Interview with Sarah Cass, Author of Changing Tracks
Sarah Cass’s world is regularly turned upside down by her three special-needs kids and loving mate, so she breaks genre barriers, dabbling in horror, straight fiction, and urban fantasy. An ADD tendency leaves her with a variety of interests that include singing, dancing, crafting, cooking, and being a photographer. She fights through the struggles of the day, knowing the battles are her crucible and though she may emerge scarred, she’s also stronger. Changing Tracks is her debut novel, but she’s already ahead of the game with another novel set for release in April. While busy creating worlds and characters as real to her as her own family, she leads an active online life with her blog, Redefining Perfect, which gives a real and sometimes raw glimpses into her life and art. Visit her online at: Redefining Perfect – http://redefiningperfect.com Sarah’s StoryLines – http://authorsarahcass.com Twitter – http://twitter.com/sadiecass Facebook – http://facebook.com/SarahCass.Author
Where did you grow up?
I spent my youth in Buffalo, New York. Even though I’ve now lived more years outside of New York than I did in it, it still holds a special place in my heart (okay, the food does).
When did you begin writing?
Depends on what you mean. I first started writing in high school, but I didn’t have long dreams of getting published, it was just something I liked to do. I also did a little in college.
As far as serious writing with hopes of getting published, that would be almost seven years ago now. My first attempt at a publishable novel that I clung to far too long was first created seven years ago.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
Mostly at night – but if I can sneak in time to write during the day I do as much as I can. It all depends on level of housework and errands that need to be run.
What is this book about?
Cole Mitchell runs the busiest saloon and brothel in Dominion Falls. He keeps his women at a distance, unwilling to relive a past he worked hard to forget.
Until the night Jane Doe falls into his saloon bleeding and near death. She wakes with no memory, only the firm belief someone tried to kill her. In the strange world of amnesia she manages to find solace in Cole’s arms and he finds home in hers.
While they work together to solve the mystery of her appearance, their pasts – her lack of, and his buried – build a barrier between them.
To make matters worse, Jane’s past isn’t willing to let her go. A stranger proves he’ll kill to keep his secrets safe. With those she loves in danger, Jane’s errant memory is all that stands between them and death. Cole can only do so much to protect her, will it be enough?
What inspired you to write it?
I already had the idea for the (anti)hero. He took up residence in my head and wouldn’t let go. I knew I needed a woman capable of handling him – and didn’t imagine that his perfect woman would be so polar opposite of him. The way she challenged him was perfect…
But the best part was Jane’s entirely ironic case of amnesia – I mean, she can’t remember a think about who she is…but has an eidetic memory from the point of waking? How could I not write it?
Who is your favorite character from the book?
Well, of course Jane and Cole hold special places in my heart. I adore Jane’s wit, and Cole’s hidden heart…
But outside of the main characters I have a little crush on Hammy. He’s a secondary character that we just see here and there, but he’s so dear to me.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
It was the bumpiest ride ever. Like I said, I started 7 years ago – well before ebooks and small press and Indie publishing were what they are now. When agents were the only way to go. It was a struggle – but it taught me so much about my writing and where my weakness was. Even now, a year after my first ever published piece, I am changing by leaps and bounds with my writing. I feel like if you don’t have a bumpy ride into publishing you lose something—because we aren’t anything if we don’t learn on our journey.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have let go of my first book much sooner. I clung to that novel for over four years thinking if I edited it “one more time” I’d solve the issue. I grew to hate that book and never wanted to look at it again by the time I let it go. I also would have not made my last round of edits that took another year off of my life on my current novel – because many of them were removed in final edits.
Lastly, I wouldn’t have been so pompous to think I could do it on my own. My crit group has proven invaluable to me and I wouldn’t be here without them.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Don’t try to do it alone. Finding a good crit partner takes time, effort, and a bit of dumb luck—but they make all the difference. Not just because of the help to your writing, but their emotional support – as fellow writers that have been or are there.
What is up next for you?
Well, I just was fortunate enough to be a part of the anthology HerStory – short stories honoring women’s strength for Women’s History Month. It’s a real blessing to be a part of that group.
And next month I’m happy to say that my novella Masked Hearts will be released through Secret Cravings Publishing. I also sold the next two novels in the Dominion Falls Series – where Jane finally learns the truth about her past – and those will be released in July and September respectively.