Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Cynde's "What's-Up-Wednesday"Guest Author Interview!"

I’d like to welcome Kathryn Casey, author of the blockbuster fiction mystery novels, “SINGULARITY” and “BLOOD LINES”, as well as several non-fiction, award-winning, true crime novels, to my blog.

C: Welcome, Kathryn. It’s an honor to have you here.

K: Thank you so much, Cynde. It’s my pleasure.

C: I know that a lot of my readers are very curious about you, so if you wouldn’t mind, I have a few questions that I’d like to ask, so that we can all get to know you a little better. Is that alright with you?

K: It sure is.

C: Great, then let’s get started:

C: When the name “Kathryn Casey” is mentioned, most people would associate you with your award-winning, true crime novels. What inspired you to finally “take the plunge” and try your hand at writing your first work of fiction, “SINGULARITY”?

K: True crime is frustrating. I interview dozens and dozens of people, a hundred or more for each book, but I rarely know what happens at the most important moment, when the crime actual occurs. You see, if I’m writing about a case, it’s probably a murder case. There are most often only two people who know the truth about that last moment: the victim and the killer. Unfortunately, the victims aren’t alive to be interviewed. And, this is shocking I know, but the killers don’t always tell the truth. So, I ultimately have a good sense of what happened and why, but I don’t conclusively know.
That can be frustrating. So at some point I thought, you know, if I wrote fiction, I’d know everything, because all the details would come out of my imagination. So, that’s what I did. I made it all up, using much of what I’ve experienced over my career as a crime writer. And it’s been very freeing, a lot of fun.

C: When you wrote “SINGULARITY” and “BLOOD LINES”, what technique did you use? In other words, did you use an outline or did you just start writing and figure it out as you went along?

K: With both the novels and the third novel in the Sarah Armstrong mystery series, THE KILLING STORM, coming out in November 2010, I had the basic concepts in my head along with some of the major plot points, but I didn’t have anything resembling an outline. I sat down at the computer, typed Chapter One, and I was on my way.

C: Your writing has been compared to that of award-winning novelist Patricia Cornwell. Do you envision yourself being able to build a multi-novel series around your “Sarah Armstrong” character that could have the same endurance as Patricia Cornwell’s “Scarpetta” character?

K: I, of course, hope this will be a long series. Sarah is a multi-dimensional character. She’s a Texas Ranger/profiler/investigator, but she’s also the single mom of Maggie, age 11 in the first book. Sarah is the daughter of Nora, a sometimes opinionated sixty three year old who bakes cakes for fancy restaurants and boards horses. They’re a family with a home, the Rocking Horse ranch. When I invented Sarah, I invented her world. Many of the reviews have remarked that the characters in this series are remarkable for their depth, that they’re changing in the first two books. There’s more development in the third book. I’m hoping there’ll be more books in the series, so I get to spend more time in Sarah’s world. But three is a good start, a very good start.

C: Have you ever considered collaborating with another author on writing a novel? If so, who would it be, and if not, why not?

K: If the right opportunity presented itself, I might, but it would have to be something I considered at the time. I have no plans to collaborate.

C: Would you please describe for us one of your typical writing days, from start to finish?

K: When I’m into the writing mode, I get up about seven, have coffee and a slice of toast with peanut butter, and then sit down at my computer. Except for bathroom and stretch breaks and lunch, I’m there for the duration of the day, until I hear the garage door open announcing that my husband is home from the office. If I get stuck, can’t figure out what to do next, I take the dog for a walk. Fresh air and a bit of relaxation can open up creative channels. It’s a great way to get moving again.

C: What do you think would be the most valuable pieces of advice that anyone could pass on to someone struggling to become a published writer?

K: To realize that along with talent, the most important trait is determination. You have to truly want to write. It’s a tough business for most of us to break into, so be patient and focused, and don’t worry if your first attempts are rejected. I once had a file filled with rejection slips for short stories I sent to magazines. My favorite was from the New Yorker. Most were standard, pre-printed rejection letters, but at the bottom of that particular one someone wrote: “Keep trying.” Wonderful advice.

C: Thanks a lot for visiting us today, Kathryn! I had a great time and I'm sure my readers enjoyed your great answers to my questions. I hope you'll come back and visit us when your new book, the next one in this series, "THE KILLING STORM" comes out in the fall, so we can see what the latest news is with you.

If anyone wants to learn more about Kathryn Casey and the other books that she has written, please feel free to visit her amazing website by clicking here.

Until next time...stay safe, stay well, and may the Lord bless you all.


Please visit my other blogs:
Cynde's Daybook ~and~ Usurper Exposed. Thank you!

Be on the lookout next for:

  • A book review of "Cynthia's Attic: The Missing Locket" written by Mary Cunningham.

  • A book review of "Cynthia's Attic: The Magic Medallion" written by Mary Cunningham.

  • A book review of "Cynthia's Attic: Curse of the Bayou" written by Mary Cunningham.

  • A book review of "Cynthia's Attic: The Magician's Castle" written by Mary Cunningham.

  • An interview with Mary Cunningham, who wrote the delightful "CYNTHIA'S ATTIC SERIES"


Helen Ginger said...

Fun interview. I esp. like the advice of getting up and walking when you hit a speed bump.

Straight From Hel

Angie said...

A great interview! Thank you both. Cynde, I did go vote in the Tinsel Tales Contest. It's been a while, so I don't remember all that I voted for, but I'm dying to know which one was yours! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Suzette Saxton said...

I think I'm in love! Kathryn Casey's books look like my kind of thing. Thank you for introducing her. I'm heading off to buy one of her books now.

Also, I can't thank Kathryn enough for the advice about determination. I needed to hear that today.

Great interview, Cynde!

Suzette Saxton said...

Okay, just ordered Singularity. Which reminded me of a book with the same title I loved as a kid, by William Sleator. I've ordered that one as well.

Anonymous said...

Nice interview Cynde. Very insightful.

Oh and way to take advantage of an opportunity to plug your contest in my comment section. I'd be perfectly happy if everyone would do that. So please feel free to spread the word.

Oh and I just spoke via email with Julius Lester, author of "To be a Slave" and I'm hoping to be posting an interview with him this month.

Thanks again for your support!

Best, Lee

Carol Anne Strange said...

An interesting interview! Thank you, Cynde and Kathryn. Bright wishes to you. x

Cynde L. Hammond said...

Dear Helen, Angie, Suzette, Lee, and Carol:

I am so glad that you enjoyed the interview with Kathryn Casey. In my estimation, she is an extremely interesting woman, and if I could have sent her some more questions, I would have tried to pick her brain clean! (LOL!) Well, hopefully she'll agree to come back after the release of her next book in the series, "THE KILLING STORM", which is due out in the fall of this year.

Also, I agree that along with talent, your most important trait is determination, because without it, you would be dead in the water.

Furthermore, I also liked the little tidbit Kathryn passed along when she described a typical writing day for us. It never occurred to me to get up and go for a walk, but that's an absolutely brilliant idea! I've tried listening to music (without lyrics) and exercising, but not that, so I'm definitely going to try it next time I get stuck!

Happy writing, everyone!