Where I Am
About Kevin Rau
I'm the author of the H.E.R.O. series of novels in the SciFi/Superhero genre. I also do character art (as seen on the rest of the page here).
I've launched the Author Interview pages to promote my fellow authors, and hopefully create some cross-links back to their websites or social networks within the interview.
Interview Date: 5/21/2012
Cassandra Davis (Amy to her friends and family) was raised an army brat: constantly traveling, making new friends every four years, and surrounded by an unique
military culture. In the seventh grade, she complained to her English teacher that she'd read every fiction book in the library. The teacher handed Cassandra a
blank notebook and told her to write her own stories.
After working as a US Senate aide for four years, Mrs. Davis became a stay-at-home mom and author. She now lives on the Northern California coast with her husband and two sons.
You can follow her on Twitter (aCassandraDavis), Facebook (Cassandra Davis, author), and the web at www.cassandradavis-author.com
When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?
In the seventh grade I joined a writing club that my English teacher set up. Looking back, I'm fairly certain she arranged the club just so she could put our incessant note passing and bored little brains to good use. I've been scribbling words in notebooks and slamming out paragraphs on keyboards ever since.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")
The ability to time travel. Four years ago, I lost my younger brother. I would love to go back and visit him the day before he died.
Kev's response: Over time (as each of us ages), I suppose it would be quite nice to go back and visit those we've lost.
Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?
I've always loved Batman. His angst and dangerous bad-boy persona are a huge turn on. I love imperfect characters and it's hard to find a more imperfect superhero than Batman. And, while she's not a true superhero, I've also always associated with Scarlett from the G.I. Joe cartoons. Southern red-head who fires a crossbow? Yeah, that's me.
Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?
The shorter list would be where don't I get my inspiration? While writing the actions scenes for "Dremiks", I had Bear McCreary's incredible Battlestar Galactica soundtrack blaring through my headphones. The names for my alien characters, races, and planets come from my gaming "sisters" in our on-line guild. (Oh yes, I'm THAT big of a geek.) I prefer writing in active voice, short, chapters like Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, James Patterson, and Jim Butcher. The descriptions of scenery in my writing come straight from memories of the beautiful places I've lived. The humor and sarcasm that spills from my character's mouths? I'm afraid that's all from my own twisted psyche.
Kev's response: Been there with the online gaming! (Oh, for about 14-15 years....) Sadly (for me), I have an obsessive personality, and I tend to lock onto things. Games suck me in and I can't get anything else done.
Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?
I'm a leaf on the wind, flitting from one project to another until a tree-trunk in the chest makes me sit down and finish something. I scribble story ideas in a Moleskine notebook, on the margins of Little League score-sheets, or on the backs of old grocery lists. I might start out with a vague idea of where the story is going, but the characters quite often hijack the train. At that point I sit back and enjoy the ride.
Kev's response: Me too (for the characters taking over), I love that.
Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?
Both, actually. As I said before, I write things down as they come to me. However, I set myself a goal, last October, to finish "Dremiks" and publish it by March 2012. That goal forced me to make "writing appointments" where I closed myself off from distractions and just wrote.
Kev's response: I can understand that. I'm beginning to think I'll have to have "offline time" as well, to prevent those activities from taking so much time away from writing.
Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?
I really enjoyed writing sci-fi, "Dremiks", but I also have several historical romance novels and fantasy books in various stages of completion. I'm not sure I'll ever publish the romance novels, but they were fun to write. As for reading, right now on my Kindle I have two historical treatises (one on Catherine the Great, the other on James D. Bulloch), an historical fiction work by Jeff Shaara, two sci-fi novels by fellow indie authors, and three romance novels. The only thing I cannot stand to read--and I know this will make me wildly unpopular with many readers-- is paranormal romance.
What do you enjoy the most about writing?
I absolutely adore writing dialogue. It's pretty cliche to say that my characters live in my head, but they do. Sharing their words and foibles with other people helps me feel (slightly) less insane.
Kev's response: Feel free to (try to) feel less insane, but remember, we're still here behind the one-way glass window, writing down notes.... >:)
Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?
Editing. I'd rather gnaw off my own arms and beat myself with the stumps than edit a book. Also, commas are evil.
Kev's response: You like challenges, don't you? I'm trying to envision how you'll beat yourself with the stumps when you are armless.... The commas have me laughing. The editor on my last full novel made a comment that I must hate them. I've become oh-so-cognizent of their usage now. (I hope ... we'll see.)
Can you tell me something odd about yourself?
You mean beyond that fact that I hear hundreds of voices in my head, play on-line games, and hate romantic vampires? OK, I'm a natural mimic. Put me in a room with people speaking a foreign language or with distinct accents and within ten minutes I'll sound just like them. However, I cannot carry a tune to save my life. Seriously, dogs cower in pain when I sing.
Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?
Dozens at a time. It all depends on what mood I'm in.
Have you ever wondered why evil people want to take over the world. Why not take under it?
Because those scary lizard-men aliens from Dr. Who already control under the world. Duh.
Kev's response: Note to self ... eliminate underworld lizard-men in preparation of entire world take-under/over.
Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?
There will always be a market for paper books, but that market share will continue to shrink. Barring a catastrophic energy crisis that limits electricity, e-readers are more convenient and economical than libraries of paperbacks.
What are your current projects?
I'm writing the sequel to "Dremiks" (because if I don't, I'm pretty sure at least half my fans will kill me) and finishing the first draft of an historical fantasy book. I don't have a title for it yet, but it takes place in Europe during the Dark Ages. The main characters are immortal beings charged by God to defend mankind from the forces of Lucifer.
Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?
1.Start marketing and building a readership NOW. I thought I was being silly starting three months before my book launched. HA! Six months would have been better, in retrospect. 2. Don't edit your own book. Find several "beta readers" and then find a professional editor. 3. Invest in good cover art. Sorry, but most of us DO judge a book by its cover. 4. Read Guido Henkel's series on e-book formatting. (http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting/ ) Your readers will thank you.
Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?
My website: www.cassandradavis-author.com is the best place to read more of my writing and learn about book updates. I'm also on Twitter and Facebook- links on my site.
Kev's response: Cassandra, thanks for joining me, and good fortune on getting all those novels out!comments powered by Disqus