Guest Author Interview: Cassiel Knight by Susan Lute

It is with great pleasure that I welcome our very own EPPIE finalist, Cassiel Knight, as this week’s Guest Author. It was exciting to read about her journey in her latest blog, but we still have a few questions for her. After her interview, be sure to follow Cassiel on her upcoming blog tour. If you haven’t already read KEY OF SOLOMON, click over to your favorite online store and be the next one to purchase this first book in the awesome Relic Defender series.

Tell us about your publishing journey.

Since I’ve already addressed this in a previous post (http://wp.me/p1DCL1-67), I thought I’d tell you something different here. I’ve been asked in the past how I came up with my pen name. I love to tell this story because I think it shows how far we’ve come in this industry – of the changes over the last five or so years.

Back in the days when it was about getting your book published with New York and on a bookshelf in Borders, Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks, just to name a few, I just knew my real name was not going to cut it. For several reasons. Seriously, Wollenburg? I love my husband and am proud to wear his name but that is just not, to me, a writer’s name. But, there was more to the decision.

First, I’d read an article that said which letters of the alphabet usually ended up on the bookshelf closest to the floor and, as a result, those didn’t tend to sell well because people didn’t want to bend. So, the next time I went shopping, I noticed I did the exact same thing. If I wanted a particular author, I would bend but if I was just browsing, I didn’t. Talk about an eye-opener. And since my married last name started with a W and my maiden name started with a T, I was fated to be at or near the bottom shelf.

I tried different combinations and just couldn’t settle on anything. Then, I thought about the genre – paranormal romance and how awesome it would be to be shelved near Sherrilyn Kenyon and Angela Knight. Obviously, not a W or T.

I drug out some baby books and started searching. The first part of came up with was “night” for paranormal but added a ‘k’ because plain “Night” for me seemed too fake. Then I found Cassiel which means dark and was pretty to say and write, so I picked it and ta-da Cassiel Knight. Took a while to get used to it. I’m still not quite there but am finding it more comfortable. Who’d have thought having another name would take time to get used to?

What’s the funniest thing to happen to you along your road to publication and what was the most exciting?

Um, funny? I can’t really think of anything. I’ve had a lot of fun but nothing really funny stands out. As for exciting, the whole thing has been. There was one thing that happened I should have talked about when I discussed my journey so I’ll mention it here. It was more inspirational than exciting. About a year and a half before Samhain contracted on Key of Solomon, I had a chance to meet and pitch to Barbara Poelle, agent with the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. I sent her a partial and about a month later, I got a rejection from her. That shouldn’t have been inspirational, right? Well, it was. Because in it, and I’ll never forget it, she gushed about, absolutely loved it and my voice. The bad news, she’d decided not to represent paranormal. The good news, she sent it to Miriam Kriss. Now, Ms. Kriss didn’t ultimately offer to represent me; however, the fact that Barbara was the first industry to rave about my story and my writing, did wonders for me. And, in a large part, helped me continue. Whenever I was down, I would remember her words (and yes, I still have her emails) and remember that someone liked it so all I had to do was find another someone. The someone that would eventually like it enough to contract is my Samhain editor.

What has been the most challenging thing related to publishing you’ve had to deal with on your journey?

Getting better at talking about myself and jumping on the promo bandwagon. With the barrage of self-promo from other authors, I’ve paid attention to what frustrates me (and others) and what seems to work. I’m trying to find the happy medium that gets me out there but not become one of the authors who is only around to promo or promos until people start to groan.

Who is your favorite author, and what are you currently reading?

I really have two I love. Jim Butcher but only for his Harry Dresden series. I couldn’t get into his fantasy series. I love the world he created for Harry, and I’m in awe of his imagination. Overall, it would have to be Stephen King. He’s so wickedly scary and such a genius at creating terror on the page.

I’m also almost finished Viper Moon by Lee Roland, and I absolutely love it. The funny thing is, I think I read this in a contest and I think I liked it a lot back then. It’s been nice to finally read the whole story.

What’s coming up next for you?

I have a couple of things coming up in February. First, and I’m tickled pink about this, is that Key of Solomon will be released in book format. Yay! My very first paperback book, and I’m giddy with the anticipation of (cross my fingers) seeing it in at least one book store. I’m probably going to cry when I hold the book in my hand. It’s been a long journey for this story as you know if you’ve read the previous post.

Also in February, I have a post-apocalypse romance; Hit Me With Your Best Shot, coming out from Lyrical Press. It’s a shorter story with another kick-ass heroine on a mission to save children from slavery and the mysterious guy who will either help or hinder her quest.

And in August, 2012, book 2 of the Relic Defender series, The Death Skull, is being released. This is Jackson and Marisol’s story and it’s even better than the first.

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About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on October 4, 2011, in Auth: Special Guest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m just getting to know Harry Dresden, but totally loving Jim Butcher’s books 🙂 Also, can’t wait to read the next Relic Defender book 😀

    Like

  2. You girls are so clever. I’m proud to be a part of this team.

    Like

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