Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Sid isn't my kid. If I had a kid, and my kid had a pet, and the pet had a kid, that would be Sid."

 Today is the first day of my book release celebration - since I don't know what else to call it. For the next few days or weeks, depending on how many interviews I get - I will be interviewing fellow authors. If you are interested please send me an email or leave me a comment. You do not have to have a published or completed book to be interviewed.
 The interviews will be posted Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I will be posting book reviews of self-published books I am currently - well, which I have currently finished. 

 And now that all of that is out of the way, I am very pleased to share with you today's interview. I had the honour of interviewing Cait and Mime, the wonderful sisters who blog at THE NOTEBOOK SISTERS. If you don't read their blog you should! 

 I know both of you have written a good many books. And I know you both are planning on publishing traditionally. Do you have any tips you'd like to share, whether it is how you prepare your book or look for an agent?

MIME: I can’t really give tips, because I’m still a baby first-drafter, just starting the next stage of editing. But I would say, “Keep your eyes open,” and be aware of the publishing world—enough so you know a bit about querying and pitches so it’s not so overwhelming when you get to that stage.

CAIT: Make sure your book is the best it can be. So edits, rewrites, line-by-line edits, beta-readers and critique partners. Make sure your baby sparkles! Don’t ever send a half-cooked casserole, er…I mean, book, out into the querying world.

 How long have you both been writing, and what interested you most about writing?

MIME: I’ve been writing over half my life.

CAIT: She was a cute little 7-year-old (with minimal teeth) writing about bumpity-bumping wagons. It was ADORABLE.

MIME: I did so have teeth, thank you very much. Anyway, writing’s always grabbed me because I just plain like a good story.

CAIT: I’ve been writing since I was 12. The initial plan was World Domination, but, you know, no one feels threatened by a 12-year-old. By the way, World Domination is still on the cards. I’m currently establishing my minion army. (You can apply.)

(Sorry, I'm one of those people who has my own world domination plans. I just can't see myself as someone's side kick when I could hold a title like, Evil Over Lord or something like that.)

 Cait, I know you are working on a seven part series. What are some of the trials you've found writing a series this long? And how do you remember all the key, but small, details?

CAIT: Don’t get me started!

MIME: Oh, no.

CAIT: Go away, Mime, this is my question! Okay, so NO, it was incredibly hard to remember all the details. For instance, throughout the series the pet horse changed colour fifty two billion times. (I’m not actually sure what colour he is now.) I ended up making separate word documents to list details – eye colours, background information, kind of clothes, what they like to eat…all the important stuff. (Most of them have this thing with jam and marmalade. Weird. I hate jam and marmalade.)

 (That's a good idea. I should use it. I write four part series and have trouble remembering things from one book to the next.)

 Mime, I know you have quite a few books planned, but I know one you've reticently finished was historical fiction. Did you find this a hard genre to write? And what kind of research did you have to do before hand? Any tips for others writing historical books?

MIME: Research? What research? Okay, so it wasn’t quite that bad. It was a project for school that wasn’t supposed to be a novel, but… you know. Things start clicking, characters start dying… 38,000 words later I had an extremely historically inaccurate book on my computer. So, tips for historical books? It’s probably a good idea to know your time period, setting, politics, costuming, and how history relates to your book BEFORE you start writing. I plan to take my own advice next time.

 (That is one reason I don't write Historical fiction. So much work to make sure it is accurate.)

 Are you the kind of authors who like to break your reader's hearts? And what are your thoughts on cliff hangers?

MIME: Oh, yeah. That answers both questions, actually. Ohhh, yeah.

CAIT: We thrive on the broken hearts of readers.

 I know that, as authors, we shouldn't have favourites - but do either of you have a favourite character you've created?

MIME: Not really… it’s weird. I do have a soft spot for Lloyd from my historical fiction. I put him through a lot, so I feel bad for him. My current MC is an absolute dork, though, so he’s plenty of fun, too.

CAIT: Manny, you can’t choose favourites between your kids.

MIME: Do you have to bring Ice Age into this?

CAIT: Okay, okay. Fine. Do I have favourites? YES. My babies.

MIME: I killed one of them.

CAIT: *weeps*

 Where did you get the inspiration and ideas for your books?

MIME: Okay, this one is going to be weird. My historical, Letter to Elizabeth, was a school project exposed to Gamma rays. Graffiti Bible, my Christian contemporary, came from waking up in the morning—it’s the biggest trial of my day, so it’s natural it would inspire me. And Canonic, our co-written contemporary, came from research for a flute exam. I found out that Quantz and Vivaldi had some real issues… so, it was natural to take it from there.

CAIT: My apocalyptic thriller, Boybots, came after I was fantasizing how it would be if Mime was a robot and had a mute button. Alright…I joke! I joke! I just wanted to write a sparky (no pun intended) book with guns and robots and the occasional piece of chocolate.

 (All siblings wish their brothers or sisters had mute buttons. So you're not alone.)

 I also know you are both devout readers. Do you think it is important for an author to read? If so, why?

MIME: Definitely. Reading taught me how to write.

CAIT: YES! Books teach you so much about characters, plots, and style. You get inspiration from reading, too.

 What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

MIME: Try to actually finish the book. Remember, it doesn’t suck as much as you think it does.

CAIT: Don’t start. It’s stressful, your hair falls out, you become addicted to weird substances (like sultanas and peanut butter. Together). You become a recluse. And when you do make friends, they’re psychos who talk about murder ALL THE TIME. You wear socks that don’t match. You talk about people who don’t exist. Your google/research history is scary. And you have the time of your life and get to live in as many worlds as you can possibly imagine (literally). In other words: just write. All. The. Time. Don’t stop. Evvvver.

 You both have a rather large blog set up. Do you think it is important for authors to have blogs? And what kind of advice, tips would you give to those just starting out?

MIME: I think blogs are awesome, because they make you practise writing. I know my writing has improved since I started blogging two years ago. Tips? Post regularly, because otherwise you can lose your memorable-ness.

CAIT: Blogs are great fun to write! Like Mime said, they help improve your writing, plus you make really good writerly-friends. Writerly friends are awesome! (And funny.) Tips? From me? (Ha!) Okay, well, reply to comments! It promotes traffic too, because your readers come back to see what you’ve replied. Then you start crazy conversations about Disney movies, pistachios, and fandoms, and it just gets all awesome from there.

Cait and Mime blog at Notebook Sisters, about reading, writing, and eating YA books. They’re teens, peanut butter addicts, and might be seen being nerdy in the odd fandom or six (mainly The Avengers and Lord of the Rings). They live in Australia and have written 12 books between them. Find them on twitter or facebook. They have openings in their minion army if you wish to apply. (Free virtual jellybeans included.)

Pitch for GRAFFITI BIBLE by Mime:

When Silas-the-Evangelist meets bad-girl Piper, he is blessed with a purpose – turn the wild child into a pinafore-Christian.

Pitch for BOYBOTS by Cait:

Her country will be destroyed in nuclear war if 17-year-old Eden Marcello doesn’t hand over her grandma’s advanced-robot-technology, which comes in the shape of a defunct boybot whose program glitches turn out to be his attempts at controlling himself. 

 Thank you both for coming! I had a lot of fun interviewing you and I hope you both had just as much fun!

 Quote is from Ice Age, I blame you, Cait.




  1. You may blame me, Jack. ;) Thanks for having us!!! That was SUPER fun!!

  2. Aww, great interview. I've checked into Cait and Meme's blog stuff before, now I shall definitely have to become an official follower! :)

    God bless,

  3. Oh, fun interview! I'm sorry, but I'll pass on being your minion, too. You see, I'm part of a top-secret society that is sworn to prevent world domination. Actually, it disbanded after we defeated Titania, but we are all still sworn to anti-domination. Let's just say, any would-be dominator would find a rather formidable foe in the Arista of Fairy Tales. (my alias that I don't care who knows.)

    And yes, I've looked for the mute button on my siblings plenty of times.

  4. Congratulations on your book, Jack!
    Cait, was the horse ever blue?

    1. No. Unfortunately. It SHOULD have been. ;)

  5. Oh, fun! And I can sympathize with Cait–I've had characters change names halfway through stories. Details get hard to keep track of!

  6. Wonderful, Cait and Mime. And, Cait, World Domination is part of my plans, too. So, no, I will not be putting in a minion application.

    ~Robyn Hoode

  7. I very much enjoyed reading this interview, especially the sister banter. :)

    Thanks, but, no thanks. :) My own plans for World Domination are in full swing. :D

    Cait, I, too, have a zillion lists that help me keep track of all those little details. It drives me nuts when I read a book in a series and an author messes up the little details they've already established. (Don't read the first book in Gilbert Morris' Bonnets and Bugles series for this reason. It's dreadful.)

    Inspiration can be found in the oddest places and things.... :)

    Mute buttons on siblings!!! I wish for those AT LEAST once a day. (I have 11 siblings.)

    Again, this was a great interview!

  8. Ha! I could read your banter all day long. Thumbs up for heart-breakers, cliffhangers, and peanut butter. :)

  9. Cait and Mime's mumJune 22, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    You girls have mute buttons? Well, I never. The things one learns.


Do you want to leave a comment? Come on, it will be fun. I want to get to know you and know why you stopped by my site. Don't worry if you don't know what to say, I will reply with something fun. Do you want to leave a comment? It doesn't have to be a long one.