Oh, I’m so excited about today’s post! If you have an instagram or a twitter account, you should really be following the lovely CG Drews, aka Paper Fury! Not only is Cait an incredible blogger, but she’s a published author! We stan a productive queen.
I loved Cait’s debut, A Thousand Perfect Notes, and I’m so honored to chat with Cait about her second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses. I’ll be using the abbreviation, TBWSH a lot, so don’t get confused. 😊
Can you describe TBWSH in two sentences or less?
The Boy Who Steals Houses is about a homeless boy named Sam, and his autistic brother Avery, who steal houses when the occupants are away on holidays…until Sam breaks into a house that isn’t empty and ends up tangled in the lives of a big, messy family and falling in love with a bitter girl. What he wants most is to have a family and to belong, but if they find out his dark secrets — he’ll lose them all.
Oh, I can’t wait to read it! Sam sounds so precious.
You’ve shared a bit about how the Boy Who Steals Houses is an Own Voices story, any advice for other writers who are thinking of writing an Own Voices story?
Yes! It’s #ownvoices for both anxiety (which my main character, Sam, has) and autism (which his brother, Avery, has). For ownvoices authors, I think the important thing to remember is your story, your voice, is very very important. And while it’s hard and often exhausting to be vulnerable on the page — never doubt that your perspective is worth hearing. It always is!
This is such great advice 🙌🏻 I really can’t wait to read more autism rep and anxiety rep.
Three Books you’d rec with The Boy Who Steals Houses?
Ooh, I like this question. Ok try: (1) The Wicker King by K. Ancrum, (2) A List of Cages by Robin Roe, and (3) When My Heart Joins The Thousand by A.J. Stieger.
I’ve only read A List of Cages, so I definitely need to check out these other two books!
Are Avery and Sam waffle or pancake people? I desperately need to know this a brunch enthusiast.
Ok brunch is AMAZING and I am here for breakfast foods at all times. There are both pivotal scenes in this book with waffles (for dinner!) and pancakes (for lunch!) so I’d say Sam is a solid fan of each. Avery is a pancake person and he likes them perfectly round.
Alright, this means I must make waffles to read this book.
If the characters from all your books were tea, what blend of tea would they be?
I’m going to be tricky for this one and just go for drinks…because can you believe I rarely drink tea?! Chai is about it for me. So I’d say:
Sam: very milky tea
Avery: hot chocolate
Moxie: caramel latte
Beck: the most bitter black coffee
August: super healthy fruity smoothie
Joey: way way too much red cordial
Okay, so apparently Moxie and I are besties because we’re definitely both caramel lattes.
What other book worlds could you see Avery and Sam living in?
I don’t think they’d be out of place in an Adam Silvera book to be honest. Some nice tragedy, unfair circumstances, bit of heartbreak…perfect.
Oh, no, heartbreak??? Will I cry while reading this????
Happiest moment for you personally while writing TBWSH?
I loved writing the banter! Sam gets tangled in the lives of the big, chaotic De Lainey family so there are LOTS of sibling shenanigans. These ridiculous kids make me laugh so much. (Chapter 26, okay? My favourite)
I CAN’T WAIT FOR CHAPTER 26!!!
Did you have a playlist or a type of music you listened to while writing or thinking about TBWSH?
I have to write in silence, but I like to plot with music. Brother by Kodaline was one of my theme songs for the whole book.
You’re an Australian writer, what’s your favorite part of writing stories set in Australia?
It’s basically all I know, so it’s just natural to me to weave Australian culture and settings into my work. I do think Australians have an epic sense of humour so I’d like to think that comes out in my stories, haha.
Will we someday get to see a story from you with a female protagonist?
I hope so! When I pitch stories to my editors, I usually give them a few to choose from, so Sam (and Beck from A Thousand Perfect Notes) were the ones that got chosen, but I definitely have girls with stories waiting to be told.
Any secrets you can share about future writing projects?
No secrets to share yet sadly, but I am always working super hard!
I mean, doesn’t hurt to ask right? 😉
Now, you’re kind of a viral sensation on twitter with your constant stream of on point book commentary. How in the world do you come up with such original content?
Oh I don’t know about viral hahaha. But I do love that people enjoy my nonsense tweets about writing! I just tweet things I feel (I mean who doesn’t want to use being a writer as an excuse to own a battle sword, right?!) and we writers are a predictable bunch because we all relate.
Also, how do you avoid YA drama on the internet in general?
I admit, I get caught up in it sometimes haha. But mostly I just don’t comment. Even if I have strong opinions on a topic, I tend to stay out of it. I also do my very best to listen and be respectful…although I totally make mistakes and will always apologise. I just wish the community was a bit more open to teaching moments instead of cancelling-culture. It does get intense out there…
I LOVE your bookstagram! Top 3 tips for bookstagram creativity?
Thank you!! The things I find that help me the most are:
(1) finding a theme…you don’t have to, but I definitely think it helps with engagement and branding yourself.
(2) featuring lots of books at once or popular books tend to garner more likes. I try to feature a less-popular book in the same shot as a mega-popular one, to get the underrated books more attention!
(3) interact with the community! Even when the algorithm sucks, if you have epic supportive friends on bookstagram, it makes it totally worth it. <3