Congratulations to Karen who won last week’s giveaway!
This week we get write to the point with Caprice Hokstad. Caprice spends most of her time dreaming up other worlds to live vicariously in. Her first half-million words were lavishly spent on the fantasy setting of Byntar (where her published Ascendancy Trilogy novels are set). Caprice lives in a mobile home in southern California, but regularly stares at her simulated aquarium screensaver. Her ultimate aspiration is to live in the first undersea colony, Atlantica, currently being built off the coast of Florida. She is assured they will have electricity and internet and that there will be room for her laptop, so she can continue to write. At that point, she may change her screensaver, but no promises.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
Married 27 years. Four children, ages 8-24, one grandchild with another on the way. Born and raised in California. Went to college in Texas. Lived in a log cabin in the boonies for the first ten years of marriage. I’ve been writing since 1998.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
Blood and Brine: What should be a season of rejoicing over Duke Vahn’s newly-recovered son is overshadowed by fear of an uncertain future. Vahn’s brother, King Arx, expands the war with neighboring Ganluc, while enemies at home seek to shatter the Rebono dynasty forever. Strained relations between royal twins harden into cold suspicion and treasonous accusations while a deadly plague sweeps across the land. As the royal bloodline is torn asunder, two races, the Elva and Itzi, discover that only together can they stop the plague and restore their unraveling kingdom.
It’s the third and final book in a fantasy trilogy, so I hope my readers feel sad it’s over, but satisfied with the way everything was resolved.
How did you come up with the idea for this book/series?
It was very loosely based on some roleplay characters from America Online chat in the late 1990s. When my roleplay partners stopped playing, I missed it too much to let go. I started this story as my self-consolation.
What’s something surprising about you?
I think Algebra is fun. No. Really.
I will admit to that as well. I loved Algebra in high school. I owe that to Mr. Brink : )
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
For college work-study, I was assigned to work in the cafeteria. I soon discovered this was the most-hated on-campus job there was. People told me to transfer to the library or be a resident assistant. I had to get up incredibly early (breakfast crew had to arrive at 6:30 AM, which for a night person is just about obscene). The work was tedious and grimy. I often had class directly after a shift, so I had arrive in my grubby jeans and hat-hair. The other girls in my dorm spent at least an hour every morning on hot rollers, hairspray, and make-up and they wore dresses and heels. I stood out like a scuzzy bum everywhere I went.
For the first month, I absolutely hated it. I still don’t know why I didn’t transfer to another job immediately, but it turned out it was good thing I didn’t. I didn’t understand how the work-study program operated. A certain amount of my financial aid was designated as work-study, but when my first paycheck came, it wasn’t the amount I was “promised”. That amount was actually the maximum limit I could get from the program. I had to earn every penny in wages, paid by the hour. It wasn’t guaranteed like I had stupidly assumed. I had tuition and fees due and not enough paycheck to cover everything. My parents only let me go to private school on the insistence I found a way to pay for it. I couldn’t stand the thought of having to call them and tell them I had misunderstood my financial aid. I was sure they would make me try to join ROTC (which was unlikely I could meet physical qualifications for; I was overweight) and when that fell through, I would have to quit school and come home in utter disgrace.
So I sold back my meal plan to pay off that installment of my bills. Being a cafeteria worker meant I could eat when I worked and I usually worked once a day, so I wouldn’t starve. This made it possible to meet my expenses on what little I made, but with very little to spare. The cafeteria paid ten cents more per hour than any other job and now that extra mattered quite a bit. I also had an opportunity to get more hours than would have been available to me in other jobs. Plus, when I used up the work-study funds, the cafeteria hired me on as a “regular” employee, doing the same job, just getting paid differently. If I had worked any other on-campus job, when work-study funds ran out, I would have been laid off and had to find something off-campus. I didn’t have a car then, so that would have been really difficult. Suddenly, the cafeteria was not such a bad deal after all.
I did resent the ickiness and the tedium for quite a while, but I eventually made peace with the job. In the end, all my best college friends were the others who worked in the cafeteria and I have better memories of that dirty job than of just about anything else I did in college.
Where can we find you on the web?