Please welcome author Callie Kingston!
Callie’s home is in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with an assortment of furry creatures (husband included). She has a master’s degree in Psychology. When not writing or working, she likes to explore the outdoors, especially the forests and beaches along the Oregon coast. Callie also enjoys a great cup of cappuccino, which happily is easily found in her part of the world.
Plus Callie has a beautiful new YA book:
Marissa is nearly eighteen and can’t wait to leave behind her traumatic past. With long time boyfriend Drake, she thinks she has her future all figured out–until she discovers his betrayal. She flees to a desolate beach on the wild Oregon coast hoping to escape her pain, where, overcome with emotional and physical exhaustion, she dozes off beside a log. When the first icy waves strike her, it is too late: a rogue wave drags her out to sea.
Somehow she survives, and now each night she dreams of a creature who rescues her. Determined to discover the truth, her obsession deepens until she once again risks her life in the frigid ocean. Will the creature Marissa seeks save her? Will she be lost forever in the eddies of her mind, or will Jim, her new boyfriend, keep her from drowning in the abyss?
“Time passed in slow-mo, as if some twisted deity wanted to prolong Marissa’s torment as long as possible. She was numb, like a soldier in the war, right after rolling his Humvee over a roadside bomb. Shell shock, her history teacher had called it. Unlike the soldier’s, her limbs were intact, but they seem gripped by some other girl, one whose brain still functioned. She walked to the car and put her suitcase in the back. Her possessed arms calmly shut the Honda’s hatch.
Marissa’s body was passively transported to the driver’s side. Her mind acquired a peculiar clarity as her hands clutched the steering wheel. With new resolve, she turned the key in the ignition. Slowly backed out of the carport. Kept her eyes glued to the rear view mirror. Don’t look to the side, a stern voice in her mind ordered. He’ll be standing there, and you won’t have the strength to leave. Just get out of here. Go!”
Callie, I am always interested in where authors write—do you have a designated spot for writing?
When I first started writing, I wanted to keep my new aspirations a secret. That meant I had notebooks and loose leaf paper stashed everywhere—the glove box (which becomes a scene in Undertow), my bedside cabinet, even the bathroom! Now that I’ve come out of the closet and started drafting on computer, my favorite spot is propped in my bed. Huge Douglas fir trees fill my window view and reflect off the dresser mirror, and I feel like I’m in the forest. But I still keep a notebook in the car for when I have a few minutes at lunch. Then I’ll go park near the library grounds or stop in a quiet restaurant. The one place I never write—my work office. I’m way too busy anyway.
I love the beautiful, west coast setting of Undertow (and the cover is perfect!)—did you listen to music while you wrote, and if so, what songs do you feel represents Marissa’s story or the setting?
Like many Oregonians, I’m a transplant who fell in love with the incredible beauty of the coastline and forests. Much of what I left on the cutting floor were scenes describing lush landscapes and environmental issues affecting the state. Most of Undertow was written without music, because the family was asleep, or I was in a hotel room, in the car, etc. But I can see the movie in my head and hear the soundtrack:
All the Go Between – Silversun Pickups
Map of the Problematic – Muse
Brick by Boring Brick – Paramore
Help I’m Alive – Metric
Jezebel – Iron & Wine
New Soul – Yael Naim
Reasons to Love You – Meiko
**Listen to Callie’s playlist here!
What do you do when you feel stalled in your writing process?
There were a few weeks I stalled while writing Undertow, mostly because my life is overloaded with obligations. But when I’m not writing, I feel bereft. Humans have an innate drive to create, and for me, writing is the ultimate form of expression. Usually if I stall, it’s because everything else is crowding out the space. A walk (especially in the woods) allows my brain to de-clutter and opens the conduit for ideas to flow. Much of Undertow was written in my mind before I sat down and recorded the scenes. Finally, if truly stuck, it’s often anxiety. Will this be good enough? Nah, it might suck. But it’s a start: just pick up a pen and start writing.
Thank you Callie!
Undertow is available in paperback and Kindle at Amazon.
Check out the entire Undertow blog tour here:
One Kindle copy of Undertow will be given away at each stop. Everyone who comments throughout the tour will be entered into Callie’s grand prize giveaway to take place on her blog at the end of the tour. So click on the Blog tour image above and check out the tour & prizes!
As always I love to hear from you! Feel free to say HI to Callie in the comments.
Also, Callie’s Undertow playlist is very cool and since I often write while listening to music, I am curious–as writers or readers, What are your thoughts on music and playlists for books?