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Cadence Associate Misty Corrales Publishes Her Debut Novel

Young adult novel ‘Spell Me the Truth’ is the realization of a dream

Cadence Associate Misty Corrales Publishes Her Debut Novel

It was 1985. Madonna and Prince ruled the pop charts; “The Goonies” and “Back to the Future” battled for dominance at the movies. People shopped at malls, not online; Amazon wouldn’t be founded for nearly another decade.


Misty Corrales was 17, an American teenager attending high school in England, where her Air Force father was stationed. She was a bookworm. The “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “A Wrinkle In Time,” “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” were early favorites. As you can guess, she had a vivid imagination.


She decided to write a novel of her own, so she found a notebook and started in.


“The idea just came to me, so I created the character sketches and outline of the story at that point,” Misty says. It was to be a paranormal adventure story, set among a group of teenage friends.


But the notebook got set aside. Luckily, it moved whenever Misty did.


More about Misty


Misty was born in Indiana, but her dad’s Air Force career took the family around the world. She graduated from high school and went on to college, earning a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s in teaching with an emphasis in English. She became a college professor, teaching at Troy University in Alabama.


Universities usually want their professors to earn a Ph.D., but that was not in the cards. So she leaned on another one of her skills—her ability with numbers—and applied for a job at a bank.


She found her new home at the bank that would eventually become Cadence. She started in processing and then became an underwriter, the position she holds now. She primarily underwrites first-lien mortgages on houses, specializing in government programs such as Veterans Affairs, Federal Housing Administration, Community Reinvestment Act and others.


But she never did leave the words behind.


NaNoWriMo beckons


Spell Me the Truth

Fast forward to 2013, when Misty first learned of NaNoWriMo. Short for National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo is an annual event that encourages would-be authors to write a 50,000-word book in a month. The exercise encourages writers to push through all the things that can typically stall them out—a plot wrinkle, the desire to do more research, or the lure of constantly re-reading and re-editing what they’ve already written. The 50,000 words average out to just over 1,660 words a day, which is a challenge for even the most disciplined of writers.


All around the country, hopefuls begin writing and tallying their word counts on Nov. 1, hoping that they’ll have a finished novel by Nov. 30. Misty decided to give it a go.


“I forgot I had this outline,” Misty said. “On Oct. 31 at about 10 p.m. I thought, hang on a moment, I have this outline of a novel that I wrote way back... maybe I should actually try this and see what happens.” She went looking for her notebook from so long ago and had it in her hands within five minutes, even after all the years and all the moves. There they were: her characters, her settings, her plot outlines.


And just like that, it was 1985 again.


A novel is born


Two weeks later, she completed the first draft.


“I kind of surprised myself,” she said. “But I had a really strong outline, and I knew these characters.”


The editing process did not go quite as smoothly. Misty says she wrote it in two weeks and edited it for five years. She would start, then put it to the side, feel guilty for a while and then pick it up again.


“It was never not on my brain. It was always, ‘Ooh, I need to take care of that.’” She even struggled with the name, going through eight different titles before she finally landed on “Spell Me the Truth.”


In the story, a group of teenage friends at a slumber party fall under the curse of a new girl’s house, the history of which includes an eerie carnival, spells and magic, and a pair of twin sisters whose relationship went awry. The group of friends must fight to break the curse themselves.


Misty chose to self-publish the book, and her artist husband created the cover art. It published in June 2018 under the pen name Cat Francis. It’s available on Amazon; readers can explore more about it on the author’s website, CatFrancisWrites.

Cadence Associate Misty Corrales Publishes Her Debut Novel


How did it feel to hold her book in her hands for the first time?


“It was kind of weird, exciting and weird,” she says. “It was the number one item on my bucket list, and I got to cross it off, which is a very cool thing to do.”


And as far as the future goes, Misty is planning to write a sequel. She’s been doing a lot of thinking about whether her characters should be in their senior year of high school or heading off to college. “I’ve got ideas on this particular one, but I’m not 100 percent sure where I’m going with it,” she adds.


Does she have an outline?




And somehow, she’s misplaced that original notebook. So, she’ll be relying on her characters, her artist husband, John, and maybe even their five cats— Thames, Logan, Peri, Jazzpurr and Junipurr—to carry her through the next 50,000 words.


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