The Phantom Island series by Krissi Dallas
High school senior Whitnee has spent six years rebuilding her identity after her father's mysterious disappearance left her with more questions than answers. With her two best friends, Morgan and Caleb, she returns as a mentor to the summer camp of her childhood. Nestled in the Texas hill country, Camp Fusion is everything Whitnee remembers--except for the haunting visions that only she can see. One fateful night, Whitnee and her friends embark on a magical voyage where unexpected adventure and heart-stopping romance collide--a journey that might unlock the dark, complicated mysteries of Whitnee's family history. But despite discovering a mysterious Island, Whitnee wants nothing more than to return home safely--until she starts performing supernatural feats with Wind, Earth, Water, and Fire powers. Suddenly, finding the Island seems like more than just a coincidence. When an ancient prophecy causes a controversy among the leaders of the White Island, Whitnee questions who is looking out for her interests, and who is interested only in gaining power. Even Gabriel, her one ally on the Island, has secrets that both confuse and allure her. Who can Whitnee really trust to find out the truth about herself and her missing father? Could Whitnee really be the answer to the White Island's problems and if so, is it worth the danger of never returning home?
Meet Caleb, Whitnee’s “homegrown hottie” best friend and fellow Traveler to the White Island! In this interview, we get the inside scoop on Caleb’s true feelings, including how he views Whitnee, the White Island, and yes, even his biggest competition, Gabriel.
What is your full name?
Caleb Lee Austin
What is one thing we should know about you?
I hate spiders. There’s something really wrong with having that many legs.
What do you like the most about Whitnee and is there anything that really gets on your nerves?
Oh, man. (Is she going to be reading this?) I think what I like and dislike the most about Whit is one and the same—her free spirit. It’s the very thing that I’m addicted to, but it’s also what drives me the most crazy. I feel like I can hardly keep up with her sometimes.
You found out on the Island that you’re most like a Geodorian. Describe what it’s like to use the Earth life force. What is your favorite Earth skill?
That’s really hard to describe because there is nothing here on the Mainland like it. When I’m using the Earth life force, it feels like I can hear everything better—and I don’t mean just the sounds of people or whatever. It’s like nature itself has a voice, but it’s not audible. I don’t know…do I sound like a total treehugger? I know I haven’t even learned half of everything you can do with it, but I love using the Earth Shield—I’m a protector by nature. Plus it just looks cool. And it’s green, my favorite color. Ha.
If you had to choose, would you live on the White Island or the Mainland?
Easy. The Mainland. There is no way I would want to live under the Island’s government—with Gabriel as my Guardian. Nope. No way.
Do you think that you and Gabriel could ever be friends?
Okay, seriously, is Whitnee making you ask me this stuff? I don’t hate Gabriel. I’d just like to punch him in the face sometimes.
If you were given a million dollars how would you spend it?
The noble thing first? Water. There are people in countries that don’t have purified drinking water and I would like to help with that. Then I’d set up an account for my mother, buy myself a sports car and season tickets to the San Antonio Spurs, and use whatever’s left trying to find the exact location of the White Island.
What is your worst fear?
Drunk drivers. Car accidents. I’ll be honest, when I see a wreck on the side of the road, it still makes me a little sick. I’ll never forget the night I lost my dad.
When did you first realize you had “more than friends feelings” for Whitnee?
Wow, that’s a loaded question. Um, last year was the first time I really admitted it to myself, and this summer was the first time I admitted it to her. But if I’m being honest, I think the crush started all the way back at Camp Fusion when we were in 6th grade and I dropped a fish in her lap. It was a total accident. I was showing off my catch and it just slid out of my hands. If you could have seen the panic on her face…she was screaming and, at first, it was SO funny. But then she ran right into Old Ben’s arms and started crying and I felt kind of bad. I didn’t mean to make her cry. (She swears it wasn’t me; it was the fish. But still.) Later, the boys in my cabin wanted to play a prank on her with another fish, but I stood up for her and got made fun of for a couple of weeks. Eventually it died down. I don’t think she ever knew about that part. But I decided to never be the reason she cried again. Of course, I’ve screwed that up now...
Do you fold, crumple, or wrap your toilet paper? Don’t say you don’t know. Everybody has a method.
I’m a folder. Organization first, you know.
What do you talk about with your guy friends? NO LIES!
Well, when we’re not painting our toenails or picking out each other’s clothes, we mostly talk about our deepest feelings and secret dreams... Is that what you want to hear? LOL. Just think about your typical teenage guy stereotype, and yeah, that’s us. Sports. Video games. Last night’s ballgame. And, okay, hot girls.
Do you think Whitnee is the prophesied Pilgrim, the one the White Island believes has come to “bring them peace”?
I usually keep my thoughts pretty quiet about this. Morgan swears Whit is the Pilgrim, but I hope she’s not. Honestly, being their Pilgrim sounds like a lot of pressure, and I don’t know if Whit is up for that. Don’t get me wrong. Whitnee is super special—but I think this whole prophecy business is a little overwhelming. It’s like, what right do they have to tell her who she is and where she belongs? I don’t know. The whole thing makes me uncomfortable.
Well, I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see what happens with the rest of the gang in this epic adventure. Hang out with Whitnee, Caleb, and Morgan as their adventure begins in Windchaser and see what happens as the story continues in Windfall and Watercrossing. The dramatic conclusion to the first half to the Phantom Island series happens in Watermark, releasing this fall-2013!
Meet the Author
Krissi Dallas loves pop music, mismatched socks, and fried chicken. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her youth minister husband, Sam, and enjoys hanging out with her quirky middle school students and building the dramatic, magical, and mysterious world that makes up the Phantom Island series. Be sure to check out Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing. Krissi loves connecting with teens, as well as readers and writers of all ages! You can stalk her online at www.KrissiDallas.com.
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