Each November, Cayt takes part in NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write 50,000 words of a first draft manuscript during the month of November - not an easy thing to do.
Cayt's first NaNo manuscript is titled Reclassified. It tells the story of Hadley, a young girl in a world where women are now classified as animals. She is currently working with an editor and her writers' group on the second draft of her manuscript. Also in the works is the manuscript from her second NaNoWriMo - The Glass Kaleidoscope. This one is told from multiple perspectives in a world that divides its citizens into four suits and ranks them, just like a deck of cards.
Check out NaNoWriMo at http://www.nanowrimo.org
Check out an article in Huff Post about Cayt's experiences doing NaNoWriMo at http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2015/11/05/book-writing-author_n_8485752.html?utm_hp_ref=australia
Check out an extract from Cayt's NaNoWriMo manuscript, Reclassified:
Blue had been told about the reclassification by his father many times. He had asked lots of questions and he thought that he understood it. He thought he knew what to expect. But he was still surprised, when they reached the final enclosure, to see, for the first time in his life, a human girl. She was probably no older than he, and she sat, huddled and naked, looking out at the boys with startled eyes. Her skin was milky pale, not at all like his own tanned skin. He spent a lot of time in the fields with his father. The girl’s enclosure was indoors, and her skin looked as if it had not seen the sun. The hair on her head was longer than Blue had thought possibly. It fell over her shoulders in light waves, the colour of golden sunbeams on white snow. She was very thin and her knees were knobbly. Her eyes were the colour of a thunderstorm and she had small lips the shape of a rosebud. Her long limbs and neck made her look delicate, and Blue was reminded of the swans that swam on the lake near his house. The zookeeper was speaking, and Blue listened, but was unable to tear his eyes away from the girl.
‘There was a time, as I’m sure you all know, when females were considered human. Not exactly the same as men, of course, but seen as part of the same species. But this was a time of chaos. It became clear that men and women were unable to live safely and harmoniously together. Women were not able to survive in their natural environment, and so it was decided that they would be bred exclusively in captivity. It was at this time that the female race was reclassified as an animal species, rather than human.’
Blue had heard all of this before, but he listened anyway. The words took on new meaning now that he could see an actual girl. She looked so much like him, so human. But also different. For one, she wasn’t wearing any clothes, and her body was different to his. Her features were softer, the edges of her face round and delicate. But she was hairless, like him. Her face had a human quality to it. After all, if she had been born a generation earlier, Blue thought, she would have been human. Strange to think how different things would be. It was hard for him to even imagine.
The boys had lots of questions for the zookeeper.
‘What does she eat?’
‘Does she sleep at night time like us?’
‘Does it bite?’