Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz and Author Interview!

I was lucky enough to get this as an egalley from Harlequin Teen through Netgalley.  I got to read the first book, Spellbound, this same way.  Although I got denied the first time I requested it.  So glad that whole bit is over, I love Harlequin Teen, and hope they will always grant me access to their egalleys. 
So, I went back and re-read my review of Spellbound.  It's so funny that one of the things I said after I finished reading the first one, was how much I wanted back into that world.  And that the bonus material at the end said there was going to be a book from Angelique's point of view next, and I decided I'd have to just settle for that.  Well, you can guess just how pleased I was when I met the author herself this past November, and got to read the prologue to the new book, and found out I was getting to go back into Emma and Brendan's world!  And I was not disappointed by the sequel at all!
Some of what I really loved about the first book was the whole cursed love thing.  And that carries through to Spellcaster, only the curse has been broken as we saw in the first book.  Now, Emma and Brendan are "happily ever after".  But of course, the fact that Emma is a witch, and that Brendan used to be quite the player, that does have to come back around and mess up their happiness.  This something from the past is something that wants to use their blood, with the true love, to make itself powerful and invincible, if the stories in the books her friend Angelique has are true. 
Again I call to mind my connections with Twilight and my love of that book.  It makes me feel the same way.  I love the dynamic between Brendan and Emma.  I love when Emma makes a joke, Brendan says something about getting a milkshake because she puts so much milk and sugar in her cappuccino, and Emma says "You're a milkshake!"  That is so the kind of thing I say all the time when I'm wanting to say something back to someone who has said something like that to me.  I did kind of figure out who the person doing all this was as soon as I heard a hint about someone in the past, or Angelique's past I should say.  And I think that was a great way to get this going.  The only thing I wonder, if there was the evil spirit that she was appeasing, I wonder if there could be another book, because we still have the true love, and surely other witches out there would want the power from their blood.  Especially if this evil spirit/god wants this tribute.  So does that mean good news could be around some day, for fans of Emma and Brendan like me?  Or maybe we do get a book that is told from Angelique's point of view, I'm still up for one of those as well! 
Final thoughts.  I really love all the pointing out and remarking about the real locations in New York City where this takes place.  On my very first trip ever to NYC last November, I made sure to go to the Belvedere castle in Central Park.  I plan to go back to NYC this summer for BEA and so I am going to try to go to the Cloisters as they played a part in this book.

This also counts as the "S" in my A-Z Reading Challenge.

And now, my very first author interview!  Not only did I make sure to go to the castle when I was in NYC, I also got to meet Cara Lynn Shultz!  And let me tell you, she is one of the sweetest people I've ever met!  I asked her at the time if she would possibly be my first author interview, and she agreed.  So, without further ado, here are the questions I asked her, using my own ideas, as well as getting some ideas from other author interviews of blogs I follow, and her answers:

How long have you been writing?

I used to write plays with a friend when I was a little kid, and we would act them out on my grandparents' porch. And I wrote short stories, plays, all the time.

Do you have a certain routine for writing, like outlining ahead, or do you just write as you go?

I don't really work with concrete outline. I have a rough idea of what I want to happen, but then when I write, I let the characters drive the action—particularly with dialogue. I love writing dialogue, especially Emma's banter with Ashley and Angelique. I do have a place though—I write on the couch, with my cat by my side (I call him my "mews"), a giant glass of iced tea (Wawa lemonade iced tea if I can get it—when I'm in Jersey or Philly I buy it by the gallon. Seriously, that stuff is fantastic.), my headphones and music on, and I write into the night. I'm a better night writer than day writer.

What tips do you have for someone who is an aspiring writer?

Just keep writing. Even if you're feeling blocked—write about being blocked. The worst thing you can do is start over. And save everything, because you never know what your stories could someday become. After all, Spellbound started out as little stories I wrote my friend Vanessa to keep her entertained while she was commuting from Manhattan to The Bronx, back when we both graduated from college.

How much of your book is based on real life experiences or is it all purely made up?

A lot of it is based on real-life experiences. For example, when I was in high school, we really did hang out on the rocks at Belvedere Castle—only back then, there wasn't a fence, so you could stroll all the way to the edge of the cliff. Vince A is based slightly on my high school, which was a prep school on the Upper East Side. I grew up in Hell's Kitchen, so that's why Angelique lives there. And we did, indeed, hang out at the Met and use fake ID to get into shows/bars. But the more tragic parts of Emma's story are (thankfully) pure fiction—although one time in college, a bunch of streetlights went out over my head as I walked, and it truly freaked me out.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?

Warning: this is a long list. I'll list my current favorite shows: The Walking Dead, Dexter, Game of Thrones, How I Met Your Mother, Up All Night, The Secret Circle, Family Guy, Tosh. 0, South Park, RuPaul's Drag Race, The Daily Show, Modern Family, Suburgatory. If it wasn't for DVR I'd be in a lot of trouble.

If they were going to turn Spellbound into a movie, is there anyone that you think of as a dream cast?

I had a few people in mind for Brendan (Nicholas Hoult, Logan Lerman), but more than a few readers have reached out to me and said Munro Chambers would be an excellent Brendan, so I'd have to say him, due to popular demand. I like Lucy Hale for Emma, and Allison Janney for Aunt Christine.

I know you've had to deal with this issue, but what do you think could be done to prevent people posting your book online for free?

I wish people realized how much book piracy truly hurts authors. It's not the same as getting the book from a library—where there's a record kept of how many people have checked out the book. When you download a book for free, there's no record of it. The sales/library figures won't reflect how many people are interested in that author or in that book. It makes it harder for your favorite books to be made into movies, and makes it tougher for your favorite authors to continue writing. 

I got to talk and kind of meet you through Twitter, where else can your readers stalk you?   

I'm on Twitter (@caralynnshultz), Facebook (Facebook.com/caralshultz), Tumblr (caralynnshultz.tumblr.com) and Instagram. Come chat with me—and thanks, Lisa, for hosting me on your site!

Cara Lynn Shultz’s love of supernatural writing began when she was 7 and wrote a play about ghosts, which she and her friends acted out on her grandparents’ porch. Since then, her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press, Stuff, InStyle, Us Weekly, The Guardian UK and countless posts on Facebook and Twitter. She is a proud graduate of Fordham University and is currently a senior editor at PEOPLE.com. Cara lives in her native New York City with her husband, tuxedo cat and 8 million other people. Spellbound is her first novel.


  1. Hi Lisa,
    Congratulations on your first author interview! I love hearing about where authors do their writing.

  2. Great Interview! Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a link here. I loved Spellbound and was lucky enough to get Spellcaster on NetGalley too (the day Harlequin auto-approved my for their books was one of the greatest days of my life!) I thought Spellcaster was awesome. The parts from Angelique's point of view added a nice touch. I'm hoping to have my review of Spellcaster up on friday, I hope you'll stop by to check it out!

  3. Lisa can you send me spellcaster please???

    1. Unfortunately because I got it as an e-galley from Netgalley I can't send you anything. It actually is expired and I can't even get to read it again now. Sorry.

  4. Fantastic interview, and I'm SO jealous that you got to meet her!

  5. I would also definitely want a book from Angelique's point of view-I really liked her in both books! But a third story of Brendan and Emma where they battle someone who wants to take advantage of their true love would also be good. I guess I'm flexible that way :)

  6. Congrats on your first interview! That's so cool that you got to meet her! I love the series.


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