Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Is there a future when characters are frozen into their past?

Today I get to invite one of my favorite authors of paranormal and science fiction, Christine Amsden. She's the author of lots of books that I've read and loved, but her latest is another in the Cassie Scot Paranormal Detective series - a continuation of a series that (almost) seemed finished. Since I'm working on one series and dreaming of another, it seemed like a good idea to ask her, over virtual coffee, how she ended up with Cassie Scot starring and co-starring so many times, and how do real series get written. So, pull up a chair, pour a coffee (tea, soda, juice, water... just as long as it doesn't spill on the computer) and see what she has to say. Over to you Christine:


Writing a Series

by Christine Amsden

Cassie Scot was supposed to be a four-book series. Each book centered on a self-contained mystery, while the series dealt with some character growth and struggles. I wrote those four books together, even though they were released a few months apart, so that I had at least a solid rough draft of Stolen Dreams (book four) done before the original Cassie Scot went public.

It was an ideal way to write a series. I had a plan, changed the plan a dozen times, and rewrote to accommodate my new plans.

Then Cassie’s two best friends, Kaitlin and Madison, decided they needed stories of their own. I accommodated them, but it wasn’t as easy. The first four books were now set in stone, the rules of the world fixed, meaning that I had a silent partner in my new books: Younger me!

These days, I’m working on other projects, but Cassie still won’t stay quiet. Before I sat down to write Frozen, she kept saying, “Hello? Are you there? I’m not dead. I just got married. Not the same thing.”

It’s great that my character is still talking to me. This makes writing new books in her series easy. The hard part, once again, is that silent writing partner of mine. I no longer have the freedom to go back to book one and make little changes to pave the way for new elements I’d like to introduce. For better or for worse, my world is my world. I now find myself taking something of a leap of faith with each new volume I write, armed with only a few vague ideas of what might happen next.

Frozen is once again self-contained, but it definitely sets up the promise of new adventures to come. Maybe even new, deeper explorations of the world around Cassie. I knew some of this all along, but I’m making up a lot as I go along. I trust my future self can handle it. I also trust she’s going to read this and have some choice words for me when she does. :)


Honestly, writing a series is fun. It gives me the chance to go deeper into characters and world than any single book can. It also gives me the chance to revisit favorite characters, and it keeps me from having to reinvent a world from the ground up with each new volume. I like reading series too, and for the same reason. I get invested. I can’t wait to read more about Harry Dresden, Charlie Davidson, Mackayla Lane, Katherine “Kitty” Kat Martini, and others. I hope readers feel the same way about Cassie Scot. 

Well, this reader certainly does. Ever waiting for the next Dresden and the next Cassie Scot. I love that "not dead, just married" line. And I love how Frozen really does let your characters move on from their younger selves. (Click on the link for my review!)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction 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 relationships, 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, which scars 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.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she's a mom and freelance editor.

WHERE TO FIND HER

· Website
· Blog
· Twitter
· Google+

ABOUT THE BOOK: Frozen (Cassie Scot Book Seven)

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

When a couple freezes to death on a fifty degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.

Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time.

 WHERE TO BUY FROZEN

Print Release: July 15, 2018
Audiobook Release: TBA

AND WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE SERIES

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot Book One)
Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot Book Two)
Mind Games (Cassie Scot Book 3)
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot Book 4)
Madison's Song (Cassie Scot Book 5)
Kaitlin’s Tale (Cassie Scot Book 6)

WANT TO READ AN EXCERPT?

That’s when I saw it – the thing that had scared Evan. It was … a dog, maybe? But massive. As black as night. And with red, glowing eyes. If it weren’t for the eyes, I might have mistaken it for a werewolf. Well, that, and the fact that the moon hadn’t risen. Wolves didn’t turn when the sun went down, only when the moon rose. It wasn’t even the full moon; I would never have left Ana with Scott if it were.
            The monstrous thing lunged for Jim, a thirty-something man in very good shape who couldn’t seem to outrun it. It tore at the backs of his legs, drawing blood and sending Jim sprawling to the ground on hands and knees.
            I couldn’t move, and not because Evan’s power still held me. That thing was about two seconds from eating Jim, a man I happened to like and who I knew had a wife and two kids at home.
            A strangled yell emerged from Jim’s throat. Guns blazed – I hadn’t even noticed Frank and Sheriff Adams drawing their weapons. The beast growled, momentarily losing interest in Jim as it fixed those demon eyes on the two men trying to fill it with lead.
            Then, suddenly, it was in the air, flying backwards through the trees and out of sight.
            The guns went quiet but the sheriff and his deputy continued to run toward their fallen comrade. Evan stood stock still, staring into the woods, arms raised and waiting. Listening.
            Suddenly, the sound of a canine howling filled the air.
            “Move!” Evan shouted. “It’s coming back!” 


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