Please welcome Christine Amsden to Author Spotlight Saturday! You may remember the name as we have reviewed two of Christine's books on Genuine Jenn.
Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself.
I'm a character girl. Whether I'm reading or writing, what draws me into a story above all else is a character I can really get behind, empathize with, or cheer on. I'm picky, too. It's not enough for my characters to be fun or quirky (although that's great). I like them to undergo serious challenges, both personal and environmental. Perfect is boring. If there's a perfect person in the world, I haven't met him.
Look for characters in my books, especially in the Cassie Scot series. Whatever else the books are about (fantasy, mystery, and romance), the central thread that connects all the subplots it Cassie herself, the only non-magical member of a magical family, dealing with her feelings of inadequacy and proving (to herself and the world) that she has something special. I think she does – and I hope she shows each and every reader that they all have something special, too. There's more than one way to be a hero.
When was your first book published?
Touch of Fate was published to e-book in 2006. After that, I had a large gap before my second novel, The Immortality Virus, in 2011. The Cassie Scot series, beginning with Cassie Scot:
Detective, began being released in May 2013 (and all four books will be
available by summer 2014).
Are you currently working on anything?
Of course! I'm working on two books – Madison's Song and Kaitlin's Tale – both spin-offs to the Cassie Scot series. Cassie's journey is complete at four books (honestly), but two of her friends demanded stories of their own and who am I to argue?
Why did you decide to become an Author? Who and what inspired you to write?
I never decided to become an author. It's in my soul.
In my Cassie Scot series, I distinguish between true magic and “gifts,” which are special abilities many of the characters possess and can perform almost effortlessly – healing, fire starting, charisma, eidetic memory … There are many examples but the gifts are tied to the soul in such a way that being unable to use the gift for some reason would sicken or hurt them. This happens to Madison, a songbird, when her father forbids her to sing most of her life – she sinks into a deep depression.
Writing is my gift. I can't not do it anymore than I can not breathe.
When you are writing to you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?
I usually find listening to music distracting, although I have moments when I'll reach for a song to get me into a certain mood. For example, “Desperado” (by The Eagles) is a great sad love song I'll turn to now and again. “Holding Out for a Hero” is one of my all-time favorites. I'll belt that one out in my off-key voice and dance around.
Who is your favorite character in your books?
Cassie, but there are lots of others I love too!
Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?
I've never done this consciously, and if I've done it subconsciously, no one's ever mentioned it. I've definitely never modeled an entire character after someone I know (a hobby here, a figure of speech there perhaps). You did mention nuances – a lot of ticks are either my own (running my fingers through my hair like Evan, chewing my lower lip like Madison) or else things I read about in books. I'm visually impaired, so I don't notice a lot of facial ticks or nervous gestures in my friends and family. I may try to mimic a way of speaking, but that's harder to nail down at the best of times.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)
Oh, you meant someone else's! Honestly, I don't know. Really, I don't know. I get into moods with books. Plus, as an author, it's hard for me to think of the books I read in terms of favorites when I spend so little time with them. I often spend a year or more with each of my own books, compared to … What? A few days at most? Series tend to stick with me longer because I spend more time with them, but even when I think about series nothing sticks out as THE ONE.
Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books.
I can do it in one word – characters!
List your books that are available.
Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot #1)
Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)
Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)
The Immortality Virus
Touch of Fate
Where can people connect with you?
Thank you Christine for taking your time to answer some questions for my readers at Genuine Jenn.
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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~