The Book Monsters is pleased to welcome Lisa Cach. Lisa is the author of Wake Unto Me.
A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt — not to mention a princess for a roommate! — all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.
There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.
And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.
Modern girl loves ghost boy.
What has your road to publication been like?
It was a long, winding road from the first, never-published book I wrote right after college to getting my first contract from a publisher. Ten years of winding road, disappointment, and giving up to try other things, to be exact.
After college, I tried a graduate program in writing at the University of Southern California, but it didn’t suit me and I went home to Oregon. I tried and failed to get published in the romance genre, eventually gave up, and in a desperate bid to do something with my life I got a job teaching conversational English in Japan. Off I went, for a year that was often difficult but ultimately valuable, and I’m glad I did it.
I came home and got a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, paid for with my earnings from Japan (lucky for me, the yen was high). After graduating, I worked for three years on the graveyard shift at a crisis line. I enjoyed it well enough, but wasn’t satisfied. My heart was turning me back towards writing, and I decided to try again. I wrote two more adult romances, submitted them to publishers without an agent, and was working on a third book –and on the verge of giving up yet again, given all the rejection letters I was receiving– when I finally heard that Chris Keeslar at Dorchester Publishing was interested in “The Changeling Bride.” That moment was probably the happiest of my writing career, before or since. It had been nearly ten years from when I first started writing to when I sold that book. I finally felt that my writing had been validated, and when well-meaning people asked me that painful question, “Are you published?” I could finally say, “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
And so life went in the romance genre, for ten years and over twenty novels and novellas for various publishers, until I burned out. I needed a change of pace, and my agent suggested I try YA. I was doubtful at first, but then to my surprise I found ideas popping into my head, and the enthusiasm for writing that I thought had been lost came back, full-force. A few months later, I had the contract for “Wake Unto Me.”
What was the most challenging aspect of writing Wake Unto Me?
The hardest part was figuring out the many layers of the mystery, and how to lay the clues and hints at the right time, without giving too much away. It was a gigantic mental puzzle, spread over 300 manuscript pages.
Wake Unto Me ends with the promise of more. Can we expect to see more of the Sisterhood?
I have a proposal for a sequel making the rounds at publishers; fingers crossed that someone bites!
The cover is gorgeous! What was your reaction to seeing it for the first time?
The first version I saw was rough; the heroine looked like she was wearing a big nasty wig. But I loved the concept; it looked like something that I wouldn’t be able to resist picking up in a bookstore to read the back cover.
The second version I saw, the heroine had had her hands attached to the wrong arms — left hand on right arm, etc. Whoops!
The third and final version is lovely.
Learn more about Lisa and Wake Unto Me at: