So enjoy this weeks author interview and make sure you enter the contest at the bottom for your chance to win a copy of Casey's newest release!
Read the previous Amberkatze's Book Blog interview with Casey Daniels.
Amber - Welcome to Amberkatze's Book Blog! It is great to have you back here on the blog again! Could you start things off by telling my readers a little about your Pepper Martin Series?
Casey - Pepper is really something else! She's a twenty-something redhead whose goal in life has always been to marry wealthy and work on her tan and her backhand. Then her dad (a prominent cosmetic surgeon) went to prison for Medicare fraud, her family's friends vanished and her fiance walked out on her. With no choices and few skills, Pepper was forced to get a job. The only one she could find was as a tour guide in a historic cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio. Bad enough, but when Pepper trips and hits her head on a mausoleum, she can suddenly see and talk to the dead. Now they're bugging her. If she doesn't solve their mysteries, they'll haunt her forever!
Amber - The newest installment, Tomb with a View, is just out. What can readers expect from the new book?
Casey - This story is a little different, because it's the first time I've used a real person as my ghost. Who is it? None other than James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. As if a boring politician isn't enough for Pepper to deal with, there's something fishy going on at the cemetery and it involves Marjorie Klinker, the world's most annoying volunteer. When Marjorie takes an assisted header over the balcony in the President's memorial, Pepper needs to solve the case, and not just because she's looking for justice. Her ex-boyfriend, Quinn, is working the case for the Cleveland Police Department, and Pepper wants to show him she's smarter than he thinks.
Amber - Pepper has had a lot of paranormal adventures so far. How do you decide what to throw at her in each book?
Casey - Well, it's pretty easy, really, because Pepper just deals with ghosts. No vampires, no werewolves, no pixies or dragons. I find that limiting the paranormal parameters makes things simpler for me. And besides, since I believe in ghosts, none of what happens to her seems out of the realm of possibilities to me.
Amber - President Garfield plays a big part in Tomb with View. How did that come about?
Casey - Actually, adding Garfield to the book happened because of a sort of dare. I was giving a panel at a mystery conference and one of my friends was in the audience. He raised his hand and asked if I was ever going to include any famous people as ghosts in my books (the cemetery that my fictional cemetery is based on has plenty of famous "residents"). I hadn't thought about it, and blurted out, "Yeah, President Garfield." Later that day, a conference-goer cornered me and said, "Honey, if anyone can make Garfield funny, it's you." Of course I had to try!
Amber - How long on average does it take you to write a Pepper Martin book? Do you have a process you follow? or do you just start at page one and see what happens?
Casey - I follow a very specific process. First of all, I outline before I write. A complete outline can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a month to complete. This is essential to me, because it helps me keep the storyline in order and walk through the investigation. I write all day, every day. It's my full time job. And I usually finish a book in about three months.
Amber - There has been quite a lot of Paranormal TV series and Films to hit the screens lately. Why do you think that is? Would you like to see Pepper Martin come to life in the same way? Who could you imagine playing the part?
Casey - I think most people are fascinated with the possibility of what lies in the Here After. I know I am. So it's no surprise that we're seeing more paranormal story lines. As for TV or films . . . I'd love to see Pepper on screen! Wow, that would be so fabulous! (And hey, if anyone out there has any connections . . .) As for who I'd like to see play the part, I can't really say. I'm not all that familiar with the young actors out there. I do think it needs to be someone sassy and courageous, someone who's not afraid to take on the bad guys and who can look good while she does it!
Amber - Will there be more books in the series? How long would you like to see things continue for Pepper? Do you see an end in sight?
Casey - As of now, there will be at least three more books in the series. The next one comes out in April 2011, and I'm pretty sure the title is going to be "A Hard Day's Fright." I haven't started working on books #8 and #9. As for how long the series will go . . . I'm having so much fun with it, I'd like to see it go on and on. There are plenty more adventures for Pepper to have.
Amber - How much say do you have in the book publishing process? For example you have some great covers. Do you get to pick them?
Casey - I do get to see the artwork for the cover and offer my opinions. I'm grateful for that. Back in the day when I first started (did you know I was a romance writer before I started writing mysteries?) I had no say whatsoever and a couple disastrous covers. The Pepper covers are wonderful. I like the feel of them and the way Pepper's spirit (no pun intended) is captured along with her sense of style.
Amber - There are alot of online sites taking up peoples time lately. Are you on Facebook or any other sites? Do you think the sites are useful or do they just take up too much of your time?
Casey - I am on Facebook and My Space, too, though I will admit I don't check either one very often. (Friend me on FaceBook!) These kinds of things can really suck the hours out of a writer's life, and I simply don't have the luxury. They are a great way to let folks know about things like book releases and signings. I do like that.
Amber - What are you listening and watching lately? Is there any music or other media that influences your writing?
Casey - I'm afraid I'm a big zero when it comes to music. Can't listen to it while I write, and I'm usually writing. I do like folk music (I know, it's my hippie roots showing) and Broadway show tunes (like "Wicked"). I enjoy classical music, too. As for watching, I do like "Bones" and "Psych" and "Masterpiece Mystery." I also watch "House" because I think Hugh Laurie is brilliant. My TV watching is pretty limited and oh, how I miss "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Amber - If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you be and why?
Casey - Wow, that's a tough question. Forget zombies and werewolves and vampires. I guess I'd have to choose to be a ghost. Hey, maybe someday I'll get the opportunity!
Amber - Thanks for visiting Amberkatze's Book Blog again!
Casey is very kindly giving away a copy of her new release Tomb with a View
How to Enter
Which famous ghost would you like to meet?
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The contest will stay open until Sunday 11th of July 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.