Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Stars Fell Sideways Blog Tour: An Interview with the author: Cassandra Marshall

By the book here!

Yesterday Cassandra Marshall's debut YA Steampunish Fantasy novel, THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS, was released into the world. Today, I get the honor of holding an interview with Ms. Marshall. We will talk about the book and much more. So sit back and get ready for some fun!

Let's start by having you introduce yourself, shall we?
I'm Cassandra, freelance book editor, lit agent staff, YA writer, and I'm obsessed with my dog Mollie. I live near Capac, MI, a teeny-tiny town that doesn't have high-speed internet but has a lovely library that does.

Oh, cozy libraries with internet in a tiny town! That's how my hometown was for a long while. And Mollie's a cutie! You're obsession is a must with her. :)

How long did it take you to write TSFS?
I wrote it after NaNo '10. I was exhausted by that book so I wanted something new and fun and different from anything else I was working on. I wrote it quickly, spurred on by writing buddies that were loving the pages. I finished it, let it sit for a while, edited, edited edited, let it sit, edited again, and started querying widely in March 2011.

I'm so glad you got exhausted with your NaNo project because it allowed you to write such a wonderful story. And are you sure you edited? *looks and counts. 1, 2, 3, and 4* Yep! You did indeed! Hehe ;) (FYI for those who don't know, editing and revising are a huge part of the process. That's why I have to kid at Cass, because I know.)

What does Mollie pup think about being a star in your books? (I love Mollie in TSFS btw. She's one of my 3 favorite characters.)
I keep telling her she's a birdie and she just runs to the window to look out. I think she's confused. :P

Aw! So cute. It's okay, Mollie. You'll get that bird someday.

Think fast! Hawaii or Alaska? Why?
Hawaii, easily. It's so beautiful there!

And warm. Let's not forget about warm. Ha!

If you had a TARDIS for one day, what would you do with it? 
I've only ever seen one episode so I'm not altogether sure what's possible to do with one...

Let's just say you'd do ALL THE THINGS with it. And for other who may not know what a TARDIS is, here is a definition.

Imagine this: TSFS is being made into a movie. Who would play Alison, Pom, Erik, and Corben? (Yes! I had to include him cause he's yummy! Haha.)
I'm not picky, I would be thrilled if there was a movie made. But my wish list cast? Molly Quinn, Emma Watson, Kay Panabaker, Dakota Fanning, Shailene Woodley, or Saoirse Ronan for any of the girls. Matthew Goode, Tom Sturridge, Ethan Peck, Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Joe Jonas, or Ben Barnes for any of the boys :) I realize that this is a pretty pale cast, but that's how I thought of the four of them them in my head. Of course other characters have a bit more spice, like Jones I imagined looking like Dayo Okeniyi, Thresh from The Hunger Games, and I can imagine quite a few of the native Atlanteans have a bit of a tan by nature too. 

I def see Dakota Fanning, Emma Watson and Joe Jonas. All are great picks and I'd definitely go see that movie!

Think of your favorite line from a book that's stayed with you. What is it and where did it come from?
In the final Harry Potter book, when Harry turns the resurrection stone three times and his parents and Lupin and Sirius are there and he's about to go face Voldy-- '"Stay close to me," he said quietly.' 

*tears up* Oh, that line! Yes, such a great one. J.K. just has a way with words! *fan girl*

What made you want to write a steampunkish fantasy?
I didn't start out to, it just happened that way!

Isn't that how all the great books start? ;)

Chocolate or veggies?

*gasps* Blasmphemy! Just kidding. Veggies are very good and good for you. I especially love carrots!

When writing, what's your favorite drink to have by your side?
Tea! I'm working through a box of orange and starfruit green tea at the moment that is HEAVENLY. 

Oh, that does sound good! *holds up cup of black tea with lemon* I don't drink tea often, (yeah I do!) But when I do, I drink awesome tea. Drink awesomeness my friends.

Night or morning?

Couldn't agree more. Moving on!

What made you self publish TSFS?
So many agents were loving it, just not enough to rep it. I let it sit a few months without thinking about it and when I re-read it I cried, I loved it so much and didn't want it to just sit in a drawer anymore. So then here I am :)

*nods* I think we all know how you feel. While I still hope TSFS and you find a home with an agent, I am very happy I get to pimp out this wonderful book like a BOSS! It is as wonderful as you are my friend and I really do believe others will think so too once they read it.

How many years had you been querying TSFS before making the decision to self publish?
Just 1.5

Not bad. But in querying land, it feels like forever. I know. *hugs you and all querying writers*

If you could have a slumber party with 9 people, who would you invite?
J.K. Rowling, Jane Austen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Laurence Fox, You, My mom, MolliePup (does she count as a person?), Emma Watson, Anne Hathaway, and Mary Magdalene. 

*holds in fan girl squeals* I'd be honored to attend that slumber party as well as everybody else who reads this. And yes, MolliePup counts as a person. We love her so!

Does Mollie pup have anything she'd like to add to this interview?

Where? Haha! Just kidding. Good answer, MolliePup!

And finally, what is your favorite excerpt in TSFS and why?
"Corben nudged me in the side as we approached the Palace and gruffly pushed me into a store. He walked up to the counter while I stood blinking at the now-dim surroundings. Sure the pants all us miners wore were thick and scratchy and binding, but that was tons better than some frilly dress lined with lace.

We were in a dress shop and I immediately felt defensive.

“I’ve finally got the chance to wear what I want to, and you pull me into a dress shop? Forget it, I’m not wearing a single stitch that’s a pastel color. It’s pants only, or I go home.”

The woman at the counter looked at me and frowned, and two girls nearby shuffled to the back of the store to peer at me over a few racks, their pink and pale yellow dresses swishing behind them. They giggled as they looked me up and down.

I got pissed. “What’s so wrong with pants, huh? My skin is covered, there are no bare ankles! Pants pants pants! It’s not a dirty word!”

The expressions of the two girls changed from amusement to pity. The lady at the counter returned with a small navy lump of cloth and Corben took it. The lady offered her hand and Corben kissed it.

All my anger dissipated. Of course Corben had admirers, of course he must have had a girlfriend. He hadn’t mentioned having one yet, but he was kinda quiet anyway. Other than hanging out with me the past few days, he had given no signs that he was interested.

And really, what did I care? I was leaving as soon as I could anyway. Best to not get involved.

Corben said goodbye to the counter woman and walked towards me and the door. He paused briefly before he left and whispered, “Pants is the word for undergarments. I believe the word you are looking for to describe the fabric on your lower appendages is trousers.”

Oh. Right. Stupid archaic language. “Yes, TROUSERS! I totally meant TROUSERS!” I called out to the shoppers before turning and hauling ass out of there."

Haha! I love that excerpt. Always makes me laugh.

I hope you all enjoyed this interview because I know I had fun doing it! Go buy THE STARS FELL SIDEWAYS  today! It's a purchase I promise you will not regret!

Remember to stop back by here on October 8 for details to the Spooktacular Pitch Extravaganza! Until next time, happy reading/writing everyone!

1 comment:

  1. I’m reading and enjoying Cassandra’s book now. The excerpt that you quote here is where I stopped reading last night – it gave me a good smile for the night!!

    Lora Medvedeff