Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Book Spotlight: We Awaken by Calista Lynne (Guest Post)

Title: We Awaken
Author: Calista Lynne
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Publication Date: July 14, 2016

Synopsis: Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.

About the Author: Calista Lynne is a perpetual runaway and glitter addict who grew up on the American East Coast and is currently studying in London. She is having difficulty adjusting to the lack of Oxford commas across the pond and writes because it always seemed to make more sense than mathematics. Look for her near the caffeinated beverages.

Guest Post: Of Keyboards and Caffeine
Writing in Coffee Shops is a Peculiar Thing 
by Calista Lynne

I like the theory that the world brings inspiration to writers and if we sit around for long enough, something interesting will happen and stories will begin writing themselves. While that’s a bit of an exaggeration, writing in public places has led me to witness enough strange occurrences to hold me over for quite some time. Although I’d probably get more done if I locked myself in my room and wrote all day, there’s a certain type of satisfaction that comes with driving off to “work” and ending up at a corner table with a pumpkin spice latte. My novel We Awaken has two female, asexual protagonists in a same sex relationship. It is young adult magical realism and focusses around a girl who is the creator of dreams. I highly doubt anyone who fits those descriptions has walked past me in a Starbucks before, but here are some inspiring things I’ve seen from the other side of my coffee mug.

When I was writing my first novel I lived in an area of America so suburban the most interesting thing to do was sit in chain coffee shops for hours on end. Once a girl came in while I was writing and ordered a drink under the name Holly, which caught my attention for being a name that was old fashioned but still lovely. She turned her head and I saw that one entire side was shaved and covered in tattoos of holly berries and leaves. Was she so fond of her name that she decided to make her entire body an ode to it? Or did she just call herself that as a nickname because of the tattoos? Maybe she was a secret agent and the whole thing was a code for something. Or maybe she sprung out of the mind of another author who wanted to think of an interesting quirk for their character. Any way you look at it, things like that set off questions and questions become stories.

Fast forward to a year or two later after I moved from smalltown America to London. Because I don’t believe in doing anything half-ass. There was one cafe I loved writing in because it had awful wifi which meant I was less likely to get distracted. Definitely not the most common way of picking a coffee shop but it worked. There was this delightful boy who worked there with perfect hair that suited someone forced to clean mugs all day. One time I went in and asked a coworker if he was either gay or taken. She said “No, he’s Swedish”. Awesome. The next time, I came in with a piece of paper that had all my social media on it (I didn’t have a British phone number yet) and handed it over. I left before he could say much because I wanted to keep an air of mystery.

And he never got in touch.

According to my other European friends I was apparently too forward and it would have been more appropriate if I was lab partners with the guy for three years before I spoke to him. So I’ve had to avoid that coffee shop ever since which is sad considering it is attached to a very popular book store. My most recent attempt at finding love at a caffeination station involves someone Irish who I tried to bond over through our shared history of British colonialism. We’ll see how that one turns out.

As you can see, a lot of what I get up to while I claim to be writing is nonsense but I pretend like it’s important to experience these distractions in order to gain inspiration. That’s probably BS but as long as I can justify the hours I spend over cups of coffee in hipster joints, I’ll keep heading there to write the representation I want to see in literature.

In case you’re interested in my novel about ladies loving ladies which I wrote and edited throughout various countries and coffee shops, check it out on Goodreads.


-Kristen ♥

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