Hi and welcome to my blog, Sarah Cass. Please make yourself at home and grab a drink from my hunky cabana boys, Zeke and Jake.
*Sarah grins and takes a margarita.* Why thank you. I always love a hunky cabana boy welcome, so does the muse. It makes her feel at home.
To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Well, my first novel, Changing Tracks just released in February, and it’s the start of a series so I’m working on book 2 (edits) and book 4 (re-writing) as we speak. Just last week, the anthology HerStory released with a short story of mine called An Uncivil War in it. I’m about to dive into edits on my standalone novella Masked Hearts for its April release. Outside of my contracted work I have two works in progress going now, both very different genres than my currently contracted works.
Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released?
A party in my pants. ~giggle~ No, seriously. I just do a little dance at home, and my husband and I usually go out to dinner. Unfortunately as I’ve just started this career I haven’t the funds or time to have a celebratory ritual yet. I plan on starting that once my series gets moving with book 2’s release.
What influenced you to get published? How long did it take for your first book to get published?
I was writing for fun, without any designs on getting published. A friend suggested that my story was really good and I should try to get published. I dove in without the faintest idea what I was getting into. It took me seven years from that first floundering story to get published. I started when traditional pub and agents were the only way to go, but the publishing world, and my writing, evolved a lot. I might have gotten published much sooner if I’d stopped clinging to my first novel like a two year old with a candy bar. I really wanted Lisabeth to work – but I was too attached and couldn’t see the flaws. Once I moved on, I was able to create my Dominion Falls series which was publishable two years ago, but I went the agent route first and then decided I was tired of waiting on long-long-long delayed responses (seriously, one of them had my ms for a year and a half and never responded to my ‘I have an offer’ nudges), and dove into the smaller press world – and I’ve never regretted that for a minute.
Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?
Hmmm, trick question. They are all very easy and very difficult.
Honestly, my Dominion Falls series was mostly very easy to write. I wrote the original trilogy in a span of about two months, and the 2 follow up sequels in one month. But, Book 2 (Derailed due out in July) is always a very difficult book for me because, being that it’s the middle of the trilogy there is a lot of emotional upheaval and one scene near the end breaks me up every time.
The hardest for me would be Masked Hearts because it was a first for me in many ways. I have a tendency to write series, and very long books. I wanted to challenge myself. So I planned for it to be under 50k, and I prepared a timeline – which I never do in first drafts. I tried to make it close to publishable in first draft so there was no rewrite. I pretty much accomplished all those goals, and while it was really tough for me, that story went from concept to contract in 3 months time, a record for me.
Could you tell us a couple of favorite books that inspired you to write?
My first true inspiration into not only my (typical) genre but into reading and stories all together was the Little House series. Beyond that my reading preference is so wide and varied, it’s hard to nail down favorites. A Discovery of Witches was one of my most recent favorites as is the Mercy Thompson series; but I’ve read everything from Shakespeare, to Harry Potter to Long Time Coming (by Jennifer James). I definitely have to include Jennifer in there because it was because of her that I found the motivation to keep going when I was thinking of quitting – we found each other randomly on the internet and she pulled me into a critique group and my life has been forever different since.
Is music a factor for you while you are writing? Do certain songs put you in the right frame of mind to write certain stories?
Oh yeah. Music is required. I can’t write and watch TV, or talk or anything, but music is essential. It sets the right frame of mind. If I’m writing one of my HWR’s I use love songs, if I’m working on my PNR or Steampunk it goes into the hard rock territory. I can’t write without my music. It feels wrong, somehow.
If you could collaborate with one author who would it be?
Hm, that’s a tough call. I’m already collaborating with a few. I co-write with my good friend, Mary Terrani, and my crit group is working on a project together. But a dream project? Odd as it sounds, I’d have to say Stephen King. I write some horror but I think working with him I could write some kick ass horror.
What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?
Another tough call. All my inspiration is pretty random. Plus, much of it is really macabre. The inspiration for Masked Hearts came from reading about an Indian massacre. The inspiration for my steamp-punky UF/Fractured fairy tale came from playing a video game. It helps that I like to mix genres because my inspiration often leads me in weird places.
If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would they tell?
What do you mean, IF? That crazy loon talks behind my back all the dang time. LOL. She says I’m lazy and undisciplined and moody. Then again, she could be talking about herself with that – she’s the one that likes to run off to Mexico and get drunk on tequila.
Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?
My kids & husband, of course. Beyond that? Well, you name it. I’ve been in theater (singing & dancing, I miss them terribly). I sew, knit, crochet, and do photography to name a few things.
What books are currently on your nightstand?
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – I’ve been rereading the series. I’m also reading Hunger Embraced by Jennifer James and Silent Tears by Lacie Nation.
What can readers expect next from you?
Well, obviously as mention, they can look forward to Masked Hearts next month and the rest of my series – books 2 & 3 will be out in July and September. I’m also working on that fractured fairytale and hope to have it done before the end of summer and ready for submission. It has good possibility to be a series, but right now I just need to get through Into a Mirror Darkly.
Thanks for coming. Is there anything else you want to add?
In my everyday life I blog over at Redefining Perfect: http://redefiningperfect.com
My author blog is Sarah’s StoryLines: http://authorsarahcass.com
You can also find me on Facebook: http://facebook.com/SarahCass.Author
And on twitter: http://twitter.com/sadiecass
There’s nothing simple about forgetting your past.
Cole Mitchell runs the busiest saloon and brothel in Dominion Falls. He keeps his women at a distance, unwilling to relive a past he worked hard to forget.
Until the night Jane Doe falls into his saloon bleeding and near death. She wakes with no memory, only the firm belief someone tried to kill her. In the strange world of amnesia she manages to find solace in Cole’s arms and he finds home in hers.
While they work together to solve the mystery of her appearance, their pasts – her lack of, and his buried – build a barrier between them.
To make matters worse, Jane’s past isn’t willing to let her go. A stranger proves he’ll kill to keep his secrets safe. With those she loves in danger, Jane’s errant memory is all that stands between them and death. Cole can only do so much to protect her, will it be enough?
She slammed the door to her room, only to come face to face with Cole. The shriek escaped before she could stop it.
“Blast, Cole. You scared the daylights out of me.”
“Sorry. Took the shortcut.”
“Please, just go. I can’t think straight. I can’t.” She couldn’t. The way her head kept spinning, conversation wouldn’t be possible.
He didn’t argue, but he didn’t leave either. Once again she found his arms tight around her. In one swift move, he provided a sanctuary against the turmoil. For several minutes he helped her find peace.
Selfishly she soaked in it. Relieved to have just a few minutes to ignore her past that had just shown up on her doorstep. Forget a man who claimed to be her husband. That she was no longer a nameless person.
“I hate saying it.”
“Then don’t.” Jane Doe wasn’t real. This Clara was. Jane didn’t want to give up everything she’d gained. But she couldn’t turn her back on her past. With a sigh, she rested her head against his chest. “Sorry. I’m overwhelmed.”
“I get that. He seems like he means it, though. Did you hear him?”
“I couldn’t hear anything. It’s just too much. I don’t know how to do this.”
“He said he ain’t seen you in seven years. That you left one day and he never saw you again. It was winter. He thought you’d died out there.” Cole’s finger hooked under her chin. “It scares you. Knowing something.”
“Just as much as knowing nothing. I just started to feel like a real person.”
“Feel damn real to me.”