Cathlin Shahriary

Get to Know Boise Book Fest Author Cathlin Shahriary

Welcome to “Get to know Boise Book Fest Author” session!

Boiseimages-10Name: Cathlin Shahriary
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Latest Release: Return to Fae (expected release date: June 24, 2016)
Genre: YA Fantasy

Let’s get started with getting to know Author Cathlin!

BBF: To start things off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, your books?

CS: I’m an elementary school teacher as well as an author, so most of my writing is done in the evenings, weekends, and over breaks from school. I’m a HUGE reader and totally fangirl over other authors. Besides books I tend to fangirl over TV shows like Supernatural, the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Dr. Who (to name a few).

I’ve always loved fantasy and believing in magic. Ianthe, my first book, came from my love of YA fantasy books, especially those dealing with fairies from authors like Holly Black, Julie Kagawa, Maggie Stiefvater, and Quinn Loftis. Ianthe, my first book, centers on a seventeen year old girl with quite a bit of emotional baggage who discovers that she can see Fae in their true forms. These Fae are not your sweet little Tinkerbells, they’re manipulative creatures who take pleasure in toying with humans.

So far I have finished two books in the Fae Realm series, and am currently writing a third, but I also have ideas for several more.

BBF: Where do you come up with the ideas for your stories?
CS: Most of my ideas start as a dreams I’ve had. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, and can sometimes recall my rather crazy dreams in the morning. Once I have the spark of an idea I loosely think about where I want the story to go, but I’m not one to map out my books ahead of time. My characters usually end up hijacking my stories while I’m writing and lead me into directions I had not considered.

BBF: Do you see yourself writing in the same genre? How important or not important is including romance in what you write?
CS: While I love fantasy, I definitely don’t see myself always writing fantasy. I actually have a couple of projects I’m working on right now. One is in the Fae Realm series, but two are not. One is Young Adult realistic fiction and the other is more New Adult romance. Personally I love a good love story, so I do tend to include some romance in my writing.

BBF: This is something I’m always curious about, probably because I’m so picky about it when I write, but how do you choose names for your characters? Is it whatever comes to mind, or do they have meaning?

CS: I love this question because I actually am very particular about my names. Almost all of my names are researched. My Fae names are mostly Gaelic, Irish, or Scottish (as is the origins of most fairy folklore). They also usually hold special meaning for the characters. Ianthe’s name is Greek for purple flower, Conall’s name is Irish for strong prince, and Casimir is Polish for destroyer of peace. I also tend to use my friend’s names for humans (Callie is the name of my college roommate and one of my best friends), but not always.

BBF: How do you choose the titles for your books? And do the titles usually come before or after you’ve written the novels?
CS: With Ianthe I knew that I wanted her name to be the title. It was unique and the book focuses on her journey. Return to Fae, my second book, took a while longer to title. I was probably half way through it before the title struck me. So, I guess for me it varies. Sometimes the titles seem so obvious while other times they like to be a little more allusive and take time.

BBF: Who’s your favorite villain from your books? Who is it and why?
CS: Oh, Casimir. I love writing the scenes with Casimir. He’s just so creepy and twisted, that it I’m usually not quite sure how far he’s going to push things or where the scenes will lead until I’m writing them.

BBF: Do you have a favorite character from your books? Who is it and why?
CS: I don’t think I could pick just one favorite, especially now that I’ve added a second book to the Fae Realms series and introduced more characters. I love them each for different reasons. I love Conall’s loyalty and Callie’s humor. I love Grace’s nurturing and Ianthe’s internal conflict.

BBF: What are you most looking forward to about visiting Boise Book Fest?
CS: This will be my first signing at a big venue like Boise Book Fest, so I’m super excited. I know how exciting book events are as I’ve attended many as a reader, and I hope to meet so many readers from the other side of the table. I’ll be sharing a table with my sister, Kristann Monaghan, which will definitely make for a good time.

BBF: Before we say our goodbyes, can you tell us something random about yourself? Just for funsies. And then that favorite character you mentioned– can you tell us something random about them, too?
CS: I’m a total klutz. I own walking boots for both feet, crutches, and know the number of someone from whom I can borrow a knee scooter due to previous injuries. Ianthe is a closet Belieber, although she probably wouldn’t admit to it.

Lightening Round

Describe your books in 3 words: (this is so difficult!) magical twisted escape
Favorite thing about your genre: Being able to create a new world with new sets of rules.
A genre that I would love to write: Historical Fiction, but I’m not sure if I could do all of the research involved in order to write it well.
When writing, night owl or morning person? Night owl all the way
When I’m writing I must have: background music or the TV on
Pantser or Plotter? Pantser
My guilty pleasure: brownie batter
My favorite cover from my books: Ianthe (Murphy Rae from IndieSolutions by Murphy Rae is amazing!)
Which character from your books do you most identify with: Ianthe
Number one book boyfriend is: Soo hard to pick just one!!! Maybe Roth from Dark Elements trilogy by Jennifer Armentrout, or Will Cooper from Slammed by Colleen Hoover, or Day from Legend trilogy by Marie Lu (I just want them all)

Next release, title and Dates: Return to Fae (book 2 in the Fae Realms series) June 24, 2016

Thank you so, so much for dropping by! We’re super excited to have you at Boise Book Fest on October 15th, 2016.