Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Calista!
What 5 things should readers know about you?
- Pink Doc Martens, glitter, and birds in my hair are the staples of my appearance, so much so that I consider them major aspects of my personality.
- All I want is better representation in the media. Minorities should be fighting dragons and going on road trips just as much as straight white people in literature.
- I live in both London and New Jersey, which means I’ve held positions at both the Shakespeare Globe and the Boardwalk where Snooki partied.
- My date to prom was a pineapple in a bow-tie.
- Honestly you probably don’t need to know any of these things to enjoy my book, but another fun fact is that I organize my bookshelves by color and they’re beautiful.
Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly,what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉
We Awaken is about two female asexuals in a same sex relationship. One half of the main couple is Victoria. She is a dancer hoping to get into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory and would probably most want to have her ballet shoes with her if stranded on an island, although I doubt sand would be the best location for a performance of Swan Lake.
Her love interest is named Ashlinn. She is a creator of dreams who makes the locations that people go to in their sleep. If she could have anything on a deserted island I imagine it would be as much unhealthy or pre-processed food as possible. Popcorn. Pancakes. Ramen. Ice cream.
Wait…popcorn, pancakes, and ice cream aren’t healthy? Is that a typo? (Ramen has too much sodium. I get that one.)
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
My intention was to write asexual representation and show young asexuals that they aren’t broken and can have a happy ending, as well as explain the sexuality to everyone else. The actual plotline, which is magical realism, came from fairytales and a sonnet I once intended to write and never got around to.
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing since I popped out of the womb. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I have definitely been crafting picture books and whatnot for as long as I can remember. Proper writing started at the beginning of high school, though, which is when I went freelance and wrote for a few magazines and websites. Mostly poetry and articles. I’m not sure what inspired me to start. Neil Gaiman’s career was always something I emulated and I would look at my bookshelves and think how nice it would be to contribute to something like that.
Oooh…I just read a Neil Gaiman book this week (The Ocean at the End of the Lane). What an imagination!
What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?
I love the fact that there are no rules to writing. And that I can do it sitting in nice coffee shops. The most challenging part is writing openings and coping with comma splices. Also powering through the first draft.
LOL—comma splices! You think it’s tough to deal with them in your own writing? Try explaining them to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders! 😉
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
After abandoning two drafts of a romance novel (which I promise I will return to), I have begun work on a rather promising story involving fairies and bending time and all sorts of fun things. It will be either young adult or middle grade and I am extremely excited to share it with the world.
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
Neil Gaiman is my favorite so definitely him. Outside of everything he has ever written, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz is a favorite and I would love nothing more than to write descriptions as beautiful as the ones in that book. Considering the greatest influences probably came from my youth, though, I’m sure Roald Dahl and Bruce Coville had more than a little say in how my writing style currently is.
What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?
I try to read about three books a week (and have been slacking recently because of my own novel). At the moment I’m re-reading Neverwhere because it takes place in London and I like comparing it to my life there. I recently finished Mosquitoland as well and thought that was beyond lovely. Makes me want to take a great American road trip.
Reading…writing…it’s a tough balance. If only sleep were optional…
If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?
Ladies loving ladies in a dream-like setting. Who doesn’t love cute adventures with a happy ending?
LOL! Nice job!
Keep reading to find out more about Calista and her new book!
About the author:
Calista Lynne is a perpetual runaway and glitter addict who grew up on the American East Coast and is currently studying in London. She is having difficulty adjusting to the lack of Oxford commas across the pond and writes because it always seemed to make more sense than mathematics.
Look for her near the caffeinated beverages.
Find Calista here:
Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.
Buy the book: