Cayla Kluver had a long journey into publishing; one that was slow but very successful. Her book Legacy’s been published multiple times by different publications. Cayla was a self published author at the age of fifteen, and her book’s have been published all over the world.
Now that her second book ALLEGIANCE has finally made it’s way to the shelves of popular book stores like Barnes & Nobel, Cayla has agreed to answer some of our questions about her journey into publishing, her compelling characters, and even give us a sneak peak of ALLEGIANCE.
I honestly don’t remember – I had the idea for a couple of years before I decided to write it. I can, however, remember the moment I started the first draft. It was summer and my family went to the swimming pool without me, so I sat on the deck in back of my house with a notebook and began the prologue.
You were fifteen when you first published your books, what advice can you give our young aspiring authors?
First of all, keep writing and don’t let anyone tell you to stop as long as it’s what you love. Second, being published as a teenager is the same as being published five or ten years later. Don’t feel like you need to rush. You have your entire life to prove something to the world, and a good book should speak for itself, regardless of the age of the author.
That said, if you really think you have something worth publishing, go for it. Just remember that it’s about the words on the page, not the person who put them there.
We know you started this series wanting to tell Narian’s story. Is Narian based off of anyone you know?
I think Narian is based off of everyone I know, in that I tried to avoid giving him any of those traits. He was heavily influenced by the people in my life because I made him the exact opposite of everything I was used to seeing and experiencing outside of my family life.
That’s probably why he was such a difficult character for me to write – he began as a dream, an ideal. Someone flawed and in an impossible situation who I thought would nevertheless make all the right decisions. Obviously the direction of the character changed, but that was how he was conceived.
The main character in your series, Alera made very difficult decision in Legacy. What makes her a character to look up to? Is he like you in any way? How?
I look up to Alera because she’s so often forced to choose between two evils. That’s a situation to which everyone can relate, because generally life isn’t made up of clear-cut options. Alera struggles, cries, wishes things were different, but ultimately stands up and makes a decision instead of falling apart. She’s also self-sacrificing – as in the end of Legacy, she picks a course that isn’t ideal for her, but will protect her younger sister.
I hope I’m somewhat like that. I’ve been told by friends and acquaintances that Alera’s narration reads like my voice, but at the same time, she exists in a different time period and had a completely different upbringing than I did. She’s definitely a separate person from me.
Why did you choose to write a historical fiction? What is it about that era that’s so alluring?
I’m a huge fan of fantasy, which traditionally takes place in a pseudo-medieval setting. I enjoy exploring other worlds, and in a way, the past is its own world. Life hasn’t always been the way it is now, and I think that’s worth acknowledging.
The part of me that’s politically-inclined would also say that the past will never be irrelevant as long as history keeps repeating itself, so showing that themes similar to the themes of today existed hundreds of years ago is important. Not to mention the clothing, of course. It’s prettier than what we wear today. And chivalry is dreadfully romantic.
Which books do you think should be on every teen’s reading list and why?
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, because it rings so true in terms of where I can see our world ending up. We need to wake up as a world community and look to the future, and not only do those books constitute an amazing story with strong male and female characters, they acted as a call to action for me.
I also think teens ought to read everything Laurie Halse Anderson has ever written. Speak is so powerful, and Wintergirls saved the life of someone about whom I care very deeply.
What book being released in 2012 are you looking forward reading most? Why?
I’m really looking forward to picking up Trafficked by Kim Purcell. Human trafficking is a much bigger issue than most people are aware. In 2010 a sex trafficking ring was busted in the Twin Cities, which is just an hour or so from where I live, and there were prisoners as young as 12 years old. Things like this happen more frequently than anyone wants to acknowledge, and I’m so happy Kim Purcell is addressing the issue.
Can you share a sentence or two from your current work with us? (a teaser)
Quote from page 316 of Allegiance: “Hytanica would fall. Today, or tomorrow, or the next week, or however long we could stave them off, but eventually, inevitably, Hytanica would fall. What would happen to me, to the people I loved, to all those within the city?” Dun dun dun!
Finally what would you like to say to your readers before diving into Allegiance?
Only that I hope you enjoy it, and know that I put everything I have into it. Readers deserve books that come with the heart and soul of the author, otherwise I feel like they’re being conned. For what it’s worth, Allegiance is not a con job. Love to all!
Thank you Cayla for your time we would love to have you in the magazine in the future.
We hope you enjoyed this interview; leave us your thoughts in the comments section below. We hope this interview inspired our young readers to keep writing and follow their dreams because they do come true.
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Cayla Kluver was born in Wisconsin on October 2, 1992. She has cats, dogs and horses, and watches more crime shows than is probably healthy. She also loves Robert Louis Stevenson and The Beatles. Her office is filled with twinkly lights, candles and fun colors. Legacy is her first novel, soon to be followed by Allegiance and Sacrifice, the remaining books in the Legacy Trilogy. She lives with her family and her muse (Nina, her cat) in Wisconsin, where only the hardy survive.