Friday, November 16, 2012

Feature Friday: Cindy Holby as Kassy Tayler

Cindy Holby first became published in 2002 with her historical western Chase The Wind.  Since that time she has written eleven historicals, three sci/fi romances, one time travel,  four young adult novels and two short stories. Some have even won awards.  Her latest release is Angels End, from Berkley, the first book in a new historical western series.  This November, Ashes Of Twilight, the first book in her highly anticipated steampunk dystopian series will be released from SMP under the pen name Kassy Tayler.  Cindy lives in NC with her husband Rob, her doxie Cody and two cats, Cisco and Dax.  She also works with the humane society and has a blog about rescue titled Authors For Animals.

Interview:
A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Kassy:
Read what you like to write so you know what the market is like.  Also write every day if possible. If you can't physically write at least spend some time thinking about your story. You never know when a good idea will hit you.

A.L.:
What's your favorite book and why?

Kassy:
My favorite book is Sabrina by Madeline Pollard.  This is not the Sabrina  we've seen at the movies. Its about a young Irish girl before World War 1.  It is so wonderfully descriptive that I read it over and over again.

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for Ashes of Twilight?

Kassy:
I was thinking about writing a steampunk because it was a natural fit for me with my westerns and sci/fi.  Shortly after the coal mine explosion in WV in 2010 the idea came to me.  Both of my grandfather's were coal miners and I lost an uncle in a mining accident.  So it all just came together in my mind.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags while writing Ashes of Twilight?  What were they and how did you fix them?

Kassy:
I really didn't have any snags in the story. It all flowed rather naturally.  I knew exactly how it was going to end.

A.L.:
Which one of the characters in Ashes of Twilight is your favorite and why?

Kassy:
Wren, because she's just an normal girl trying to do the best she knows how.  The situation around her gets worse but she never gives up on her dream.

A.L.:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?

Kassy:
It's like riding a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs and sometimes its scary but then there are the throw your arms up in the air and scream your head off with joy moments that makes it an interesting ride.

A.L.:
What are you working on now?

Kassy:
I am currently doing edits on the sequel, Shadows of Glass and working on the third and final book in the series, Remnants of Tomorrow.  I'm also busy self pubbing my back list and working on the fourth book in my Star series written under my Colby Hodge name.  Sequel?  Something new?

A.L.:
You write adult literature under different names, what drew you to wanting to write a YA dystopian?

Kassy:
I've written YA before, a sweet little story called Obsessing Orlando.  Ashes Of Twilight just demanded to be written.  The voice and story is so different than anything else I've ever done.  I couldn't not write it.  It was an adventure.

A.L.:
Why coal?

Kassy:
I come from coal miners and coal country.  Its a way of life that I know.  Why a domed city? There was an original Star Trek episode about a world inside a space ship.  They didn't know they were traveling through space.  I always thought it was so interesting and it stuck with me.  That is how the story opens.  Wren is looking at her hollow world and thinking about touching her sky.

A.L.:
You’ve got two sons, do you feel like you write for them or channel aspects of them when you write YA pieces?

Kassy:
My sons are grown men and don't read despite me reading to them all the time when they were children. However I have used their personality traits in some of my characters in my western series.

The Giveaway:
Kassy is going to be sending one lucky winner a copy of ASHES OF TWILIGHT.

Ashes of Twilight: Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth.

Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time.

But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out. Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire?

When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.”

What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.


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