November 30, 2011

An Interview with Cheryl Rainfield

Hunted book cover
Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield
Title: Hunted
Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Publisher: WestSide Books
Publication Date: December 15, 2011

Caitlyn, a telepath, lives in a world where all paranormal talents are illegal. She is on the run from government ParaTroopers. When Caitlyn falls for Alex, a Normal, and discovers dangerous renegade Paranormals, she must choose between staying in hiding to protect herself or taking a stand to save the world.

I am pleased to welcome Ms. Cheryl Rainfield to my blog for a short interview. I'm honored to be featuring her today! Here's a little bit about Ms. Rainfield, taken from her blog.

I was born in Toronto, ON on Aug 19, 1972. I grew up being abused--I am an incest and a ritual abuse survivor--and a big part of the way I coped was through reading books. I also wrote a lot, and created art; all of those things helped me escape. 

I am a survivor, a feminist, and queer, and I am an avid book reader and book lover. I both write create art. I live with my little dog, Petal, and my cat, Amazon, in Toronto.

Some of my favorite books as a teen were (and still are some of my favorites today): Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan; The Third Eye by Lois Duncan; Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt; The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis; A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle; Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery; The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key; Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter; and most of the books by Dick Francis (I could identify with them).

(1) Five words that sum up Hunted?
Prejudice, compassion, hope, paranormal, dystopia.

(2) Caitlyn, the main character, is a Para, a person with special abilities. If you could possess a special ability, what would it be?

I used to want telepathy--so I could know in advance what my abusers were going to do and try to avoid it. But after writing Caitlyn's story and seeing how hard it can be (and knowing that I'm extra sensitive to people's emotions sort of like Caitlyn is), I think I'd rather have the power to heal. Or perhaps telekinesis! 

(3) Is there going to be a sequel to Hunted? I'm still dying to know what happens to Caitlyn, Alex, and everyone else!

Yes. I'm writing the sequel now. I'm so glad you loved HUNTED! (beaming) 

(4) When did you start writing books? What inspires you to write?

I've written since I first knew how to write. Probably even before that, since I created worlds and lands and people in my head (to escape the abuse). I guess my first attempt at a book was in grade three when our teacher asked us all to write and draw a comic. Most kids did about 2 pages, 3 tops. I had about 40! And my teacher was wondering why I was late with the assignment! (laughing) But I felt that I couldn't tell the story in just 2-3 pages. 

I always knew I wanted to write or create art--they were both ways that I could speak and be heard. My abusers repeatedly threatened to kill me if I talked, so writing and art became my voice. But I didn't get serious about trying to publish a book until some time in my twenties, when I started reading a ton of books on writing technique. 

What inspires me to write is my *need* to write, to reach others, to tell stories that need to be told, and to tell stories that encourage and inspire, the way books did for me (they really helped me survive the abuse). I draw on my abuse experience with every book I write. Because I'm a ritual abuse survivor (torture through cults) and an incest survivor, I have a lot to draw on.

(5) Who are your favorite YA authors? What books are you currently reading?

I have so many favorite YA authors! (And middle-grade, too; I've included a few.)! I have too many favorites to name them all. But some of them are:

Lois Duncan, Cora Taylor, Tamora Pierce, Beth Revis, Suzanne Collins, Ellen Hopkins, Gail Giles, Alex Flinn, Nancy Werlin, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jean Little, Cynthia Voigt, Martyn Bedford, Margaret Peterson Haddix, John Wyndham, Cinda Williams Chima, Madeline L'Engle, Pam Bachorz, Julie Ann Peters, Holly Black, and many, many more.

I am currently reading a few books: Second Hand Heart by Catherine Ryan Hyde, The Magic Half by Annie Barrows, and thinking of re-reading some of my old favorites. I also have a humongous to-read stack of books, as well as books stuffed on my Kindle. :) Books, for me, are soul food.

(6) Since Thanksgiving is about three weeks away, tell us what you're thankful for.

I am thankful for the people who love me and who I love, who've became a kind of family for me. And that includes my editor, Evelyn Fazio, who did an amazing job on both HUNTED and SCARS, and who became a friend and someone I deeply care about--part of my extended family. I'm so thankful SCARS got published and has reached so many people, and continues to. I think it's making a difference. I'm thankful HUNTED is being published; I'm excited about that! I'm thankful for the incredibly supportive writing and reading community we have. And I'm thankful for my dogs, past and present, who have brought so much joy and unconditional love to my life.

Thank you so much Cheryl for doing the interview!


  1. Thank you, Katelyn (smiling at you); I so appreciate your saying that. It matters so much to me to put good into the word--hope, healing, and also being able to talk about hard things, because of what I've been through. I'm glad you'll check out my books. I hope you'll enjoy them. :)

  2. This was a wonderful interview! Cheryl, I think you are simply amazing for surviving what you have been through and using those experiences to help feed your passion of writing! I love that your stories are encouraging and inspiring. I can't wait to read them!


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