So…in honor of my first solo release that just came out Friday, Emery's Ritches…I've decided to celebrate by talking to some very talented authors about their first solo release! *giggles* You see…it isn't all about me all the time…but I do love weaseling my way into the action most of the time…hehe
Today we have to be gentle...because I've got my delicate flower here... Allison Cassatta is a beautiful soul whose writing will caress you like the silk of a rose's petals and prick you like its thorns. She isn't afraid to write what she feels, formulas be damned...and won't force an ending just to make a genre happy. And those attributes are the exact reason I keep clicking on her books on my kindle and going crazy like!
And not only did I horns-waggle Allison to come on my blog...I convinced her to talk about first releases...and the difference between them. Namely her first ever published release The Immortals Saga: Immortal...and her first ever M/M release Sins of the Heart!
So let the deflowering begin...*waggles eyebrows*
*draws Allison down on my lap and wraps arms around her waist*...um sorry, all the other furniture is being reupholstered or something...*looks at sofa and wooden kitchen chairs...shrugs* well I did say or something...hehe...okay my beauty...that's a lot of releasing you did, way to get rid of those kinks in your muscles...so let's take one at a time and go for the ménage à trois in just a bit. Tell us about the true popping of your cherry The Immortals Saga: Immortal...
Immortal almost did me in. It was my first attempt at a novel and first attempt at honestly searching publication. It took four years to write and I swear maybe… I don’t know… six or seven, maybe even eight edits. And since it was my first romp with a publisher, I didn’t know what to expect as far as timing went. It took a year and a half to get that baby out AFTER I submitted it and I nearly lost my mind. I almost threw in the towel
Now Immortal is getting some serious praise out there...even one from my teenage daughter...you have taken a popular genre (paranormal) with a very popular character (vampire) and turned it into something that is completely your own...did taking on this challenge for your first release scare you at all?
Not really. I knew I had to write a vampire book simply because I live and breathe Anne Rice. Since the ripe age of like… twelve, I’ve been the weird, vampire girl with the dark clothes and makeup who listens to The Cure and… I don’t know. *Laughs* I had to do it. Now, once it actually came out and I was ready to get feedback on it, I was utterly terrified… nail-bitingly so.
This was published through Kerlak Enterprises...how did you decide to pub through them? Was it fate, did you search for the best fit for your novel?
Actually, I was trolling Myspace (yes… you heard that right) for indie authors, people I could get advice from, when I happened upon James Gillen. He was incredibly nice and we talked about publishing, he gave me advice and read bits and pieces of my work. That’s how I found Kerlak. When I submitted my story to them, I *shifty eyes* dropped his name… shhh. *Laughs* He and I ended up being great friends after. He’s incredibly talented. You should check out his series. The first book is called “Tortured Skin.”
Immortal is a saga...we're waiting...
Yeah. Yeah. The publisher told me just the other night that they’re getting around to a release date for the second one. They’re a very, very small publisher. They only put out six books a year. They didn’t even do ebooks for the longest time. Anyway, the second one is written and submitted, just waiting on them. :)
Now for our threesome...hehe...Immortal is nothing like Sins of the Heart...they are on completely different spectrums of the rainbow...and not just because of the M/M aspect either *eye roll*...was it an easy transition to go from vamps to broken hearted men?
Well, mmm… not really. Two years had passed since I wrote and released Immortal, and actually, Sins wasn’t my first attempt to write M/M. There’s a story milling about out there called “Back Alley Grind.” It’s almost the M/M homage to Interview with a Vampire, only it’s a sweet little love story… and there’s—get ready for this—no sex in it. *gasps* At least none that I can remember. Anyway, that was my transition piece. I thought it sucked so I ditched it. Sins was my second attempt to get my foot in the M/M door, and for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you why I chased after it so badly.
Tell us a bit about Sins of the Heart and your feelings about it...this is definitely not your HEA erotic romance...though I will say *beep beep beep* mild spoiler alert...that even if it isn't the traditional HEA romance it does have the ending that the story needed and if you can think outside of the box it is a very satisfying and heartfelt ending...*beep beep beep* end of mild spoiler—highlight over blank section to see it...lol...Oh and yes—there was a question in there *heads desk giggling*...
Like I said, Sins was my foot in the door. I’d heard a lot of good thing about Dreamspinner, so I went on their site and checked the story calls and the only one that appealed to me was the Bittersweet Dreams line… which has no HEA. Now, anyone who is use to reading me or knows me, knows I am a stickler for closure and prefer it in the HEA variety. So this story call presented a challenge, which I dove into head first. And on this I’ll say, I’ve never had a story, my own or anyone else’s, bring tears the way this one did. It was probably one of the hardest stories to write… and probably the most emotionally rewarding.
Now Sins of the Heart was published by Dreamspinner...what are some of the pros and cons about using different publishers?
Well, seeing as I’m HORRIBLY impatient, it was nice to keep stories coming out instead of waiting on one publisher to do all the work. For me, with Kerlak and DSP, it was a matter of having a publisher who really doesn’t do romance and needing one who does M/M romance. It wasn’t that I wanted two publishers… I just had different needs for each. As it is right now, I have four publishers I work with. I’m sure I’ll be slimming that down a bit… Oh, and no CONS, none that I’ve found.
Okay…about me for a second *tries to bebop a bit...only succeeds in making Allison bite her tongue*...oh...sorry sweetie—I'll kiss your boo boo for you later *winks*…moving forward...I'm personally going through some withdrawal anxieties with my boys—I let them out in the big bad world and have been told I can't protect them anymore *pouts*… did you have any withdrawal pains when you sent Maddy, Leo, Brody & Dom out there in the big bad world?
Maddy and Leo, not so much. I was too busy being all nervous and anxious over their release and if people would think it sucked. Dom and Brody on the other hand…. *grabs tissue* yes, in a MAJOR way. Those two wouldn’t stop talking to me and poor Dom demanded I make it right. He was seriously bitching about me making him look so heartless. *Laughs* I caved to him. I started writing his book. *facepalm*
Looking back—now that you have more experience under your belt—would you change anything about either of your releases and how you handled them?
*Sighs* I don’t know. Immortal was a huge success for me. I had 200 copies pre-sold before the book even dropped. Sins, not so much. I was new to M/M and new to Dreamspinner. A lot of my Immortal fans gave M/M a try just to keep following me. A few found they liked it. A few couldn’t get into it. Each new release is a learning experience.
If you had to turn your virgin experience of publishing your book into an erotic novel what would you title it?
*Dies* I love this question! “Whipping Post” or… shit! I suck at titles.
Colors tell a lot about people...what color would you label your first foray in publishing your book and why?
Red… for sure, and not just because it was a vampire novel. I put sooooooooo much blood and tears, so much soul into that book. I bled and gave birth to that book.
Now…just because I wanna watch you juggle things (topless is preferred btw)…*winks*…here are a few quickies for us…answer with Leo, Maddy, Brody or Dom...and since we are throwing so many into this quickie—you can of course have more than one person per answer…
Most likely to get down and dirty in public… Dom, no question.
Most likely to wear a fedora and rock it… Brody or Leo… or Dom, because he’s just damn hot and can do anything he wants.
Most likely to eat food in bed *winks*… Maddy or Brody
Most likely to be found barefoot…Maddy (poor country girl)
Most likely to have a foot fetish (don't judge me!)... Leo
Most likely to serenade their love... Leo or Brody
Most likely to find a stray kitten and bring her home…Maddy or Brody
Most likely to blow off plans and talk the other into staying in bed all day…BAHAHA… Dominic. No question about it.
Most likely to have a sweet tooth…Everyone in all my worlds can eat chocolate. I will not deny them. LOL
In a silly battle of wills…most likely to refrain from…um…pleasuring themselves the longest… *Brow quirk* Dom. Gods bless him.
*matches Allison's brow quirk* the man who gets down and dirty in public and stays in bed all day will refrain from pleasuring himself? Wow...*giggles*
Oh-kay...and now for my favorite part! *pulls Allison closer on my lap and whispers in her ear* How about telling us a couple of sweet and sexy...heart breaking and pulse popping stories as only my lovely Allison can do?
*Fans self* Havan baby, how the hell do you expect me to concentrate on stories when you’re pulling me tight against your body and brushing your lips against my earlobe like that? You’re gonna get my nether regions all riled up.
You say that like it's a bad thing...*chuckles*
The Immortals Saga: Immortal
There is only one thing in this world that can make you question everything you've ever believed in, make you throw yourself into the face of danger, love. Madeline never thought she would find love so deep that it transcended the physical world and definitely never thought she would find it in a vampire. However, when the body count starts to rise, she begins to question the curiously desirable new interest in her life. Join two immortal lovers as they race against time and sunlight to save a miracle child that was never meant to exist.
You can find Sins of the Heart @ Dreamspinner Press
You can find Allison Cassatta @ Allison Cassatta
Sins of the Heart
When the spark in his relationship fizzles, Dominic thinks he's doing the right thing by breaking it off with his lover, Brody, but he never expected his good boy to go so horribly bad.
Consumed with guilt, Dom confronts Brody about his self-destructive behavior, only to find himself second-guessing his decision to leave him, and now Dom will have to sort out his feelings for Brody before fate ties his hands.