Guest Author Interview: Callan Primer by Cassiel Knight

For our guest author interview today, I’m pleased to introduce Callan Primer. I first learned about Callan after she got a review by the ladies at Dear Author. I was intrigued by her story and when I’d learned she self-published, I knew I had to interview her for See Jane Publish. So, here is her review and if you want to learn more about her and her books, visit

Tell us about your publishing journey.

It started years ago, when I first set pen to paper and wrote a thrilling story of a pair of red-haired, teenaged-girl detectives (I was addicted to Nancy Drew at the time and thought if one was wonderful, two were awesome.) If I recall correctly, I never finished the story, leaving them trapped in a medieval stone cell beneath the Seine, with water coming under the door…I wonder if they’re still there?

Over the years, I learned to finish what I wrote and what narrative structure was all about. Then the first time a friend I shanghaied into reading one of my stories put it down and said, “This is good. Are you sending it out?” I began bombarding all known publishers of science fiction and fantasy with reams of stories. Most, wisely, ignored my work, or sent back helpful checklists of what I could improve.

Then the publishing industry shrank, and I began a similar campaign with agents. By that time, I had improved enough to get answers such as “This is good, but I can’t sell it in New York.” One agent, who took a greater interest than most, tried to help me shape my most recent novel, A WIND OUT OF INDIGO, into something that would “sell in New York.” But it turns out she was looking for a genre I call “tough chicks in leather,” in honor of their standard covers, and I just couldn’t pour my heroine into something that tight-fitting. My heroine felt quite firmly that stout hobnailed boots, a good wool skirt, and a dagger were all she needed to face what the world had to throw at her.

I had to agree with her and decided I would probably never write what the industry wanted. But in the way the universe has of throwing open a window whenever all exits seem to be blocked, I stumbled across Kris Rusch’s blog and discovered the world of self-publishing–which revolves around the notion that you should sell to readers rather than New York.

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

Well, I have plenty of embarrassing things–I’m sure they’ll become funnier as the years go on–but the most exciting was the first time I copied A WIND OUT OF INDIGO to my mother’s Kindle, and it opened. Just like a real book. And my mother was impressed.

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

Dealing with the Smashwords Meatgrinder.

Those of you who are self-published know what I’m talking about (and are probably wincing in agreement). For those of you who aren’t, the Meatgrinder is Smashwords’ conversion software that turns MS Word docs into multiple eBook formats. Or not. It’s an awesome piece of software, but as mysterious and capricious as some ancient idol. You approach it with songs of praise on your lips and bearing your novel file before you like a first-born child. You lay your child on the altar, and if you’re lucky, and your prayers fervent enough, the kid lives.

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

I have dozens–right now I’m finishing off Brandon Sanderson’s ALLOY OF LAW and counting down the days until Patricia Briggs’ FAIR GAME is released.

What’s coming up next for you?

I have two more novels and two novellas planned in the WINDS OF HALFLIGHT series, but before them comes A MEMORY OF ICE, a novel set in a 1930s that never existed, with a heroine who can’t be stopped, no matter how many oversized and annoying policemen pursue her. I hope to have it up in late April so it can stop nagging me and I can get back to writing A WIND OUT OF NIGHT.


Thanks for being here, Callan! WIND OUT OF INDIGO is in my TBR, and I’m so looking forward to reading it. Wish you all the best!


Posted on February 28, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Callan, it’s so nice to have you here, and your journey is inspirational. Congratulations on your upcoming books.


  2. Fabulous interview! Cal, you’re a stitch. You are like your heroines–no one’s going to stop you! Woohoo!


  3. Enjoyed the interview ladies! Especially the meatgrinder story about Smashwords….too funny. (I’m sure not to the authors using it, but the way you wrote about it) lol

    Congrats on your release and upcoming release! And love the cover…very mysterious looking!


  1. Pingback: The Triumph of Hope and Charming Strangers over Experience « What Rough Beast

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