Cady Hammer has been a writer for most of her life. From the time she was eleven years old writing her first novel between classes, she always looked to the world to bring inspiration. She was often teased for being in her own world, but never hesitated to invite others along on the adventure. She now spends her time at the College of William and Mary pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in History and minoring in Anthropology.
Cady is the author of the Chasing Fae Trilogy and loves to create stories that take people away from the world for a while. She creates her universes with inspiration from her studies, trying to create a place that feels so real that readers have to explore it. These stories explore the complexities of relationships crafted around the idea that love, friendship and grief are interwoven. She hopes to one day become a bestselling author alongside her desired career in museum work.
How many books have you written? What are they called? Where can they be found?
I have written three books total: Chasing Fae, Chasing War and Chasing The Past. All of my books are available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Google Play.
Where did the idea for the series come from?
Chasing Fae was originally inspired by an incident I had with a former friend of mine. He was like a brother to me, and when our friendship fell apart, I found myself wanting a way to remember the good times we had spent together without holding onto bad feelings. There is a reason the brother has to be dead from the very beginning. It gave Grace a chance to grow into someone more while chasing after her brother’s potential killer. As I was writing, however, the story took on a whole new life. I found I was no longer writing it for my friend; I was writing it for myself. Grace took on a strong new voice that I never thought I was capable of creating. That’s how I knew that this was the idea that I wanted to publish. The ideas for the trilogy evolved quickly after that.
Are there any authors or books that inspire you?
Absolutely! Sarah J. Maas is my favorite author, and her writing style and process are very similar to my own. I love her Throne of Glass series and the Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. I also love Cassandra Clare and the City of Bones series. Rick Riordan is also a big inspiration, particularly for the close way he interacts with his readers. I would love to be any of them someday.
What drew you to the YA fantasy genre?
It took me a long time to settle on the genre, actually. I experimented with a lot of romance, contemporary romance, YA romance and middle grade fantasy. This was a bit silly because I always loved reading YA fantasy. I’m drawn to the authenticity of the characters, the brutal honesty and impulsivity that the teens have. I love falling into new worlds and chasing after adventures. There’s this amazing high that comes with reading it. And of course, I’m drawn to the romance. All of my favorites have a little romance in them. I’d give away what tropes I enjoy, but I’d give away too much of my plans for the trilogy.
How does music influence your writing?
Music is the beginning, middle and end of my writing. I write to music all the time. In fact, many of my scenes are inspired by different songs. I assign any given song to a particular scene to help guide the plot. I have a really good sense of the rise and fall of something like a battle or a romantic scene and its connection to the rise and fall of the music. Every choice is very purposeful.
What growth or shifts in your writing have you seen from Chasing Fae to Chasing War?
I have seen a major change in the way I approach secondary characters. There are so many secondary characters in Chasing War who all needed to be introduced and fleshed out fully. It took a lot of research and note-taking to make sure that each character had their own unique voice. Also, I notice that I am taking more risks with my writing. I’m experimenting with new tropes and concepts, and I’m less afraid of what readers might criticize.
What has been the most challenging part of being an indie author? Most rewarding?
The most challenging part is finding the time to wear all the hats of an indie author. There’s drafting to do, revising, marketing, brainstorming for new projects and general contacting of fellow authors, editors and other writing and marketing contacts.
The most rewarding part of being an indie author is interaction with readers. Always. I love connecting with readers, hearing what they thought of my books, and seeing who or what they connected with while reading.
How do you find balance as an author?
Well… I’m working on that. I try to keep my writing to prescribed times throughout the day. That helps create a better balance with my college work. Though that isn’t perfect. I’m working on finding more ways to create balance.
What does your writing routine/process look like?
With any book, I start with the pre-drafting process. That includes making worldbuilding notes, completing character profiles and creating a detailed outline. Then comes drafting. I try to draft an entire book in one full month. Drafting fast allows for me to not second guess myself during the first draft. Revising is my favorite part of the process because I get to build upon everything I have already created, and I can see every revision making the book better. Finally, after three or four revisions, the book goes off to my editor for a thorough copyedit and a final proofread.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just write. It seems so simple, but especially for a new author, it’s quite complicated. You have to get yourself over that first hurdle of wondering if your idea is good enough or whether you are a strong enough writer. You have to let your anxieties go and just put pen to paper or fingers to keys. Once you start writing, keep going. Write each chapter forward, even if you write chapters out of order. Do not go back until the entire first draft is done.
Chasing War Synopsis
Expect the unexpected when you take your place in Fae society.
When Grace arrives at the House of the Evening, she is instantly thrust into the world of the Fae nobility. As the heir to a throne she didn’t even realize was hers, she has to navigate magical education, complex traditions and a stepfamily she never asked for. With her new tutor, Talon, and Aiden by her side, Grace steps out into the Upper Realm as Lady of the House of the Evening only to find a war exploding under her gaze led by the House of Darkness. With minimal training and outdated laws keeping her from stepping up for the war effort, she and Aiden must quickly strategize against the invaders while searching in earnest for the remaining six prophecy members. As the war rages on and more pieces of the puzzle fall into place, Grace must make a decision about who to trust and how to lead.
Social Media Handles
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