“Catania’s Forest” Questions & Answers

Well, here we are.  A little later than I wanted, but here we are.  Enjoy!


Who was your favorite character? (Jaidyn)

My personal favorites are Catania and Lythia.  I’m super happy with how Cat turned out (and she’s a lot like me!).  Sadly, you don’t actually get a lot of Lythia in the story, but I really love her.

Who was the hardest character to write? (Jaidyn)

Probably Jéru?  I thought he would be easy and straightforward.  He was not.  I always felt like he was slipping out of character. Tyre’s dialogue was also tricky.

Were there any plot twists? (Jaidyn)

Plot twists I wasn’t expecting?  Jéru giving Catania bread.  The line about her not remembering what bread tasted  like was already there, but her actually tasting it in the story was actually a surprise.

Which character was the easiest to come up with? (Jaidyn)

Like I said in the behind-the-scenes, Tyre came first.  (Catania and Jéru came next.)  Lythia  probably came the fastest–once I realized I needed her, she came pretty quickly.

Was this story harder or easier to write then some of the others? (Jaidyn)

Hmm. . . There was a lot more angst about Cat’s Forest, but there wasn’t as much writer’s block.  At least to the best of my memory. . .

What inspired you to write this story? (Jaidyn)

Like I said, the idea of a Narnian centaur being connected with the Christmas star is what inspired me first.  That’s where the idea of the plotline came from.  There were many, many other things that inspired smaller plot-points.  A lot of Cat’s archery is probably the result of my own hobby (and some of its inspiration probably lies in The Hobbit as well. 🙂 )

Was there anything that you had originally started with, but decided to take out of the story? If so, why? (Jaidyn)

Nothing comes to mind. . .  It was mostly the other way round with Cat’s Forest: random things popping up that I wasn’t expecting.

When did you decide that you wanted to do a retelling of The Little Drummer Boy? (Savannah)

When I first had the idea about Tyre and the star.  I had never even considered re-writing the little drummer-boy before I had that idea.  I’d only really thought about retelling fairytales, like some of my friends have done.

Will you ever expand on Cat’s story (maybe a prequel or a sequel? That would be epic *nodnod*)? (Savannah)

I knew Savannah would ask that, so I’ve been mulling over this answer for a while. 😉 The answer is: maybe.  Strong maybe. I’ve thought about what a sequel would entail–what author could help doing that?  I’m hoping a sequel will happen, especially because it will involve more of the gospel, which would be amazing to try to write about!

Disclaimer: No promises, I don't know if it will come together yet.  As of now, I have no inkling of a plot.

From what I have so far, I think a lot of it will take place in Hynara, not Syrelia, which will be interesting.

Cat would still be the main character, as far as I know, and Lythia will have to be involved, at least a bit.  Tyre has refused to be left behind, and Jéru wants to be in a little.  Actually, Jéru really wants to do something rash and get himself killed.  I keep telling him that’s not allowed and is going to make my readers unhappy (and that–trust me!–he doesn’t want to face Ellen’s wrath), but he won’t listen. It’s like I’m the one human in the cosmos who can’t make him do anything!  Unlike Tyre, who I can convince of almost anything if I’m tactful, and Moth, who does anything I say without a moment’s hesitation.

As for a prequel, I have considered writing a longer version of Cat’s Forest, including her life in the city, or at least her early friendship with Lythia.  I haven’t put a lot of thought into that idea though.

How many months did it take you to write this story? (Savannah)
How long did it take you to write this? (Cerra)

I have “3/3/16” written at the top of the notebook page with the first part of Cat’s Forest written on it, and I finished in November.  Which would mean nine months. . . wow, I didn’t realize it took that long!  Writing always takes longer than I expect.

What was your favorite part to write? (Skylar)

Hm. . . probably the first one with Moth and Horbrid.  I love writing dialogue!  The conversation on the road with Tirim and Tyre was also fun (once again, dialogue!).

Do you like writing retellings or stories you come up with completely on your own best? (Skylar)

Well, that’s a hard question to answer.  Cat’s Forest was actually my first retelling.

(Unless you count The Sacrifice, which I guess was a retelling of St. George and the dragon, though it wasn’t exactly supposed to be.)

I don’t think I’ll ever stop coming up with original stories, but I’m starting to fall in love with retellings.  Personally, I think my strong point in fiction writing is detail, not overall plotlines, so I love retellings, as they give you a storyline to start with, and you get to add the names, the details, the characters, etc.

Are you planning on posting another story anytime soon 🙂? (Skylar)

Currently, there is no story for the blog actually in the works.  But there will most likely be one soon, because I can’t help myself, and I know you guys will pester me about it, like you always do.  You’re hard to resist.

What part was your favorite? (Cerra)

I’m pretty happy with how the last couple parts turned out, and the part with the fight on the road makes me happy, because so many of you liked it.


And that’s it.  Thank you all for asking great questions (they were fun to answer!), and for reading my story and giving me feedback!

It was super encouraging to know you all enjoyed reading Cat’s Forest!  How many of you would be interested in reading a sequel, if I wrote one?

16 thoughts on ““Catania’s Forest” Questions & Answers”

  1. Agreed, Ellen. =)
    All your answers to our questions were wonderful!
    Thanks for answering all of mine. =D

    Jaidyn Elise
    ( And, BTW, I did the ‘get to know me’ tag on my new blog =D)

  2. LOVED this, Hanna! (and of course I had to ask if you were going to be writing a sequel/prequel! You know me so well 😀 )

    Tell Jèru I’ll smack him if he tries to get himself killed. Or throw him in a creek – that’s worked well in the past xD.

    Nine months? That’s not long, that’s SHORT! I’ve been working on Killing Snow for almost a year now 😉 I can’t believe you were able to get it done and ready to be posted so quickly!

    This was such a fun post to read, Hanna – it was great getting a peek of that stuff that went on behind the scenes!

    1. Well, as long as it’s Jer, not ME! (It really won’t be my fault!)

      I guess nine months is short for me too, but Cat’s Forest was a pretty short story–at least, it was meant to be. *cough*

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. So good Hanna!

    I love writing dialogues too. Most of them are witty, but in more recent stories they’re a little more serious. I don’t know which I like best……

    OF COURSE I’d be interested in a sequel!!!!! (Who wouldn’t?)

    -Cerra Cat-

    P.S. Try to bribe Jèru. That may work better than threats….

    1. Hmm. . . I don’t know which I like better either. Witty is always fun, but I like serious stories better in general.

      Okay, I’ll try. I’m about ready to give in though, I haven’t had good luck arguing with my characters.

  4. Ooh, I hope it happens!!!!!
    Jaidyn Elise
    P.S. I wish there was an emoji with a very hopeful and pleading face- do you know of any? XD

  5. I think that you should write a sequel for Easter where Jeru becomes one of the twelve disciples. Cat could play the part of Mary Magdalene.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *