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Monday, June 24, 2013

Interview with Christine Amsden, author of Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective

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CassieScot_medABOUT CASSIE SCOT: PARANORMAL DETECTIVE

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.
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1.       Why was writing Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective so important to you?

From the first moment I met Cassie, she demanded that I tell her story. She wouldn't let me quit until I finished, and even now she lingers on in my mind. I've never had a character do that to me before. I hope it happens again. It was intense but so rewarding.

Cassie is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers. The story is about that – about her – about her search for self-acceptance. I correctly classify it as fantasy and romance and mystery but it's the character that makes the story. She's a young woman with a problem that I think many can relate to – including me. I'm legally blind. (I'm typing this in 36-point font, in case you're wondering. Don't worry, I'll highlight it all and drop it to 12-point before I'm done!) I've never been able to write a blind character (either totally blind or partially blind) but I could write about Cassie living without magic in a world of magic.

2.       What was the writing/creative process like?

It's different for every book, but for this book it was a blast. I came up with the idea, spent a month or two brainstorming ideas for the entire series, then pounded out a rough draft in another month and a half. Revisions and rewrites too longer, but I'm happy with the results. I was actually able to draft the entire series before my final revision of the first book so I truly knew where I was going from the start.

3.       How did you come up with the title?

There are a lot of paranormal detectives out there. Cassie Scot is pretending not to be one, so she calls herself a normal detective. The strike-through on the cover came to me in a burst of inspiration, though I spent the next few years second-guessing myself People correctly pointed out that it would be difficult to catalog. Should you search for normal detective or paranormal detective? I don't know! Search for Cassie Scot and you can't go wrong.

4.       When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I was 8 and wrote a short story about Cabbage Patch Dolls going to Mars.

5.       What books do you believe influenced you in your life?

I had to come back to this one because I'm not sure how to answer. I can tell you which books have influenced my writing the most (Orson Scott Card and Jim Butcher), which I've enjoyed the most (Karen Marie Moning, Jude Deveraux, Catherine Anderson, Jayne Ann Krentz), and which I've reread to the point of absurdity (Harry Potter). But I'm not sure that these books have influenced my life so much as made it a joy to live. I do sometimes read the sort of books that are meant to open your eyes or change your view of the world (Middlesex) and they do. But I had to have an open mind in the first place in order for that to happen. As strange as this may sound, I think readers create their own stories. Yes, the words were immutably written by someone else, but our own tastes, experiences, and personalities bring the stories to life inside our own mind. At that point, did they influence us or did we influence them? It's hard to say. A lifetime of reading has to have made an impact on me, but I can't point to any one book and say – This one!

6.       How much influence did you have in the cover of your book?  Did you initially have a different idea of how it would look?

I had some influence. My publisher picked the artist and I told him I wanted a view of Table Rock Lake with Cassie (I described her) looking wistfully across the lake. I should say that this cover is a painting, not the typical photo manipulation or computer graphics more common these days. It wasn't my idea to do that, but I'm pleased with the result. The cover is a bit different from other covers in the same genre, more raw, less perfect, but ultimately so is Cassie.

7.       Can you describe a typical day for you?

Wake up, check e-mail, wake the kids up, get them off to school, write, edit, watch The Daily Show, write, promote, get the kids, help them with homework and baths, make dinner, read a book, spend some time with my husband, go to bed, repeat!

8.       What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I play games. I'm in a D&D campaign and I play board games when I can. There are a few shows I watch (Doctor Who, The Daily Show, America's Got Talent) but I read a lot more than I watch TV.

9.       What do your family and friends think of your writing?

They love it! They're very supportive, especially my husband.

1    What do you think is more important – a good plot, or good characters?  Why did you choose the one you did?


Characters! I'm a character girl. As I said earlier, Cassie made me write this book. Good characters are also what I look for as a reader. I find myself willing to forgive slightly contrived or obvious plots if I'm deeply in love with a character. Having said that, plot does matter! Don't misunderstand me. An actively bad plot will undermine a story. My feelings are more like this: I'd rather read about awesome characters in only decent plots than awesome plots with only decent characters. Bad plots/characters are right out. 

ABOUT CHRISTINE AMSDEN

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone. At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.) In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work. Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children. Her latest book is Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective
 

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Pump Up Your Book and Christine Amsden are teaming up to give you a chance to win a new Kindle Fire HD!

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from May 13 - August 16. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on August 17, 2013. Each blogger who participates in the Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com.  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

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Monday, May 13 - Book reviewed at Sara's Organized Chaos
Tuesday, May 14 - Book trailer reveal at Margay Leah Justice
Wednesday, May 15 - Book spotlight at The Busy Mom's Daily
Thursday, May 16 - Character interview at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
Friday, May 17 - Book reviewed at By the Broomstick
Monday, May 20 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, May 21 - First chapter reveal at Offbeat Vagabond
Wednesday, May 22 - Book reviewed at Offbeat Vagabond
Thursday, May 23 - Guest blogging at You Gotta Read
Monday, May 27 - Book reviewed at My Cozie Corner
Thursday, May 30 - Guest blogging at Miki's Hope
Monday, June 3 - Guest blogging at Janna Shay
Tuesday, June 4 - Guest blogging at The Book Connection
Thursday, June 6 - Book reviewed at Miki's Hope
Friday, June 7 - Book reviewed at Repeat Reads
Monday, June 10 - Interviewed at From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, June 11 - First chapter reveal at By the Broomstick
Wednesday, June 12 - Book reviewed at Waiting on Sunday to Drown
Thursday, June 13 - First chapter reveal at Butterfly-o-Meter Books
Friday, June 14 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Monday, June 17 - Book reviewed at Carol's Notebook
Tuesday, June 18 - Book featured at Naturally Kim B
Wednesday, June 19- First chapter reveal at Inside BJ's Head
Thursday, June 20 - Book reviewed at Quilted Reviews
Friday, June 21 - First chapter reveal at Literary Winner
Monday, June 24 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Tuesday, June 25 - Guest blogging at Janna Shay
Wednesday, June 26 - Book reviewed at From the TBR Pile
Thursday, June 27 - First chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn
Friday, June 28 - Interviewed at American Chronicle
Wednesday, July 3 - Book trailer reveal at Pump Up Your Book
Friday, July 5 - Book reviewed at Inside BJ's Head
Monday, July 8 - 5 Things at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, July 11 - Book reviewed at Mary's Cup of Tea
Friday, July 12 - Interviewed at Digital Journal
Monday, July 15 - Interviewed at Broowaha
Friday, July 19 - Book featured at By the Broomstick
Monday, July 22 - Book featured at Book Marketing Buzz
Tuesday, July 23 - Interviewed at Examiner
Wednesday, July 24 - Book reviewed at Naturally Kim B
Thursday, July 25 - Book reviewed at Review From Here
Friday, July 26 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Monday, August 5 - First Chapter Reveal at Confessions of a Book Habitue
Tuesday, August 6 - Book reviewed Confessions of a Book Habitue
Wednesday, August 7 - Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Friday, August 9 - Top Ten at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
Monday, August 12 - Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Tuesday, August 13 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Wednesday, August 14 - Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Thursday, August 15 - Up Close and Personal at Between the Covers
Friday, August 16 - Book featured at The Road to Here
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