Friday, December 20, 2013

Feature Friday: Micah Caida

Micah Caida is the melding of two voices, two personalities and two minds, which often turns up the strangest ideas.  Micah enjoys exploring how different characters react and deal with similar situations.  Life is often filled with the unexpected – both good and bad.  While creating the Red Moon series, Micah hit upon a very unusual “what if” that exploded into an epic story filled with teenagers who face impossible odds, but are the only ones who can save the world from itself.

Interview:
A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Micah:
I would give two pieces of advice. First, always read, read, read.  As new writers, we are so caught up in getting our story down on paper, critiqued, polished and so on that we stop making time to read. But reading is what brought you to writing (it should have), so stay on top of what readers like “today” by reading “current” books.

The second thing I would say is to finish that first book, put it aside for a month and start a second one Very few writers take this advice, but the ones who do take it generally have a better book to submit the first time.  Give each book the time needed to edit and polish, but once you’ve put it through an intense editing and are pitching it to agents and/or editors, start the next book.  Don’t treat that first book like your favorite toy and refuse to give it up.  I promise you that once you’ve written at least three books, you’ll go back and edit your first one with a new perspective.

A.L.:
What's your favorite book and why?

Micah:
I’d much rather tell you my favorite movie – Star Trek (just pick one) – because picking a favorite book will put me in trouble with all my author friends. :)

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for Time Trap?

Micah:
The Red Moon Series is a collaborative effort of two bestselling authors. We brainstorm our individual, adult-targeted books together, so when we were at the end of a brainstorming session, I mentioned the seed of an idea about someone who held the key to saving the current-day world and the future.  Next thing I knew, we were off brainstorming again, but this time it was for a young adult sci-fi/fantasy series.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags while writing Time Trap?  What were they and how did you fix them?

Micah:
Not really a snag so much as an “ah-ha” moment that resulted from an editor’s suggestion and required rewriting the entire first book.  We originally had a male protagonist. At the suggestion of changing it to a female lead, we sat down and talked about what that would do to the series. The longer we talked, the more excited we got, seeing opportunities to make this series far more powerful from a female point of view.

That meant rewriting that first book and re-plotting the other two books, because a gender change is huge when you consider everyone the protagonist interacts with and the difference between male and female reactions in every situation.  It took two months to rewrite and was worth every minute.

A.L.:
Which one of the characters in Time Trap is your favorite and why?

Micah:
Rayen, by far, is my favorite. She comes awake in the middle of a desert landscape that is both familiar and strange.  She’s seventeen and alone with a sentient beast chasing her, which ends with her being arrested along with other kids who are suspected of theft and destruction.  Throughout everything that happens to her, Rayen is a strong female lead, the kind of loyal friend you hope to find at some point in your life, and yet heartbreakingly alone with no memory of who she is or where she came from – certainly not this world in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A.L.:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?

Micah:
I have always loved stories in any form from reading to plays to movies, but surprised myself when I decided to sit down one day and start writing a story I’d had in mind for a while.    I fell out of the womb a realistic portrait artist who was not afraid of heights, and that story had come to me while I was working—dangling more than a hundred feet above the ground-- hand-painting huge murals.  My first book won a Golden Heart and overall best Daphne du Maurier award, then sold to Harlequin.  It sounds easy to say I won a couple of contests and sold, but it wasn’t quite like that. The first agent I signed with almost cost me  that contract offer and I did not sell my sequel story of that book because they replaced my senior editor a month after I sold. The new editor was the complete opposite of the first one, so we never seemed to be able to find common ground for a story.  I’m a believer in “everything happens for a reason.” Not being committed to a multi-book contract with Harlequin allowed me to be available later on to co-write a New York Times bestselling series.

A.L.:
What are you working on now?  Sequel?  Something new?

Micah:
My Red Moon series co-author and I are having a blast writing TIME RETURN, book 2 that will be out February 2014. The final book—book 3--will be released summer 2014.  We are so pumped about that!

A.L.:
You're a motorcycle enthusiast.  Can you tell us a little about your motorcycle and where you like to take it for weekend spins?

Micah:
I love my bike. I have a BMW F 650 GS, which actually has an 850 engine and is pure fun to ride. This type of bike is a “dual sport,” which means it’s built for off road or highways.  When I went to pick this one out, I didn’t care for the blue or silver one so the dealer suggested the orange one. I was like, “Ugh, no, orange is not my bike color.” Then he showed it to me and I told him that was not orange, but vermillion, which is beautiful. My husband laughed and told the dealer to not argue, because I was an artist who knew my colors. :)

 I love to ride the back roads in Georgia or thousands of miles in any direction, anything that is not constant traffic.  Interstates are fine when we need to make time, but I hate moving ten miles an hour through a series of forever traffic lights.  I’ve ridden across country, up the west coast, down the east coast and spent time this summer riding around the Great Lakes.  We’re planning a trip to Nova Scotia next year.

A.L.:
Where is your favorite place to go snowboarding?
Park City, Utah, but I’ve had knee surgery – not so much on the slopes these days.

A.L.:
Why did you combine the personalities types that you did in Time Trap?

Micah:
The personalities in this story offered the best conflict and growth for friendships put under stress. We can all be friends and supportive when life is easy, but true character is revealed when a person is put to the test.

Rayen is constantly dealing with no memory and a developing power that is a liability as much as an asset at times.

Tony believes in science and electronics, not the woo-woo world, and has a baby brother depending on him. Tony was lucky to get into this special school, and for his brother’s sake, he has to stay on track. 

Gabby has carried a tremendous burden since she was a child, because she gave voice to a secret she’d heard telepathically, and that ended with her mother’s death.
Three teens with their own agendas, their own sets of problems and every reason to distrust each other, are forced to join together to survive and save the world.  What’s not to love?

The Giveaway:
Micah is giving awat two signed copies of TIME TRAP to two lucky winners!  US/CANADA

Time Trap:  Micah Caida's stunning debut young adult book TIME TRAP is like nothing before it, according to early readers.

Time Trap, book one in the Red Moon series

Her memory is blank.
Her future's in question.
Her power is dangerous.

Waking up in an unknown world, Rayen learns only that she's seventeen and is hunted by a sentient beast. Terrified that she may never learn who she really is or find her way back to her home, she's captured in a land that is at times familiar even if the people and the structures seem alien. When local law enforcement delivers her to a private school, she's labeled as a Native American runaway, and Rayen discovers a secret with deadly repercussions. Forced into an unlikely alliance with a computer savvy street punk and a gifted oddball girl to save their world - and the future - Rayen finds the key to an identity that no person would want.


Read Goodreads reviews.
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How to Enter:
Enter the giveaway using Rafflecopter. Hit the arrow buttons, follow the prompts, and hit the enter buttons when you're done. (You may have to log in using Facebook to do this). There will be one winner (selected by Rafflecopter). I will contact the winner via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway