Meet the Author: Adele Cawley
Happy Friday Eve Everyone,
I’ve got a special treat for you today. It’s another author interview!
This time around I’ll be sitting down digitally with Adele Cawley, indie writer and author of her debut novel Demon Reaper.
Let’s show this new author lots of love and support, people!
All right, let’s get into this interview.
Adele T Cawley resides on the northern end of the Arizona Strip. She is the proud mom of six amazing kids and wife to a very tolerant husband. She enjoys a range of creative outlets such as music, drama, and art. She has performed in amateur theater since she was a teenager and has served as a member of her local repertory group to keep the performing and musical arts alive and vibrant in her community. An advocate for the arts among school-age children, she has voluntarily taught creative writing and art classes to junior high and high school students, as well as mentored other young writers.
In her spare time, she is an avid reader, colorist, photographer, and Netflix binge-junkie. She’d like to one day master the violin, become a great philosopher, and write at least one intelligent piece of literature she can contribute to the literary artists of the world—though not necessarily in that order.
Hi Adele, thanks so much for stopping by. To keep things interesting, I like to ask my interviewees a random question to get the blood flowing. Here’s yours!
Through an unknown magic you are teleported to the world of a book you’ve recently read. Where have you ended up?
I’m in outer space either on Mars or a spaceship, in the company of Darrow of Lykos. I know he’s been carved into a Gold from a Red, but I believe in his cause, and I will fiercely protect his secret.
Nice Red Rising reference, and again, welcome!
Adele and the Writing Process
For starters, could you tell us a little bit about your writing?
I like to write about things that interest me or that I care about. Passion has to be a driving factor in writing, otherwise there is nothing unique about it. We live in a world where originality is hard to come by, and although the things I write about may have been written before, they haven’t been written in my voice, with my passion.
That’s really inspirational, and I couldn’t agree with you more. A big part of writing is about using old ideas and recreating them with your own vision and passion. That’s what sets each of us apart.
How do you find inspiration to write?
I have a pretty vivid imagination, and generally it doesn’t take much to get it going. Real life experiences provide the inspiration because I believe one of the primary purposes of writing is to bring people together through commonality.
Me too! Ever since I was a kid I was your typical daydreamer, and it seems like I never run out of ideas sometimes. I definitely agree. When readers can connect to your characters’ stories, it can draw them into the story even more.
What kind of setting do you write in most times?
I love curling up on the couch with my earbuds in and the music cranked loud. It helps drown out everything else, and I can get in the zone a lot easier. I put together soundtracks that I can write to, and I often assign songs to characters, kind of like their theme songs, and when I need to get into a feeling of a character I’ll listen to that song, or maybe a group of songs, on repeat to help me capture the essence of them.
Wow, how creative! I never thought of assigning certain songs to characters like that, though I do depend on music a lot while I write. I like to set a scene with the music, and tend to go in that direction.
I always find it interesting how authors and bloggers alike lead multiple lives. What is your dayjob? Do you enjoy it?
I manage the quality department for a call center. The work is fine, and I’m very good at doing my job. I’ve been with the company for almost 10 years, and I have largely developed the quality systems we use. My dream day-job is to write novels fulltime.
I’m glad you can enjoy your dayjob and still find the time to write. Writing full time is definitely the holy grail of dayjobs. Though I don’t plan on necessarily getting there, I share the same dream job. Maybe one day we’ll get there!
How long have you been writing?
Honestly, since I was about 5 years old. The written word has always fascinated me, and I’ve been experimenting creatively with it for as long as I can remember.
I couldn’t agree more. Writing has always been magical to me and ever present in my personal universe.
Why do you write?
I used to write for recognition, but now I write for me more than anything else. I love creating stories and characters. I even enjoy blogging once in a while. But I’ve found it’s more satisfying when I do it for me than for accolades or others.
You know, I think that’s the best place to be at as a writer. To simply write for yourself and enjoy what you’re doing. That’s the place I’m at, and I think that works come off as more real that way.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Gosh, all of it. I’m not sure I could pick one part of the process over another. I love getting the inspiration for a new story or a new character, and I can lose myself in the creation process. I love editing and refining, even though I’m never fully satisfied, perfectionist that I am. Writing is a drug for me, and sometimes I crave it more than food or water.
Totally! Each part of the process is enjoyable for me too, and though I have my favorites (*cough cough* plotting), there are times when I obsess over other cogs in the process.
What genre is your favorite to write in? Why?
I love young adult fiction. I love reading it, and I love writing it. I, like most teenagers, had some volatile years, and I’ve never completely outgrown teenage angst. I love the drama teenagers create for themselves. I love watching them overcome their own tragedies and grow into capable humans. Teenagers are blissfully ignorant and optimistic, and their resilience takes my breath away. There’s a lot adults can learn from teens, the same way they learn from us.
Me too! I’ve honed my style for quite a while and ultimately settled on something resemblant of YA. I agree that we can always learn something from others, regardless of differences in age.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In some form or another, I’ve always considered myself a writer, even though I am new to doing it professionally. I wrote a collection of poetry for a project I did in college, and even before then, I wrote short stories.
You’re not alone in being a newbie to writing professionally. I only have one published work myself, but I feel that I have more confidence in calling myself a writer since then.
Describe your writing style.
Total pantser. I like having the freedom and flexibility that comes with being able to write fluidly rather than plotting everything ahead of time.
Oh nice! I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum (plotster), but I totally understand why some people are pantsers and other plotsters.
What is the hardest lesson you had to learn as a writer?
To stick with it, and I feel like I’m still learning this lesson. Most writers can agree we are the world’s worst procrastinators, but it’s something I hope to overcome, at least to a large degree.
It’s funny you bring that up. I feel the same way. Latley I’ve been easing up a little bit on the writing. Not quite procrastinating, but trying to enjoy a well-rounded life. Sticking to it can be really tough sometimes.
What are some of the challenges you face as a writer?
Working a full time job means my time and energy during peak hours 5 days a week is being consumed doing things other than writing. I also run a busy household with 6 kids ranging in age from 4 to 19. Sometimes I wish I could lock myself away without other responsibilities and distractions and just write.
Oh gosh, I can’t even imagine adding kids to the equation. You must be a saint for your patience! I understand what you mean in general though. Working, taking care of your responsibilities, and writing on top of it can seem impossible sometimes.
Not including family, who supported your efforts to become a published author?
I’ve created some amazing friendships with other authors through a collaborative publishing course I took, and their inspiration and determination got me through some pretty tough times.
Wow, that’s great! I think every author needs a way to find others like them. I mainly acquired my author friends on Scribophile.com, and I always refer to them as my Scribe tribe. They have been such a pillar of support for me, I can’t ever thank them enough.
Who was your first publisher and what did you learn from them?
I am self-published and feel I’m still learning so much about the process and how to get better at it.
I am as well! I think that every writer should self-publish at least once in their life. You really gain so much knowledge throughout the process, much of which is invaluable. I’m looking forward to getting better at it my second time around as well.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
I know a lot of writers say stuff like “write every day” and things like that. But my advice is, never give up. There are so many times and so many things that could get in the way, and you have to push through them. Never give up.
I’m loving your optimism! I always tell folks to write when they can, but every day is an impossible goal I feel, unless writing is your full-time job. I’m glad you have faith in yourself. I do too!
Fun Facts About Adele
All right, let’s take a brief little break from serious questions and have some fun!
To begin, could you tell us a couple fun facts about you?
I was a terrible student in Jr high and high school. I hated school and rarely extended myself. I got poor grades and GPA didn’t mean anything to me. When I started college, I decided from the beginning that I was going to graduate with honors. It was a lot of work, but I successfully did it. College was a great experience.
I’ve been to the real life village of Hobbiton (Matamata, NZ) not once, but twice! I plan to visit again in a couple years. New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places in the world I’ve visited, and I often dream about owning a summer home there.
Very interesting stuff! I am beyond jealous right now! I’ve always dreamed of going to New Zealand to visit the places where they filmed LOTR. You wanting to own a summer home just solidifies how amazing it must be there. I simply must go!
What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
YA fiction is near the top, but ultimately, I have to say fantasy trumps all. I love to read about magic because magic is an extension of the five senses we know about. There’s something mysterious and compelling about magic, and the same goes for the characters who wield it. I’m also a romantic and there’s something about a medieval setting that just gets me.
It all starts with fantasy for me too. Anything magical or otherworldly is right up my alley, and I’ve never been able to get enough. YA is really good in between adult-level books for me personally.
What are you reading now?
I’ve been reading the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown. I’m typically not a big sci/fi fan, but wow, these books are incredible.
Yeah, I’ve actually heard of Pierce Brown, but haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of their books. I’ll definitely have to look into this.
Who are your favorite writers?
JRR Tolkien, Brandon Sanderson, Lois Lowry, Robert Jordan, JK Rowling, Dean Koontz, Dan Brown, and Robin McKinley.
Yay, I know most of these authors (I’m terrible with names honestly)! I LOVED Lowry’s Giver series and have them all on my bookshelf. Would definitely read those again. I also plan on reading a bunch of Sanderson’s works as well in the near future. Great recommendations here!
If you could meet anyone who ever lived, past or present, who would that be?
I’m going to have to say Jesus. He was a beautiful storyteller with His parables. He understood the plight of human nature, and I would love to listen to Him speak.
I would definitely be interested in meeting him as well. It would be nice to hear the truth about things from his point of view for sure!
What are your favorite tv shows and movies?
Well, how much time do we have for this interview? *laughs*
I love crime dramas, and among my top favorites are the original CSI, Fringe, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, Lie to Me, Bones, and Criminal Minds.
I also love medical dramas. I watched E.R. back in the day, and I love, love, love House, Call The Midwife and Grey’s Anatomy.
Outside of that, some of my all-time favorites include Game of Thrones, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Stranger Things, Yellowstone, Continuum, Outlander, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Nanny, Lois & Clark, Pretty Little Liars, the Flash, Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, and This Is Us.
Favorite movies include the Lord of the Rings, every Superman movie ever made beginning with Christopher Reeve, the original Star Wars trilogy, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Some Kind of Wonderful, The Princess Bride, Sleepless in Seattle, Pride & Prejudice (the A&E miniseries), the Court Jester, It’s a Wonderful Life, Clueless, Fried Green Tomatoes, Inception, and Anne of Green Gables (Megan Follows) just to name a few.
Lol, take all the time you need! Oh my gosh, I loved Fringe! Such a great show. You share a lot of all-time favorites with me, so if you see any great new shows you’ll definitely have to let me know!
What kind of music touches your soul?
Great question, and I don’t know if I can say for sure because I listen to a wide variety of music. Sometimes I just get a feeling about songs that speak to me, and it can be anything from classical to metal. Admittedly I do listen to a lot of EDM these days.
Yeah, my answer is different on this one pretty much every day as well. I’m super eclectic. I totally hear you on songs that seem to speak to you.
You know, I really haven’t quite gotten into EDM yet (I’m kinda picky), but I love me some techno!
If you could take a vacation anywhere, where would you go?
Right now the British Isles are very high on my list of priorities. I recently did an ancestry DNA kit, and I am almost 60% British. There is something about the mother country calling to me, and I look forward to tracing my roots. Outside of that, I have always wanted to sit on a white sand beach in the Caribbean.
Wow, yes, get in touch with your roots! That’s bound to be super exciting.
I’m not a very beachy kind of person, but lately I’ve been daydreaming about going to an exotic island to get away from it all. Take me with you, haha!
Adele and Her Current Works
Last round! Let’s talk about your works. For starters, tell us all about your new book!
Demon Reaper is a YA fantasy dealing with complex coming-of-age and identity issues in a near-future, somewhat dystopian environment, as supernatural forces are loosed on the world in an Armageddon-based paranormal romance. It’s staged in the mountains of northern Arizona/southern Utah, and follows the point of view of Skylar Grant, a seventeen-year-old girl who finds out she is an Empath, who not only has the ability to tap into other people’s emotions, but that can also manipulate energy fields.
Wow, this sounds right up my alley. I checked this out on Goodreads and am looking forward to reading in the future!
How did you come up with the title for this book?
The title comes from the primary creature Skye interacts with, a daemon ripere, which is a type of undead soul who does the bidding of the forces of evil.
Oh my, daemon ripere sounds terrifying!
What inspired you to write this book in particular? Is it part of a series?
I first dreamed about a demon reaper 6 or 7 years ago and was so intrigued by the character I have always wanted to write a novel about it. Demon Reaper is the first book of a trilogy. I am currently writing the second book of the Demon Reaper trilogy, Indigo Moon.
Wow, nice! My first book (currently unpublished) came to me like that too. I just had to write a book about it. That’s really exciting.
What was your favorite part about writing this book?
All of it. I loved formulating the characters, and I loved the world building process.
A first book is special like that, me thinks. When I wrote The Gifted Chronicles, I loved every minute of it. Even now, I miss reading it sometimes and getting into the characters’ heads.
What did you find was the hardest part about writing this book?
Long writing days. When I was down to the wire, long days became exhausting, but I knew I couldn’t relent even for a moment because once I procrastinate, it’s easier to do it again.
Good point. Writing a book is no walk in the park. I remember the last few weeks I had scheduled to finish my book were a lot like that. I ended up staying up late and finished weeks ahead of time because the thought of procrastinating on it was freaking me out.
How much of your book is based on your own experiences or those of someone you know?
There are bits and pieces of my experience growing up in the book, particularly because of the mountains the story takes place in. I’ve hiked the mountains many times and easily drew on that experience to create the rich, vivid descriptions in the book.
That’s amazing! I bet you really take the reader there with your imagery in those scenes especially.
What kind of research went into writing your book?
Google was my best friend writing this book, from researching the Civil War so I could write the prologue to researching home remedies for simple ailments and wound care when hospitals are not an option.
Google’s my best friend too! Haha, but seriously, sometimes it’s just easier to Google something.
Was there a message in your book that you were trying to convey?
This is an interesting question, because there is a little bit of a message in the book. My story takes place approximately 30 years in the future and the United States has undergone a second civil war prompted by the increasing unrest we face today socially, economically, politically, and ethically. I can’t say for sure that another civil war will be our outcome, but my book explores what could happen if things build to a breaking point.
Very intriguing. I can’t wait to see your opinion of what could be in your book!
If your book would be made into a film, who would you like to play the leads?
Well, I always envisioned Alicia Vikander as Skye, Tyler Blackburn as Chance, and a mashup of Ian Somerhalder and Henry Cavill as Damon.
Wow, very specific! I have some photos I saved on my computer of people that look just like my characters, so I can totally relate to having a very specific picture in mind.
Alright, looks like our time is almost up. One last question for you, Adele. What other projects do you have in store for the world to see in the future? Anything you can share with us?
Outside of the Demon Reaper Trilogy, I have a few ideas for a couple standalone novels. Nothing is concrete yet, but I am excited to put some time and energy into them.
Yeah, totally. It all has to start somewhere, and I bet you’ll come out with some really great material going forward!
That’s a Wrap!
All righty book worms, that wraps up my interview with Adele Cawley. I had a great experience interacting with her and getting to know her a bit better, and I hope you did also!
If you’d like to learn more about Adele and her work, she can be reached at the following social media links below. Thank you for stopping by, and have a great Friday Eve!