Caroline grew up in Georgia but is now pursuing her goal of becoming a bestselling author in Nashville, Tennessee. She spends most of her time writing, traveling, playing guitar, changing her hair color, and spreading her passion for young-authors throughout her community.
She is currently preparing her latest novel to pitch at a conference in New York City.
“Age shouldn’t limit a person from pursuing their dreams. If they’re willing to fight for what they love, the opportunities are endless.”
When did you start writing, and at what age did you decide to pursue publication?
I’ve been writing stories since the moment I could grasp a pencil. Being an avid reader inspired me to write books of my own. I wanted to create something that would connect with readers as much as I connected with the works of other authors.
In middle school, I wrote two novels and posted over sixty short-stories on a teen writing website. It was during this time that I set the goal of being published by sixteen. The Prime Way Program: Be the Victor was released twenty-five days before my sixteenth birthday.
Tell us about your book. What was your inspiration? How does this trilogy differ from other books in the sci-fi/dystopian genre?
When the Prime Way Program is shut down and a majority of its recruits are locked away, Kyle Chase and Cora Kingston, both genetically modified soldiers who managed to escape the initial imprisonment, try to adapt to normal, civilian life. They live with Cora’s aunt, brother, and cousins in a bungalow on the beach. And for a while, everything seems to be going great. Kyle surfs. Cora learns how to cook. They’re happy. But when their covers are blown and tragedy strikes, Kyle and Cora must return to their aggressive world of deception and mutation, and wage war against a strengthening enemy.
The Prime Way Trilogy delves into the themes of sacrifice, honor, and choosing to be different when it’s easier to succumb to normalcy. When writing the installments, I was inspired by events in my own life, movies, music, and books.
The trilogy blurs genres and dares to have a unique structure and character voices, which makes it stand out in a sea of novels.
What were the advantages of pursuing publication as a teenager? Any disadvantages?
Pursuing publication as a teenager allowed me to have the time and financial backing to develop my craft. I’ve been able to focus on my books without having to worry about another job, providing for myself, etc. In my opinion, there isn’t a disadvantage of pursuing publication as a teenager. If a teen loves to write and is motivated to publish their work, what could possibly be a negative?
Why did you choose self-publishing over the traditional route? What are its perks?
As a fifteen-year-old wanting to publish my debut novel, self-publishing offered me the chance to have control over the released content of my book, the cover, and a large percentage of profit from sales. Originally, I had hoped to take the more traditional publishing route; but after several setbacks, it became clear that self-publishing was the route God wanted me to take.
For those of you who are considering self-publishing, I do have a few tidbits of advice. First, be aware that self-publishing requires you to be the author, publisher, agent, cover-shoot coordinator, and publicist. You are in control of every aspect of your publication, which is both a gift and a burden. Second, always aim for quality. As a self-published author, you will be constantly trying to prove that your book is worth reading. There won’t be an agent or a publishing house vouching for you, so you must do everything possible to create a product of topnotch quality. Invest the money! Find a great editor! Pick an original cover! Do not give anyone a reason to criticize the format and presentation of your book. Lastly, don’t be discouraged. It’s easy to feel defeated during and after the publishing process. Keep working! Stay strong! Never give up!
Do you think every aspiring teen author should strive towards publication at a young age?
No. Pursuing publication is a 24/7 job. It takes a ton of time, determination, and resourcefulness. If a teen loves to write but doesn’t have those three elements, they should continue to write, develop their craft, and pursue publication once they’re ready.
As a Christian, how do you avoid not compromising your beliefs when it comes to writing secular fiction?
God has given me a passion for storytelling. He’s blessed my efforts and continues to provide opportunities. I owe everything to Him!
I believe a great story can be created without excessive profanity and immorality, and I strive to prove this belief when I write. When it comes to not compromising my beliefs, I feel that if John Green can publicly share his atheist beliefs in his writing, I have the right to share my Christian beliefs in my secular writing. How could someone argue with that logic?
Do you see writing as a life-long career for you? Are there any other areas that you’re interested in pursuing as well?
Writing will definitely be my life-long career. This fall, I’m attending Belmont University to major in Publishing and minor in Motion Pictures. Stories, in all forms, are my life, whether that be film, songwriting, or books.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve recently completed my latest novel and am now in the market for an agent,
Is there any advice you’d like to share with aspiring teen authors?
1. Find a way.
I learned at an early age that success wasn’t going to be handed to me on a platter. People weren’t planning to give me their time because I was Caroline George, little girl with big dreams, who asked for it. If I wanted something, I would have to work for it. Relentless. Perseverant. If someone told me NO, I’d find a YES.
The publishing industry isn’t going to hand you an agent and contract on a platter. You have to work hard. Relentless. Perseverant. And if someone tells you NO, find a YES.
2. Don’t let other people hurt your confidence.
Everyone experiences days when they feel inferior and unsuccessful. I often have these days.
Get up. Look in the mirror. Cringe.
Check email. No messages. Cringe.
Scan sales report. No sales. Cringe.
It’s easy to allow situations to injure your confidence, but in my opinion, people are the worst confidence-wreckers. One cruel remark will tear down any and all your self-esteem. And to be honest, there isn’t a foolproof way to prevent confidence-wrecking attacks. I can, however, advise you to keep your priorities in check. Believe in your purpose. Trust in the talent God gave you. Stay focused.
3. Love what you do. Fight for what you love. And love the fight.