Hi guys, under the spotlight today we have the fantastic Cecily Wolfe, author of the Cliff Walk Courtships series.
Hi Cecily! Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in the Midwest part of the United States, and am a librarian working with teenagers and young adults. I love to read (obviously!), bake, and swim. There are only a few months out of the year that the weather here is good for swimming, so I dream of living on the beach.
Have you always wanted to be an author and what made you start?
I started writing when I was eight. I was obsessed with Helen Keller, and fascinated by the idea that someone who couldn’t hear or see could accomplish so much. I read everything in our little school library about her, and then began to write stories about her and what I imagined she did with her tutor. What sort of adventures did they have? I don’t remember what I wrote, but I know that I thought she must have had spectacular adventures discovering the world around her. I haven’t stopped writing since.
What genres do you prefer to read and write?
I read everything, but I lean towards fantasy and hard science fiction. I do love a good romance. Really, anything with a very strong story and believable characters will have me hooked. I write short stories (gothic, family drama) and Christian historical romance. I have a middle grade fantasy I am rewriting, and a contemporary family drama ready for publication this spring. I guess I just write what my characters tell me to write, regardless of genre.
Who is your favourite character from your own work and why?
My favorite character – from everything I have ever written – is Lucy Gaines. A Harvest of Stars has flashbacks that are culled from short stories I have written about her over the past several years, and I didn’t expect her to even be a part of this novella but she showed up and I am still very upset about it. I think she deserved better, but I always let the characters tell their stories whether I like it or not. I plan to write more Lucy stories in the future so I can (maybe) feel better about AHOS and her role.
What do you find are the easiest and most difficult parts of writing a book?
The beginning and endings are easy – sometimes I get lost in the middle, when my characters decide to take a different turn that I expected. I let them guide me, but it causes havoc with my outlines and notes, which are scattered in notebooks, sticky notes, and the backs of grocery store receipts.
As well as writing stories, you also blog frequently- which do you enjoy more?
I don’t feel a compulsion to blog, although I do enjoy it, and I look forward to reader comments. Writing stories is a different animal; sometimes I don’t feel like writing, but I have to. I feel guilty about neglecting a character. They feel very real to me and I feel like I owe them time and words to tell their stories.
If you could only read one book/series for the rest of your life which would it be?
Shadowhunters by Cassandra Clare. I have been obsessed with this series for so long and I dread the day when it comes to an end. I have a close friend I fangirl with over our ships, and we call and text our random outbursts over our feelings and worries and that cliffhanger (seriously, Cassie, four cliffhangers at the end of Lady Midnight!) – it’s very intense and we love every single word of it.
What three things can’t you live without?
My cats (can I count them as one?), my children, and coffee. I’d like to add Diet Coke but I often go without because it is pricier than coffee. Wait – are my children ‘things’?
(If cats are then, yes, children are too!)
Tell us about your latest book.
My most recently published book, Throne of Grace, is the first book in a Christian historical romance series called Cliff Walk Courtships set in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1893.
Newport was a stunningly beautiful and glamorous playground for the rich during the summer months, and a perfect setting for a romance between a rich young man from New York City and a local girl who works for his family. The two couldn’t possibly expect to have anything in common, as he is expected to follow his father in a financial career and she is merely a maid with a mother who takes care of local children while their parents work. Arthur Davenport, spoiled and bored, unsure of his place in his family and in the eyes of God, truly meets his match in Josie Warren, who is often just a bit hard on herself for not being the perfect Christian in thought as well as deed. The two meet on the famous Cliff Walk, and neither of them can imagine where or how their instant attraction will take them as he struggles to make his parents understand that his calling is the same as hers, to help those less fortunate. He has no money of his own, and if they disinherit him out of disapproval, how can he help Josie, who has spent her life working hard to help support herself and her mother? More importantly, how can he convince her that he would gladly give up his life of luxury just to be with her?
Crown of Beauty, the second book of this series, will focus on Arthur’s sister Catherine, and the third book, Treasure of Hope, will tell his sister Sarah’s story. They will be available in October of this year and next year, respectively. For readers of Throne of Grace, I promise that Josie and Arthur will make appearances in books two and three.
On a (very) different note, Reckless Treasure, my contemporary drama/romance, will be released at the end of April of this year. It is more adult in nature and focuses on family problems, romantic difficulties, and misunderstandings.