny and mischievous, and makes me think of the green hills, rocky coast, and sunlight on the water in Cornwall. I want to go back. I have a recurring fantasy about spending six months there, in a rented cottage.
6) In your bio you state that in your free time from writing, you enjoy gardening. Out of all the flowers you planted, which one was the prettiest? And which flower gave you the most trouble with blooming?
LC: I love my purple-blue morning glories and my tall pink foxglove, both of which reseed freely, so there’s no problem getting new blooms every year. I love plants that require minimal care! I’m also getting more into native evergreen plants like sword ferns and huckleberries, as they give me something green to look at during the long grey winters. Or maybe I need to start taking winter trips to tropical locations, if I really want to see green growing things. Hmm.....
7) Besides your latest book, are you working on any other Young Adult projects?
LC: There are many, many things going through my head, and I’m enjoying having a bit of free time to play with ideas. Most likely, though, I’ll soon start serious work on a companion book to Wake Unto Me. It’ll be dark and intense, but also funny. Creepy, too — of the sort that makes you look over your shoulder while you’re walking a path alone in the woods.
8) Last but not least, do you have anything you'd like to say to your current and future readers?
Thank you Lisa for this awesome post. I can't wait to read Wake Unto Me. It's come out in stores on the 31st so make sure you run out and buy it!