Today on Meet the Author, we’re talking to the lovely Erin Casey…..
Urban Fantasy/ Fantasy
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m primarily a fantasy writer who has far too many ideas in my head. I recently self-published my first urban fantasy book The Purple Door District, and I’m also working to traditionally publish a YA Fantasy. When I’m not writing, I’m usually spending my time with my 7 crazy birds (though they usually like to keep my company either in my hair or chewing on my computer). On a more serious note, I’m an author who struggles with anxiety and depression, so I sometimes write articles about it for online sites like The Mighty. I’m very open to talking to other people if they’re struggling as well so they can feel like they’re not alone.
What inspired you to start writing?
Dragons. No, seriously, I used to read dragon books by Susan Fletcher, and that inspired me to start creating my own series. Granted, that was when I was in middle school, and I’m pretty sure I can’t read what’s scrawled on notebook paper anymore, but that’s where the writing spark ignited.
How many books have you written and published?
I’ve published one book so far. Written? Well, I have about seven books written for an anthropomorphic wolf series that I wrote from high school to shortly out of college. I wrote a rough draft medieval fantasy trilogy. I’m in the middle of writing book two of The Purple Door District. I’m querying a YA fantasy book. So, we’ll say about 12 books?
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
Well, I’m going to have to say The Purple Door District since that’s the one that’s published, hah. No, seriously, I really love this series. The characters and world make me happy, and it takes me out of my comfort zone. I’m used to writing medieval worlds. Modern Chicago? That’s a bit different. I also love the theme of community in this book because community is a really important thing to me.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
- Sometimes a name just sounds right. Bianca, for example, just came to me, and her name never changed.
- I research names to give them special meaning. Paytah and Rozene are both Native American characters, so I researched Native American names for them. Paytah means fire (which is pretty accurate for his personality), and Rozene means rose.
- I smack the keyboard and see what letters pop up and try to make a name out of that.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
Oh, probably Gladus who is my water magus. For one thing, we’d never go thirsty because she could create fresh water for us. She’s also extremely resourceful and protective, so it’d be like having a mother bear to protect me. Plus, she tells the best stories.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
Right now, I’d say my favorite author is Patricia Briggs, and her Mercy Thompson series is the absolute best. I love how diverse her characters are and the creativity she puts into all of them. I can never guess what’s going to happen in her books. The Mercy Thompson series is really easy to read too, meaning I can zip through it with no trouble, and that’s important since I have eye trouble.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
I think I wrote two things around the same time. One was a poem about peace, and the other was a book about humans and dragons bonding together to help save the dragon’s world from being destroyed by the villain.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I worked at Subway for a while, so I was a, oh what did they call us? A sandwich artist? Right now I work as a proofreader for a testing company. I’m also a director of a writing organization called The Writers’ Rooms and the Communications and Student Relationships Manager of The Iowa Writers’ House. I’m a Jill of all trades I suppose.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
I would love to travel backwards to the 1200s and see what the world was like then. That’s around the era that my medieval trilogy is set in, so I’d be incredible to see how accurate I am based on research. Traveling through the castles, too, would be a dream come true.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Brian Jacques. He was my idol growing up, and I had a chance to meet him when I was in college, and I didn’t go. I still regret that to this day. He was the person who inspired me to write. I still haven’t finished his last book because it’ll feel like he’s really gone then. I’d just want to thank him for inspiring me and ask him for one more story.
What are your favourite things to do?
Write? Haha. Read. Sing. Listen to music and try out different artists. Marketing? I know that sounds weird since most writers hate it, but I really enjoy learning about marketing and testing things out. I also like to cuddle up on the couch and watch youtube let’s play videos of Mario Maker. Playing the game is great, but I just love people’s reactions to it. Oh, and I’m a Marvel girl, so I love watching Marvel movies.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
When I went to Denver to attend the Denver Publishing Institute, I got a little lost at the e-train station. The only person around to ask for help was this guy dressed in a studded leather kilt doing karate moves next to the track. He was super nice, but I will never forget that.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
You’re going to make me go deep, aren’t you?
You’re enough. No matter what anyone says to you or how they treat you, you are enough. You are worthy, and you deserve to be loved. Be true to who you are and find joy in the little things. You don’t have to be a perfectionist for people to care about you.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Just one? Green Rider by Kristen Britain.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
The Purple Door District
Bianca was supposed to attend art school in Chicago, not run for her life from Hunters. The only chance she has to survive is to find The Purple Door District, a safe haven for a parahuman like herself. When she stumbles upon a magus named Gladus and a fellow avian named Carlos, she thinks she’s found safety. But the Hunters are relentless, as is the dark force driving them.
Vampire, werewolf, avian, magus—
It’s up to the parahumans of the Purple Door District of Chicago to put their differences aside to save Bianca and stop a dark threat from destroying their peaceful community.
This is the first book in a series, and I’m right in the middle of writing book two, Wolf Pit.
You can find both the e-book and paper book on Amazon.
Or you can purchase a signed copy from my site.
Thanks Erin for such a great interview. As a fellow sufferer of anxiety and depression, it’s really important to support each other when we can 🙂
If you have any questions/comments then give us a shout below, or contact Erin through the above links.
Have a great Saturday all!