Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Muse”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?
CMDeer: “Muse” is set in the not too distant future when Vampires get sick of hiding and decide to revolt. It focuses on the lives of three very distinct and different classes of life – the enslaved human, the forgotten and ostracized half-breed and the ruling class Vampire.
BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?
CMDeer: I think I wrote my first story in first grade, when my teacher Mrs. Dwyer made us all create a collection of short stories. I was hooked from then and spent my entire childhood creating crazy stories. I never really thought they could go anywhere, especially when I walked into stores like Barnes and Nobel and saw that there were so many books. It wasn’t until I was a junior in high school and participated in NaNoWriMo that I felt people really wanted to hear what I had to say. From there it grew into a full blown obsession, and now I have more than 4 books under my belt.
BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?
CMDeer: The same way I get most of my ideas – completely randomly. It usually starts with a character that I get inspired from a short story or a movie or just something I saw happen. My inspiration started with Shelby, who is the name of a girl in one of my favorite series Higher Ground. I modeled Shelby’s street smarts into a vampire hunter and gave her the twist of being a half-breed. From there everything else fell into place. I didn’t know how it would end or how any of the characters would intersect, they just did.
BAB: Do you have another book in the works?
CMDeer: Yes. In November I completed a book that my friends are currently editing. It’s about an 18 year old high school girl who sees ghosts. She gets recruited by a company who really is just interested in her ability and she finds out that not everything is what it seems.
BAB: Your current novel, Muse, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?
CMDeer: Yes, I did. Even though I’m 20 years old, I always find YA novels to be so much more interesting. They have a looser speech, they’re not so technical on hidden meanings and all the jazz that full blown literature is. I want to sit down and read a book that is entertaining, not necessarily one that has hidden meaning. I try to write the same way and create books that appeal to a younger audience and still keep that loose sort of fresh style I feel most YA books have.
BAB: How did you get the inspiration for Ahnah/Ryan/Chris/Abbey/Shelby/etc?
CMDeer: Like I said before, Shelby came from the series Higher Ground, and she was played by A.J. Cook. Ryan stemmed from my idea of what humans would be like in the future, nothing but sad prey with no real purpose in life. Chris and Ahnah seemed to me to be the epitome of high class, and Ahnah was actually physically modeled after Ana Beatriz Barros, a model. Abbey was a little more complex, because I felt like the novel was missing something. Shelby was stereotypical enough of a vampire hunter that I needed another character to add tension, one who was like Shelby but not. Abbey came from the void Shelby created, a void that needed to be filled with a bumbling, imperfect girl who is just as vulnerable and breakable as the humans she wanted to protect, despite being so strong on the outside.
BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?
CMDeer: I would definitely have to say Ryan, just because I loved writing scenes with him in it. He added an interesting flair, because most men are supposed to be courageous and strong. I felt like he really showed what it would be like for humans to become slaves, because it would emasculate the men in this society.
BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?
CMDeer: When I was in first grade and I wrote a story about my cat, Ikkus (whose real name was Mr. Magoo) and his adventures in our back yard. My mom read it and thought it was the funniest thing she’d ever read, and when you’re in first grade the praise of an adult means everything.
BAB: In writing, Muse, what was your most surprising discovery?
CMDeer: I think I was surprised that I could write in third person, to be honest. I’ve always seen my books in first person, and I think by taking myself out of the equation I was able to write about Abbey and Ryan and not about “I”. It was a really powerful thing to do, and I felt more in control of the book than I ever did with first person narrative.
BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?
CMDeer: I love to do NaNoWriMo, where you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. I really do write when the mood strikes me, but because I’m a busy college student night times seem to work best. Plus, when it’s dark and creepy out I felt most inspired to write about a dark and creepy time.
BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?
CMDeer: I don’t have any experiences with a publisher.
BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?
CMDeer: Ameila Atwater-Rhodes. She published her first novel when she was 13, and it is one of my favorite books of all time. She really showed me that I didn’t have to be a 20-something year old English major to write a book, and that anyone with passion and dedication can do it.
BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?
CMDeer: Thank you for interveiwing me! I would like to tell them thank you for all your support, and also not to give up on your dreams. If you’re an aspiring author, remember that each rejection letter brings you one step closer to your ultimate goal, and the more you surge on the stronger you are.
Available from Lulu.