Saturday, May 08, 2010

SPOTTED: Christy Raedeke + Prophecy of Days

Recently lots of YA books got released. One of those books is Prophecy of Days. Today I have with me Christy Raedeke, the author of that wonderful debut!

What is your purpose in writing Prophecy of Days, Book One: The Daykeeper’s Grimoire?

I set out to write the book that I wanted to read as a teen. I’ve always been fascinated by ancient mysteries, sacred sites, and symbols - and the minute I heard about the Mayan Calendar, I had to know more. Writing this book made me delve deeply into it and make connections that perhaps other people had not made.

Where did you get the idea about Mr. Papers?
I’ve always loved monkeys and I think it’s so interesting that Capuchin monkeys are trained to be helpers for quadriplegics. I’ve seen photos of them heating up food in the microwave, getting mail, and even feeding their owners. They’re incredibly smart and just plain cute! What’s not to love about a monkey? Especially one who can communicate with origami.

Can you tell us about the character of Caity?

Caity is inquisitive, secretive, and a little boy-shy. She’s a pretty normal teen, which makes it even more surprising when she finds herself in the middle of something monumental that has been going on for centuries. When it comes down to it, she’s pretty tough, tougher than she ever realized…

Was there a part of the novel that was hard to write?

Book Two! My agent sold the book series with Book One written and Book Two as a synopsis. But once I started writing it, Book Two did not want to follow the synopsis—it had a mind of its own. I really thought this was just a two-book series, but there is definitely room for Book Three. Not sure if my editor wants it or not – I need to wait for the edits on Book Two to see if he even liked it before going there…

Did you include any personal experiences in the novel? Or was there a part of the novel that was inspired from your personal experience?

Absolutely – the character of Uncle Li is based on a very good friend of mine, Dr. Shan-Tung Hsu. He is a Master of traditional Chinese Feng Shui (Form School) and head of the Blue Mountain Feng Shui Institute. I’ve been learning from him for about twelve years. The adventure, however, is entirely made up (though I would LOVE it if that had been based on a real experience!).

How does your mood affect your writing?

I used to think I had to be in the mood to write, waiting for good ideas or an urge to sit at the computer, but now I know that all it takes is forcing yourself to sit down and stay there until something comes out.

Is it important that you are in an ambience that you like when you write?

When I write, all that is important is that it’s quiet and distraction free. I’m not one of those people who can write in a coffee shop or even listen to music while writing. For me, writing becomes almost trance-like when I really get into the groove, but to get there I sort of have to trust that I will not be interrupted. Having young children at home makes writing incredibly difficult – interrupting me is one of their favorite pastimes!

What are you working on now?

I just finished the first draft Prophecy of Days, Book Two: Rough and Magical Times. It’s pretty rough but complete, so now my editor at Flux, Brian Farrey, reads it and gives me editorial direction. I’m really nervous – writing is such a solo activity, you just never know if you hit the mark or are ten miles off!

What tips can you give to aspiring writers (like me)?

I would say the most important thing is to remove distractions and get to writing. My friend Teri Hall, author of an amazing book called The Line, shared this tip with me: turn off the internet and silence your phone, then set a timer for 40 minutes. Force yourself to write that whole time, then take a 20 minute break to check email, do research, or use the phone before setting the timer again. This really, really helped me write Book Two!

Also, don’t write to trends, write the book you want to read—if you get a book contract you will be working with those characters and that story for a very long time so you’ve got to love them!

What would you like to say to the people who have included your novel in their wish lists and / or to-be-read piles?

I would say Thank You, from the bottom of my heart. It’s an amazing thing to have people want to read something that started in my imagination. I’m still shocked that it will be translated into different languages and read all over the world!

Thank you for dropping by, Christy!

Thank you so much for the opportunity, Precious. Happy reading!

Prophecy of Days is available now! Go grab a copy!

When her parents inherit a dreary Scottish castle and rip her from her cushy life in San Francisco, sixteen-year-old Caity Mac Fireland is not happy. But when she stumbles across a hidden room in the castle — its walls covered in strange symbols — her life takes a bizarre turn. After discovering a Mayan relic that had been concealed there centuries ago, Caity finds herself center stage in an international conspiracy involving warring secret societies, assassins, and the suppressed revelations of the Mayan Calendar for the year 2012.

Caity’s twenty-first century mind is put to the test as she tries to uncover the answer to an ancient riddle while trying to outwit the powerful group that will stop at nothing to control the secret—and her. With the help of her friend Justine, a gorgeous Scottish boy named Alex, and a mysterious monkey who communicates through origami, Caity becomes immersed in a world of secret knowledge as she races to decipher the code before time runs out.

For more information, visit the Official Website of Christy Raedeke.
For news and updates, follow her blog.

And if you want a chance to win a copy of Prophecy of Days + bookmarks, go to Kirthi's blog. And for another chance go to Kaz Mahoney's blog!


  1. I really like the premise of this book and the characters Christy mentions in this interview! I also love Christy's advice for aspiring authors and what she said about Book 2. I hope her editor will want her third book! Great interview!

  2. Thanks Kris! :) I loved the premise of the book so much. I'm hoping I can grab a copy soon.

  3. That's an interesting and thorough interview.

    I can't wait to hear that there'll be a Book Three!

  4. I have read books 1 and 2 but feel like the series is incomplete. A book 3 for the wrap-up would be phenomenal for the series! I really hope we see it. (I get that it's been a few years but the second book didn't come out too long ago.)