This is L.M. David. I am interviewing Janine Caldwell, author of Rematch, Double Fault and the soon to be released Deuce. These books are part of Ms. Caldwell’s Vortex series of YA books. Janine, welcome to my little corner which, for the past week, has been without a Preston sighting. He will be back, the nuisance, just don’t know when.
Okay, let’s begin the interview.
Q. Tell me about yourself.
A. I am a mother of 2 young boys and live in Anthem, Arizona with my husband of 15 years. We are originally from California, but moved to Arizona to allow me to stay home and raise the kids. I started my writing career with a degree in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo as a foreign trademark/patent application paralegal for a semiconductor company and then later for a San Francisco law firm. It was dry, technical writing, but I wrote screenplays for fun on my downtime. About 6 years ago, leading a youth group for junior high girls, I got inspired by the book we were studying. It was a YA novel meant for young teen girls, and I knew then that I wanted to try my hand at novels. My boys were finally both in school full time and I’ve been working at home on this writing career ever since.
Q. Since this interview is on two books, Rematch and Double Fault, let’s start with the first, which is Rematch. What is this book about?
A. Rematch is the first of 3 books in The Vortex Series. This fantasy romance is told in two perspectives–Trent’s and Cassie’s. Trent Astor is a time-traveling teen who was given his powers to save unsuspecting victims in the past from harm, but when he fails at his mission to save a young girl’s life, he’s forever tormented by his mistake. It’s then that he meets Cassie Moore, a former tennis prodigy, at his new high school when everything begins to change for them both.
Q. Tell me about the character Trent Astor.
A. Eighteen-year-old Trent Astor, AKA Jeremy is the reluctant hero of this series with an extraordinary secret he must keep hidden from the world for his family’s safety. This secret, involving a supernatural power, forces Trent and his younger sister, Lorelai, to be on constant alert, ready to run again. The orphaned siblings move every six months with a new identity so the ones after his power cannot find him. This makes teenage life almost unbearable. Lonely and ultra-private, Trent knows making friends will only put them all in jeopardy. His saving grace is his love for his sister and his music. He’s mastered the guitar and allows himself to perform with local rock bands as long as he keeps them at arm’s length. Trouble is when you have a body and face like Trent, people tend to notice you. But because of the powers he was bestowed with, he knows a normal life will never be in his future. Allowing anyone, especially a girlfriend into his heart, is unthinkable.
Q. The character, Cassie Moore, is an eleven year old who suffers through an horrific shooting incident. Tell me about her.
A. Cassie Moore is the heroine of this story. At eleven-years-old, Cassie was in a horrific shooting that tragically scarred her for life. The once promising tennis prodigy, throws all hope of a future in tennis away, unable to play again after the shooting. As she enters her senior year of high school, she struggles to find herself, her self-esteem at an all-time low. When Jeff Tanner, a football god at her school, wants to date, she’s thrilled until he begins to manipulate her and treat her altogether badly. If she could only somehow recover from her past, she may have a chance to get her groove back. She never imagined that could be possible, though, until she meets the gorgeous new student in her PE class, Jeremy.
Q. How long does it take for Trent to reveal himself to Cassie.
A. About a quarter way through the first book, after he feels he has no choice but to tell Cassie the truth about who he is and how he’s involved with her past.
Q. How does Trent help Cassie deal with her past?
A. In Rematch, Trent feels he must return to her past and stop her from being shot in order for her to live out the life she was supposed to have. He believes creating this second life for her will be the answer to all her insecurities and that she will return to her promising tennis career.
Q. In the book, Double Fault, which is the second in a trilogy, Trent and Cassie are together and created a parallel universe. What problems has this created?
A. Although Trent believed Cassie’s life would become perfect when he saved her from being shot, this new life proves to carry its own heavy weight of problems. With Cassie playing tennis again, it creates an imbalance to their family. Her little brother, Gavin, ends up being neglected by their tennis-obsessed father, which also divides Cassie’s parents. It leaves Cassie’s best friend, Kelli, to be jealous of her. Cassie also struggles with the choices she made with her boyfriend, Jeff, before she remembered she was in love with Trent.
Q. In Double Fault, a new character is introduced, Lorelai which is Trent’s sister. Tell me about her.
A. Lorelai is not a new character. She is Trent’s only family member and is there for him from the moment their parents died in a car crash. The moment Trent became a time traveler and they had to run away from the orphanage when Dr. Fox began hunting down Trent. Strong-willed and sarcastic, Lorelai is a beautiful, hands off type a girl who is always there to support Trent and help him through difficult transitions from the past.
Q. The character Dr. Fox is portrayed as a dangerous, power-hungry individual. Tell me about him.
A. We learn about Dr. Fox’s motivation in Double Fault, but the most important thing to know about him is that he wants what Trent has. He wants to be able to travel back in time himself and will do anything to gain that power.
Q. The third book in this series, called Deuce, what will Trent and Cassie face?
A. The two will now deal with a mashed up version of her first two lives. We are left on a cliffhanger in Double Fault, so I won’t reveal what else Cassie struggles with in Deuce, but let’s just say she becomes even more familiar with supernatural powers than she ever imagined.
Q. In books about time travel, and paradoxes, how did you deal with changes Trent makes and what changes in the future?
A. Mostly, because Trent changes aspects of only Cassie’s life, it’s her future that becomes altered. These changes touch on the relationships with only the most intimate people in her life.
Q. Which character in both books has presented you with the most problems as far as personality goes?
A. I would say Cassie. It was a challenge to show how she morphed with each altered world Trent created for her. She certainly becomes a different girl in the end compared to who we meet in the beginning of Rematch.
Q. Who is your favorite character?
A. Hmm, that’s like asking who my favorite child is. I like them all for different reasons.
Q. You are a self-published author. Why did you choose to do that?
A. I began my journey like many others, querying agents and trying to get traditionally published. After many standard rejection letters in which you have no idea if they even read your work, I began to meet other writers who had taken the leap into self-publishing. Once I found my editor, I knew I could do it, too. It was so much more fun getting my work out there for people to read rather than have it sit on my computer, waiting for some agent to make my dream of publishing come true.
Q. What would you say to a writer who is just starting out and considering self-publishing?
A. Get to know Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads intimately because you’re going to spend a lot of time with them.
Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.
Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.
Books published by Janine include Rematch and Double Fault, the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released this fall. Janine also plans to publish Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy in the next month.
REMATCH is the first in The Vortex Series. Trent Astor is many things—orphan, runaway, musician. But what’s most extraordinary about Trent is that he’s a time traveler. His supernatural gift sends him on missions to the past to save unsuspecting victims from harm. However, when he fails to save the life of a young girl, his life changes in ways he could never have dreamed.
At eleven-years-old, Cassie Moore suffered through a horrific shooting. Tragically scarred from the ordeal, the once promising tennis prodigy was forced to throw away all hope of a future in tennis. Now, as she begins her senior year of high school, the past continues to haunt her. She struggles to find herself, her self-esteem at an all-time low. If only she could resolve the past, she might be able to move on with her life. She never imagined that could be possible until she meets the gorgeous new student in her PE class.
DOUBLE FAULT is the 2nd book in The Vortex Series where Cassie and Trent’s problems have only just begun. As they fight through the repercussions of creating a parallel world, other dangers are lurking. After years of running, Trent and his orphaned sister, Lorelai, sense the dangerous and power-hungry Dr. Fox is close to discovering their whereabouts.
While Cassie fears for Trent’s life, her tennis career hangs in the balance. Caught between her old and new life, she watches her world slowly crumble until it’s a tragic portrayal of all that she used to know. But worse yet, if her secret is revealed, she might lose what’s most dear to her heart.
DEUCE, the 3rd and final book of The Vortex Series, Janine Caldwell combines fantasy and romance to create a compelling love story of integrity and sacrifice.
In an instant everything changes for seventeen-year-old Cassie Moore. Together she and her time-traveling boyfriend, Trent Astor, battle to survive their next impossible challenge. As they navigate through a third parallel world in which Cassie begged Trent to create for her, the two soon discover no world can be made perfect.
And while they fight through their new circumstances, the universe may just have its own agenda for them both.