Happy Friday, everyone! Can you believe how quickly this week has gone? Of course, maybe that's just me. LOL. I'm thrilled that it is Friday, because that means I get to post another author interview for y'all to enjoy! And, I gotta say, I am excited to introduce you to Caitlyn Santi in today's author spotlight!
According to her bio on her Facebook page, Caitlyn is a child of God, follower of Christ, daughter, sister and home school graduate. Continue to her interview to learn more about her and her works.
AJ: Good morning, Caitlyn. Thank you for joining me in this interview today!
CS: I'm thrilled to be here! Thank you so much for having me, Alisha!
AJ: First things, first. Can you please tell us a little about yourself and your background that led you to become a writer?
CS: As you've already stated, I am a child of God, follower of Christ, daughter, sister, and homeschool graduate. Seeing my writing published is a dream come true. I love living in the same small Central Vermont town I grew up in! Besides writing I love horses (I'm lucky enough to own my dream horse!), reading, knitting, music, the TV shows Blue Bloods, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Downton Abbey (among many others!), my amazing family and all things chocolate! In my spare time I can often be found playing with said dream horse; watching TV, eating all things chocolate and just generally hanging out with said amazing family; or volunteering at my local library!
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. Though, I always struggled with confidence and fear of rejection when it came to my writing. When I was in high school I was introduced to a local project called the Young Writers Project, it was a website that offered certain subjects or prompts to write about or you could submit any piece of writing you wanted to online and there was a chance it would be published in the newspaper. My sophomore year in high school I summoned up the courage to submit two pieces I had written (one was an essay, the other a free verse poem) and was absolutely thrilled and stunned when BOTH pieces were published in the newspaper! That was the first time I really started to believe I could write. I Indie published my first novella a few years later at the age of 21.
AJ: How many books have you written and in what genre would you classify your works?
CS: I've written one historical fiction short story that is clean, but not technically Christian fiction, as well as two Christian fiction novellas. The novellas are both geared toward young adults, but both have been enjoyed by many adults as well. The first novella I would classify as a contemporary romance with some suspense and fantastical elements. The second novella is a suspense, police procedural type of story.
AJ: Tell us a little about your writing process. Do you work from an outline, or do you prefer to see where the story leads you?
CS: I'm definitely a pants-er. When inspiration strikes and words start popping into my head I love to just jump in, start writing, and see where things go!
AJ: What is your goal, or mission, as a writer?
CS: Writing is a ministry for me. As an introvert, I find it easier to express myself through writing than through the spoken word. My goal is that my writing will not only entertain readers, but also spread the Good News of the Gospel, and introduce readers to Jesus.
AJ: Who, or what, inspires your writing?
CS: I truly believe that the inspiration for every story idea that pops into my head comes straight from God, I couldn't write or do anything else without Him! Lots of times I also find inspiration in thinking to myself "Hmm, what is a story that I want to read that hasn't been written yet?"
AJ: What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author? And the best compliment?
CS: Recently a General Market Indie author reviewed my second novella and said the faith story was too heavy handed, that stung for a minute, but ultimately I chose to take it as a compliment because I had actually been worrying that Christian fiction readers would feel that there wasn't enough of a faith story, and my assumption is that if it was heavy enough to bother a General Market author then perhaps Christian fiction readers would actually be pleased with the faith story! The best compliment I've received was when one reviewer said that my second novella would make a great movie!
AJ: What social media outlets have you used to reach your readers? And, which ones have you found to be the most successful?
CS: I'm only on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. Facebook and Goodreads seem to have been the most successful for me.
AJ: What do you do to get book reviews? Have you found this to be helpful?
CS: Lately, I have discovered a couple of review groups on Goodreads where you join a round that is made up of five (or ten) authors, you agree to read two (or four) books by different authors and you also receive the same number of reviews for your book. I have gotten quite a few reviews this way, and I love being able to support other indie authors by reading and reviewing their books, so it's a win-win. I have also gotten quite a lot of reviews through the lovely Facebook group Christian Reviewers as well.
AJ: What do you see as the main benefit of being an indie author, and what advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
CS: I love being able to be in control of the entire writing and publishing process, not having to share rights with a publisher, and only having self-imposed deadlines to meet. My best advice is: Do your homework about indie publishing, so you know what to expect. I would also suggest getting a few unbiased folks to beta read your work and give you feedback, that's something I wish I had done before publishing my first book. Take your time, write and rewrite until you get your story the best it can be, but when you feel it's ready to publish, go for it!
AJ: How can readers discover more about you?
Facebook Twitter GoodReads Amazon My Blog
If you'd like to find or follow Caitlyn on any of her social media, or if you'd like to purchase one of her books, click on any of the links or pictures above.
And, if you're an author and would like to do an interview with me, email me here.