Author Interview: Tabitha Caplinger

Last week, I shared my review of The Wolf Queen, a wonderful Christian fantasy novel. This week, I have the privilege to talk with the author, Tabitha Caplinger! In addition to being a gifted writer, Caplinger is a homeschool mom and ordained minister. She and her husband are the student pastors at Faith Community Church in House Springs, Missouri. One fun fact about Caplinger is that she took fencing classes in college. She is a self-declared TV addict and lists Supernatural, Smallville, Leverage, Stargate Atlantis, and Grimm as some of her favorites. To learn more about Caplinger and her writing, see the full interview below!

Author Tabitha Caplinger. Photo provided by the Caplinger.

Q)  How long have you been writing?

A) I’ve had a head full of stories my entire life, but I’ve only been writing for about seven years. 

Q) Why do you write?

A) I love stories. I love getting drawn into another world, one that gets you to let your guard down so that it can reach beyond our walls and defenses and plant seeds of inspiration and truth deeper into our hearts. I believe stories can often reach parts of us sermons can’t simply because we let ourselves connect to characters in a way that reflects where we are personally. 

Q) What are your top three favorite books and why?

A) While my favorite genre to read is fantasy, my three favorite books cover a wide array of genres. 1. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis – I loved how Lewis took a fictional concept and meshed so much truth in it. While he does that with all of his books, this is the one that struck me the deepest. 2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee  – This book was full of vivid descriptions, and the mingling of childhood with more adult themes was done so beautifully. It was the first book that really got me interested in the art of writing
3. Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo – This book was one assigned my senior year of high school and unlike any other book in school, I couldn’t put it down. It was tragic and full of sorrow but the writing stuck with me. I can still remember whole sections of it. It was the book that made me interested in being a writer. 

Q) Describe yourself in three words.

A) Faith-filled. Intentional. Awkward.

Q) What song would be your life’s theme song?

A) Thunder by Imagine Dragons

Q) Who is someone that inspires you?

A) So many people in different ways and areas of life. But to boil it down to one, I’d have to say, Jesus. Not in a trite way. But I truly try to live a life that honors Him and is surrendered to Him, looking to Him as an example. 

Q) What inspired The Wolf Queen?

A) My daughter, who was maybe 5 at the time, put her little wolf stuffed animal on my head and said, “Look, mommy! You’re the wolf queen.” That moment started a series of questions that birthed this book. (Most inspiration for my stories is a small moment, image, or song lyric that becomes a catalyst to questions. Interesting questions that push me deeper into my imagination become a story.)

Q) Can you tell us how your faith intersects with The Wolf Queen?

A) My faith is core to who I am. As a Christ-follower, I don’t believe Jesus is a slice of our life, He is the filling. He is in everything. So everything I do is built on the foundation of my faith in Jesus. When I write, I don’t do it with a sermon or certain message in mind. As I get a story idea, I pray and ask myself how this story can honor God. I don’t want to be overly preachy or overt but because my beliefs are so rooted in me, they will come out in the story. For The Wolf Queen, this story of a woman raised by wolves became about defeating the darkness inside of us. I don’t think that is something we can do on our own but requires surrender bathed in love. 

Q) Can you tell readers about your current WIP (Writing in Progress)?

A) I am currently editing my next project slated to publish in early 2023. It’s an NA dystopian that I actually started before The Wolf Queen. It’s a story about community and truth and finding real freedom and healing…and there are aliens. 

Q) Can you tell us about your other books available?

A) Before The Wolf Queen, I wrote a Christian urban fantasy trilogy, The Chronicle of the Three. It’s Buffy meets Gilmore Girls with demon slayers and what it really means to be chosen. 

Q) What goals do you have for your writing?

A) I don’t have a lot of goals as far as numbers go. I want to grow in my craft with each new story. Mostly though I want to help others see they are powerful, chosen, loved, and never alone. I want readers to see they are stronger than the darkness.

Q) Will you tell us a little about your own faith journey?

A) I am a pastor’s kid. I gave my life to Jesus at 7 years old and have done my best to live for Him since. That hasn’t always been easy, it has certainly been messy at times, but it has always been worth it. I used to think my testimony wasn’t good enough because I didn’t think my story was powerful enough. But I’ve come to realize the power of Jesus is the same in every story. He is just as powerful in a story of freedom and deliverance after wandering as He is in a story of keeping us centered on Him all along the way. 

Q) Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

A) Ephesians 4:1. I call it my “live chosen” verse. It’s my reminder to keep Jesus at the center. 

Q) What advice would you offer aspiring authors?

A) Know your why. Why do you write? All of your goals will stem from that why. Your definition of success will come from your why. And when things get difficult, your why can bring it all back into perspective. On a side note, learn the business side of publishing as much as you work on craft. Writing the story is only one part of this journey. 

Tabitha Caplinger with her books. Photo provided by Caplinger.

Be sure to follow Caplinger on social media to stay up to date with her writing!

Photo provided by Caplinger.

AND be sure to get your own copy of The Wolf Queen from Amazon here!

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Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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