Ahh, a topic near and dear to my heart! WISHLESS is a YA contemporary, a story about a girl whose very life is hanging by a thread that’s slowly but surely unraveling. The official cover blurb goes something like this: “The fortune cookies tease her. You will lead a long and happy life. Those dumb things are never right. Chessie Madrid wants to fall in love, she wants to fly airplanes, and most of all she wants to live longer than 6752 days. With a fatal disease camped inside of her wreaking havoc since she turned sixteen, the doctor’s predictions are far more sinister. Preparing for death is a total drag.
Instead, Chessie makes a list of her deepest desires, keeping her impending demise a secret, and being pretend-well. When the list suddenly starts to come true, sending Chessie’s life and everything in it reeling, it’s a case of being careless what you wish for.
With a new sister she’s always dreamed of, a father who’s a nightmare, and a lesson in love arriving all at once, Chessie makes her last wish the one that will matter most of all—to live or die trying.”
If you’re into reading about relationships, family, love, bitterness, mistakes, forgiveness, and everything in between, I assure you this is a book for you.
2. Why do you write for young adults?
I really think the YA voice found me, and not the other way around. Perhaps it’s because I spend so much time with young adults (raising two of my own). But if I were to analyze it, I’d say that deep down I never actually grew up, so targeting this age group is a lot like hanging out with my friends and shooting the breeze.
3. How did your main character come to you?
Chessie popped into my head one day, from out of nowhere. She was timid at first, though I could tell she really wanted to confide in someone. Before long I knew she had a story in desperate need of telling. I was merely her conduit.
4. Where do your ideas come from?
Oh the strangest of places! Sometimes they trickle out of the shower head when I’m mid-shampoo. And sometimes they whisper from the car stereo speakers right in the middle of a song. Most of the time they rouse me from my 2 a.m. dreams. Ideas can be so wonderfully unpredictable and inconvenient.
5. Are you a plotter or panster?
I typically straddle both sides of that fence. I will initially jot down a general outline, plot points, character names, conflict and resolution. Then I allow the panster in me to take some creative license. Sometimes the plotter has to step in and grab hold of the reins. Usually, though, we work fairly well in tandem.
6. What is your writing day like?
Most of the time I write in the evenings, when the details of my day are winding down. Then I lock myself away in my bedroom with my laptop which sits atop my portable lap desk. Distractions make for slow first drafts so I try to arrange for a quiet zone when I’m working. I’ll get down a few pages or a scene, and then I’ll pop online, check things out for a bit. Then it’s back to work. Average writing time varies, but I do write nearly every day, even if it’s just a line or two.
7. Why do you write?
Because I can’t sing.
Lovely Long Island, New York has been my home for the better part of my life. We’ve just relocated to a new house on a quiet sunny street which abuts a gorgeous golf course. (Great views from our backyard!) And for what it’s worth – not everyone here pronounces it Lawn Guyland. But if you are a true Islander you’ll know its macaroni and gravy for dinner and NOT pasta and sauce.
9. How did you meet your favorite pet? (current or past) — we love animals.
I’ll let Miley answer that one:
Mommy and I met on an Amish farm in Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania. I was the tiniest of the litter and Mommy fell in love with me at first sight. She said I looked just like a little teddy bear. She took me home as soon as I got big enough to ride in a car. Up until then I traveled by horse and buggy. Mommy and I have been together for 3 and ½ years now. We’re super tight. She seems to have a hard time getting along without me. Think I’ll keep her.
10. We also love a romance, how did you meet your mate?
One night, about nine years ago, on a frosty winter evening, my carbon monoxide detector was beeping a warning. I panicked and called the local fire department to check it out. Within minutes a handsome man in uniform arrived at my door. He assured me it was just a false alarm and that I was safe. I felt bad for making him come all the way out and he said I could make it up to him by meeting him for coffee the next day. So I did, and the rest as they say is history. His version of the story is that he totally saved my life. Maybe he did… (P.S. – This love story – fact or fiction? I’ll never tell…)
11. Who has helped/influenced you the most on your writing journey?
There are two very special women who have been instrumental in helping me get to this juncture. My literary agent, Terrie Wolf of AKA Literary, has had a huge impact on my life. She has great faith in me and has brought me one step closer to achieving my dream. She’s a lovely person and I’m blessed to know her.
NYT Bestselling Author Patricia Crisafulli who is the CEO of Faithhopeand fiction.com is also so important to me. She gave me my first shot at being a published writer. That was over three years ago and I’ve been writing for her website ever since. We have become dear friends and I am ever grateful for her.
12. What’s next in your writing life?
While I am hard at work on my third novel, an older YA with elements of mystery, I breathlessly await word about the fate of book number two, a gritty contemporary YA called “Girls Like Her.” I like to think my stories have crossover appeal to attract a larger audience but only time will confirm that notion. In the interim I continue to plug away at the keyboard entertaining the new characters that demand my attention and seeking the perfectly told tale, one word at a time.
Thanks so much for having me here today. It’s been a blast. Hope your readers will take a moment to check out WISHLESS. It’s available everywhere fine books are sold. And we’re currently offering free shipping to the U.S. if you order a paperback from my blog http://louisecaiola.blogspot.com/. It will arrive to your door signed and sealed within a week.
Happy Holidays to all!