Intrigued by a college student studying English and American Studies who has recently written her first novel, I knew I wanted to read Colleen Caitin’s Leeway.


The story revolves around Captain Lian, a pirate with dreamy green eyes, and Princess Mila, the youngest and often ignored daughter of King Aaron IV of Platgo.  When the two meet by chance, both learn appearances and preconceived notions are not always what they seem to be.

Told from the alternating point of views of the two protagonists, initially the novel has a slow, nearly repetitive start with both Mila and Lian’s telling, but quickly picks up momentum and complexity as the pages are turned with elements of the deep sea supernatural and the unfolding of less than ideal childhoods.  In fact, the end of this breakthrough fiction leaves me wanting to read more.

As always, the English teacher within longs for a more thorough editing throughout of this work.  Quotation mark errors and wrong word errors such as “Her eyelids flatter. . .” (7) which should read “flutter” and “. . . now wears a red west instead of a black one” (62) which should read “vest” do make my skin crawl.  In addition, “overboard” is one word, not two.

Nevertheless, an ambitious piece of literature for an aspiring young author, and one whose body of work, I hope, continues to grow.

If you would like to read more about author Colleen Caitin, read through her  author interview here.


Colleen Caitin

Why do you write?: I have a hard time expressing my emotions, so writing means a great deal for me, because it’s my way to show how I feel. It helps me get through hard times, bad days or some confusion or problems. It’s also my way to relax or to let off some steam. I always loved books, because they are able to lead us away from reality into a whole new world and creating something like that is the best thrill there is…

Describe where you write.: Mostly at home (on the bed or in my totally awesome armchair)

Who or what is your muse?: Well, you could say that life is my muse. Most of the things I write come from own experiences…

Three wishes . . .: making my hobby (writing) into my one and only job, a ski chalet in the alps, being able to honestly say that I’m happy and live without regrets

Favorite childhood book, and why?: “Guess how much I love you” by Sam McBratney; I probably loved it so much, because I always had a thing for rabbits. They are just so cute!

Explain when is your ideal time to write.: I guess my ideal time to write is when I want to write. I’m not the kind of person who writes a story-outline or sits down and goes “now I’m going to wrote something”. As soon as I get an idea I write it down and that can be whenever…

Name a book you would reread again and again, and why.: Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling; I know it’s a bit of a cheat, because it’s a series (and if I would have to choose I would pick the third one ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), but I could read all of them over and over again. And of the sake of honest, it’s what I do. I think I read all of them at least four times. For me, Harry Potter is just awesome and a genius idea. And honestly, who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts?!

E-book or print? Why?: Print. Apart from the fact that I think it’s more comfortable to read, I just like the way it feels. Having a book in my hands and seeing all of them on the shelves is just something entirely different than owning an e-reader.

What would you like readers to take away from your writing?: I hope that my readers can identify themselves with the characters or with some aspects of the stories and therefore learn that they are not alone and that the most important thing is to stand up for themselves and be true to who they are. In the end, it’s not about how many books I’ve sold or how many ‘fans’ I have. It’s about the people that can honestly say, that my books mean something special to them because they learned something from it or because it helped them through a hard time. That’s what is important to me!

Colleen Caitin