The Author Visits Spotlights Candace Thomas

The Author Visits Spotlights Candace Thomas

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Interview with Candace

Enjoy my interview with Candace Thomas, award-winning author of the YA fantasy series, Vivatera.

Veena: Welcome Candace! It’s great to meet you.
Candace: Thanks for having me.
Veena: Let’s get started, shall we? I am midway through Vivatera and loving the story of Naomi and Reynolds. Where did the concept for Vivatera and Conjectrix come from? 
Candace: I was working on something else and it just wasn’t going anywhere. And silly, daily conversations plagued my dreams, one in particular about tattoos. And I work up about 4 AM and my brain wouldn’t shut off and I thought of a girl with a strange tattoo on her neck that she hated and hid it everyday under a scarf. My brain worked out details instead of sleeping until I finally got out of bed and started writing out a synopsis, then characters, a map, I’ve never been so excited about a story. I jumped into writing it, got seven chapters for Vivatera, found out I was pregnant, didn’t write for a year and then went back and finished it. Conjectrix is so different than V. I wanted to explore the consequences of the magic and build the tension. It’s been really great.
Veena: These books are part of a series – did you know the ending of the series before you even started or is it coming together organically?
Candace: I have a general idea, but I really like creativity to have a role in how the story ends up. When I first came up with the idea, I wrote down a detailed synopsis of where I wanted it to go. But I truly thought it would be one book, because I didn’t understand my own writing style and naively thought there was no way I could write more than one book. I enjoy being with the characters so much I’m afraid to end it. I like hanging out with them.
Veena: And so does that make you a plotter or a panster? 
Candace: I can’t say panster without giggling. Well, how about this, I have the directions on how to navigate the ship, but whether it arrives at the same destination is really placed in the characters hands. I don’t ever want to forget about my audience either, they are really important to the story, so how they react to what happens is key.
Veena: What inspires you to write?
Candace: Daily things. Little things. I’m a writer, it’s in me, and I’m constantly observing life. I’m inspired by the little insignificant details that make up a day – watching my daughter put on finger nail polish, eating cereal at midnight, little quirky things like that.
Veena: Do you have a writing ritual? How do you balance writing and the rest of you responsibilities?
Candace: I write at night as a way to decompress. I am the first to admit that when I am waist deep into writing a novel, I get out the paper plates and we eat a lot of microwaveable food. Writing is part of my life, so when balancing life with writing, my family have become very good acrobats.
Veena: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Candace: I should have stuck with acting. I regret I didn’t become a Disney Princess at Disneyland. I always thought I would make an excellent Alice in Wonderland.
Veena: As an author, what advice do you have for aspiring writers? Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Candace: My BEST piece of advice – DON’T LOOK BACK! Just keep writing. Several people write a bunch and then go back and reread and rewrite the first chapters over and over and OVER AGAIN  and never go on with the story. The reality of it is you need to know how the story is going to END, so don’t focus on the first part, stick it out to the end and then go back. You will look at it with fresh eyes and know what is needed and what should be fixed. So many great novels are only partially written.
Veena: How long have you been writing? Has writing been a childhood dream?
Candace: I’ve written forever. As a child I wanted to be a movie director and thought I would write screenplays, then I went into acting and thought I would be a playwright. I wrote parodies in high school. But in college it was pretty clear to me that I was a novelist, and there I could set up my stage however I wished. It was a perfect platform for me.
Fun facts about Candace:
a. Favorite movie? What’s Up Doc with Barbara Streisand. I LOVE that movie.
b. Favorite meal? Big Count Chocula fan.
c. What’s on your nightstand? I currently have an old pair of glasses, my dream notebook, some change, and Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. (I promise Aly, I’ll finish it one day)
d. Must see city and why? I need to see LONDON. I feel my life is not complete without a British Accent.
e. Favorite gadget? I’m a loser and have to say my phone. It’s my best friend, my third child, though I should say that I’m really enjoying my electric LED Haunted House with the flying witch on her broom that I’m watching as I write this. It’s mesmerizing.
f. What’s the #1 thing on your bucket list? Have brunch with JK Rowling, but if she’s busy I’ll take Benedict Cumberbatch.
g. Most meaningful moment as a writer: Just the other day I got a message from a mom of a girl I sent an autographed book to. Her daughter was freaking out when she got it in the mail. That’s why I love my job, inspiring young people one book at a time.
f. Favorite quote: One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman and he wrote something I felt kin to now that I am a grown-up with grown-up things to do. “Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”  ~ The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
Had a great time getting to know Candace! I hope you did too. Thanks for stopping by!

About Vivatera


Author: Candace Thomas

Series: Vivatera, Book #1

Publisher: Xchyler Publishing

Date Published: April 10, 2013

Pages: 358 pages

Blurb: Not even Naomi’s prophetic dreams prepare her for the mysterious wanderer who appears just in time to snatch her from danger—nor the upheaval he brings in his wake. No knight in shining armor, Reynolds once risked Naomi’s life, and that dark secret again threatens it. When Naomi discovers the world of magic and of what she is capable, not even Reynolds can slow the fate barreling down upon them both.

About Candace

Candace Thomas

Candace was born and raised in Utah, where she experienced a unique upbringing in a small country town.

Candace J. Thomas started scripting parodies of plays at a young age and had dreams of becoming a playwright. This led to her studying theater and creative writing at the University of Utah. She is the winner of the Diamond Award for Novel of the Year for VIVATERA, published by Xchyler Publishing, April 2013. She has also been featured in the fantasy anthology MOMENTS IN MILLENNIA. CONJECTRIX, Book 2 of the VIVATERA series, was completed in April, 2014.

When not writing, Candie loves anything that expands her imagination, especially if it’s nerdy or geek-worthy. Her lifelong goal is to one day have a convincing British accent. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two girls, and tailless cat.

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