Author Interview : Lily Cahill

Author Interview : Lily Cahill

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We sat down with the feisty ladies that make up Lily Cahill, authors of the incredible new superhero series.

Lily Cahill consists of five women, when writing books what does your process look like? 

It looks like long email chains and giggling and indecision. We get together for big plotting meetings that always take twice as long as we planned. We write together a lot and meet as a full group at least once a month to talk about stuff like deadlines and plotting issues. Each of us is responsible for one book, but there is a lot of callaboration in the plotting and editing phases. It’s super fun to always have someone to bounce ideas off of.

Do you have any strange writing quirks?

We are all different. Cory loves to listen to music and sometimes sing outloud in public. Alex likes to be a huge distraction but she also has the ability to zone people out when she wants to focus which is super annoying. Liz is just a crazy fast (and loud) typer. It’s intimidating to write with her.

The Independence Falls Sci-Fi series is set in the 1950’s, why did you decide to do this and what fascinates you about you this period? 

The 1950s is a wholesome, patriotic time that works really well with our series plotline. We liked the contrast between an idealic period where the characters are in turmoil. Plus we got to do a pretty badass photo shoot which was crazy fun. Some of the pictures are on our website.

Why did you decide on sci-fi romance as genre? 

When we decided to do this project together we all came up with some story ideas to narrow down what we all would be excited to write. We knew we wanted to write romance it was just a matter of where in romance we wanted to be. We all had these partially fleshed out series ideas. Cory ended her ideas with “something involving superheros” which was by far the lesat developed concept we’d discussed, but I think we were all like, “Yesss! That sounds amazing.” And we fleshed it out from there.

Sparked has some pretty steamy scenes, did you have fun writing these? 

It depends on who you ask. If you ask Renee she’ll blush just being asked the question. But I think overall we did have a lot of fun writing those scenes. I think our husbands and boyfriends also had fun coming home to us after we wrote those scenes (wink wink).

Which part of Sparked was your favorite to write?

Bethany – she was just fun and easy. She had a clear voice and always brought levitity to an otherwise pretty serious book.

There are a lot of small minds in Independence Falls and judgment between classes and the two families, are these important issues to you? Why did you decide to include this in the book?

With each of the books we wanted there to be drama and a good reason for the characters to have to work to get together. And we wanted that drama to feel both real and significant, so using issues that people can empathize with is something we’ve strived to do in every book.

Are there any similarities between yourselves and the characters you created? 

Yes. But I’m not telling what they are 😉

If you had super powers of your own, what would they be? 

We have talked a lot about this! It’s our one of our favorite topics.

Alex and Liz both want to be able to teleport

Cory wants Elastigirl’s powers.

Renee wants to be able to talk to animals

Livia wants to be invisible

If there’s one character in Sparked that you could bring to life, who would it be and why?

Bethany. I think all five of us choose Bethany because people who are that passionate and good hearted should exist.

What surprised you most about the writing process? 

How fun it was! We all come from different literary backgrounds ranging from mystery to young adult to horror and we all had one thing in common – we did it alone. Working as a group has been the most fun thing ever and romance is pretty delightful to write. How can you not love, love!?

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

That’s a really tough question and I think it’s probably different for all of us. Liz kind of despises the editing process. Alex struggles with the initial plotting. Cory takes a lot of time on her first draft. Sex scenes make Renee uncomfortable. Livia is fucking rock star who helps everyone with all their problems. Ugh, how annoying to be so perfect.

Did you learn anything while writing this series? 

100 bajillion things. Most importantly everything takes twice as long as you budget time for.

Which books inspired your love for books? 

Liz: The Princess Bride by Williams Goldman.  Hilarious, satirical, romantic.  Quite possibly the most perfect book ever written.  I grew up stealing books from my parents when they weren’t looking and was obsessed with Stephen King from ages 12 to 13, so his bibliography was pretty influential, as well. 

The first time I read a Henry James book, it was like…breathing for the first time.  I’d always loved books for the adventure of them, the way you could lose yourself in a new world.  James made me want to lose myself in this one.  He still does.  Like, I’m literally holding myself back right now from writing a love letter to Henry James.  And let’s be real, I’m not even doing that great of a job.

Renee: I could reread The Secret Garden over and over. I will have a forever love for the Anne of Green Gables series and Little House on the Prairie. Girl-focused classics just really drew me in as a girl and made me want to always live in these fantastic, wonderful worlds.

Livia: As a kid, my dad used to read me the “Little House on the Prairie” series before bed. I loved those books like crazy and was always begging for one more chapter. “Anne of Green Gables” played a serious role in my childhood reading as well. I definitely wanted my first kiss to be with a boy as dreamy as Gilbert Blythe.

Cory:  think I always wanted to be a writer. I read a book a day through most of my childhood, and there is still nothing I love more than getting swept away by a great story. But it was Nora Roberts who showed me that I wanted to write romance. Her characters deal with action and drama, but they also wrestle with the difficult, delicate business of opening your mind and heart to another person. I knew I wanted to explore that process in my own work. Plus, writing sex scenes is so much fun!

Alex: Roald Dahl was the first author who made me want to be a writer. I discovered him in the fourth grade and that was also the year that I met Freak the Mighty and The Giver. The first made me cry the second made me think. Those books made me realize that I would have a lifelong passion for fiction.

What books have most influenced your life?

God damn, god damn, these are hard questions!!

I’m just going to go ahead and say Harry Potter which is true for all of us. Magic, good vs. evil, coming of age – all the things that shape us. We have all taken extensive internet quizzes to figure out what house we’d be in. And we try to live every day as bravely and goodly as Harry and his friends.

Which current authors do you admire and why? 

We collectively really love Lauren Oliver. The Dilirium series spread through the group like wildfire. But there are so many great choices! In romance, we really love Kristen Higgins, Eloisa James and Cora Carmack. Higgins writes funny books that are surprisingly effecting, and James writes one heck of a sex scene. Carmack has a fresh voice and a strong perspective.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

The great thing about writing romance is that inspiration is all around. Love affects us all, whether we have it or we don’t, and falling in love is inherently dramatic. And, if all else fails, watching YouTube videos of wedding proposals always gets my romantic imagination going.

When reading for yourselves, do you prefer ebooks or paperbacks and why?

Ebooks. There is nary a line nor a waiting room that can defeat us. We also listen to a lot of audiobooks. Cleaning, driving, laundry, working out – it’s the go to audio material.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s more difficult to write than others? (love, action,steamy)

With the exception of Renee I would say that action tends to be more difficult.

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