I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first two books in this series, so when I was contacted by Christine Amsden to see if I’d like to review Book three and take part in her blog tour, I eagerly agreed. You can read the blog tour post here. Today, I have the pleasure of posting a Guest Post from Christine, after which you’ll find the link to my book review 😀
The World is Full of Blank Pages
My Duty is to Fill Them
A lot of people ask me why I write or what inspires me to write. To tell you the truth, the answer varies day by day and year by year. I have grown up writing, and writing has been a part of growing up. I have always worked out my own conscious and subconscious issues through the written word.
Some people see music and hear it in their heads. Some see stone and picture the sculpture hiding within. Some see numbers and must bring order to the mathematical universe. My husband is an engineer; he is driven to figure out how to make new ideas work.
I see a world full of blank pages and it is my duty to fill them.
Ever since I was a little girl I loved the beginning of the new school year. Nothing thrills me more than a blank, untouched notebook or a pencil freshly sharpened for the first time. Even now, as I type this into a word processor document, I can practically smell the wood shavings. I like to keep a notebook handy when I write and I confess I am a bit wasteful. I always want a new one. It’s just not the same after I’ve filled in a few pages. I tear them out, throw them away, and try to pretend it’s new, but that only lasts for so long. Cute, little notebooks with hard covers are my favorite because they look new much longer.
I don’t need inspiration to put words on a blank page (or even into a blank computer document). It is who I am. The more difficult motivation is to finish what I’ve started once the words have destroyed the perfect potential of the blank page.
People also often asked me how old I was when I started writing. I say I was eight, and my first story was about Cabbage Patch Dolls going to Mars. After some early short stories I knew I wanted to be a novelist, yet I did not finish my first novel until I was 27. (Note: This depends upon how you define “finish” – I do have a couple of completish manuscripts which were never peer edited, revised, or otherwise made it past a rough draft.) I finished Touch of Fate because I needed to prove to myself that I could. I needed to know that I had it in me to be more than the blank page.
After Touch of Fate, I knew I could do it. So my motivation changed. Now I wanted to see if I could do it again. Those of you who are paying very close attention may have noticed that Touch of Fate was published in 2006 and The Immortality Virus in 2011. That’s quite a gap! And indeed, it was harder for me to finish the second book than it was to finish the first. This was partly because of life – I had a baby late in 2005 and another in 2008. But it was also because I had gone fro simply wanting to finish something to trying to decide what sort of writer I wanted to be. Touch of Fate is paranormal suspense. The Immortality Virus is far-future dystopian science fiction. The Cassie Scot series is urban fantasy. Who am I? What do I write? I didn’t know, but I wrote The Immortality Virus while I was trying to figure it out and ended up getting that published too.
The Cassie Scot series has been the easiest and most natural thing for me to write. I fell in love with the character from the start and to be honest, I didn’t care what genre it was. There was a story inside me that wanted to come out. I started work on that series in 2009 and had it largely complete when the first book came out in 2013, meaning I have been able to release the entire series in not much more than a year. The motivation for writing this series was Cassie. She made me do it!
Two secondary characters from that series are now making me write sequels. I’ve finished Madison’s Song and am working on Kaitlin’s Tale as I type.
I’ve tried to write one other book in the midst of all this. It struck me that every book I’ve written for the past few years (5 books in 5 years, going on 6 books in 6) has relied on Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective. This isn’t a series meant to be read out of order. So what if that first book didn’t do well? Out of near desperation, I forced myself to think of a new idea and spent many (disconnected) months working on it. The idea is… fine. The characters are… fine. The plot is… complicated. And ultimately the only thing motivating me to write it was a paranoid vision of how my publishing future would look over the next five years if Cassie Scot didn’t take off.
In case you’re wondering, that’s not a good reason to write a book.
You’ll be happy to know that I’ve buried it, though it was a costly lesson (in terms of time). Kaitlin needs me to tell her story right now, and when I’m done with her I’ve decided I need to let another character come to me. If no one shows up right away, maybe I’ll work on a writing how-to book or something to pass the time.
My review can be read here.