Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tour Stop and Interview with Debut Author Haley Fisher

I'm happy to invite YA Author Haley Fisher to my blog today to talk about her debut novel Rising Calm. She's been kind enough to do an interview with me to share about her book and being a writer.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Silver Tongue Press
Release Date: February 14, 2013

Book Description:

On Cara Weaver’s first day at her new high school—merely the next in a long line of new schools—she meets two senior boys: James Sable and Crispin Calaway. They’re new too; they’ve been at the school just longer than she has, and they’ve never made an effort to reach out to anyone. Until she comes. When her friends find out, they’re awed. But Cara can't shake the feeling that there’s more to James and Crispin than the two are telling.

As the days go on, everything at her new home seems to be going better than it has in any of the previous cities she’s lived in. She loves her friends, gets a job at a bookstore, and even starts to spend more time with Crispin and James. She’s happy. But all that begins to change when she comes to realize that the two boys she’s becoming close to are hiding something. It’s then that she knows her unexplainable wariness of them has been justified all along. But she keeps it a secret.

Days later, when a stranger accosts her outside a small shopping center, Crispin and James arrive just in time to help her. But they seem know the attacker. And instead of running him off, Crispin and James take Cara away, for her own protection.

With little explanation, Cara is told that she’s important and that she can’t go home until the boys have sorted some things out. In the meantime, Cara’s world is being turned upside down as she finds out that there is more to her life than she possibly imagined.

Interview with Haley Fisher

First off, tell us how it all started. When did you know you were a writer?

I still hardly know that I’m a writer! I’ve known I was a reader since I was a little kid who settled into the couch with my parents and a Dr. Seuss book, but writing…? That took longer to establish. The first time I really remember someone acknowledging my reading and writing was in fifth grade. I always had a book with me, and my fifth grade teacher actually did a lot in supporting that. He recommended books that were above the fifth-grade reading level that he thought I could really understand and enjoy. He gave me small writing tips that he wasn’t necessarily teaching to the rest of the class. He just knew I needed them. And when we had to write a short story and mine took on a life of its own, he didn’t mind. My “short” story evolved into a handwritten chapter book, to the point where I didn’t even write the required final draft, and he gave me an “A”. I still have it. That’s the moment I remember knowing I loved writing, but I didn’t do much about it until high school and Rising Calm.

Tell us a little bit about Rising Calm.

Rising Calm is young adult fantasy about a sixteen-year-old girl. Her parents are distant around she and her younger sister, like they don’t quite know how to raise children now that they had them, so Cara Weaver, my protagonist, spends a lot of her time taking care of her sister. She just moved for the eighth time to a new state, and when she starts school she meets two boys who have just moved in as well.

(This is the part where, as a reader, I get excited. Finally, the good-looking guys!)

Crispin Calaway and James Sable are fairly kept to themselves, but they are willing to branch out to get to know Cara. And she does her best to accept it, even while she doesn’t understand it. But their interest in her starts to make more and more sense while her life starts to make less and less, until suddenly she is thrust into a completely new world. One that’s been waiting for centuries to meet her.

How did you come up with the idea for Rising Calm?

The million-dollar question. The honest answer is that I don’t know exactly. But that’s not what readers want to hear… Unfortunately I didn’t have a Stephanie Meyer moment where everything came to me in a dream. Actually, Rising Calm changed so often that I’m sure even the characters were confused sometimes. The basic idea was one that I had scribbled down once upon a time because I thought it could be intriguing. But it grew so much farther out of that. I had a dozen story ideas written down that I thought could be fun, and when I decided I want to spend some time trying to write “girl saves the world”, I had no idea that I could pull from so many of those story ideas and characters. Crispin and Cara weren’t originally in the same story. James and Crispin weren’t even originally in the same story. But I tried sticking them together and doing some tweaking with their personalities and backgrounds, and suddenly the trio was born! Sophie was another late addition, as was David. The Kansas setting was extra-late to the game. In truth, all I had was a general idea that I had come up with and had the foresight to write down when I was in middle school. From there and other ideas, it grew on its own.

Are you the kind of writer who follows a certain schedule or do you just scribble things down whenever you get the chance?

I don’t even have something that resembles a schedule. The closest I get is: “I have nothing to do on Saturday. I should think about writing then.” My life right now doesn’t really allow for a schedule. I have classes at college, and I have work, and I have volunteering, and I have friends and books and hobbies. So I have to squeeze in the time to write. I scribble down scenes in class and during my breaks at work, and I usually have my laptop out and open to my story when I’m at home. But I never have any set plans on how much to write every day. I don’t have time set aside for it. I write when I get inspired—that’s the closest thing to a schedule I have.

Did you plan out the whole book before you started writing or did you just write and see what came?

Both. Originally, I thought it would be necessary to outline everything. I needed to know exactly where I was going to end up, right? That didn’t work out so well. There were big chunks in the outline where I didn’t know what would go on the book at that point. And I’m not the type who can come up with things like that on cue. So after multiple attempts at what I thought needed to be a professional, authory outline, I threw it in the trash. The idea came to me out of nowhere; the scenes and dialogue were doing the same. I figured that I’d make it work. And that actually worked better for me. Letting the story move and the characters do what they wanted both surprised and pleased me, because they knew better than I did. I’d often be halfway through a scene, and the inspiration for the following two chapters would strike because everything was falling into place. Not a fool-proof method, but it keeps it interesting.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Have any other hobbies?

Besides reading? Reading some more. I really love movies and TV shows, so I spend more time than I maybe should catching up on all of those. I’m a big fan of KU basketball, so when the Jayhawks are on in the winter, that becomes something to work my schedule around. I love music and hanging out with friends and family. But, honestly, reading and writing are my hobbies. They’re what I do in my free time when I don’t have school or work or homework.

What is your favorite book and movie?

My favorite book is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I’ve had it since fifth grade, I’ve probably read it a dozen times, and I always get new things out of it as well as remembering why it’s the best book I’ve ever read. The relationship I have with that book is one I can’t even describe. It’s simply amazing, and I recommend it to everyone even if in the end I can’t tell them why I love it as much as I do.

My favorite movie is a toss up between twenty different films. I know most readers have trouble picking a favorite novel; that’s me with movies. I love The Count of Monte Cristo, Shakespeare in Love, Good Will Hunting, Moulin Rouge and anything Disney. How To Train Your Dragon is pretty high up there. I guess Penelope might be the top pick. It only wins by a little, though.

Admit it, all writers are quirky! Do you have any quirks when you write, like favorite music or treats?

I listen to music most of the time that I write, but the only thing quirky about that it the type of song I have to have playing. I can’t listen to just anything, but it can also be any artist in any genre within other restrictions. It can’t be music that’s brand new to me, because I can’t focus on liking new songs and trying to write a good scene at the same time. But they also can’t be songs that make me need to sing along, because I can’t write and sing at the same time. Not successfully, anyway. So they need to be songs that I love, that evoke some kind of feeling I can draw from, and that I at most hum along to.

As for treats… There isn’t anything that I have to have in order to write. Usually I like to have something to snack on while I think, but I don’t search anything out specifically. Although cookie dough does seem to make the entire process a little better!

What inspires you most when it comes to writing?

Reading. More than anything, I think my love of reading has influenced my writing. If I didn’t love stories and books and reading as much as I do, I don’t think it would have ever been a dream of mine to become a writer. Other people’s stories, all of them, are what made me want to write my own. So the books I read and the scenes I see and the characters I fall in love with make me more excited than anything to keep writing.

I know we try not to choose favorites, but who was your favorite character in Rising Calm?

Surprisingly, I found that Crispin became my favorite. He was just so different than how I started out believing he’d be. Cara and James and Max and Jade and David, while all wonderful, stuck the way I expected them to be. And I love their personalities and how they all turned out, but Crispin became so much fun, because he became the epitome of the idea of a character writing themselves.

So what comes next for you? Tell us a little about your works in progress.

Well, I can’t give away too much about my works in progress. Writer’s secrets and all that. The sequels to Rising Calm are all in the works, however, the next of which is Gathering Clouds, and I have a stand-alone book I’m excited about as well as a dystopian trilogy. They aren’t far enough along to give the plots away just yet, though!

In your opinion, what is the most important thing in a good book?

The characters. There is nothing more annoying to me than when a book sounds absolutely wonderful and I end up tired of the main character three chapters in. If the protagonist isn’t relatable or lacks any kind of common sense or is too boy-or-girl-obsessed, then it takes away from the quality of the book. The characters have to be great. They have to be real.

What is the best advice you could give to young or aspiring writers?

Take your time! The hardest thing for me was—and still is—being patient with my own story. It takes a long time to write a book, to put together a plot, to develop characters, and to turn your idea into something other people will want to read, and trying to rush it is going to do more to hurt you than it is going to help. I know how eager you can be to just be done, to have everything finished and in its place, but your story will get there when it’s ready. Listen to your characters. They know what they’re doing, and if they don’t want to go any faster than don’t make them.

About The Author:

I'm Haley Fisher, a college student in Kansas, and I've just signed a contract with a company called Silver Tongue Press to publish my first book!

For as long as I can remember I've been an avid reader and an aspiring writer, but the step toward actually getting a book published is an enormous one for me. This is a big deal. And, as I've been told, the next step to being successful is getting the word out that my book exists.

Rising Calm is the first in a series of books about a young girl who finds out her life and her fate are far bigger than she ever realized. At the risk of giving too much away, the most I can tell you for now is that there is magic, prophecy, new worlds, and a cast of characters who I love to write.

Haley will be giving away 5 Copies of Rising Calm – US/Canada have choice of ebook or paperback, International Winners will receive an ebook. So don't forget to put you name in!
(Find the giveaway in the sidebar to the right of the blog -->)

Follow the rest of the tour here


  1. That's really interesting. Oh and btw, I love the new background!

    1. Glad you like it ;) You should try this book out

  2. Thank you for hosting today :-)
    Great Post!!!!!

  3. This was really a good interview and I am so impressed with this author. I have read Rising Calm and enjoyed it alot! My daughter has also read (she is 14 years old) and enjoyed it! We are both looking forward to the next, Author Haley Fisher is very talented and I wish her the best on her tour:)

    1. Thanks for stopping by, I hope to read the book soon, I regret never having time to review for book tours, but glad to know it's good =)

  4. Wow, I am definitely going to add this book to my "to read" list!

  5. Developing characters are so much fun.

  6. Really nice interview!

    Pit Crew

  7. Great interview!! I absolutely loved this book. As a matter of fact, I'm going to be reading it again, soon. :)