Thursday, March 15, 2007

Author Interview with Kassie Burns

Good morning, blog studio audience! I'm so glad you came out on the rainy day. Do you like my new curly do? Well, it's a combination of the new perm and the raindrops I couldn't manage to dodge running in from my car this morning.

I have the pleasure of interviewing author, Kassie Burns this morning. Please help me to welcome her into the studio.

**applause, applause**

**Kassie enters and hands Carol Ann a book**

CAROL ANN: Tell me about this book you brought with you.

KASSIE: When I signed on to the Internet this morning, there were stories everywhere about the impact of global warming and the harmful effects the actions (or inactions) of the human race are having on planet Earth, where we all make our home.

What if Mother Earth got mad at us and decided to strike back? As wacky as it may sound to some, there are those who believe that the planet has a consciousness of its own. And strangely enough, the concept is supported by recent discoveries in physics.

Still, I'll readily admit I write fiction. And in my fictional erotic SF novel Disaster Earth, that's just what happens. When terrorists release a plague in New York City, Mother Earth loses her patience with the human race. As the disease spreads west toward Chicago, the Earth begins to strike back. First there's a series of devastating earthquakes and then the supervolcano in Yellowstone threatens to erupt.

Caught up in the disasters, Mercy Johnson and Noah McKnight decide to flee the city and head south toward a cabin on a lake where they will hole up and hope to survive. But on the way, they run into others struggling to stay alive--people who need their aid. Mercy can't fight her nature. She has to help. Little does she know that her good example may be the key to humanity's salvation.

For Noah has a secret. Abducted by aliens as a child, he's been trained to communicate with the planet, and now he's on Earth to observe and decide whether humanity is worthy of a second chance. His growing love for Mercy may just decide the question.

With life in the balance, desire runs hot. Love grows quickly, but will it withstand the tests of Disaster Earth and Noah’s stunning revelation?

CAROL ANN: Fantastic. Sounds like it has a little of everything in it, including romance. **wink** Romance is a word that has many meanings to people. Tell me what romance means to you.

KASSIE: To me, romance is all about the characters. It's the people in the book who make the romance matter. I like my characters strong and yet with a vulnerable side and something about themselves that they've never really understood or been able to cope with -- something that they will see in a new way through the eyes of the other person. I'm a great believer that two are stronger than one if they are open and honest with each other and help each other to grow. In my books, I generally throw a problem at them that forces them to grow. **laugh** But life has a way of doing that as well.

CAROL ANN: That is so true! **laugh** I like to ask personal questions of my guests, so don't be surprised. For the first personal question, are you a blue jeans or a skirt kind of woman?

KASSIE: Blue jeans strictly for me. The only time I ever wear a skirt is when it is required at some business function.

CAROL ANN: That would explain the skirt today, then. But this isn't really business, it's fun! I should have told you to come casual. **Carol Ann looks at her scrungy jeans and grimaces** Besides you are showing me up here. **laugh** Many of the authors I interview have a dedicated room just for their writing. Do you have a special place where you write?

KASSIE: Not really. I use my computer. I am just too impatient to write things out longhand and besides, I have trouble reading my own writing!

CAROL ANN: **laugh** I like to think it's because my brain is going faster than my hand can write. At least that's what I tell myself when I can't read my grocery list. Sometimes interruptions will make it difficult to remember what I've written too. How do you handle interruptions? Let's say you are "deep in the zone" with your latest manuscript when you are interrupted with the telephone ringing. What do you do?

KASSIE: I answer the phone. I know it's going to interrupt the flow, but on the other hand, if I don't answer it, I'll spend the rest of the night wondering who the heck it was. Besides, I'm a born dreamer and live mostly in my head so I have very little trouble getting back in the flow. I'm one of those people who can walk from one end of town to another and never see a thing because I'm somewhere else in my mind, building a fantasy world. Aliens dropping by Earth for a visit are a frequent theme of my novels, maybe because I sort of feel that way myself.

CAROL ANN: When you are building that fantasy world, are you a pantster or a plotter?

KASSIE: I'm a little of both and still trying to find the best way.

My first book was a pantster book. It took me years to write and I revised it totally several times. Then I decided to write a sequel and use an outline. To my unending amazement I wrote that book in about nine months. Wow! I decided outlines were definitely the way to go.

Unfortunately, they never worked so well for me after that. I think after living for years with the first book, the sequel was just in my head. After the second book, I tried working with outlines but invariably, I end up revising them somewhere along the way, sometimes quite a bit. It seems I just have to feel my way into the story and get to know the characters before the plot will really unfold for me.

CAROL ANN: Of all your published novels, which is your favorite and why?

KASSIE: Oh, gosh, that's like asking a mother who's her favorite child. I love them all, of course, for different reasons. But my latest is usually my favorite just because the characters and their struggles and growth are so fresh in my mind. I fall in love with my characters because I go through those struggles with them, cheering them on every step of the way. My latest novel is Sexual Rx from Loose Id. I love the tag line that someone at Loose Id thought up for me: "Who says laughter is the best medicine?"

CAROL ANN: Another personal question. You walk into a McDonald's for lunch. What do you order?

KASSIE: That depends on if I'm being good or bad. Lately I've been mostly good, so I'd have the oriental chicken salad, which actually is quite excellent. But when I'm bad, I'm very bad, as they say, and I have a double Big Mac with a milk shake and fries.

CAROL ANN: Who can make you laugh when you are down?

KASSIE: The man in my life. He's a big, bold Leo and I have to say he brings the sunshine to my days. He's always optimistic and upbeat, not to mention funloving. His motto is: "If I can't have fun, I'm leaving."

CAROL ANN: Hmmm. **Carol Ann winks at the audience** So maybe laughter really IS the best medicine after all. **laugh**

KASSIE: **laugh** You got me.

CAROL ANN: You just received a letter from an attorney telling you a relative you barely remember died and left you the sole heir of an island in the South Seas. What will you do with it?

KASSIE: Are you kidding? I'm on the next plane out of here. Since this is a fantasy, I'll uplink to the World Wide Web via satellite and continue writing my erotic romances while sitting in the warm sun on a beach, digging my toes in the sand and enjoying a frosty beverage.

CAROL ANN: Sounds great. Mind if I come along. **grin** And finally, a question I ask all authors. Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword? Why?

KASSIE: I do believe the pen is mightier than the sword as the thoughts and ideas of people put on paper are powerful indeed. Unfortunately, what is written by the pen sometimes leads to the use of the sword. I could point to example after example throughout history, from people turning the writings of the Bible and the Koran and other religious books into war after war, to the writings of Marx and Lenin that resulted in generations of people suffering oppression and violence. The fact that what you write could be misinterpreted or misused makes writing an awesome responsibility, but when you write something truly worthwhile you can feel the same joy Keats felt when he completed one of his immortal poems: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever."

CAROL ANN: Kassie, thanks for being a guest in the studio today. I've enjoyed getting to know a bit more about you and your books and I'm sure the audience feels the same. How about it?

**audience claps loudly**

Here's where you can learn more about Kassie and her books:

Kassie's website

Publisher's website

And, blog studio, if you'd like to learn more about me, your blog studio hostess, be sure to stop back on Tuesday, when a very special guest will be interviewing yours truly!

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