Please welcome Author Casey Hays to THE KATY today!
Thank you so much for having me. I’m blessed to be here!
Casey Hays lives in New Mexico with her husband of 25 years and their two children. A former high school English teacher turned author, she loves Young Adult Fiction as well as supernatural, fantasy sci-fi, and dystopia–all with a twist of romance. She is the author of three works: The Cadence, a YA supernatural romance, and Arrow’s Flight, a YA dystopian sci-fi series: Breeder (Book 1) and The Archer (Book 2). Look for Master (Book 3) scheduled for release in the next few months.
How did you decide to become an author? Any books, movie, or people that inspired you to pursue your dream?
Honestly, I’ve always been a writer. My very first ideas were penned on pieces of legal pad paper folded in half, hole-punched, and tied with rubber bands. At age nine, my mom bought me a journal. I used it to write my first and very silly, unprofessional novel. It never went anywhere, but my dreams soared. During my school days, I entered every possible writing contest I could find–even won a few awards. But my third grade teacher, Mrs. Gadry, was my greatest inspiration with what she called, The Squiggle Book. Every day after my assignments were done, I’d take that spiral notebook up to her desk. She’d draw a “squiggle” and I’d take it back to my seat and finish it with some magnificent little art of my own. And then, the best part, I’d write a story about my drawing. It was the highlight of my day. I knew that year that I wanted to be a author more than anything else. I wanted to share the stories clamoring inside my head looking for a creative way out.
Are you self-published or traditionally published? Why did you choose to go that route?
Initially, I had a small time indie publisher. When they closed their doors, I just didn’t care to go to the trouble of looking for another one. They’d taught me so much about the business that I decided I’d take a stab at self-publishing. I’m not adverse to working with a publisher again someday, but honestly, right now? I’ve enjoyed being the one to make all the calls. It’s just me and my sidekick editor, Anna Faulk. It’s kind of nice.
Are you a plotter or a panster?
Panster all the way! I let my characters tell their stories, and I don’t interfere with outlines or any agendas. I mean, I don’t want to disrespect them! 😉
What draws you to writing in the Dystopian genre?
There’s something about the atmosphere of a Dystopian novel that appeals to me as a reader and a writer. It’s rugged and harsh and full of uncertainty and a bittersweet-ness for what’s been lost. But at the same time, it reeks of hope. Dystopian novels make me want to love longer and sing louder and fight harder against injustice. I hear my kind of music in between the pages of the best written ones, and what can I say… I love my kind of music.
What does the Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans group on Facebook mean to you?
They are the best! The fans are wonderful; the moderators have become my good friends. There’s never been a more supportive, active, involved, fun FB group in the history of Facebook.
How would you react to the fact that the stars you were born under choose your fate? Would you fight it with everything you had or go with the flow?
That’s a tough one. I suppose it would depend on whether I felt comfortable with the life I’d been given. If injustice or cruelty to others were involved. I would fight with my last breath. But sometimes, we can learn to live with what we’ve been handed and be content. As a Christian, who believes in a God who is sovereign and knows every one of my days, past, present, and future, it’s hard to answer that question.
Do any of your characters represent you as a whole or someone you know? Or are they qualities you admire in others?
I’d have to say, for the most part, no. If we are talking about my main female characters, they are never like me. They’re always better. They’re always what I would want to be rather than who I am. I admire the qualities depicted in them greatly… qualities I myself don’t possess. I don’t think I’ll ever write a character who represents me. That’s too personal… and it’s scary to put yourself out there for the world to see as it is. I’ll never write an autobiography! LOL
Are there any genres of literature or movies that you won’t read or watch? What’s your favorite genre to read/watch?
I don’t like erotica at all. I don’t even know who Christian Grey is… haha! I’m not big on westerns or gory, bloody movies. I do love a good horror, as long as it’s not too demonic. To much satanic or dark spiritual stuff creeps me out. And of course, good love stories and chic flicks are always welcome. I also have a real love for historical fiction and an admiration of authors of that genre. That’s a lot of work to research and write a historical fact-based fictional novel. I love epics, and Bollywood movies… with the subtitles… are the BOMB!
Your son did the wonderful cover art for your novels. Would you mind sharing how you both decided to use his skills on your cover?
When I was working on the edits for Breeder, my son took a trip with me to meet with my publisher. While I was conferencing with her, he waited in another room, doodling. At the end of our meeting, he had finished a rough sketch of what became the inspiration for the first draft cover of The Archer. I showed it to my publisher then and there; she loved it and asked if he would be interested in drawing the cover for Breeder. He said yes, and the rest is history. It was a little spontaneous doodling that turned into a big deal!
Do you have an advice for aspiring writers?
Listen to the voices in your imagination and put their stories to paper. Don’t force an idea that isn’t working. Don’t rush to publication just to have a book on the market; instead take the time to take pride in the quality of writing you hope to achieve. The hardest piece of advice I can give is to know what kind of a writer you are. Not everyone is a novelist. There are so many forms of writing to choose from. Find the one that fits.
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Of course, I’m stoked about Master the final book in my Arrow’s Flight series. I’d hoped for a November release, but we’re just playing it by ear now. We want it to be PERFECT. I have many other novels in the works, including a sci-fi fantasy based on the legend of the Phoenix, another Dystopian novel that I’m very excited about called The Dragonfly Lullabies, and my very first modern day contemporary adult novel based on the lives of David and Bathsheba. I just hope I stay in good health and live long enough to get it all done. I’ll leave that in the hands of God.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to say that it’s been such a joy to know you. I greatly appreciate your support of my writing, and I am so humbled at being featured on your blog. I wish you the very best for its success. And good luck with your writing career!
Thank you for joining me on THE KATY today, Casey! I loved having you and I can’t wait to check out the final book in the Arrow’s Flight series and the new series you mentioned!
STAY TUNED! There will be a giveaway announcement in the next few weeks! It’s going to be AWESOME, Dystopian, and Zombie-riffic! Casey hays is donating some wonderful items that you won’t want to miss!