|Cassie Hayes, Author|
Friday, February 26, 2016
INTERVIEW WITH CASSIE HAYES, AUTHOR OF HOPE ON THE HORIZON #MontanaSkyKW
Dear Readers, if you’re a member of the Pioneer Hearts Facebook Group, you know this guest. Cassie Hayes helps Kirsten Osbourne keep everyone sorted and things running smoothly at Pioneer Hearts. Plus, she’s a talented writer. I just read her latest release and I thoroughly enjoyed HOPE ON THE HORIZON. I’m thrilled Cassie agreed to share with us today.
Please tell us about growing up.
I grew up in Oregon farm country. My parents were antique dealers, and when I wasn’t playing in the fields surrounding our house, I was helping them in the shop. That plus a deep love for Little House on the Prairie help flavor my books.
I love antiques. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?
Reading, naturally. I’m also an avid knitter. I’m trying hard to work out almost every day, although I’d hardly call that relaxing!
How long have you been writing?
For as long as I remember. I sent little stories into newspapers and magazines since I was a little kid. In fact, my first published work was in a free local TV guide when I was eight!
Why did you choose to participate in Debra Holland’s Kindle World?
I not only love Debra’s work, we’re also friends. When she asked me to help launch her Kindle World, my tongue almost tripped over itself to say ‘YES!’
Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude?
I have a tiny office the size of a coat closet. It’s normally set up for me to write standing up (to minimize ’spread’, if you know what I mean). I generally have earbuds in with white noise or brain.fm playing to drown out the world.
My office is tiny, too, but at least it's MY space. Are you a plotter or a panzer?
I used to consider myself a pantser until I got stuck about midway through a book. I took the time to plot each scene from the ending to where I was stuck and that’s where I found my problem. From then on, I won’t start a book with a nicely rounded plot sheet and character sketches.
What research did this project involve?
Mainly re-reading some of Debra’s books, and a little internet research on Montana and Idaho, where my book ends.
Same for me, Cassie. But I love Debra Holland's books so I didn't mind re-reading them. Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?
I generally don’t start writing until the afternoon. My creative juice just don’t start flowing till then. Once they do, they’d better pour out 2,000 words a day or else! I actually give myself a pretty gold star every day I get my minimum. Silly, but effective.
That's a good idea. Do you write full time or do you have a day job?
I’m a full-time writer and have been for a decade.
What is something unusual you learned while researching and writing this book?
That I have a strange preference for characters’ names that start with J. I may plot extensively now, but I often wait to name smaller characters till I get to their scenes. That’s how I ended up with so many ‘J’ characters. I held a naming contest on Pioneer Hearts to help me rename them all!
Oh, I find myself drifting toward names with the same consonant, so I'm vigilant about keeping track. Otherwise, too many characters have names that begin with M. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Honestly, my goal is to bring them a little bit of relief from their daily lives. I’m not trying to teach or preach or proselytize. While I hope readers possibly gain some perspective on troubles in their own lives, my main ambition in life is to leave readers feeling happy.
Great goal and one I share. What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Listen to your readers. They’ll tell you what they want to read. Then give it to them!
I absolutely love your cover for HOPE ON THE HORIZON. Tell us about that Kindle World novel with a blurb.
Jasper Eaton couldn’t be happier with his life. Despite having the deck stacked against him since the day he was born, he beat the odds and found himself a home in Morgan’s Crossing, Montana. He has friends, a farm and a future brighter than the stars in the night sky. Nope, he couldn’t be happier…could he?
Cora Winters is a good girl who always does what she’s told. When she’s forced to marry an older man headed west, she never dreams she’ll end up widowed, injured and left for dead by the side of the road.
After Jasper rescues her, a friendship blooms and they each dare to dream of a better life together. When Cora’s past comes back to haunt them both, a gunman’s bullet threatens to kill their future before it even begins.
HOPE ON THE HORIZON is such a good novel. How can readers learn more about you and your other books?
I love to hear from my readers!