Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a serious writer in 2003, after attending a “boot camp” with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus. Her latest is the Cassie Scot series, in which Christine has finally found her true calling – a combination of fantasy and romance.
Julie: Welcome, Christine. Tell us about yourself! Where are you from?
Christine: Hi, Julie. Thanks for having me here. I’m originally from St. Louis, but I now haunt Olathe, on the Kansas side of Kansas City.
Julie: I see you have a book on special this week, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. Will you tell us more about that story?
Christine: “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.”
At least, that’s the book blurb. From the heart – this is about a young woman who is clever, brave, and compassionate. She’s not the traditional fantasy heroine because she’s not the “chosen one” or the most powerful one. Just the opposite in fact. She’s everyman, but through her we see that there isn’t just one way to be a hero. Cassie herself will also have to learn this over the course of the series (4 books). Her journey of self-acceptance only just begins in this first book, but it is one of the most important aspects of the overall story to me.
Julie: Evan Blackwood sounds like a very interesting character. What did you enjoy most about writing him?
Christine: I think I fell a little in love with Evan myself as I wrote him. He’s a powerful sorcerer and – dare I say it? – a nice guy. But nice doesn’t mean perfect. He’s arrogant, used to getting his way, and by the time the series is complete he will have lessons of his own to learn.
And I suppose that was my favorite thing about writing Evan – that he had to change. That he (and Cassie) had to work hard for love. I believe in putting serious obstacles in the way of romance. If two people could work things out by sitting and talking for half an hour, I’m either frustrated or bored. Love is a verb. It is an act – the act of loving – and it takes work.
Julie: Who are you favorite authors to read?
Christine: I’m an eclectic reader. Romance has become my favorite genre of late, although I still enjoy delving back into my science fiction and fantasy roots. (I suppose that’s why I put romance in my fantasy.) My current favorites are Jim Butcher, Karen Marie Moning, Linda Howard, Catherine Anderson, Orson Scott Card, Jayne Ann Krentz…
Julie: Is music a factor for you while you are writing? Do certain songs put you in the right frame of mind to write certain stories?
Christine: I do enjoy music, although I don’t have a consistent preference. Sometimes I want the music on, sometimes I need to shut it off. I did listen to “Witchy Woman” a lot while I wrote Cassie. I’m not sure why I felt that connection, especially since Cassie is blatantly not a witch, but it put me in the mood.
Julie: What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Christine: Get married. I suppose that is both the most normal and the most adventurous thing any of us can do.
Julie: What can readers expect from you next?
Christine: So many things! The rest of the Cassie Scot series, to start. Secrets and Lies (book 2) will be out in November. Mind Games and Dreamer (books 3 and 4) will be available in 2014.
But wait, there’s more! Two of my secondary characters from the Cassie Scot series got too big to be a mere footnote in her happily ever after. I’m well into Madison’s spin-off, and will be writing one for Kaitlin as well.
And still more! I’m working on the first book in a new paranormal romance called Dreamwalkers. This one is a completely different project – different world, different magic.
Like I said, so many things…
Secrets and Lies, Twilight Times Books
Mind Games, Twilight Times Books
Dreamer, Twilight Times Books
Books by Christine Amsden
Filed Under: Behind the Books