frozen layer at variable depth below the surface in frigid regions of a planet (as earth)
Yes, you read it right. I am officially announcing Permafrost, the companion novel to In Between Seasons. I have officially decided that although InBs was a stand-alone, it just can’t stand alone. I’ve had a lot of readers querying me with whether or not there was a sequel coming, and the companion, although not a sequel, will answer a lot of questions the reader may have had. This is because the characters of the novel (not super sexy Hunter, sorry ladies) are two that are deeply entangled in what really happened and was going on. You will get to know the couple that helped Hunter and Kate out–Mara and Rob. You may not have guessed this, but they are spies for the anti-tribe. You will still get to see Hunter, but from a new prospective, and you will also get to see Kate again. The date for the release is not set yet, and I haven’t typed one word of it, but there are a lot of words floating around in my head! My keyboard is going to be on fire once my finals are done, Walking is out, and I can get to writing this novel for you!
I decided to make this announcement to correlate with a great interview I did with the fabulous blogger, L.J. Duett over at “Cause I say So” because she asked the question about Permafrost! I really enjoyed doing this interview, as it was one question at a time, and L.J’s questions were thoughtful and made me think too! Take a peak here and then head on over to http://ljduett.blogspot.com/ to show her some love! I’ve also included her review of the novel, which made me blush when she talked about my writing style!
L.J. – To kick off this interview, I must ask the question every interviewer most likely sends your way, how did you come up with the original plot idea of In Between Seasons? I ask because your YA dystopian is so different from the rest in it’s genre that I feel as if it has a niche all it’s own, it’s own voice if you will.
Cassandra Giovanni – I never set out to write a dystopian novel. I got the idea for the novel from an abandoned building that I pass on my way to work. Yes, you guessed it–that’s the building on the cover. From there my mind started spinning–what could have led to that building being like that. I had a vivid dream that became bits and pieces of InBs. I dreamed of when Hunter kidnaps Kate, then when the house gets invaded by her family. This was the most interesting part for me because it was when I realized that Kate loved Hunter. She was in the basement and fought her way out to save him. The final part of the dream was the ending at the beach. Everything else was thought up to fill in the blanks. After waking up I needed to know their stories and understand the feelings I had as Kate. I really fell in love with the characters and I could hear them talking and how that would lead the story. Words can be so powerful in dialogue, and I wanted to show that with Kate. After I was done writing it, then I needed to know what genre I had written, so I hit up google. In truth it fit the most into dystopian, but like you said, it wasn’t typical dystopian. It was more about Kate and Hunter than it was about factions or tribes or why things were the way they were. In Kate and Hunter’s world those things just are as they are. What the reader knows of the world is exactly what Kate knows of it. It’s the idea of following a leader blindly and not asking the obvious questions until it’s too late–when it no longer matters. Even at the end Kate and Hunter don’t truly understand, but that’s for another story!
L.J. – Excellent answer. I’m grinning from ear to ear. I love how the most mundane things can spark our creative minds! Like you, I’ve had the most beautiful dreams that would make ideal ideas for books. Unlike you, I don’t have the skill to write in the blanks. I have to day dream for my stories.
Next question, I read somewhere that you also work with photography. How does that affect your writing?
Cassandra Giovanni – Day dreaming is fun! 🙂 Yes, you’re right I also do a lot of photography. Writing and photography are my duel passions. Photography is my outlet for things that I just can’t capture with words. For me, someone who is always playing with words, photography is my silence. It’s an intense silence, filled with emotion and drive. It gives me quiet time–I can go on autopilot and just feel without needing words. It’s my deep breath, and I find afterwards I can think better and put those emotions into the words that the photo didn’t need. Unlike writing, I haven’t always done photography, but it lets me see the world differently, and therefore I think it makes me a better writer.
L.J. – Wow, excellent answer! You’re proof that outside abilities are a strength to a writer. I love that you incorporated not only the physical form of your photography but also
the mental and emotional aspect too.
So, next question. I mentioned in my review about the possibility of more details being needed in the beginning of In Between Seasons, which I later felt silly for when I read in your first answer that you purposefully planed to withhold information from the reader. That’s a ballsy move and a novel idea, one that will obviously make you stand out from other writers. What made you decide to write in such a style and how do you not get upset when ignorant reviewers (like myself!) make such comments about about it?
Cassandra Giovanni – Oh, goodness, please do not feel ignorant or silly. There have been other readers saying the same thing. I really think it’s my writing process that formed that style. I really try to become my character, so while I knew where I was going, I only concentrated on what was happening in that moment. I went back and forth about a prologue, but in the end I was asking myself what I would put in it? I couldn’t put more about the tribes than Kate already knew without revealing important things the reader learns towards the end. Kate feels her family is normal, so she wouldn’t have a huge inner dialogue with herself about it. I do feel the ‘customer is always right’ can apply here, but I also feel that once Permafrost comes out a lot of things will be explained. The characters in Permafrost know a lot more about the world, but I still plan on focusing on them as characters, and the way their knowledge shapes them. My objective was to make the reader feel as Kate did, so in the beginning she’s confused. I guess I did achieve that, yet I overlooked how it would make the reader feel. The first time a reader told me this (it was someone I knew), I said yes, that’s the way I wanted you to feel–keep reading you will love it. The person told me she couldn’t put it down, but because she was confused at the beginning it was a 3 star for her. I may add a prologue for a second edition, but I am still not sure. My move is pretty ballsy (that made me smile!), but as for getting upset when reviews aren’t fabulous, it just won’t help me improve as a writer. There is no writer that is perfect, no book that is perfect, so I just plan to knock everyone’s socks off with the next novel. I’d rather stand out as a writer than be a copy–even if it made me sells millions.
L.J. – The fact that you take criticism and use it for improvement shows just how serious you are about your work. That alone speaks volumes to me and I’m sure many more. It’s great to have ideals, but its better to stick to them. So, good for you! Next question, Hunter never really shared the things he had to do in his past (which obviously affected him) during In Between Seasons. Will the sequel have more about our handsome hero’s past? If so, can you give us a hint?
Cassandra Giovanni – My dad has always been a very honest critic of me, and as a teenager I hated it, but as an adult it has made me more able to accept criticism. I hope I’ve improved.
The sequel is actually going to be more like a companion because it is going to be written from Mara or Rob’s point of view. I’m not quite sure yet because originally In Between Seasons was a stand alone, but the second people started reading it they wanted a sequel, and I felt it would help answer the questions from In Between Seasons. Plus, the idea of Mara and Rob kept replaying in my head. They actually have a very deep role in the tribal system, but I knew that and no one else did, so I wanted to explore it. Hunter will be showcased here in a different light. The reader will get to see how outsiders see him and his actions. You will also see Kate again!
L.J. – Wow, some pretty exciting news there! I love the idea of different Points of View and it will be very interesting to see some information on that secretive couple who assisted our hero and heroine.
Obviously, you are a busy lady, with your writing and photography. (And taking the time for this interview!) Does being in this particular field affect your personal life in anyway and if so how do you juggle the two?
Cassandra Giovanni – When I read this question it made me think, wow, she pegged that one! I am still struggling to learn to balance everything that I am now doing. I pretty much work from 7 in the morning until 9 at night between my full-time day job, writing and school. I’ve been putting school off a bit to finish up the editing for Walking in the Shadows, but I have marketing and economics starting up in October, and I have to finish my finals for my other degree (which I am changing) before November. It’s really hard to find a balance between everything because writing/marketing my novels is something I love, but I need to know when to put the brakes on and spend time with my family. Sometimes I wish I had that time winder thing that Hermonie had! I know it will all pay off in the end though, and someday writing and photography will be my sole careers!
Well I can honestly say, though this might sound bad to you, that all your fans are happy you put school off for your upcoming book! Still, good luck with those finals! I know all about the stress of those things. So, you mentioned your book Walking In The Shadows
, would you mind sharing a little bit about this upcoming book?
Cassandra Giovanni – Walking in the Shadows is a romance with a base of a thriller, murder mystery and is based on people’s large obsession of literature with vampires. A serial killer hits Massachusetts hard whenever a movie based on the Crimson Reign saga is released. The problem is that there is no linking the crimes based on profiling. The killer seems to pick random targets and just happens to choose the main character’s parents. In fear she runs away, changes her name and falls in love. The story starts when she walks into her first day at her new high school and realizes that her boyfriend is now her teacher. Things spiral out if control from there and only get messier when the murderer shows up exactly where she is. Knowing she’s in danger creates a hard situation for her ex-boyfriend (the teacher), and he’ll stop at nothing to protect her, but will it be enough when she is the murderer’s next target?
L.J. – Sounds amazing and so different from In Between Seasons. Can you dish on how you came up with the premise for Walking In The Shadows? Another dream perhaps?
Cassandra Giovanni – All of my novels are very different from one another. I didn’t want to be put in a box, i.e. that girl who writes paranormal novels because I like to write about everything. The thing that ties all my novels together is the aspect of romance and the focus on the development of two keys characters. Walking in the Shadows had two parts of inspiration. The first part was inspired by a dream, it was when I experience Tad and Vera’s relationship. It was, as usual, very vague, but the emotions were so strong. It started in an auditorium and then led into an intense conversation and kiss in the dark. The kiss solidified that what was so wrong, was so right. I needed more to go on though, so I formed why the relationship was forbidden. I also needed a way for them to have met and not realized what they were doing. At that point I was questioning a lot of the writing that was popular around me, and the massive obsession with it. I started to think about how this obsession could go wrong, and how I could tie it into Tad and Vera’s story. That’s when I thought of the vampire serial killer scenario and of the Crimson Reign Saga, which inspired the killings.
L.J. – Another great reply! Your answer sure describes a lot of work! Most readers don’t realize the full amount of effort and planning an author has to put out for a well formulated novel.
Next question, we now know that your dreams play heavily in setting the main idea of your work, but what is your muse/inspiration when adding in the those important details?
Cassandra Giovanni – I would have to say it’s music. I am not one of those people who works best in quiet. For some reason my brain starts working in overdrive when I listen to music. I can feel it when some big idea is coming on. I am almost never not writing. My husband knows the look I get on my face. He asks “Are you writing in your head again?”. This often happens when the music is on and I am driving (I promise I still pay attention to my driving!) or when he is driving. I am one of those people that is always thinking. Just because I don’t have a computer, or a pad of paper doesn’t mean I am not writing. It is a lot of work, but it’s what I love!
L.J. – You multitask. That’s interesting.
Music inspires me but honestly, I cannot write while listening to it.
So, this may seem less intrusive and mundane then my past questions but I must know, what’s your favorite book and why?
Cassandra Giovanni – I just wrote a whole blog post while blasting my hearing out to my Underoath Pandora radio :), and I am still listening to it now! Oh, all time favorite: Emma by Jane Austen
I loved the characters of Emma and Knightley. I loved the way their relationship blossomed, and how Emma always tried to help, but seemed to stick herself right in the mud. It reminds me of my husband and I. He’s always right about human nature when I am not–this is very much Knightley and Emma.
I honestly love anything by Jane Austen. I’ve read them so many times, and watched the movies even more. It’s surprising that this is my favorite because I honestly don’t enjoy books written in an omniscient point of view. I think that Jane Austen did it perfectly though. Her insights about people, their actions and her sense of humor mirror my feelings so much. Sometimes I feel like I could have been Jane Austen in a past life–super creepy–I know! I wonder how many authors feel that way though, as Jane Austen has inspired writers for so many years!
Good favorite! You simply cant go wrong with Austen. So here it is, the final question, As an author what do you feel was the biggest hurdle for you in the long road to publication?
Cassandra Giovanni – I hear the drum roll now!
The biggest hurdle in publishing is two fold for me. First, it’s visibility and the second is rising above the stereotype of bad self-publishing. I love networking with my indie authors, but there are issues with self-publishing. It can be tempting to throw a product out there without really reviewing it, so to speak. I am not saying as an indie I am perfect, there are just some people (like all professions) who aren’t as serious about it–that creates a stereotype and it also creates issues with visibility. It’s hard to stand out above the crowd when there are millions of other great books and bad books out there. I’ve found that good reads and talking to any one who saw me in the newspaper works best. I’m using my youth to my advantage and contacted the high schools I went to, and I am going to go do workshops and sales there when the school year starts. I am hoping this will help. I want to be visible as an author who cares about what they do, cares about their readers and fosters growth in young writers who thought they couldn’t do it. That was me, and look at me now!
L.J. – As usual another great answer.
I want to thank you for taking the time to sit thru this week long interview! You were an excellent interviewee and I look forward to hopefully working with you for the blog tour of Walking In Shadows. Best of luck to you on your finals and all future endeavors.
Big Thanks to the wonderful and talented Cassandra Giovanni for allowing me to plague her with ten questions day after day!
At eighteen there is one thing Kate Ericson is certain of—the world is at war and has been since she was two years old. That was when her father pulled her family and a group of close friends to a God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere. For Kate there is no escape from the sea of lies she is drowning in until her world collides with Hunter Marks—the son of her father’s biggest opponent. An opponent that Kate didn’t even know existed. What Hunter kidnaps Kate for, and what her family will try to kill her to keep secret, is a knowledge that she doesn’t have. Now Kate’s innocence seems to becoming undone at the seams of reality. Hunter then finds himself fighting the hopelessness that is creeping into the edges of her heart as she learns more about the corruption that has devoured their lives. As Hunter and Kate forge a strong and unique relationship it becomes clear that their love is something that the bureaucracy never expected, and that Hunter’s father will do whatever he can to destroy it. Hunter believes he must sacrifice love in order to teach Kate that the world’s deadliest weapon is her. Hunter and Kate will have to find the strength to rise above a deception that is so great, even the ones who created it don’t realize its depth.
First let me begin by saying that the book cover for Ms. Giovanni’s book is one of the better ones for me. I like that she didn’t try to slap a model on the cover. Instead she opted for ugly, beautiful.
This cover goes well with her book seeing how, In Between Seasons is a YA dystopian. Good Job!
So let’s discuss the book itself.
The book was shaky at first for me. I chalk this up to the fact that Ms. Giovanni dropped her readers right into the middle of the action, with her MC, Kate, getting kidnapped within the first pages of the book. Normally, I’m all for straight on action but in the case of In Between Seasons, I think some explanation about the world itself would have really helped set a firmer foundation and introduce the readers to the world Kate lives in
Also, Kate’s family should have made more of an appearance. They were mentioned all throughout the book but I didn’t feel like I KNEW them. Considering the role Kate’s family played later in the book, I think a much better acquaintance was needed.
Along with an introduction of the family and world, I think the whole tribe setup should have been discussed/explained more better. I had an inkling what Ms.Giovanni was trying to get at with the warring tribes but in the end, I was never really sure about the whole setup.
To put it shortly, it was all very vague. As for the plot itself, I believe Ms. Giovanni had a well hashed out book. She kept up with her story line and didn’t add any unlikely events that would make me skeptical, which is always a plus. Also, big props to Ms. Giovanni for her ability to keep me from foreseeing the ending. (Ms. Giovanni, you sly writer you! I never suspected)
Apparently, I’m not. Sorry.
As for the writing style of Ms. Giovanni, well it is blatantly unique almost to the point of off putting for myself. Yet, somehow it worked for In Between Seasons. I didn’t find any issues with the descriptive phrases or word building. I did find that there was more conversation within the pages of this book rather than descriptive narrating. Still, I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.
Like I said before, it was shaky at first but as the book progressed it seemed as if Ms. Giovanni found a comfortable pacing and the book did even out as I progressed, so no real complaints there either.
The characters for In Between Seasons.
I really liked that the two main characters were so open in their relationship with one another and yet at the same time tiptoed around each other over it. It was breath taking to see an author really put out some hesitancy about love between two who obviously were attracted to each other. So major props to Ms. Giovanni there. Also, let me just say the depth she gave these two characters in regards to their hidden emotions from family and friends, WOW. So often, we hide our inner self from others for different reasons. Ms. Giovanni mirrored that in her two characters and I can’t gush enough about how that resonated with me.
Overall, I think Ms. Giovanni needed to add a little information about the world her characters live in, their families, and the tribe governing. Just this information alone would have really pushed this book into a higher level for me. Still, her character depth made In Between Seasons a good read and her writing style was a breath of fresh air in the midst of a stagnant world of writing styles.