Monday, May 14, 2018

An Interview with Urban Fantasy/Mystery Author Christine Amsden

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.

Social Media Links:
· Blog

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. 

Buy Links

Frozen (Cassie Scot Book Seven)

Print Release: July 15, 2018
Audiobook Release: TBA
Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot Book One)

Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about Frozen, and what compelled you to write it.
Author:  Frozen is the seventh, completely unplanned book in the Cassie Scot Series, and it was Cassie herself who demanded I write it! It happened like this: I wrote the first four books, which I’m now calling “The Original Quartet,” thinking that they more or less completed her character arc and brought the series to a satisfying conclusion. And they did. But she had two friends, Madison and Kaitlin, who got too big for subplots and demanded books of their own. Enter books five and six, now known collectively as “the spin-offs.” But then I was done. Seriously, done. I even wrote a couple other books. But Cassie was there the whole time, telling me what was going on in her life, at times loudly clearing her throat and telling me, “Hey, life doesn’t end when you get married!” Hard to argue with, really.
M.C.: What is your book about?
Author: In this book, Cassie finds two people frozen to death in their living room on a fifty-degree day. Jacket weather not usually being fatal, she knew something bad was happening.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in Frozen?
Author: Marriage, especially compromise and conflict, and motherhood, especially fears of becoming one’s own mother.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
Author: I tried to stop; it didn’t go so well. Seems like my needs include food, water, shelter, and pixelated letters popping up endlessly across a pure, unmarred backdrop of promise.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
Author: Second thing in the morning! First thing in the morning, I tend to need some time to fully energize. Once I become energized, that’s the best time of day for me. It slides downhill from there.
M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
Author: Hmmm … this is a tough one, because I’m an editor as well as a writer, meaning technical correctness is important to me. But, and this is a big BUT, I’m not a fan of flowery or overly metaphorical/obscure language. I tend to say what I mean and mean what I say. As long as I am clear, as long as meaning is being conveyed, I’m not that fussy.
M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
Author: No, from within! Spiritually, I’ve always felt the strongest connection to the universe when I close my eyes and focus inward, shutting out the noise and clutter of everday life. Meditation has lately become even more important to me, after I suffered a serious major depressive episode. Healing has required finding inner strength and peace, and learning to listen more closely to the needs of my body, myself. Once those needs are met, I have more to offer the world.
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
Author: My worst time is when I have let go of self care, putting off exercise, meditation, and even reasonable breaks in the pursuit of some real or perceieved deadline.
M.C.:  Your best?
Author: When I am in balance, the creative energies flow more freely. This may mean I only get an hour or two a day to write, but ironically, I seem to produce work faster this way!
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Author: Oh sure, lots of thigns! A meteor falling on my head, a shark attack, a deadly snake bite … basically, anything fatal would keep me from writing.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
Author: A few years ago, I received a letter from a woman struggling with cancer, who told me my books made a difference to her during some of her darkest moments. It made me cry, but I have never forgotten it. When things aren’t always going so well, when I sometimes wonder, “What’s the point?” I remember that letter, and I press on.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
Author: An instinct, I think. It was an obsession, but that’s when my life was out of balance and I fell under the spell of depression. Now, I know that writing is a critical outlet, a part of me, but not the whole of me.
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
Author: Yes, but not in straightforward ways. For instance, Frozen came from my experiences with marriage and motherhood, and also, indirectly, with my experiences as a foster mom. The things I’m going through in my life always impact my words, but rarely in the way I expect.
M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?
Author: Sounds like he needs to meditate. I could recommend some videos …
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Author: Of course!

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