Name Kyleigh Castronaro
Age Twenty Four
Where are you from Ontario, Canada
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc I’m recently married and live at home currently with my husband, mom and grandpa. We just moved back from the UK to Canada so my mom has been awesome enough to let me stay with her until my husband gets his visa and can work. I have a miniature dachshund named Hera who is my furbaby. No kids, but they’re on the horizon in the next 3-4 years. I have a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Film Studies from the University of Waterloo. I’ve been writing my entire life – in fact my mom recently pulled out a box of work from when I was a kid and in it was an entire binder filled with illustrated stories I wrote when I was 9-14. It was fun looking back at those and seeing where I began and where I’ve come.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news? Lately I’ve been live blogging my latest novel – White Frost – while I write it for the month of November. I’m hoping to have the full e-book of that ready in December as it’s a Christmas-themed story. I also just released the third book in the Grace of Gods series – Tyranny of a Prince back in September and next month I have the second book in the Twisted Fairy Tales series coming out – Mionanamithe (a retelling of Rumplestiltskin).
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As I mentioned above I’ve always sort’ve been writing. It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I decided to take the plunge and become a self-published author. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been telling stories and sharing them with friends and family alike.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I’ve always considered myself a writer. I’ve never really not called myself that because I’ve always had some kind of story on the go but it took me almost a decade to actually write something that I put “The End” at the end.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve been online roleplaying since I was 12 and that community is strong with writers but I happened to meet someone whose ideas always coincided with mine and we ended up becoming writing partners. My first book Ode to the Queen is based on a couple that we created for a roleplay but I felt had a stronger story to tell.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure. That’s a tough question because generally I just write and it’s usually critics that point out writing styles. None of my reviewers have ever mentioned anything to me.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The titles of the Grace of Gods series all come from well known phrases relating to royalty as each character the book focuses on has a “title” when it comes to their position in the Greek Pantheon. As for my Twisted Fairy Tales series… Sometimes the title comes to me from the story (Mionanamithe) and other times I’ve had to ask my fans. It was fans who named Desecrated Beauty (a retelling of Beauty and the Beast) and they picked White Frost from a list of titles I came up with for my retelling of Snow White.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Generally no. I write for pleasure because I read for pleasure and my biggest thing is I write the books I would like to read. If I were to ever write lit-fic I’m sure I would have a theme to it.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
None at all! I write mainly urban paranormal and fantasy so while they’re set in urban/modern settings they always include something fantastical like magic or Vampires.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of the characters in the Grace of God series have back histories that I have taken from people I know. Some are more heavily dramatized but the gist of it is there.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Harry Potter, definitely. That was the first book series that made me realize you didn’t have to be a movie to have a huge fanbase. I would go to midnight releases of Harry Potter in full costume with my friends because I was so dedicated to it.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Ironically enough, Harry Potter. I’m doing a read through again just for fun, I’m on Chamber of Secrets right now. I’ve also been absorbing non-fiction by Self Published authors like a sponge hoping to get some kind of break-through in marketing strategies.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I LOVE Nancy Haviland. If you haven’t read any of her books you need to. Kit Rocha is another self-pubbed author who I adore and get every book they release.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Currently I’m finishing up White Frost, finishing edits on Mionanamithe and preparing for NaNoWriMo which is next month. I intend to outline for the next week and hopefully pick which of the hundreds of ideas in my head that I want to write.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Tina Tame, we stumbled on each other early this year and she’s been a saving grace in helping me get my name out there in a way I didn’t realize was possible.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. As soon as my husband can work again we’re going to switch once more and he’ll be the bread winner and I can stay home and write. That’s how it was in the UK but without a source of steady income I’ve taken a part time job until we can get on our feet again.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Latest book… Hm, no. I don’t think so. I was shocked how it ended but now I realize that it was a catalyst and it had to happen.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading. 100%. I come from a family of readers and I’ve been reading since the moment I could differentiate letters and haven’t looked back.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“Ella, are you there darling?” He touched her cheek, refusing to believe the insanity that his life had become. This wasn’t a fairy tale, it was just a sleeping curse. He could wake her without a kiss. True love’s kiss, his treacherous mind reminded him. But she didn’t stir. Even when he tapped his fingers gently on her cheek, an action that would’ve roused most people.
The elves watched in raptured fascination as he continued to resist the one thing that they both knew had to work. It always worked. Davin steeled himself for what he knew was coming. He knew it couldn’t hurt to try but it was yet another notch against him to say there was some dark side of him that believed in all this crap. He took a deep breath and stared down at her closed eyes that couldn’t even flicker to tell him she was still alive under there.
“Alright,” he said mostly to himself. The call to action stirred the two elves who drew closer to watch what was about to happen. “We’re going to wake you up now Ella,” he began, a look of sheer determination painting itself on his face. He bowed in closer to her, his lips sweeping against her nose and cheek as they moved toward her mouth. In a soft, breathless whisper only meant for her he divulged the secret of his heart: “I need you.”
Even that didn’t bring her back to him, not that he had expected it to. Cupping her cheek gently, he drew her face up to his. Hesitating for only a fraction longer than necessary Davin leaned down and pressed his lips against hers. It was unlike any kiss he had ever shared and death-like didn’t even begin to justify the eeriness he felt at kissing something so cold and unmoving.
But he held fast, his lips pressed to hers in a desperate bid to try and exalt everything he had pent up in himself for her. He waited. Time seemed to stop for a moment. She loved cliches so it didn’t phase him when the idea of time freezing in this weather passed through his mind. What did annoy him though was his accuse awareness to the fact that he just hung there in mid-air, waiting.
Something was supposed to happen.
Snow White, Seven Dwarves… Well, elves in his case. She was kissed. By Prince Charming. He knew he had that bit right. He hadn’t exactly grown up enraptured by fairy tales of princesses and princes but everyone knew this story. Everyone knew that true love’s kiss is what saved her. Wasn’t it? He tried to recall the cartoon book he’d read by some company called Disney. It was tattered and dirty, centuries old but he had read it.
Maybe it was because he wasn’t Prince Charming and the magic knew it. Because of that it wouldn’t work. God, why couldn’t he be that guy – just for once? Just to help her?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Outlining. It is the bane of my existence. I’ve survived up until now being a pantser but the trouble with that is I do tend to hit these patches where I don’t know what I’m doing next and lose motivation/muse/whatever. But I recently read a book about turning from pantsing to plotting so I’ve taken extensive notes and hopefully that’ll help me.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’m not sure I could pick just one. I admire Michelle Moran because I love history and she ALWAYS writes historical novels in the periods I most love. I would love to do a Hist-Fic but the idea of doing that much research is daunting. Especially because I’m a perfectionist so I would need for my facts to be 100% accurate and it would probably take me a year alone just to research each book.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t travel for my books except for author signings but I travel a lot in general. I spent part of my honeymoon in Florence and I LOVED it there. I want to write a Hist-Fic based there with the Medicis and their mob-like rule. My husband is on board to rent a place there and spend a summer there it’s just a matter of money at this point!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design all my covers. I get a lot of compliments on them too so I’m thinking about branching out and offering that service to fellow authors at a reasonable price.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding time to write. Or finding time to write when I don’t have super-uber distractions going on. I have a tendency to sit down and intend to write but end up doing a thousand other things and procrastinating for absolutely no reason at all.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Don’t write for other people… You’ll never make everyone else happy. Write for yourself. If you love it, if you would read it… That’s all that matters.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
HAVE A BACK LIST BEFORE PUBLISHING YOUR FIRST BOOK. I can’t stress this enough. You’re not going to sell anything if you don’t have 5-6 novels on a backlist for people to purchase from you. I’m still working on growing my back list because I didn’t do that. The biggest key to success is waiting until you have 5-6 books ready to go and then publishing them all at once. Because you’re a new author no one is going to wait around for the next book in your series. If you want to hook readers and get them to be your fan you need to have more books for them to read by you when they finish your first.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love you. Thank you for the reviews. Keep it up. I couldn’t do this without you ❤
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
See Spot Run? I have no idea… It would’ve been something like that.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Everything. I’m a bag of uncontrollable emotions. I laugh a lot at myself, and my husband.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love one more day with my Gramma, or my Grammie or Grampie.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Lived on a Prayer. Because I do! Haha, everything I do I end up thinking “Please Gods make this work!”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Crafting, baking, cooking, camping… Adventuring. I’m always up for something new. But I love doing stuff with my hands.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Oh if you wanted a full list we would be here forever. Some of my favourites right now are How to Get Away with Murder, Gotham, Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story: Hotel, Young and Hungry… I love the movie The Host and Titanic. But I also love A Knight’s Tale, Hitch… The list goes on.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Anything with cheese. Or sugar. Haha… I love Pizza and Nachos. Purple and Pink are my favourite colours right now… And I listen to all kinds of music I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Right now I’m enjoying Halsey, James Bay and Mariana’s Trench’s new album.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I took film in University with the intention of being a filmmaker. I would’ve liked to do that I think. But now I’m mostly thinking maybe I’ll be a screenwriter instead and write TV shows.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My blog and website is http://kyleighcastronaro.com
Find me here!