Today's second day of the Hunted Blog Tour! I've got a short interview with Cheryl Rainfield below about her book, Hunted.
Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where having any Paranormal power is illegal. Caitlyn is on the run from government troopers, who can enslave, torture, or even kill her, or make her hunt other Paranormals. When Caitlyn settles down in a city, she falls for Alex, a Normal (someone without Paranormal powers), which is dangerous because he can turn her in. And she discovers renegade Paranormals who want to destroy all Normals. Caitlyn must decide whether she's going to stay in hiding to protect herself, or take a stand to save the world.
Cheryl Rainfield answers my questions!
How did Caitlyn's story come to you?
I drew on a lot of my own abuse experience to write it, and mixed that with fiction and fantasy. I'd always wanted to write a fantasy with paranormal powers; Lois Duncan's books such as Down a Dark Hall and The Third Eye were books I read over and over again as a teen--they helped me escape the abuse I was living. So it was satisfying to write my own paranormal fantasy.
I've read that Hunted was inspired by personal experiences. Do you think you would still have been able to write Hunted if you haven't gone through all that?
No. My past influences what I write and how I see the world. I would have written a different novel if I hadn't survived the abuse and torture I did.
What was your world building process? How did you come up with the dystopian world Hunted takes place in?
For me, it wasn't that different than the world I grew up in. I'm an incest and ritual abuse survivor; my parents were part of cults. I grew up being tortured, having my life repeatedly threatened, having mind control used against me, having most people around me betray me. I also drew on oppression I experienced and that I saw in the world, such as homophobia, sexism, and racism, as well as the way that cults and cult-like groups oppress. For me, the world Cailtyn lives in is not a huge stretch from ours. Take "Paranormal" and replace it with an oppressed group in our society, and a lot of things will be similar.
So everyone knows that writing a novel is not easy. Which of your two novels was harder to write- Scars or Hunted? And why?
Scars was probably harder for me to write, because I was living the pain while I was writing it. I felt like I was pouring my pain onto the page. And as I wrote and rewrote Scars more than 40 times over a 10 year period, trying to get it published, some despair and hopelessness crept in as I kept getting rejections, especially around the 8 or 9 year mark. With Hunted, I drew on my abuse and trauma experience to write it, but I was in a better place, and I already knew my editor was interested in seeing it, so it was easier on a lot of levels. But some parts of Hunted were hard to write, too.
Why did you decide to go with the YA genre? Why not MG or adult?
YA seems to be where my voice is; it fits the kids of things I want to write about and the way I want to write about them--abuse, trauma, and issues that there are often a lot of silence about, and a lot of pain. I think strong emotion is something that teens can relate to. I also really want to reach people and to help to make a positive difference. I remember how alone and in pain I felt as a teen, and how much worse my pain was thinking I was the only one, so I try to reach teens who need it, and let them know they're not alone and that things can get better. I may some day write other genres, but right now I want to write YA. I also read a lot of YA; they often have less huge chunks of narrative or boring descriptive passages that slow things down, and many often deal with heavy issues and yet still have hope. That's the kind of book I like to write.
I can't wait to read more of Caitlyn and the Paras! What can we expect from the sequel?
Thank you! (beaming) I'm delighted you want to read more about Caitlyn and other Paras. Caitlyn will have to face Daniel and Ilene again, and try to keep them from killing all Normals, while she also works through her relationship with Alex. She also has to deal with media attention and people's reactions now that she is known as a Para.
Thank you, Cheryl, for taking the time to answer my questions! :)
So that's it for my part of the tour! In case you missed my post yesterday, check out my review of Hunted, as well as a giveaway for a signed copy of the book! And don't forget to stop by Jennifer's blog, Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, tomorrow for a review and another giveaway!
Jen @ Midnight Book Thief
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