Caylie somehow blends the fast paced world of BMX racing with romance in Choose Us and honors her mother’s fight with cancer in Parting Chances. Both books are filled with emotions, great characters and will make you take the time to say “I Love You,” to those that are close to you.
Hi Kat! Thanks so much for having me!
How much do you know about BMX racing and are you addicted to watching the Bachelor?
What I know about BMX is what I used to watch on TV in high school. I was addicted to the X-Games and extreme sports. I’d watch any time I could. I’d have to say I understood what the tricks were, but my overall knowledge was limited to what I saw.
And no, I am not addicted to the Bachelor. In fact, I have never watched an episode of it. My knowledge of that show is what I see in commercials and the few moments I catch while flipping through the channels.
What was the genesis for Choose Us and Parting Chances?
Choose Us came to me in a dream, when I was 15 or 16. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, besides, “that was a really great dream!” But then it started reoccurring, at least once a year after that. The last time I had it was June 2013. I woke up the next morning, sat down at my computer, and typed out the first chapter. I figured if it wasn’t going to go away, I was going to write it down and see where it went from there.
When I was a child, I lost my mom to cancer. I’ve always thought about what it would have been like if I had lost her when I was older. If I had gotten more time to spend with her. If I had actually fully understood what was going on and had the chance to say goodbye, what would I do. So I wrote that in Parting Chances.
What draws you to the romance genre?
It’s what I love to read. I started reading the romance genre when I was a young teen. I love happily ever afters. Feel-good stories just make me happy.
What has been your favorite part of any of the stories you have written so far? Best line or scene you’ve written?
The Halloween scene in Parting Chances is one of my favorites. I loved the banter between Haley and Kyler in the beginning. And then writing drunk Haley was a blast.
Otherwise, the first chapter is always exciting to write. A blank slate to pour your heart out onto.
Is there a character that has taken a completely different turn than you originally planned for it? Characters that you discarded and wrote out or became more important than you planned?
Drew, from Parting Chances, was supposed to be another roommate for Eli and Noah. I originally wrote it that way, and about half way through, I realized I had never actually written about him, so I chopped him out. Then came the time to name Haley’s ex, and I had this Drew character just hanging around, so in he went.
I don’t think Taylor, in Choose Us, was ever supposed to have as big of a storyline as she had. Riley wasn’t supposed to make friends with any of the girls, so it was very surprising when Taylor came into the picture.
And the big one, is Eli, from Parting Chances. He was supposed to be a lot more angry with Haley. Especially when she does some stupid things. He was never supposed to be as patient as he was. In fact, when I wrote one of the scenes, and he was just super understanding, I immediately turned to the Rebel Writers and starting venting about it. Because he totally changed the story. Psht, nice guys.
What is the most challenging thing for you writing wise? Fight scenes? Continuity? Love scenes?
Love scenes, by far. I get so embarrassed writing them. And I’ve only written right now. In my current WIP there is a little more, and I giggled my way through writing it.
I haven’t written a fight scene yet, but I am co-writing a story with Theresa Kay, which will have fighting in it, I’m not sure how that is going to go over. I’m pretty sure I’m going to suck at it.
Who are your major influences?
Well, the obvious would be the Rebel Writers. They all make me a better writer and when I read their stories, all I think it “Damn, they are good. I want to be this good!”
Otherwise, a few NA authors. J. Sterling, Cora Carmack, Cassie Mae. The way they tell stories is just amazing.
And I want to be Colleen Hoover when I grow up. It doesn’t even deal with how successful she is. She’s just an amazing soul, so generous and silly. She’s the whole package. And her stories are just…amazing.
There are two more stories in the Fighting Chance series. Final Chances will be Kyler and Noah’s story and I’m aiming for a next spring release. Lasting Chances will be Emma and Caleb’s story which I’m hoping will release in the fall of 2015.
I also am working on two co-author projects. One is a paranormal romance and the other is a dystopian type romance.
And then there is a whole folder of other projects on the backburner. And more ideas come all the time!
Thanks again for having me!
Parting Chances is my newest release. Here is the blurb:
The road of Haley Cavanaugh’s life has been filled with cracks, potholes and detour signs. Her mom’s cancer forced her to grow up too fast and her brother has moved across the country instead of sticking around when she needs him most. Now, her parents are forcing her to move out. They say she needs to follow through with the plans she’s set for herself, but Haley is torn between her dreams and her family’s reality. The only thing she has to look forward to is living with her best friend, Kyler.
What she doesn’t need right now? Eli Park. Haley remembers him as Kyler’s boyfriend’s geeky roommate, but he’s anything but geeky now. Now, he’s downright hot. And Haley cannot get him out of her head.
It would be easier if they didn’t have class together five days a week. Or have weekly study dates. And if she didn’t spend way too much time with Kyler at Eli’s house. But, the closer he gets and the harder she falls, the more Haley pulls away. Her heart is too fragile to end up broken on the side of the road. She thinks she’s got it under control until Eli brings home another girl and Haley realizes what she has to lose.
As Haley’s life is turned further upside down, will she be left to pick up the pieces of her heart alone?
Excerpt from Parting Chances
I swung back and forth for a while, letting the breeze settle my nerves. I don’t know how long I was out there for, but eventually, I heard a car pull up. The door shut and footsteps thumped up the stairs.
“Hello,” a masculine voice drifted towards me.
I opened my eyes and was greeted with crystal blue eyes, messy brown hair, a lopsided smirk and six feet of tall, lean man.
“Er…um…hi,” I croaked out. Okay…the man was gorgeous. Pretty sure I was blushing.
“Haley?” gorgeous mystery man asked.
I nodded. I didn’t know who this guy was, but he seemed to know me. And if I opened my mouth to ask him, I’m sure I would sound like an idiot again.
He gave me that adorable lopsided grin again. “Eli.” He pointed at himself, like I should know who he was. Eli was leaning against the porch railing, staring at me with amusement in his eyes. Maybe if he wasn’t so damn attractive I could get my brain to start working again. But for now, I could only stare.
“You don’t remember me, do you?” he asked. “The four of us hung out together when I roomed with Noah in the dorms.”
Holy shit. This man in front of me couldn’t be Noah’s roommate. There was no possible way he was the same guy. I hung out with the kid all the time, and this guy…no, not him. Not him at all.
“You look nothing like you did freshman year.” I blurted out. Then quickly turned red and clamped my hand over my mouth.
Oh God, he’s going to think you are the biggest idiot.
Eli laughed. “I was a lot scrawnier back then. Had longer hair. Wore thick framed glasses all the time.” His voice still sounded the same. That was something at least. “When I moved back home to help my mom, I worked with my uncle at his construction company. I guess that helped me gain a little muscle.” He shrugged like he was not confident with how he looked.
The more I stared at him, the more he was becoming familiar. Freshman year, he was this quiet, slightly nerdy kid. He always wore comic book t-shirts. He had spent most of his time on his computer or playing video games with Noah. Kyler had kept telling me that he had a crush on me, and she even begged me to go out with him a few times, but I always came up with reasons I couldn’t. Mostly those excuses dealt with my crush at that time—Drew. Blah. I was so not going to think about that douche when Eli was standing in front of me.
I mean, I enjoyed hanging out with him as a friend, but dating? He was definitely not what I thought my type was. Though, what I thought my type was turned out to be a bunch of jerks, so maybe I should have given the nice guy a chance.
“You okay?” he asked gently, pushing off the railing and taking a seat next to me on the swing. “You seem lost in thought.”