Author, I Never: An Interview with Caryn Lix

Caryn Lix

author of Sanctuary, our July 24, 2018

Author, I Never is a new segment in which I interview fellow authors about the writing process, breaking into the industry, and breaking rules. I ask some hopefully novel questions along with some of the old standards, and finish it up with a round of I Never to find out what cardinal writing rules we've broken.


Question the first: Caryn, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing when I was about thirteen. My grade 8 writing teacher told me I had talent, so I started staying behind and writing when everyone else went to gym class. That was the first big clue!

Question the second: What has been your proudest or most exciting moment as an author so far?

Obviously the moment I found out my book had been accepted by a publisher was a big one, but I think the MOST exciting was the agent call. Caitie was just so wonderful and enthusiastic that it revived all of the enthusiasm I’d had start to fail over years of trying.

Question the third: At what point did you think to yourself "I've made it" or at what point do you think you'll feel that way?

I don’t think I’ll ever feel that way. I used to think I would feel that way when I had an agent, but as soon as I did, I started worrying about publication. Then I got a publisher -- but now I’m worried no one will read my book! Is there ever a time when we feel like we’re at the end of the road? And maybe there shouldn’t be -- that’s how we keep growing!

Question the fourth: Did any experienced authors or industry people mentor or give you helpful guidance on your journey to publication?

As mentioned, my agent, Caitie Flum, was a phenomenal resource for me all the way through. I had lots of other help from some fantastic authors, notably Wade Albert Wright and Michelle Hauck.

 Question the fifth: Have you ever had a time when you've felt like giving up?

A time? No. SoOOOooo many times! Over the years I’ve had months when I refused to write or try anymore… but I would always find myself drawn back in.

 Question the sixth: What was the most inconvenient time or place you were struck by inspiration?

I often get struck by inspiration when I’m in the middle of teaching. For some reason, the school district frowns on telling a room full of twelve year olds to hang tight while you spend twenty minutes jotting down ideas….

Ha! Question the seventh: Can you give us hint to help us find an "easter egg" or hidden item to look for in one of your books? Maybe an obscure clue if there's a mystery thread, or a reference you threw in to a favorite book or song?

There are tons of references, both intentional and not so intentional, to my favorite animes, science fiction, and fantasy stories layered throughout my books. Is that helpful?

Ooh! It's vague, but opens up so many possibilities. And so does the...


I Never Round


The basic rules of I Never, the kid friendly version- I state a generally established writing rule (or at least a norm). If you've broken that rule, state your guilt for the record.

I never made up a word in my manuscript, and stood by it during copyediting.


I never had an amazing idea right before bed, and decided sleep was more important.


I never started a story with a character waking up, looking in the mirror, or in a bathtub.


I never worked on two manuscripts at once.

And I started off so well...

I never went several days or even weeks without writing.

These questions aren’t fair.

I never wrote "for a long moment."

Quiet, you.

I never cheated during NaNoWriMo.

What is cheating, really? 

Thank you so much for appearing in Author, I Never! When and where can we look for, preorder, or buy your next or most recent book, and where can we follow you on social media?


My first book, Sanctuary, is being released by Simon & Schuster Pulse in summer 2018. As of yet it’s not available for preorder, but you can find it on Goodreads, and come follow me on twitter (Caryn Lix -- @missrithenay).

Bonus question: Does Sanctuary have a theme song?

Actually yes -- Help I'm Alive by Metric.

Help, DJ Spotify.