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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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Welcome to Beyond the Books Christine! Can you start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

I have three published novels at the moment, with three more under contract. My first two books were stand-alone novels, but my latest (and the next three) are all part of a paranormal/fantasy series.

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published, or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I went with a small traditional publisher and am very glad I did. Although, if I’m being completely honest, I didn’t know what I was doing when I first stumbled upon Twilight Times Books. I found them on a list of recommended publishers posted on the “Predators and Editors” website. But aside from the fact that they liked to publish multi-genre fiction, I can’t say what appealed to me about them. I know I never would have self-published (or vanity-published), but finding a home in a small press was a happy accident.

How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

Nine months for the ebook, almost 2 years for the print book. My first publishing experience did not go as smoothly as the others have (even though I’ve stayed with the same publisher).

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I felt like my head would explode. I screamed so loudly I woke my 3-month-old baby. I “celebrated” by nursing him back to sleep. :)

What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I do not remember. Whatever it was, it didn’t work. I’ve come a loonnngggg way when it comes to marketing/promotion.

Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

The world is a little different on this side of publication. There’s more expectation, but also many new opportunities to improve. One thing I refused to do after publishing my first book was stop learning how to write a better book. That’s why I think my second novel was better, and my third (my whole series really) is better still.

One fun opportunity that arose from traditional publication was the chance to teach. It started with an invite to an on-line workshop called The Muse where I talked about something I feel I excel at – providing effective criticism. The next year they had me come back, and since I was busily working on a far-future science fiction novel I thought I’d share world building tidbits. By the next year, Savvy Authors noticed my efforts and asked if I would be willing to do some paid workshops with them. The money isn’t great, but it’s so much fun to engage with emerging authors. Sometimes, they teach me something in return. These days teaching has grown into one-on-one mentoring and editing.

While writing has come along smoothly, authorship has been a much bumpier road. It’s a business. I knew that, but it turns out that business isn’t as instinctive a process for me as writing. I got plenty of very good reviews for my first two books but I didn’t know how to turn those reviews into sales. I spent hours in brick and mortar stores at first, essentially selling books one at a time. To be fair, Touch of Fate (my first book), came out in ebook in 2006, and nobody knew how to read an ebook at the time, least of all me. People kept asking if they were supposed to read it on their computer screen. By 2011 when The Immortality Virus came out, lots had changed. (Yes, there was a big gap there. Did I mention the 3-month-old I woke up when I got my first publishing contract? There was another one 2_1/2 years later. :) )

The Immortality Virus taught me confidence. It helped that I felt it was a better book. It helped more that it won two awards and was a finalist for a third. (Touch of Fate ended up getting an honorable mention as well, but I didn’t submit it for awards until 2011, and by then it was only eligible for one, and only as “legacy fiction.”)

But what helped the most was that I forced myself out of my comfort zone. I got on social media and talked to readers. I connected with bloggers, did interviews, and wrote guest posts. I spoke from my heart, letting people see the real me. Like I’m doing right now. I’m naturally shy so it was (and still is) hard for me.

But you know what? It was okay. People have almost universally been very nice, and that also helped my confidence.

By the time Cassie Scot was ready for release I could tell people I was an author without feeling like I had to qualify the title with something. It may sound strange, but this was the toughest part of growing as a published author for me:

I am an author.

What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I’ve been surprised by a lot of little things but not too many big things. One of the biggest things that surprised me was how quickly we’re moving from paper to ebooks. In 2006, I couldn’t sell an ebook version of Touch of Fate. In 2013, I can barely sell a print version of Cassie Scot, even though I’ve sold many ebooks.

I was also surprised very recently to learn how easy it is to turn a book into an audiobook. At least, the process is going smoothly so far. I expect to have the first Cassie Scot out (recorded by a voice actress I found through ACX) in late August or early September.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Hands down the best part of being an author is hearing from people who love my book, whether through a review or fan e-mail. It makes my day. One of the biggest challenges of the unpublished author is to keep going day after day with no feedback. Today I read a review from someone who said she loved my style. She wasn’t talking about the book I’m drafting in another window right now, of course, but when I started doing my usual author paranoia (which is worst at the midpoint of a novel) I thought about that review. And then I started typing.

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Dreaming is fun. Writing is hard work. The difference between a dream and a goal is a plan. Good luck!

Thanks for having me here.

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

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

WATCH THE TRAILER!

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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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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

Wednesday, June 26 – Book reviewed at From the TBR Pile

Thursday, June 27 – First chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn

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 Blogher

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 featured at I’m Shelf-ish

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

Thursday, August 8 – Book featured at IceFairy’s Treasure Chest

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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Pump Up Your Book


1 Comment

  1. Thank you again for the interview!

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