Welcome, Kadee Cardee! Thank you for taking time to answer our questions. So, let’s get started.
(Find the hidden gem from Kadee to get her free offer!)
How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?
Writing and telling stories has always been my way of communicating and coping with life. My parents encouraged me to read as a child and that love of stories and imagining life as a different character would serve as a foundation for the games I’d play. While doing my chores, I’d imagine I was a character in a story who had to accomplish the chores because someone’s life was at stake—
haha!—and would often put them down on paper. My book characters and the preliminary ideas for the storyline were based off of a game my friends and I played when we were thirteen. We pretended to be pirates and fearless heroines and girls who’d accomplish these big missions to save the world. All while laughing and wearing cute accessories, of course.
Who is your favorite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?
Madeleine L’Engle has been a favorite author of mine for quite some time. When I went through a difficult period after college, when I didn’t know what I was doing with my life and what I wanted to do, a friend of mine suggested reading her book Walking On Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. She talks of art as being a way of making cosmos out of chaos. The book spoke to me so much I decided to get my Master of Fine Art in Creative Writing. I’ve started collecting her books and hope to find as many as possible! Her later non-fiction works are my favorite.
What genre do you enjoy reading? What’s your favorite book and why
I love reading all types of literature. Since I teach English and literature, I feel it’s somewhat my responsibility to try out a wide variety so I can stay current and applicable. I really enjoy a good mystery book. The Richard Castle books are some of my favorites, and currently I’m diving into James Patterson’s thrillers, although the content is much more adult-rated than I prefer. But I guess two of my favorite books are “Walking on Water” by Madeleine L’Engle and “Sailing Alone Around The Room” by Billy Collins. Either one of those you can pick up and find something happy to read.
If you’ve published a series, what is the series about?
My five books with Clean Reads all have to do with each other. The Insurrection trilogy follows Saylor MacTavish, an orphan, who finds herself on a mysterious Caribbean island with these creatures which have been created to kill. She must learn how to fight these creatures in order to save herself and her orphan sisters/besties and discovers that she absolutely loves being a part of the Alliance Military Guard and destroying these artificially intelligent automations. The trilogy (INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE) follows Saylor’s development through this process. The fourth book, HERE BE DRAGONS, follows her romantic interest along his own mission with Alliance, to the wilds of Australia as he shuts down a new program rogue members of Alliance created. Then in the fifth and last book following Alliance, we get to see Saylor and Tucker working in tandem to upright their military guard and stop the last rogue board member from taking their advanced tech to new heights…and new lows. EARTHSHINE will be released in late 2018, probably in October.
What was it like creating back to back stories that link?
Honestly, I feel like during the last three years I lived in a strange fog. I was constantly thinking of Saylor and these characters, and how they’d play out their decisions. I go on a walk every day for about an hour, and would spend so much of that time thinking about What Would Saylor Do, and what’s the best way to unwind this plot. I lived in two separate worlds – Saylor’s world, and my world. It was fun, but it was also exhausting. I’ve created these memories that never actually happened. It’s either weird or really cool or maybe both. So in coming out of that fog I’ve had to say goodbye to these characters I’ve held with me for most of my life, and it’s been a tearing away of this life I’ve created. I love to go back and read the books because it’s like coming home.
Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could, what genre would you like to dabble in?
I’ve actually begun a new book or possibly series in adult suspense.
What has been your most proud moment as an author?
When I received a five-star review from a book reviewer, that was probably one of my biggest highlights. The reviewer pinpointed several themes which I had hoped readers would interpret, and receiving that validation served as one small win in this crazy world of publishing.
Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?
I actually did that earlier today. Haha! Just kidding! No, but I did get a new laptop because my old one couldn’t keep up. YES. Writing has to be one of the hardest and most unappreciated vocations because “anybody can write” and there’s no end for improving a work of literature.
Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?
I am a plotter all the way, and I must write linearly. During the writing of INDELIBLE, which is 140,000 words (I know, right! A lot happens in there.) I had the ending from the start, so I wrote it, and then the beginning, and then joining up the middle became quite challenging because I couldn’t remember what my characters knew. I decided from then on to stick with what worked for me and the following two were much easier once I had found my writing rhythm. I like to start out on my white board and draw the plot line, and add in the points along the way.
Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?
Punctuation itself is a challenge. I weirdly adore grammar and even took Advanced Grammar as an elective in college. If you do struggle with those details, I highly recommend Grammar Girl. I found her site when struggling with passive voice and always recommend her to everyone I know. She simplifies the issue and provides an easy, memorable way to remember the corresponding rule/guideline.
So… where can we get your books?
All of my books are available on Amazon! Here are links, but you can also check out KadeeCarder.com on the Books tab to see more options.
HERE BE DRAGONS:
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
I love this question. As we’ve learned from Shakespeare, a big ego gets you into hot water. Successful people obtain three important characteristics: belief in self, belief in God, and the knowledge that failure or struggle is simply an opportunity for growth. In EARTHSHINE I explored this idea and the fact that sometimes fear stems from a real knowledge of impending pain or failure, but it’s best to face it head on anyway. Because that’s where the soul fully comes alive.
Do all things with humility and in the name of love. God is love. I believe in God and that he’s instructed us to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus never doubted himself or the fact that he had power running through his veins. He served in love, offering truth, and all people can do this as well, regardless of vocation.
So, in a way, yes. The dictionary defines ‘ego’ as: the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought. Each and every person on this planet has been entrusted to this time and space. God has called you here below. He’s given each person specific talents, interests, dreams, and weaknesses. Each person has his own businesss to attend to, and ought believe fully in his work.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
When I first began writing and the reviews began to come in, I handled them well, since they were good reviews. Ha! I was instructed by my publisher to submit my books to reviewers and blogs and everywhere. So I did. Mostly I received crickets. But one site decided to review my books and both the first and second books were not received well. AT ALL. I don’t know why the reviewers hated my books…you know that movie THE JERK and a gunman holds up a rifle trying to take out Martin, and keeps hitting a bunch of cans, and Martin yells, “Stay away from the cans! He hates these cans!” Well. When my jaw fell to the earth’s pit of darkness and the valley of the shadow of death as I read the reviews, I had a life-altering moment.
My worst fears had finally been realized. I took a walk. I decided right then and there I was DONE and everything was pointless and I’d wasted all these years of my life working on these useless books…and my heart broke. I mean, I’d spent my life working on these books and characters. I’d written my heart into them, and it was all ripped apart.
And my husband said, “If you can’t deal with a bad review, then you might as well quit now.” Then he hugged me at some point. He was right, though. Everybody has an opinion. Every author has a bad review. I’m not a big Harry Potter fan (I know). Every person has a unique bent toward or away from a certain piece of work. What I’ve come to settle on is that God gave me these stories. He gave me the drive to write, the time to write, and the community to support me as I did. God will bring my work to the readers who need it. I have a hard time with this because I’d like to see more financial and physical success, but this may just be the thing I’m supposed to do. Maybe part of my job is to persevere and see where God takes it. “You cannot waste time,” Byron Katie said. You invest your time and energy as you go, and none of it is a waste. It’s all part of your beautiful story, making you who you are and who you’re supposed to be.
That bad review led me to taking a couple mindset courses and reading LOVING WHAT IS by Byron Katie, and those have opened my eyes to how wonderful this story is that we’re in. These light and momentary struggles can appear overwhelming at the time. But each fear, each weakness offers an opportunity to grow. In facing fear head on, and finding that you can survive it, you become more of who you’re supposed to be.
The following morning my eyes fluttered open, and I felt more awake than ever. Getting those reviews didn’t kill me! I was still alive! I was still fully capable of going to the gym, of singing, of laughing, of hugging my daughters, of writing something new, and fresh, and even better than before. I realized that not every book is for every person, and my writing would have its own audience in its own time. The first step was gratitude for my audience, the second step was believing God strides with me, and the third was getting back in front of the keyboard and typing in the trenches.
What would you like readers to know?
All of my books have different themes of empowerment, of challenging yourself, of facing fear, and of courage under fire. If you need a reminder, here you go: You can do so much more than you imagine.
Fierce yet sparkly, I help seekers find brave new worlds. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, and non-fiction inspirational IGNITE roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
Subscribe to my newsletter (HIDDEN GEM) to receive a free copy of IGNITE, 60 pages of laughs, inspiration, and empowerment, walking through the trenches of dream-weaving (or just getting up out of bed. Life be hard some days, yo. She gets ya.) Ever feel like giving up? Don’t do it. Read IGNITE and find your spark(le). http://www.kadeecarder.com/