Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Author interview: Cassandra Giovanni

Hey guys!

Instead of my usual WoW post, today I have something better!  Quite a few of you know I recently read and enjoyed Cassandra Giovanni’s In Between Seasons, my review for which you can check out here.  Today we have the lovely author herself!  So without further ado, here she is. J

How did you come up with the ideas for In Between Seasons?

I am equal part photographer and writer. The photographer in me inspired InBS because I kept driving past this abandoned building, and it was hauntingly beautiful. I desperately wanted to photograph it, but then one night it was in my dreams. It was a very vivid dream, and it was the first time I saw Hunter. I was Kate, and I was running towards this white house, as I ran in and shut the door, a hand broke through the glass and grabbed me, dragging me away. In that moment I was filled with awe with the person who was taking me, and I tried to figure out why, but I wasn't afraid. It was as if it was something I had been waiting for, and of course, I had, it was the idea for InBS. Then I was in a house, and there was an army marching up (it reminded me much of the Nazis), and I went into the basement with one singular thought, get a gun and blast the hell out of the place to protect him. Then we were running, stumbling down a hill--then it all went black. When it came back we were on a beach, and I was staring into his eyes, and everything felt fixed, permanent and fine. (When I say him, I entirely mean my husband because it was him in the dream!).  I drive by this building a lot, and it with some songs that hit my radio just as I passed it kept the story running in me until I was finished. I have what I call a "sporadic" writing style. I write the scenes in no specific order, and then I go in and fill in the blanks for cohesion.  I knew that building would be the cover of the novel, and thus it is.

Why young adult?

Well, because that is what I am...well, I might be a tad bit older than that, but that's just what I lean towards. I also write New Adult, which I suppose is what I would be considered.
Describe the process between getting down your first draft and getting your book published.  Did you ever consider getting a publisher, or did you know straight away you were going to be self-published?

To be honest with you I never considered self-publishing or small independent press that take unsolicited manuscripts. I had written Walking in the Shadows, and The Sight already, but when I wrote In Between Seasons I felt it was the one that would get me published. It was so different than anything else, little did I know that I had written myself into one of the most popular genres, and in a way written myself out of it. I didn't even know what dystopian was, and InBS doesn't really follow the guidelines that have been set by books like Hunger Games, so then again it's not really dystopian. At any rate, I did a lot of research on agents, and selected about 20 or so. I tried querying for Walking in the Shadows first, but then after sending to those agents, and getting only 1 response--"We don't like the subject". I stopped, and dropped Walking in the Shadows. In truth it is a controversial subject, and it jibes at those who are obsessed with vampire novels. So, then I went after getting In Between Seasons queried to an agent. I did more research, found more agents, and then after no response at all, I pretty much gave up. Then my dad got an email about self-publishing, which had no relevance to him whatsoever, but he felt it was a sign meant for me. He forwarded it to me, and then I saved it, but didn't take it too seriously. I queried two more agents and then logged onto Amazon to order a present, and there was a whole article on the home page about KDP. I decided that was it. I was going to do it, and I was going to do it my way. I thought it through. I could market my own way, use my own photography, and choose what stayed and what went. I had nothing to lose, so I did it. I love being self-published. I will be honest with you, it is a struggle, and there is a huge learning curve. I work almost 70 hours a week between a normal job, and doing the novelist thing. I'm a determined person, and I am going to be a full-time writer and photographer someday.

What was your favourite scene to write? (Personally, I think my favourite scene to read was with Hunter and his guitar.  *Swooon* Ahem.)

This was a tough one, but your email came as I was taking a short break from editing the second edition of InBS. This made it easier to chose, it is the scene where Hunter teaches Kate how to use a gun. I love the seriousness of the scene, but how Hunter is still teasing her and showing how amazing he is!

Kate is a pretty strong character who doesn’t shy away from doing what she needs to do, even when it involves people she’s meant to be close to.  How much of yourself is in her?

There is a lot of her in me. I used to feel weak, but after the discovery of a few key truths about myself and those around me, I realized I was strong, and I needed to be. It's all about rising above what most people would sink beneath. I feel I have done that myself, and I have watched some of the most amazing people in my life do that as well. Kate is a bit of me, and a bit of my mom. She's kick butt amazing, just like Kate is.
Quite a few authors talk about listening to music while they write.  Are you the same, or do you find it easier without music?
I honestly, could not write without music. Music drives all of my writing. Music has always been a relief to me. It makes everything easier, it helps me zone in and get things done. It's my biggest inspiration.
Describe your upcoming novel, Walking in the Shadows, in five words.

Romantic, dark, hopeful, obsession, artistic

This or that:
Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla
Paperback or ebook?  Ebook

Summer or winter?  Summer
Tea or coffee?  Tea (unless it’s Starbucks)
Reading or writing? Writing

So there you go!  Thanks so much Cassandra Giovanni for doing the interview!


  1. Ms. Giovanni sounds so nice! And men who are also guitarists? YUM.

    Great interview, Aa'Ishah!

  2. Thanks for sharing the interview, Aa'Ishah! I always find it fascinating to learn how an author gets her work published. It's wonderful to get to know a bit about Cassandra, thanks a lot!

  3. Cassandra Giovanni seems like a nice person and very interactive... I like that about the author.

  4. Awesome Interview! I wanted to read Ms Giovanni's book - alas, I might have to wait to win it somewhere :D
    Great questions & quite interesting answers! :)

  5. Brilliant interview! I think it's very cool that Cassandra's photography played a part in the inspiration for her book. I will need to read it one day! Thanks for sharing. :)

  6. Love this interview, especially that dream. I never remember my dreams so vividly! and as inspiration for a book! that's amazing! I am a follower of giovanni's blog and she always writes awesome posts, so I enjoyed reading this interview! and the questions were great!

  7. Oh! I love where the inspiration of the novel came from. It's from a dream? Wow. I usually forgets my dream a few minutes after I woke up. Haha. I might pick this book up someday! Great interview A and Cassandra. :)

  8. Wow, to get all that from a dream is really amazing! I usually only remember my dream if it's a nightmare but this sounds very vivid. Thanks for sharing and great interview, Aa'Ishah. :)


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