They say college is a lot of things; a haven, a four-year party, the place you met the girl – or guy – of your dreams. What they don’t tell you is, the best part of college is the drama YOU bring to the table! After all, that dirty little secret, that not-so-little white lie, and those texts you wish you could erase from cyberspace can’t stay hidden forever. At CU, someone’s always watching, and you better hope there isn’t a camera phone on hand when you get caught.
It’s the Spring Semester, but it’s not all fun in the budding sun for Jon and Franz. Follow them as they delve through the politics of secret societies, the inevitable drama of the F-word (that’s FAMILY, for the uninitiated), creepy Resident Advisors, creepier residents and girls who don’t always say what they mean. Who wouldn’t need two months to recuperate?
Cheers! And GL!
- Where did you get the idea for the novel?
Well, I was inspired by my freshman year in college; it took me by surprise, how so much could happen in so little time. There were parallel stories in my year and that laid the foundation for the series and the way these books are being written. The first book, The Life and Times of Elizabeth and the Duchess, was written from the perspective of the girls in this series, Elizabeth and Judith. This book, The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper, is more so the guys’ story. Jonathan and Francis get their time in the limelight and, if I do say so, they have as much drama as the girls. The entire series will chronicle their college experience, from start to finish, as each character grows or even stays the same.
- Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
The title came to me right after I finished the first book; I had just written, what was the epilogue, from Jon’s perspective and I had called his chapter, “The Heir.” And in many ways he is; his responsibilities, his attitude, he’s very much the disgruntled prince. And then there was Francis, the Keeper. His character came to life from Judith’s story and I knew I wanted to explore him. I never changed the title, I never even considered it.
- Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title did; I knew the story though, so perhaps that came first. I knew what it would be called before I started writing, because I knew what I wanted to write.
- Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
Besides completing two full novels, I think it has been exciting to get so many positive reviews! I’ve always enjoyed writing and it’s something I see myself doing for a long time, but there’s something amazing about having complete strangers compliment your work. It’s satisfying and I’m sure every writer would agree.
- What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
To be honest, the last fictional work I read was about a month ago; Dead and Gone, by Charlene Harris. I love the Sookie Stackhouse novels, so I’ll go back to them once in a while. Now, I haven’t gotten much of a chance to read since I’m currently studying for the biggest exam of my life: The Medical College Admission Test. Odd? No, I’ve always been interested in medicine, I just absolutely love writing.
- What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)?
I’ve written several stories (20? 50? 100?), but I’ve never finished an entire book, so my first book was my published book. My stories are in every genre imaginable, from fantasy to science fiction, from westerns to historical romance, from thrillers to young adult fiction. I simply write.
- What is your writing process?
Once I’m inspired by something, I can pick up a pen and begin writing. I get inspired by a lot; people, movies, clothes, events. My mind will take the scene somewhere else and I can imagine a story.
- Who are your favorite authors of all time?
Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Lisi Harrison, Judith McNaught, Jodi Picoult, Tamora Pierce, J. K. Rowlings…and a few other names I can’t quite recall. But if I discover an amazing author, I try to find everything he or she has written.
- At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say?
I like notes, since they are mini stories and can make people think of you, more so than a signature. I think of the funniest thing I can imagine then tone it down considerably ha!
- What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
That I was a biology major in college and never took a single writing class and plan on applying to medical school once I’ve completed the MCAT.
- How do you react to a bad review?
I can’t say that I’ve ever gotten a “bad” review – knock on wood – but I’ve received critical reviews in my writing. I usually go back to the story and figure out what happened and what I could change – if I felt there was need for a change – to fix the “problem.” Critical reviews are extremely helpful, and never bad.
- How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
Doing a little dance! I really did!
Etta King is the author of the Caspian University novels, a series chronicling the life and times of a group of wealthy teens who inevitably discover the various flavors of college drama. Etta writes from her personal experiences as a college co-ed and as the product of an all-girls prep school. Here she witnessed the very eccentricities and foibles which she depicts in her novels.
In a home filled with books, it was no surprise that Etta grew to be an avid reader, and that translated into writing when she was thirteen. She wrote simply for the fun of it, whatever would come to mind, from fantasy to thriller to romance, and shared her stories with her friends.
In 2010, at twenty-one and just as she was about to graduate from college, Etta began writing "The Life and Times of Elizabeth and the Duchess." This was a story which had first taken shape in 2008, after her freshman year, but had been put on hold. With graduation looming, Etta recalled the characters, and the events which had inspired them, and took pen to paper. Literally, as Etta enjoys writing out her stories before typing them out. Soon the first book had been completed and the series was born.
"The Life and Times of the Heir and the Keeper," comes as the sequel to "Elizabeth and the Duchess," and serves as the second semester of these teens' college saga. Etta is currently working on the third book, in what will be an eight-part series.
Etta King lives with her family in Westchester, New York.