Today I have a treat for readers of the blog. I’m interviewing Casey Wyatt whose most recent release is The Undead Space Initiative a paranormal romance about a vampire stripper. Though I’ve tried to ask a lot of good questions, I’m opening up the floor for you to ask any questions that I didn’t ask. I’m sure that there will be plenty of follow up questions for Casey. If you’ve got’em post’em. Casey is giving away a $25 gift card and an e-copy of Mystic Ink to one lucky winner during her blog tour. When you’re finished at this blog, be sure to check out the rest of Casey’s stops here.
Serious Questions First:
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself – when did you first know you wanted to write – what was your journey to publication like – do you have a spouse or significant other – kids? Pets? Where in the world do you live? Where did you grow up? What real life events and experiences fuel your writing?
I’ve always enjoyed the act of creating things. Drawing, crafting, and writing are all passions of mine. I wrote on and off throughout my adult life but didn’t get serious about publication until 2009 when I finally finished a book – Ascension (which I’d started in 2002). Then I wrote Mystic Ink in 2010 and sold it in 2011. I also wrote The Undead Space Initiative in July 2011 and sold in in November 2011.
I am married and have two teenage sons. I also have two cats (and if you count backyard animals, all the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks). Sadly, we lost three of our pets in the last year and half (both dogs and my oldest cat) to old age. I live in the state of Connecticut in The United States in the same town I grew up in. And most of my writing is pure imagination, but I do like to use locations that I know in real life. Mystic Ink takes place in the very real town of Mystic, CT. The Undead Space Initiative starts in Austin, TX a city I’ve visited.
Q: Please tell us a bit about The Undead Space Initiative
It’s a paranormal romance about a vampire stripper named Cherry Cordial. Cherry rescues a vampire hottie named Ian McDevitt from a gang of blood thirsty revenants and soon regrets it. When the vampire queen is murdered, she and Ian are the number one suspects. Her only chance: escape to Mars, where she has a chance to survive, or remain on Earth and die for sure.
Q: Most authors include some aspects of themselves in their characters. What parts of yourself are included in your characters from The Undead Space Initiative?
Probably any smart aleck comments. I tend to be a wise acre and not everyone appreciates my humor. Cherry and I have that in common.
Q: Was there one particular scene that haunted you and compelled you to write The Undead? If so please tell us about that scene. What happens in the scene? Why is it an important scene in the book?
I wrote Undead incredibly fast – in about six weeks, which didn’t leave me a lot of room for introspection. There is one scene where Cherry faces a very dark moment and that was tough for her emotionally. I won’t go into specifics because it will spoil the story, but it was important for her to know that she could stand on her own even when all hope seemed to be lost.
Q: Most writers know a lot of things about their characters that never make it into the book. What can you tell us about your characters that didn’t make it into the book?
I don’t normally spend a lot of time filling out extensive questionnaires ahead of time about my characters (like favorite color or food). I learn about them as I write. I know Ian, because he was turned around the time of the Roman Empire, has plenty of secrets. Maybe I will learn more if I choose to write a sequel (and I always leave room for one in my books). Cherry is a younger, more modern vampire and she is more “what you see is what you get.”
Q: What can you tell us about your book that isn’t in the blurb?
There is more to Undead than a “vampire whodunit” or even a romance. It’s a story about families and how even the undead crave the same things we mortals do. The book also has three undead races: zombies, vampires, and revenants. Traditionally the three groups don’t get along and there’s a lot of mistrust and hostility between them all. Throughout the course of the book, Cherry learns that they are more alike than they are different.
Q: What has been the hardest scene you’ve ever written and why?
When I have trouble writing a scene it’s usually because I’m struggling with doubts about my writing, not so much about the actual emotional aspects of the scene. I do remember getting emotional during Mystic Ink when the hero Calder Quinne confronts his father Ares about his mortal mother’s death. I felt bad for Cal and for Ares. They both lost a woman they loved and it was the first time that Cal saw his father as someone other than the scheming God of War.
Q: What aspect of writing do you find the most difficult?
Making it past the thirty thousand word mark has been a stumbling block lately. Probably, because now that I have more experience, I realize that the ending is only as good as the foundation set down at the start of the story.
Q: Where on the spectrum from sweet to erotic does your book fit? What do you see as the dividing lines between sweet, sensual and erotic?
My books are in the steamy, sensual range. The love scenes are comparable to what you’d find in other mainstream published romance novels (like Jeaniene Frost or JR Ward). Sweet to me is sex behind closed doors and mostly chaste (but that doesn’t mean there is no heat). Erotic is toys, BDSM, explicit language (you know those words us girls don’t always like to speak), and super-hot sex scenes. Sensual is everything else in between. For the record, I like all heat levels. All I ask for is a good, compelling story and characters I can fall in love with!
Now for some just for fun:
Q: On Pinterest are you a A.) Hoarder in disguise (you collect images of everything you like) B.) Minimalist (you only collect images that fit in with some project – my next book – a home remodeling project – etc.) C.) you’re not on Pinterest.
C. Not on Pinterest. I have so many social media accounts, I didn’t want anything else to distract me from writing. Plus, I have too many concerns about the copyright issues with photo sharing.
Q: On Twitter are you A.) The life of the party engaging with my friends and followers B.) Mostly a promoter – I use Twitter primarily to promote my books C.) Mostly a lurker. I follow a lot of people looking for useful information – some of which finds its way into my books.
A.I love Twitter. If I didn’t have a full time job and limited writing time, I’d engage in more conversations. Lately I’ve been spending a lot more time on Facebook since that seems to be where everyone talks. (Note to self – stop spending so much time on social media and write more!)
Q: Did you read 50 Shades of Grey? Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between?
Sorry to the 50 Shades lovers but I land on the Hate It side. I didn’t like the writing at all. I can’t read first person present tense. Drives me bonkers. Plus I’m not a fan of reading “inner goddess” 82 times. The book that I did love is Sylvia Day’s – Bared to You. I read it in a single afternoon. Didn’t get any writing done that day!
Q: What was the last book you read that you really loved – enough that you’d recommend it to someone else?
See above. I would also like to suggest Rough Surrender by Cari Silverwood.
Q: If you could go backwards or forwards in time and have dinner with anyone in history who would it be and why?
If it has to be a historical figure, I’d love to meet Heron of Alexandria. He invented some pretty awesome stuff including the first steam powered engine. Otherwise, I’d love to meet my ancestors or my own descendants!
Q: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Extrovert, all the way.
Q: Describe your ideal romantic getaway?
I’d love to getaway someplace where I could spend the day visiting historical or natural sites with my hubby. He would probably have something totally different in mind. But we both could probably agree on a city like New Orleans, Austin or San Francisco.
Q: If you were to be stranded on a desert island with one of your characters which character and why?
I would love to be stuck with Galen Archer. He’s an elf from my, still unpublished book, Ascension. He is funny and daring yet he can be responsible when required. Of all my characters, he is the most real to me.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about yourself, your books, your characters?
I love to hear from readers and meet new people, so stop by my blog, find me on Twitter or visit me on Facebook. Thanks for much for having me today as your guest!
You are very welcome! It’s my pleasure. I hope you have a good time chatting with us today.
Cover Blurb The Undead Space Initiative
Cherry Cordial, vampire stripper extraordinaire, spectacularly messes up her life with a single act of kindness. How could she have known when she rescued gorgeous rogue Ian McDevitt that she would be implicated in the vampire queen’s murder? Soon, she faces the wrath of the entire vampire community. To escape retribution, she joins a settlement program to colonize Mars. Her choices are grim: hurtle through space to the red planet to face the unknown and possible death, or stay on Earth and face certain annihilation. To make things even more complicated, a certain gorgeous rogue seems to be shadowing her every move…
Reality settled in. We were leaving the Earth. I’d be strapped into a tube and hurtled into space. If we survived the journey, I’d be on my way to Mars.
My kneecaps dissolved to water. I clutched the railing, trying to calm my stomach and stay upright.
“You don’t have to go, Cherry,” Ian said from behind me.
I stiffened. His offer seemed more tempting by the minute, yet I couldn’t abandon my family. “I’m afraid to board the ship. But I can’t disobey my sire.”
“You could ask him to emancipate you. You’re plenty old enough.”
“Why are you still here?” Old enough? No woman likes to be told she’s old. Especially when it’s true.
“Concerned is all,” he shrugged and joined me by the railing. He stared out, side profile as handsome as the full frontal.
“Don’t be. I’m a big girl,” I chirped with way more bravado than I felt. Now I knew what Alice experienced when she fell into the rabbit hole. Afraid, confused. Freaked out. I reminded myself Jonathan was a great leader. Even though we had our personal baggage, he would do his best to ensure we survived. He hadn’t let us down yet.
Heavy machines moved into position. The workers unlatched more hoses, wires and mechanical items from the ship’s side. Blood pounded in my head, caused by my tight jaw and grinding teeth.
“I didn’t mean to offend. Or imply Jonathan can’t defend you.” Ian’s voice softened. The low tone made my toes curl. “I hoped we could prove our innocence together.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Casey Wyatt has no personal knowledge of the paranormal, but she hopes someday that may change. If there are ancient Gods, elves or satyrs living nearby, they’re more than welcome to visit. Bring pizza and chocolate please!
Her paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels have won or placed in numerous RWA contests. When not writing, Casey enjoys time with her family, loves to read, and enjoys knitting and crocheting.
She lives in a bustling Connecticut town with her husband, two sons and an assortment of pets (none of which are shape-shifters).
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