Today we have with us the author of The Exceptionals!Author Chat: Erin Cashman
"Born into a famous family of exceptionally talented people, 15-year-old Claire Walker has deliberately chosen to live an average life. But everything changes the night of the Spring Fling, when her parents decide it's high time she transferred to Cambial Academy--the prestigious boarding school that her great-grandfather founded for students with supernatural abilities."
What inspired you to write The Expectionals?
Growing up, my father often told me that we only use ten percent of our brain power. I often wondered, can some people use more? What can they do? Did Einstein use more of his brain than most people – and what about mediums? This became the foundation for The Exceptionals: a school for students who have “special” abilities. But clearly this sort of power comes with those who would abuse it; hence the struggle at the core of the book between good and evil.
I would definitely want to be able to communicate with animals! That would be my number one choice. But as I wrote The Exceptionals, I also loved all of the ghosts, and the idea of continuing a relationship with someone after they die. And to have Ally’s ability as a healer would be wonderful, as well!
Some of my favorite novels are A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Great Gatsby, the Harry Potter series, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
I am influenced by many writers. If I love a book I think I take a little bit away with me. Certainly The Exceptionals was influenced by the Harry Potter series and Dr. Doolittle. My new novel, a middle grade fantasy novel based loosely on Celtic mythology, is more influenced by the Lord of The Rings and Rangers Apprentice series.
What is your favorite beverage?
Which one of your characters can you relate to the most?
Claire. I am not as brave as Claire, that’s for sure, but I like to get to the bottom of things, like she does. I also am a bit headstrong, and we both love to write!
What books are in your reading pile right now?
I just finished Tokyo Heist by Diana Renn and The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson, and The Language of Souls by Lena Goldfinch. All three were wonderful! I am also reading An Unfinished Garden, by Barbara Claypole White, and Shine, Shine, Shine, by Lydia Netzer – and I am really enjoying them as well!