18 Aug 2014

Author Interview / Caroline Greyling

‘Magical’ is the only word that can describe the moss-covered trunks and exposed roots; the dark, rich earth; the rays of sunshine glittering with dust particles; the unearthly swirls of mist tangling through the leaves and between the branches. It’s easy to believe in fairies from this vantage point.

At sixteen, all Shaylee Greene wants is to become a dancer and her biggest problems in life are her over-protective parents and a strange recurring dream she’s been having most of her life. Then she wakes up on her seventeenth birthday and discovers that she has been marked.

Ripped from her beloved South Africa, home for most of her life, Shaylee is sent, without explanation, to a tiny town in the Forest of Dean, England, to live with her grandmother, whom she has not seen since age seven. Here, Shaylee learns that she is not who she thought she was.

Assigned one protector and promised to another, she must come to terms with her unexpected attraction for both boys, learn about her fantastical heritage, uncover some harsh truths about her past and fight to survive in this new world fraught with dangers she never knew existed.


1.    If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why? 
Maggie Stiefvater. She is my absolute favourite (SA English!) author of all time. There is something just so lyrical and poetic about the way she writes. Her words and her characters brush a special place in my heart with every novel.

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write? 
Which ‘job’ are you referring to? I have two...or three...or four. I wake up at 5am, get the kids ready for school, commute to work and listen to a great Audible book on the way, work in the exciting Telecoms industry full day, commute home (and listen again!), do the mommy-wifey cooking and homework what-not, study for an hour or so, check up on my emails, blog and social media, write until my eye’s get heavy (sometimes next to the fireplace, next to the kids who are watching some TV, or at one of the tables), climb into bed and read until my eyes burn, listen to a book on my kindle until I fall asleep. Rinse, repeat...Weekends are my favourite though, because I can wake up and write, write, write!

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you? 
Time, but we find time to do the things we love, and there isn’t much I love more than writing.

4.  When and why did you first start writing? 
I remember sitting with my best friend, Bronwyn, on the school quad, talking about how I would one day write novels and dedicate my first one to her. (Yip, she’s in there!) From my early school days, writing was always my dream and it was one of the first things I put on my ‘dream chart’. I used to write stories and diary excerpts in hard cover exercise books, but many of my projects never saw the end-of-race ribbon. ‘Five’ was my first serious decision to write, and there will be many to come!

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?
No, it didn’t come to me in a dream... unless day dreaming also counts? I LOVE the young adult paranormal genre and I have a thing for fairies. Trouble is, I never wanted to write about the typical cliché wings and wands. I wanted to write something ‘real’ but magical. I wanted my readers to believe that the friend sitting next to them at school could really be one of them. So I took out my trusty old computer and typed ‘What if’ at the blinking cursor, then I proceeded to fill in the blanks, much like Shaylee does for the emotion excerpts at the beginning of each chapter of ‘Five’. From these ‘What if’s’, ‘Five’ emerged.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? 
Yes, yes and yes again! I don’t think it’s possible to be a good writer unless you’re a good reader first. My current series, (which has made it onto my favourite series list) is Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. It has everything I love in a great series; action, romance, mystery. Go and get your copy! Seriously!

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Stop making excuses and start chasing your dreams. At the end of the day, it is words that count – or should I say word-count. Find time to do what you love and do what you love.