As a fan of the paranormal and sci-fi genres I'm excited to have come across Casey Wyatt's intriguing mish-mash of vampires and zombies in outer space entitled The Undead Space Initiative. Throw in a bit of political intrigue and mythical runes and you've got a story that keeps you fully engrossed from the very beginning to the exciting roller coaster ending. Today I bring to you a Q&A I conducted with Casey along with a glimpse into this book as well as a giveaway. So let's get the fun started....
TSP: How did you get where you are today with your writing career and would you have done anything differently?
CW: I’m going to answer this question backwards. One of the things I would have done differently (if I had known to do it) was find Kelley Armstrong’s NaNo tips years earlier. I started writing in the mid-nineties. I had all these story ideas, but I could never end a book to my satisfaction. I knew I was missing something, but I didn’t know exactly what. Fo
olishly, I assumed that meant I wasn’t meant to be a writer. The only problem with that theory was my characters and unfinished stories would not leave me alone. By 2009, I couldn’t take it anymore and I started trolling my favorite author’s websites for advice. That is when I found Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworldly Forums and those Nano tips.
They changed everything. I realized that I needed to plot out my books. So I took the one I wanted to read the most and I finished it in six weeks. Then a whole series of events took place in rapid succession. I joined a local authors group and by 2010, I joined Romance Writers of America and started entering contests (and winning!). For NaNo 2010, I wrote Mystic Ink. A year later, I wrote The Undead Space Initiative in six weeks (a magic number for me!). By 2011, I had sold both books! So moral of the story, don’t be your own worst enemy!
TSP: What's an average writing day like for you and are there any inspirational objects surrounding you as you write?
CW: After I finish my day job, I start my writer’s day. I don’t actively write every day because most of my time is spent plotting books. The actual writing part happens pretty quickly in comparison. Every day I have to devote time to social media activities and my blogs. I tend to write either at the dining room table or on my sofa using a lap desk. I don’t really have any inspirational objects, but I do like staring out my window into the backyard.
TSP: What do you want us to know about your book, The Undead Space Initiative? Is it standalone or part of a series? Did you have any particular actor/actresses in mind when visualizing Cherry and Ian?
CW: The Undead Space Initiative is a fun, paranormal romance with a futuristic twist. I can promise this book takes vampire mythology and turns it on its head! The premise behind the story is that no good deed goes unpunished. The heroine, Cherry Cordial (a vampire stripper) helps out a vampire in need, sexy Ian McDevitt, when he’s trapped by a band of revenants. She doesn’t realize that her simple act of kindness will embroil her in vampire politics, forcing her to flee to a new undead colony on Mars.
In all my stories, I always leave the door open for a sequel. While I don’t have another book for Cherry and Ian planned yet, that doesn’t mean I won’t write one
With all of my books, I don’t actually have real people in mind. They exist in my head as voices first, then personality. Physical appearance comes last and, even then, they never resemble anyone I’ve ever seen before. It’s funny, I did a blog post last summer that addresses this exact topic. I’m in the minority of writers, by the way!
TSP: Are you a fan of sci-fi and were there any sci-fi films/tv shows that were inspirational to you when writing this book?
CW: I’m a lifelong fan of science fiction in all forms: books, movies, TV shows, comics, anime, and manga! There is no one show or movie that inspired this story specifically, but my writing style is very movie-esque. I’m big on pacing. I don’t like to read stories that drag along or contain pages of description, so I don’t write that way either. I also employ three act plotting which is commonly used for TV and movies.
CW: At the moment, I’m firmly entrenched in the paranormal and urban fantasy genres. I do have this fantasy that someday I might write a contemporary romance or maybe a YA novel, but I’m sure I can do “normal.”I’ve tried it and magic or supernatural elements always creep their way in. I just completed another paranormal romance called Misfortune Cookie and I’m also writing the sequel to Mystic Ink, called Mystic Storm.
TSP: How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself? Do you yourself have an eReader and where do you see publishing heading?
CW: I’m really bad at marketing right now. I’ve mainly focused on blogging, joining blog hops, review sites and occasional advertising. Since I only have two published novels, I’m more focused on writing. I know, as a reader, when I find an author I like, I want to read all their books and get bummed when there aren’t more. The digital revolution has been good for me since both my publishers are digital first. I do own several e-readers – a Nook and a Kindle and I read on both. I also still read plenty of paper books and at night, when I should be sleeping, I will read off my iPod too!
As to the future of publishing, I have no idea. I do know that writers will keep writing new stories and readers will keep buying them!
CW: If you had asked me this question last summer, I would have told you I couldn’t live without my iPod touch or my laptop. But, since I “survived” the freak Nor’easter here in New England last October, I learned that I could live without all my fun tech toys. I really didn’t like having no heat, hot water or electricity. Those really are the things that make modern life tolerable. That, and having a clip-on book light and plenty of books!
Thank you so much for having me as your guest today!
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.”
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).
Casey is awarding a $25 Amazon GC and an e-copy of Mystic Ink to a randomly drawn commenter from throughout the tour.
-Giveaway is OPEN TO EVERYONE!
-To be entered, MUST leave a comment, ALONG WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDY.
-One commenter will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more tour stops you make a comment on the greater your chances of winning. A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 9/28.