Outcasts of the Fair Forest, fiction, Issue 29, December 1, 2014
Birthdate? September 5, 1989.
When did you start writing? I still have a copy of a story I wrote when I was six called "The Red Chipmunk and the Green Lizard." From an early age I liked writing stories about talking animals or monsters, and I would always accompany them with my drawings.
I started writing "seriously" when I was fourteen. I spent a year working on a fantasy novel that I'd like to rework and publish someday.
When and what and where did you first get published? I have won a few writing contests before, but this is my very first publication.
What themes do you like to write about? "Identity" is a theme that often shows up in my writing. I like to write characters who struggle with themselves, torn between what their society wants them to be, and their own true desires—desires that they themselves may not fully understand.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? The Redwall series by Brian Jacques was what taught me to love reading. Although it's been a long time since I've read them, I think those stories have had a long-lasting impact on my writing. The Redwall books combined humor, lush descriptions (often of food) and violence, and I can't help myself from putting lots of visual detail, goofy characters, and battle scenes in my own stories.
As for the authors I'm reading today, I really love what I've read of Kelly Link's work. Her stories are speculative, but also written with literary sophistication. I like that they don't fit neatly into the standard speculative genres. Although my story here is straight-up fantasy, I would like to write more 'difficult-to-categorize' stories in the future.
Caitlin Crowley lives in the Dallas area and works as a freelance blogger for businesses. In 2012 she graduated from SMU with a degree in English and a specialization in creative writing. She is currently refining her short stories for publication, and aspires to become a novelist in the future. Caitlin is also passionate about comics. She writes and illustrates a graphic novel called What Nonsense, which you can read online at whatnonsensecomic.com.