I was so thrilled when I happen to come across Jessica’s blog one day! Her books sounded different than what I usually read and when the chance came to review her upcoming release, Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One, I of course took the offer. 😉
Her story definitely was different than what I usually read, but also has left me wanting to learn more about her next novel (stay tuned for our interview because she might share what it is). Her writing was very unique and the story was absolutely unpredictable.
May I gladly introduce the wonderful Jessica Hernandez, author of Cayleth Warding, as we chat about Universal Studios, writing inspiration, and of course, her latest book.
About the Book
Fifty-three families looking for a new beginning board a ship and sail to an uninhabited island. Happily they live for nearly two decades. Homes are built and the past is forgotten. Paradise, however, is no more after the adults suddenly vanish one night. For three years, the teens and children rule the island of Oridd. For three years, they survive. When an old woman unexpectedly appears on Oridd, all is cast into disarray as the strange and awful threaten to become commonplace. The old woman wants something, and she won’t leave until she gets it.
– Hi Jessica! I am SO excited to have you on my blog! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
Hello, Laura! I’m thrilled to be here! Thank you for having me. Hmm…let’s see…three words to describe me…I think I’ll go with chocoholic, daydreamer, and incredibly athletic. (I’m just kidding about that last one; I get winded after climbing a single flight of stairs.)
– Haha! I am definitely that way too when going up a flight of stairs. 😉 You mention on your website that you love going to theme parks. Since you live in beautiful Florida, what three rides do you always try to get on at Universal Studios?
As soon as I walk through the gates of Universal Studios, I dash to Rip Ride Rockit. I’m a lover of big rides, and Rip Ride Rockit is the largest rollercoaster in the park. The best part is—once you get off—you can watch footage of yourself on the ride. My sister and I love viewing the recordings; we always get a good laugh out of them.
After riding Rip Ride Rockit, I head on over to Revenge of the Mummy—you guessed it, another rollercoaster. This one is indoors, though, and I find the queue almost as entertaining as the ride itself. There are a bunch of props out (mummies included), so you’re in for some good photo ops.
I can’t leave Universal Studios without visiting Diagon Alley and hopping on Escape from Gringotts. This indoor rollercoaster arguably has the coolest entrance of all the Universal rides; a giant dragon is perched on top of the building, and the ‘little fella’ literally breathes fire!
– Oh my goodness, that sound so incredibly awesome! I had to smile when you mentioned you play “Dance Dance Revolution” in your bio. Have you ever caught yourself trying to bust out the moves if the song comes on in public or hanging out with friends?
I will admit, I often scan the vicinity in search of Dance Dance Revolution when I’m out in public. The movie theatre that I go to has the game, as does a mall near my school. I’ve been known to force whoever is standing closest to me to join me for a short dance break. 🙂
I’m so glad to hear that! About two years ago—right after I published my debut novel, Capering on Glass Bridges, and whilst I was in the process of working on its sequel, The Yesterdays of Tomorrow—I started jotting down ideas for a third novel. I wanted to write a story that had some mystery in it, and the survivors-of-some-disaster-arrive-on-an-abandoned-island trope was one which I liked quite a bit. However, as I’m sure I needn’t tell you, this trope is one that has been done and redone a thousand times; you can see it in Cast Away, Gilligan’s Island, Swiss Family Robinson, The Black Stallion, Lost, and so many other titles. Hence, I was hesitant to incorporate it into my writing unless I could put a new spin on it. In early 2016, the idea for Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One came to me. I suppose that the aforementioned trope should be credited with serving as the inspiration. Although Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One doesn’t exemplify said trope—after all, it doesn’t feature stranded survivors of a shipwreck or plane crash or any comparable accident—it does feature an island with a relatively small population.
– It was a very fascinating story and love the inspiration for it. No common trope there for sure! What would you do if you were one of the children who ruled the island of Oridd alongside other children and teens?
If I were a child on Oridd, I’d probably do very little ruling. Knowing me, I’d want to spend all of my days playing in the forest or on the beach, sneaking horses out of the barn to take them out for a ride, and playing with the hendlafares. It’d be glorious, and life would be splendid…so long as the scarlet one never approached.
– I second! Sounds like it would be fun, but I definitely would never want the scarlet one to approach me either. I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, BUT I wonder who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with you? What would you guys do?
Since Cayleth is the obvious choice, I won’t choose her. Instead, I think I’ll go with Zarin Archer. He’s a minor character in Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One, but he stands out in that he’s always unbelievably calm. I don’t use the word “always” here for hyperbolic effect. Zarin truly is the epitome of serene. I think if we hung out for a day, I’d make it my mission to fluster him, so I’d probably take him to Universal Studios and put him on all of the rides, starting with Rip Ride Rockit.
– Oh, I love Zarin! I totally wonder if you would be able to fluster him up some. 😉 What’s in store next for readers?
I’m glad you asked! While Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One doesn’t close with a cliffhanger, the ending suggests that the journey our protagonist embarks on doesn’t conclude with this book. I can’t say too much more without spoiling the novel, so I’ll leave it at this: I’d love to continue writing Cayleth’s story.
– YES!! I so can’t wait to see what happens next! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Jessica!
Thank you so much for inviting me to visit, Laura! This has been a lot of fun!
About the Author
Jessica Hernandez was born and raised in the beautiful, sunny state of Florida. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Miami, where she spent more time than she cares to admit daydreaming of a faraway land called Acu. Upon graduating with a degree in English and Political Science in 2014, Jessica put pen to paper and brought Acu to life in the Hawk of Stone duology.
Currently, Jessica Hernandez is a law student at the University of Miami. Her next novel, Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One, is set to be released on 7 October 2017.