Welcome, today we are talking with Edie Cay! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Edie Cay that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
I was a musician for many years and have a bachelor’s degree in piano performance.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Third grade. I was nine. Our teacher, Mrs. Canavan, was teaching us about creative writing, and I loved writing stories. I already loved reading, so this was one step up from that.
How long have you been writing?
I sold my first book at age ten. And by book, I mean a fourteen page novel about a mosquito. I sold them for ten cents a piece to my classmates. Then I roped in some friends and they wrote spin-off series about the same mosquito-based world. By the time sixth grade hit, we had transitioned from not just books but also merchandising.
What have you found most challenging about it?
The courage required to say, “I’m done.” No more rewrites, no more pushing back deadlines, no more critiques or one more beta read. That’s hard.
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional?
Yes to all of those! I love the initial rough draft. Not everyone does, but I don’t have a problem getting words on the page. I love to be messy and throw things around. Rewrites are for thinking and strategizing and organizing and filling research gaps and plot holes. But that first rough draft is going full tilt down a mountain, consequences be damned.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
It depends on where I am in a draft. Early draft, if I have time, I try to be in the mood because that’s when I’m most prolific. But sometimes, it has to be 1000 words before you get to do anything else. If that means waking up at 5 AM, then so be it. You get it done.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
I always wanted it to be my job. Always always always. It hasn’t been the way I had envisioned it, but in some ways, I think this is better for my peace of mind.
What inspires you?
Everything. A turn of phrase, an off-kilter conversation with my toddler, a strange tidbit of history, a friend’s funny story around a campfire…everything.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life.
What is your favorite:
- Animal – baby elephant
- Food – pizza, because it can be anything
- Movie – Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Young Guns
- TV show – Star Trek: TNG/Star Trek: DS9, The Good Place, Schitt’s Creek
- Singer – Regina Spector
- Author – Margaret Atwood
What are your pet peeves?
Littering. I mean, for crying out loud, there are bags everywhere. Keep one in your car, put your trash there. It isn’t hard. Be a freakin’ grown-up.
Who is your hero?
This is a hard question, because heroes often stumble. But the authors I look up to are Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, and Hilary Mantel.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
Chai tasting throughout India. Like, the guy on the side of the road who is serving up chai. All over the place.
What would readers find surprising about you? I used to guide motorcycle tours in Alaska
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
Probably no one who would have gone to heaven…?
Any bad habits?
Comfort eating. M&Ms + Popcorn is the best.
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
I’m stumped by this question!! I know a ton of funny things have happened to me over the years, but now I can’t think of any. I’ve been on this for three days, trying to figure something out, but I just can’t think of anything.
Now that our readers know who Edie Cay is let’s get down to the business of your debut novel, A Lady’s Revenge. You must be so proud that it won the Golden Leaf Best First Book in 2020. Congratulations!
Please tell us a little bit about, A Lady’s Revenge.
A Lady’s Revenge is a historical romance set during the Regency period about an earl’s daughter and a prizefighter-turned-stockbroker. I tried to turn some of the usual tropes on their heads, for instance, the brooding aristocrat who turns to boxing as a way to mitigate their anger is the lady in this case. The emotional adept who sees through her prickly façade is the man in A Lady’s Revenge.
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
Believing in what I was doing. This isn’t the first book I’ve written, but it is the first book I’ve ever published. A Lady’s Revenge is unusual—I haven’t read another historical romance about women’s boxing. There is a literary fiction book about women’s boxing called A Fair Fight, but it’s very different than my book, and while I thought it was very, very good, it wasn’t what I was looking to do.
What kind of research did you have to do?
I read all the usual Regency books and visited all the usual Regency research sites. I joined the Regency Fiction Writers (then The Beau Monde), and asked questions and used their resources and took their classes. But then I also started boxing. I figured that I needed to know what it felt like to get punched in the face if I was going to be writing about it.
It turns out I loved boxing. I got pregnant, and the morning sickness made me stop using it as a workout, and I haven’t gotten back to it yet, but I do miss it.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
Good question! I personally love the don’t-touch-want-to-touch tension in any book. And with A Lady’s Revenge, Lydia and John are half-dressed around each other working on boxing, and they are convinced the other one wouldn’t want them. I wanted to give that tension a good workout (hey-o!).
Any other works in progress?
Yes! Book 2 came out in February, called The Boxer and the Blacksmith. It stars professional woman boxer Miss Bess Abbott, whom you meet in A Lady’s Revenge, and Os Worley, a blacksmith who has just moved to London.
I’m currently writing book 3, A Lady’s Finder, about Lady Agnes, Lydia’s younger sister, whom you also meet in A Lady’s Revenge.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Just keep going. Find other writers who have the same drive as you, they don’t even need to write anything remotely like you, but they need the same engine inside of them.
If this comes out before April 10, I have a virtual pub event that readers can register for. It’s called The Pig and Thistle (the pub from The Boxer and the Blacksmith). Links can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
Pig & Thistle Registration: https://forms.gle/Nu66emMrYV2Xp9JZA
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