For week # 7 I have Cassie Exline on the hot-seat. Welcome to my blog, Cassie. Let’s go ahead and get started. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Cassie: While in grade school. I wrote kid stories and wish I’d kept them. But I stopped writing after I discovered boys and didn’t get serious about writing again until a few years ago.
Jerri: Boys always seem to distract us girls from our other interests. So, how long does it take you to write a book?
Cassie: That depends. When I started my first series, I could turn out about 75,000 words a month. Now with so many “irons” in the fire, (family, website, blog, loop groups), 40,000 words can take me three of four months.
Jerri: I used to write a lot faster than I do now, too. I think it is the distraction of promoting the books you have available and just trying to live life. I love your titles. How do you come up with them?
Cassie: Titles can be hard for me. Sometimes, I put something just so I can begin writing and insert a title when I know where I’m going. Or the title is first and I stick to it or the title doesn’t work as the story progressed. If you can’t tell, I’m a panster. I just run with an idea and the characters lead the way.
Jerri: From one fellow panster to another, I usually come up with a title within the first chapter or two. Now, is there a messages in your novel/s that you want readers to grasp?
Cassie: In my first series, yes. The message was that “we really don’t know anybody, only what they let us know.”
Jerri: Too true, and even when you think you know them, you really don’t. I have experienced that with people I’ve known for years. So, what does your family think of your writing?
Cassie: They tolerate it. No one really understands what drives me or how I can come up with so many stories, which is why finding loop groups and critiques groups was like stumbling across gold. I needed other authors to bounce ideas off of and I’m always striving to improve my craft. I’m not saying they aren’t proud of me, they just don’t understand the process.
Jerri: My family was like that at first, but they now know that writing keeps me sane. You said your family doesn’t understand what drives you to write so many stories. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Cassie: Under another name, I’ve written 28 full size novels. Under Cassie, seven novellas. The first series has a special place in my heart, but the Holmes Mystery Series is a great series.
Jerri: Oh, this really intrigued me. Growing up watching Ellery Queen, Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christi and Poirot, I need to get my hands on this series. My kind of reading for sure.
Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Cassie: My first ebook, Tree of Buried Secrets, got rave reviews and I was thrilled. But now there seems to be so many mixed messages about reviews, that I haven’t bothered sending out for reviews with Amber’s Mysterious Death or Ruby’s Deadly Secret. Still I wouldn’t let a review influence me, because it’s just one person’s opinion. Now that statement comes from six years experience in a crit group. People’s opinions vary like the weather.
Jerri: I wish I could look at it this way. A harsh review can send me into a bad case of writers block.
Lastly, could you give us a look at what you are working on now?
Cassie: Currently working on a couple different stories. One of them is the fifth book in the Holmes Series called Curse of Jade’s Bluff. Here’s just a snippet: The Jade sphere glowed, casting an eerie light upon the three females while they held hands and chanted. A lone figure approached the cliff and jumped. The three closed their eyes and tilted their faces toward the full moon. A gray mist swirled around them, trying to break their circle and toss them into dark ravine.
Sheryl Locke Holmes: Book 2: Ruby’s Deadly Secret
By C.L. Exline
Blurb: What do you get when you add a ruby, diary, secrets, and a mansion? A motive for murder. Sheryl Locke Holmes and her best friend, Dot Watson, have been offered an exciting opportunity to explore Bridgeside, a Victorian mansion, to search for items for their antique shop. Their adventure is short-lived when they discover a diary containing dark secrets and a newspaper clipping with a warning written in what appears to be blood. They get trapped in the attic, Dot is attacked and they find out the owner died inside the house. As if that isn’t enough, Jake is spotted with another woman. Clues are pointing to Sheryl as the next target, no matter who gets in the way.
Sheryl gazed into Jake’s eyes and caressed his cheek. “I’m sorry for overreacting. For a brief moment, I thought I had lost you. I know better, but I’d just been with Mrs. Wallace and listened to how much her husband’s betrayal had hurt her. I wasn’t thinking, not with my head. Forgive me.”
“Take your hands off of me!” yelled a voice in the distance.
Sheryl and Jake looked over to see Dot being physically escorted out of the restaurant.
“Look, you little toad, take your hands off of me.”
“I better intercede before Dot gets physical.” Jake hurried to smooth things over. “Lawrence, it’ll be okay. I’ll take over.”
Lawrence let go of Dot, but glared at her before facing Jake. “She and that blonde friend of hers are not welcome in our establishment. Both are troublemakers. We run a reputable business and cannot have altercations disrupting our patrons.”
“Like I care to go back in! I wouldn’t go in that rat hole if my life depended on it,” Dot said and rubbed her arm. “You better hope I don’t get bruises from your manhandling me.”
The man snorted before stomping back into the restaurant.
“You didn’t hit Lisa, did you?” Jake asked.
“Lawrence wouldn’t let me.”
Ruby’s Deadly Secret came in number eight in Top Mystery Book of 2010 at Preditors & Editors Poll. Amber’s Mysterious Death is the first book in the Holmes Mystery Series. Next up is Opal’s Disappearance, then Dragon’s Pearl.
Again, I want to thank Cassie for stopping by to talk. I had so much fun. Also, I have to say that your covers are gorgeous!