Writer Wednesday: The Quest for Eternal Youth

A couple of my friends, Heather Marie Adkins (writing as Nolia McCarty) and Julia Crane have teamed up to write a fantastic new novel called Eternal Youth.  I was able to catch up with the ladies over virtual coffee and find out a little be more about magic, collaboration, and the quest for Eternal Youth.

Fountain of Youth by Eduard Veith - National Geographic

1. What do you love most about the story and characters in Eternal Youth?

J: My favorite part is traveling aspect of the book, as well as the search for the elusive Fountain Of Youth. I’ve always been fascinated with the legend. Of course, the older I get, the more I’d like to find it on my own…

Calista is a wonderful main character—I believe teens will be able to relate to her. The mother is a bit of a nut job, but it’s acceptable because she is grieving. Honestly, I love all the characters in this story so it’s hard to narrow it down.

H: I love the idea of using modern-day “myths” or legends and bringing them to life for our own purposes.  Eternal Youth is the Bermuda Triangle and the Fountain of Youth as it’s never been portrayed before (as far as I know!)  I loved researching the legends and learning things I didn’t know before, then incorporating them into the story.

Every character we crafted in Eternal Youth is a character I believe will speak to someone, somewhere simply because Callie’s life, no matter how…odd, is still the normal life of a 16 year-old-girl.  The relationship between Callie and Nailah – one born of tragedy – is probably my favorite.

2. You’ve both written about LOTS of paranormal goodness, what is your favorite myth/legend?

J: Shea, you always ask the best questions and the hardest to answer. Goodness, what a hard choice. When I was in high school I was obsessed with The Odyssey and The Iliad.

H: Myths of Gods and Goddesses, hands down – my favorite stories of which are “creation myths” that explain how the world came into being.  It’s fascinating stuff, particularly in that some of those myths are older than time as we know it and they’re so SIMILAR.  More specifically, I love Norse and Irish myths.

(Sorry, you said “Norse.” I couldn’t resist.)

3. What are your favorite paranormal themed TV shows and what do you love about them?

Snow White and Prince Charming in Once Upon A Time

J: Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle and Once Upon a Time are my current favorites. What’s not to love? I guess my favorite thing about paranormal shows is that anything goes. Unlike drama where things are based on real life. You can’t really say “A vampire would never do that!” Because we don’t really know what they would or would not do.

H: I have to agree with Julia on Once Upon A Time — it’s the first show in YEARS I’ve loved almost as much as I loved Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (that show of which is my absolute favorite, always and forever.)  I also adore Grimm, and I like the “reality” ghost hunters shows.  Other than that, I actually don’t watch a lot of paranormal television!  To round up the list of My Favorite Shows – Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and (forgive me) Glee.

(I agree. Once Upon A Time rocks my socks like WHOA!)

4. What was it like working with a co-author?

J: Co-writing is a lot of fun. You get to toss around ideas, and the writing is SO much faster. You get to feed off of someone else’s idea.

H: Julia put it perfectly — FEEDing off of ideas.  When you send the document back and forth by email, writing a hundred words here or there, the story just unfolds all by itself.  There was so little effort put into writing this book — it wrote itself!  Anytime we hit a speed bump, we’d just hop on Facebook and do a bit of brainstorming.  It was a great experience, and we made a killer team.

5. Will you two be collaborating again? Will there be an Eternal Youth sequel? 

J: Yes! We already have a story line in mind, but not sure we are ready to give up the goods just yet.  I’ll leave that to Heather/Nolia.

H: As Julia mentioned, YES, we will be co-writing again later this summer.  Right now it’s nothing more than a basic idea, but along the same lines as Eternal Youth, it will deal with other worlds and the paranormal.  We’re hoping for a Christmas release.  As for Eternal Youth, it is currently just a stand alone novel.  Neither of us can see a sequel in the future.  Yet. 🙂


The six years following the abrupt death of her father were the worst of Calista Bishoff’s life. Frightened by her own mortality, Callie’s mom threw herself into a search for the Fountain of Youth—and dragged Callie along with her.

Callie should have loved traveling, but instead she hated every minute. When one more failed search sends her mother into depression, they finally return home to California.  Sixteen-year-old Callie is ready to hang with her friends and be normal for as long as she can.
But, an unplanned trip to Bermuda with her grandmother throws Callie’s plans awry, and there’s more in store for Callie and her mom than just a simple beach vacation.  Callie’s life is turned inside out as she finds herself in a very different world than the one she knows—

Where things exist that she never dreamed were real.







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