Guest Post: Calista Lynne Author of We Awaken

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hi Everyone! 

Just stopping by today with a Guest Post from an author, Calista Lynne. She reached out to me to help with getting the word out about her book and provided me with the answer to the question that I love to ask....what made you write this book? Below is a guest post representing her thoughts. 

Please help me welcoming her!


Writing from Life

or Where The Hell Did This Novel Come From?
By Calista Lynne

 I like to say that I used up all my life experience in my first novel. At the time, it seemed like I squeezed everything from my teenage years into a story and would never have anything to write about again. While writing purely from imagination is fantastic in theory, it’s practically impossible in action. I don’t know of any fiction authors who don’t litter their stories with real life occurrences, even if they are skewed and exaggerated to suit an elevated plotline. It’s part of the reason why I use a pseudonym and am wary of people I know reading my novel. They might look at my character sitting around in a hotel in Baltimore and remember the times I visited the city with my parents growing up. This is where the argument of whether authors should be held accountable for the unwelcome opinions of their characters comes into debate, but that’s a completely separate issues.

We Awaken is about two female asexuals in a same sex relationship, one of which is a creator of dreams. Obviously I am not, nor have I ever met, someone who could be likened to the sandman, but still there are a lot of scenes in the story that I plucked out of my life growing up. From songs played in cars to places visited, many of the backdrops to scenes are very much places and events I have witnessed firsthand. My other inspiration was the fact that I wanted to write the representation I wanted to read growing up and hadn’t seen much of in literature up to that point.The only issue is, up until the book was written I always felt as if I hadn’t lived very widely. My heart was on those pages and I had nothing left for future pieces. 

So I got on an airplane and crossed an ocean at the age of 17 to live in London all by myself. Okay, so I was a week away from turning 18, but it was definitely an interesting knee-jerk sort of reaction to feeling stifled by suburbia. Now I have inspiration thrown at me from all directions and it’s almost too much. Here are some things I did in my first few months of being British:

     Accidentally end up in Essex trying to get to Ikea
     Be a featured extra in an upcoming British rom-com
     Work for both a magazine and a theatre
     Take- and do poorly in- clown classes
     Overhear kilted bagpipers trash talk one another in a pub
     Pay frequent visits to a man who plays a tuba which is actually a flamethrower
Of course I do much more than this, but these are a few incidents that stick out in the mind as being particularly interesting. So if you look in one of my future novels and see a character wandering Essex confused, asking which part of London it is because they just want to buy some damn sheets, know that it probably isn’t as fictional as the genre would have you believe. Being an expat is loads of fun and it’s always interesting to be the Token American even if I have difficulties with British sarcasm and figuring out what a courgette is. I’m not sure if I’ll stay in Europe forever, especially considering the state of my visa, but for now I have the Shakespeare Globe and Cadbury chocolate and everything is alright.

 If you’re interested in reading about the antics of the ladies loving each other in my first novel, here is the synopsis. Good luck trying to spot where my inspiration came from: 

Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.
 But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price.


Author Bio:
Calista Lynne grew up on the American East Coast and is currently studying in London. She is having difficulty adjusting to the lack of Oxford commas across the pond and writes because it always seemed to make more sense than mathematics. Look for her near the caffeinated beverages.

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Happy Reading! 


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