Pen Friends ~ Please welcome YA Author Caitlin Lambert talking about her upcoming novel, WHAT LIES ABOVE, publishing journey, and amazing design skills! I’m so excited to have Caitlin here with us today. Her debut novel is gorgeous and can you believe she made this cover?!
SP: Hi Caitlin! Thanks for joining us! Before we get into book stuff, please tell us more about you and your writing journey.
SP: Hi Tabitha! Thanks for joining us! Before we get into book stuff, we’d LOVE to know a bit about you and your writing journey.
HI! Thanks so much for having me! The basics about me are I am a wife, mom of two sassy girls and aside from writing the book words, I am also an ordained minister. My husband and I are currently the student pastors at Faith Community Church in House Springs, MO.
I never considered being a writer growing up. I have always had an active imagination, and I think there has always been one story or another spinning around in my brain. But writing never occurred to me. After high school I spent two semesters at Sweet Brian College and randomly declared a major in creative writing. For those two semesters I took some of the most amazing writing classes. Then God pulled me toward pastoral ministry so I left that school for Bible College. Fast forward to my thirties and the idea of writing a book began to pull at my heart. Being a pastor I thought I should write nonfiction, so I did. I self-published one collection of essays on being a woman in ministry. But my heart longed to tell stories. So after some wrestling with myself and what I thought I should do, I turned to writing fiction. After my first book, I started questioning if this was the right path and feeling inadequate as a writer. I felt like I didn’t have the same training or education in writing. Then I was reminded of those two semesters of classes and saw how everything had been woven together.
Freedom never felt so sweet! You sit down to write and have TEN different points of view (POV) to choose from. Who should you go with today?
Hold on! Not so fast. Before writing a novel with multiple POVs, let’s take some time to assess whether this technique is best for your story.
On Tuesday we talked about when to write multiple points of view. Today, we’re going to focus on parsing out the pros and cons of using this writing technique. As I was curious (for top secret reasons of course) about this topic I spent way too long googling all the pros and cons for this. I’m hoping I can save you some time through my learnings here.
You’ve written a book! That’s fantastic. And now you’re at the point where it’s all polished and shiny and ready to be out in the world.
Which means you’re facing one of two scenarios: you’ve signed a contract with a publisher who will be releasing your book, or you’re getting ready to self-publish your book baby. Either way, you’ve got a Launch Season ahead of you, and that’s both exciting and scary!
So, what do you need to have a successful launch? Aside from an awesome story (which we know you have since you’re at this point), you need a plan. But don’t worry—it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds!
SP:Hey Gillian! So glad to have you here on the Spinning Pen. 🙂 Before we get started, we want to hear about YOU and your writing journey! What made you want to write and what’s a fun fact you don’t mind sharing?
Thanks for having me here! Growing up, I always had a book in hand, whether I was doing chores, climbing a tree, or riding my horse. (Yes, my sweet old horse let me read on his back while he grazed.) My older sister and I would act out our favorite stories, which morphed into creating our own characters and plots for our play time in the woods, which eventually morphed into writing down those stories. So, the transition between reading to writing felt like it happened naturally, and I always had a story that I was working on. But it wasn’t until I was in high school and stumbled across an author’s blog that I realized authors were normal people who wrote books (as opposed to strange and magical creatures) and maybe I could be one. That’s the moment the dream sparked! What kept it alive was the hope that I could tell stories about characters like the ones that had shaped, encouraged, and inspired me growing up!
Fun fact about me? Just about every pet I’ve owned (other than my horse) has had a literary name of some sort—most of them from the Lord of the Rings.
The world of writing can appear elusive. When you see a great author’s work, it’s a rare sight to see the author themselves. They can exist in a somewhat hidden manner and appear to be a group of untouchables that many of us are unsure how to approach. It’s one of the many factors that can make the decision of becoming a writer seem grand, exotic, or simply unrealistic.
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard the news. Traditional publishing took a one-two punch from 2020. Already over-worked, skeleton crew publishing teams faced even more layoffs and had to scrap much of their 2020 marketing plans when all in-person events—including the now-defunct Book Expo and Book Con—disappeared for the foreseeable future. Indie publishing didn’t fare much better in 2020 thanks to paper shortages, supply chain breakdowns, and even their #1 fans being so stressed out that they didn’t have the attention span to read a recipe, much less an entire book.
I’m self-publishing my debut novel, THE WATER CHILD, in March 2021! And has it ever been a journey! I started this book almost 10 years ago. I queried, won contests, found an amazing agent in Kaitlyn Johnson, had positive feedback from publishers, and now I’m self-publishing it as my debut.
Well to answer that I’d have to go into why I wrote THE WATER CHILD which you can read about here. Or the mini version: This story started on a horrific day, March 3, 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami struck the coast of Japan near where my in-laws were living. I didn’t start out trying to write a book about the tsunami, but I’d learned how to deal with PTSD from other events in my life like 9/11 by writing. The writings from that year turned into a book after critique partners read a short story I wrote and encouraged me to turn it into a novel. Now that novel, after 10 YEARS, is finally going to be in my hands and hopefully in yours as well!