My guest today is award-winning author Christine Amsden, whose novel, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective, has just been released by Twilight Times Books. Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She started writing seriously in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which has won two awards.
It’s great to have you here, Christine. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write it?
Cassie herself inspired me to write this book. She was someone whose story wasn't being told – that of the powerless person in a world of magic. It's a disability of sorts, one that affects her deeply though she tries to play it off. Yet she has value. Fantasy sometimes narrowly defines heroes as the biggest and the strongest, the one with the destiny to fulfill, but normal people can make a difference. That was important to me. This is not the story of someone who comes into power, it is the story of someone who discovers there is more than one kind of power.
Are you a full-time writer or do you have another job?
I am a writer, a mother, and I do freelance editing work.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
I'm a planner, but that doesn't mean the story doesn't go its own way once I get started. In fact, my plans often require frequent adjustments as I learn new things about my characters and my world.
How long did it take you to write the book?
I don't write books in a linear fashion, so it's hard to say exactly. I wrote the first draft in four months. I spent another four months revising it. Then I wrote the rest of the series before coming back to rewrite the first one again. An agent gave me some specific advice on strengthening the first book, so I gave it one more revision, completing the version I sent to my publisher almost two years after I first came up with the idea.