Hey everyone! I am so excited to be bringing you an interview with the fabulous C. G. Drews! In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, Cait is basically an internet queen, running a fantastic blog and bookstagram and frequently going viral on Twitter. On top of this, she’s also a successful author. Her debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, released last year and was one of my favourite reads of 2018, and now we are less than two weeks away from the release of her second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses!
I was lucky enough to be able to interview Cait recently and I’m delighted to be sharing that interview with you now 🙂
Hi Cait! Thanks so much for agreeing to an interview; I can’t wait to sing your praises on my blog! Your blog was the first one I ever discovered. Can you remember what your first ever post was?!
Honestly, my blogging beginning was rather tragic in that I had no idea how to blog and alternated between posting Lewis Carroll poems and holiday photos haha. I do believe my first ever post was the Jabberwocky poem?!
I love the Jabberwocky! So that was your first post… but what would you say is your favourite blog post you’ve written?
I am really fond of a post I wrote back in 2016 called 10 Dreadful Things That Will Happen If You Read Too Much and it’s a total parody that made me laugh a lot while I wrote it!
Ah I remember that one! It definitely gave me a giggle. How do you maintain a balance between writing and blogging? Would you consider yourself quite organised?
I’m noooot organised! Sometimes I’m scraping to put up a blog post at the last second or writing ’til midnight because I spent hours formatting a post. (So basically if anyone has the secret spell to get more hours in their day?! I would love to know. Muchly so.) My best way to keep balance is just that I don’t blog AND write on the same days. That way I don’t have to shift focus too much.
I need that secret spell too! Do share it if you ever find it hehe. What were the pros and cons of being famous in the blogging community before releasing your first book?
Aw, I’m blushing that you said famous! I’m not sure I am that well known haha, but it did give me a solid base of readers who were already lovely and loyal and keen to read my writing! My blogging community’s support has been priceless.
I think the sole con is that many people assumed my blog is the reason I got a book deal. It’s not true oops. I was writing and working towards publishing before my blog even took off. And I hope that encourages fledgling writers too: your work gets you published first and foremost!
You describe The Boy Who Steals Houses as a genderbent Goldilocks retelling – what inspired that genius idea?!
I often go on long walks, so passing empty houses led my imagination to ponder the idea of a teenage burglar who maybe was there to steal the house instead of the things inside it. I’m a huge lover of retellings, so this fit with the premise of Goldilocks… and my story unfurled from there.
What would you say is the unique selling point for your books, the one thing that makes them stand out from the crowd?
I’d like to say it’s my writing voice! I love mixing whimsical metaphors with punchy banter, and I write in a very close 3rd person. I hope my words fold around readers and make them feel like they’re inside the story. (And I always think YA needs more books that feature big families. So I can’t wait for everyone to meet my De Laineys and their seven loudly messy kids.)
I can’t wait either! Your writing voice was one of my favourite things about your debut. What have been some of your favourite reactions to A Thousand Perfect Notes? Did you get responses from famous authors?!
It’s made my day to have people storm into my mentions in all caps saying: WHY DID YOU HURT ME LIKE THIS. So nice! So kind! I do my best! And having readers make fanart, or enamel pins, or design bookmarks to go with ATPN!? I can’t even express how much that means to me!
Also, Laini Taylor replied to my publication day tweet with a congratulations and I HAVE ASCENDED.
We’re all here for the heartbreak 😉 And Laini Taylor is a QUEEN, I would have died. Now, to help us survive the wait for The Boy Who Steals Houses and the inevitable hangover afterwards, can you recommend any books that you feel are similar to your own work?
Ooh yes! Try to pick up A List of Cages by Robin Roe, Boomerang by Helene Dunbar or The Wicker King by K. Ancrum while you wait! Can’t recommend these three enough and they’d fit nicely next to The Boy Who Steals Houses.
I second Cait’s recommendation of The Wicker King, it’s fantastic!
You have spoken on social media about being an #ownvoices autistic author (thank you so much for this!) How do you find that this affects you in your role as an author, and life in general?
One thing I loved being able to include in TBWSH was Sam’s autistic older brother: Avery. While his experiences and reactions aren’t mine, I did pull a lot of autism feels from my own life and I hope readers fall in love with this messy, explosive but sweethearted kid. As for autism affecting my work as an author: it definitely does. I have a lot of communication fails when writing how I see the world vs how neurotypical people interpret things. But that’s also part of learning to write: you grow and you do your best! And an amazing part of being an autistic writer? I’m able to hyper focus. So when people ask how I can write a draft in 3 days?! This is how!
Thank you for sharing your experiences! While I don’t have experience of autism, I do relate strongly to your battles with anxiety. Can you share any tips with readers on how you manage this?
I rely on two things: (1) having friends and family I can lean on to vent or just listen while I whine like a miserable gnat for a while, and (2) distraction! I am master of writing a million books so I don’t have to think about the anxiety-inducing parts of publishing. (Also, I’m not saying cake cures anxiety, but it’s pretty freaking delicious. So have at it.)
Sound advice 😉 Speaking of, what’s your favourite type of cake?
Chocolate brownie cheesecake!
And just for fun, what is your Hogwarts house?
And your OTP?
Thank you so much Cait for taking the time to answer my questions! I hope everyone is as excited for The Boy Who Steals Houses as I am!
C.G. Drews lives in Australia with an overworked laptop and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novels to make you laugh or cry (or both). She never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.
And if you’re interested in reading my review of Cait’s debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, you can find it here!