Building Character with Cara & Logan from Into the Fire

It’s Friday! Time for Building Character in which you get to meet characters from a book. Talking to a character outside of their book is fun! Huge. Amounts. Of fun. 

This week Strands of Thought plays host to Cara and Logan from Into the Fire. Hey guys! Glad you could join us. Tell our readers a little about yourselves.

Hi, I’m Cara Tillman. I’m not supposed to talk to anyone about being a phoenix but Ashelyn says you guys are cool so I guess it’s okay. Anyway, I’m about to be reborn for the very first time and after having a front row seat to my little brother’s rebirth, you could say I’m a little terrified.

Hey, Logan Schmidt here. Um, what can I say? I moved to Ashlan Falls from New York City, so pretty much sucks. Everyone in this backwoods town knows everyone else, and I’m the outsider. The only plus is meeting Cara. She’s...different, and I like that.

Books always have a main conflict. What are you guys up against in Into the Fire?

Cara: I have exactly one month before I’m going to die and be reborn from my own ashes. When that happens, I’ll forget everyone I love. I won’t remember this life at all. Just that I’m a phoenix and that there are hunters who want me dead.

Logan: I’m trying to deal with moving to a new town where I know no one. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I’m kind of going through hell at home. My mom died and all I have left of her is the leather jacket I wear. And my dad is a total—let’s just say we avoid each other at all costs.

Logan, I’m so sorry about your mom. And Cara – wow, forget everyone? That’s rough. What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks you’ve encountered trying to resolve your troubles?

Cara: Meeting Logan. He showed up at the worst possible time. I’m supposed to be laying low and helping my brother, Jeremy, relearn who his friends are. The last thing I should be doing is imprinting on the new guy in town, the guy no one knows anything about. It’s too dangerous. We live in fear of hunters every day. Killing a phoenix means the hunter gets to live longer. We are their “fountain of youth.” Of course it’s out of my hands now. The imprint is too strong to fight.

Logan: Meeting Cara. I should have gotten on a bus and gone back to New York the second Dad left me stranded in the smallest town on earth. I would have to, but then I ran into her. I swear it wasn’t just her tiny bikini that did me in. Sure, that got my attention real quick, but Cara’s a mystery. She’s not like anyone I’ve ever met, and I can’t help but want to be near her. Even if she does have this crazy way of making me open up and talk about my mom. I can’t explain what she’s doing to me.

Certainly you are facing these issues alone. Gosh, I hope not. Do you have a best friend? Tell us about your him or her.

Cara: Rachel is the best. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for me, and I love her for it. That’s why it’s so hard to keep my secret. How am I supposed to handle knowing that I won’t remember Rachel in a month? How can I fake a friendship that’s so strong we’re almost like sisters? Of course when she hits on my little brother in front of me, it’s a big reminder that we aren’t actually related.

Logan: What can I say about Anton? He’s got the life back in New York. Different girl every night and practically lives on his own because his dad is busy working and shacking up with whoever the woman of the week is. Don’t get me wrong, though. Anton always has my back. He’s a great friend, and if I do decide to run back to New York, he’d take me in without question.

Is there anything about you that people are always giving you a hard time about? How do you feel about it?

Cara: Being a phoenix means I smell like cinnamon. All. The. Time. I pretend to chew cinnamon gum and Mom fills the house with cinnamon potpourri. My friends don’t question it, but I have to be careful whenever someone new comes into town.

Logan: People think it’s weird that I wear a leather jacket in June. I get it. It’s not exactly normal, but they don’t understand. It’s all I have left of my mom.

Cara, have you ever tried to douse yourself in perfume to mask the scent? Do they still make Jean Nate? That stuff will cover anything!

Tell, me guys, what are your three favorite leisure activities?

Cara: Swimming at the falls, hanging with Rachel, and... A few days ago I would have said hanging out with my brother, Jeremy, but since his rebirth things haven’t been the same. These days getting to know Logan is pretty high up on my list.

Logan: Running and being with Cara. Sorry, can’t name a third activity. If you’ve ever been to Ashlan Falls, you’d understand. There’s nothing to do here. Wait, does eating at Monique’s café count as an activity? The woman makes a mean omelet.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Cara: I don’t really know what I want to be, but since I’ll have five lives, I have some time to think about it. Unless I meet up with a hunter, but I guess I wouldn’t have to worry about a future at all then.

Logan: Who the hell knows? I can tell you what I don’t want to be though, and that’s a lawyer like my dad. I want to be the furthest thing from what he is.

So glad you two were able to stop in and visit today. I’m pretty curious to find out how it turns out for you both. Readers, here is more info on Cara and Logan’s story, Into the Fire.

Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

And here’s the skinny on their author:

Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. Ashelyn also writes speculative fiction as Kelly Hashway. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Please include contact information; websites, blogs, social media here:

If you have a character from a children’s, middle grade or young adult book you’d like to see featured on Building Character, contact Kai via email: kaistrand at yahoo dot com.


  1. I've met Cara and Logan in their book, which I really enjoyed by the way. Nice to learn more about you both. I must say though, I'm anxious to read your next adventures because you left us sort of hanging. :)

  2. What a fun interview! I'm really looking forward to reading this!!


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