THE WRITER’S ALLEY INTERVIEW BLITZ—CASEY HERRINGSHAW
Author Interview – CASEY HERRINGSHAW
THE WRITER’S ALLEY INTERVIEW BLITZ
rem: Welcome to my blog, Casey. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
CASEY: Hi Robin! Thanks for having me. J I am a small town country girl that craves wide open spaces and no building obstructions for miles and miles on end. I’m an introvert, can ya tell? (wink) I was raised in a little tiny cow town in Eastern Oregon—where the population was easily outnumbered by cattle to people. I now live in Colorado Springs where I have a job and friends that I love (but I still crave those wide open spaces and run away to them as often as I can and money allows).
rem: Tell us three things about yourself.
CASEY: I am not good at being spontaneous. It has to be on the calendar. Preferably a week in advance. I always wanted to be a professional barrel racer. I once read over 200 books in one year alone.
rem: I’m okay with spontaneous, sorta—I’m a plan-a-holic. LOL What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? What’s your favorite cookie?
CASEY: Salted Caramel baby! The gelato kind is even better. And snickerdoodles. I make a mean snickerdoodle if I do say so myself.
rem: Oh, that sounds divine! Superman or Batman?
CASEY : Is the Superman we’re referring to played by the oh-so-charming Henry Cavill? Then, yes please. J
rem: It’s your preference, so, yeah, Henvy Cavill. wink wink Vacation: beach or mountains?
CASEY : Since I live by the mountains and I have friends that live at the beach, I usually vacation at the beach. But my heart will always be in the mountains.
rem: Makes sense .Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
CASEY: Hidden Places by Lynn Austin. I’ve probably the book a total of 4 times and it’s almost time to read it a 5th time. That is a story that has never left my mind since the first time I picked it up and couldn’t put it back down.
rem: Hmmm, gonna have to look this up and give it a read! Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read?
CASEY: So many genres to love! Contemporary romance favorites would be (but not limited to): Becky Wade, Beth K. Vogt, Susan May Warren, Denise Hunter, Melissa Tagg, Janice Thompson, Katie Ganshert, Kathryn Cushman, Rachel Hauck, Candace Calvert and so many others! Historical romance favorites would be (but again, not limited to!): Julie Lessman, Kristy Cambron, Laura Frantz, Jody Hedlund, Pepper Basham, Tamera Alexander, Joanne Bischof. The list could really just go on and on. Aren’t we blessed in Christian fiction?
rem: Unfair question, really, isn’t it? So many great names, so many superb writers! Which is more important: plot or characters?
CASEY: Characters. I’m also a character driven novelist. To me, the plot flounders without characters to run it and I want these to be people I’m deeply invested in. People that I want to spend time long after that last page is turned. People that I can’t stop thinking about. The best books are the kind that when I close that back cover, I cry, just a little, that the story is over.
rem: Maybe also an unfair question—but yeah, without strong characters, who cares what happens? LOL How long have you been an Alleycat? How did you become an Alleycat?
CASEY: Since the very beginning! I think it’s going on 4 years now? I might be totally off with that number. It feels like forever and yet just yesterday. The Alleycats are more than just a blog, we are a sisterhood I couldn’t live without.
rem: It’s evident in your posts and pics how close ya’ll are! (I might be a ta jealous, but I kinda feel lik an honorary!) Tell us a little about your writing journey.
CASEY: I’ve been writing for roughly 10 years now. It all started in junior high school when my dad (I was homeschooled) gave me a creative writing assignment. From there I have written 5 full length novels and have a 6th under construction. I took about a three year hiatus from writing due to an extreme case of burnout, which ended up being a blessing from God as right after I stopped writing I moved three times—the first time a thousand miles from home and family—and changed jobs twice. God knew I couldn’t be writing and dealing with major life changes. He’s wise and good like that. Now, I’m slowing wading back in and falling in love all over again.
rem: I, too, took a hiatus although for vastly different reasons. And yeah, definitely falling in love and no looking back! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?
CASEY: I usually write at home. On my couch, cuddled under a blanket and a good drink not too far away. Usually hot tea in the winter or just plain ole water in the summer. Sometimes I have music, lately I have been writing in the quiet, asking God to join me in this process of creating with Him.
rem: I love that, Casey, asking God to join you! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?
CASEY: I struggle with what my timeline looks like compared to other people. I have to celebrate their success and then put blinders on to the enemy of comparison for their journey to mine. Three years away from writing has been very freeing for looking at my comrades and being truly joyful for them and okay for me, on the sidelines, waiting my turn. But the waiting hasn’t been hard. It’s been a growth that has needed to happen.
rem: I think we all fight to make comparisons at some time or another, I know I do. I write differently to most of my writer pals, though, so there really isn’t any comparison. Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?
CASEY: Give me a rough draft ANY day of the week over editing. I love the process of creating these people and places out of nothing. I’m getting better about liking the editorial process, but only just recently. For so long I have struggled with knowing my story needed work, but needing help to get the structural work in place that it needed. I am so grateful for my mentors through that process. I’d be lost without them!
rem: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
CASEY: The community. To be surrounded by people who understand and get me and people that I actively can encourage and support. That gives me energy on the most tiring and draining of days and makes my heart oh-so happy.
rem: A to the MEN! I agree, the community and friends I’ve made is like nothing else! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?
CASEY: The hardest is putting in the work. Sitting down, putting my fingers to the keyboard and creating. The easiest? Celebrating the success of hitting a certain word count, “The End” or any other little milestone that makes the journey memorable and worth celebrating. Plus the chocolate that is involved in that celebrating. (wink)
rem: What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?
CASEY: Write, write, write. Don’t stop writing. Be willing to accept instruction. And be willing to realize that your first work is not going to be your bestselling (or even a selling) masterpiece. And that’s truly ok.
Since I worked for a literary agent, I have so many things you shouldn’t do as new author. But I’ll try to keep my snark to myself. (Wink). I DO say to read the guidelines. Respect the guidelines. Follow the guidelines. There ya go. All the wisdom this former admin literary assistant has got for you.
rem: This is a snark-safe environment. In fact, we welcome snark here. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
CASEY: From life. Living life. Doing life. Asking God for story ideas when the well seems bone dry. I’m honestly not sure how to best answer that question. God always seems to plop a story idea into my head and heart just when I need to write it.
rem: I hear ya! My stories just “appear,” and my characters “introduce” themselves to me. As authors we sometimes give our characters one or more of our personal traits. Have you ever taken on a trait of your character that you didn’t have before?
CASEY: I can’t say that I have ever taken on a character’s trait, but I have written parts of myself into my stories. I’m actually doing that now with my heroine for my current story. She actually struggles with something that I have always struggled with: my value. And it’s going to be an interesting discovery Skye and I have, I do believe.
rem: You have won three awards, the ACFW Genesis Semi-Finalist twice, and the My Book Therapy Frasier Finalist. Congratulations to you! What was the submission process?
CASEY: Is it horrible to say I don’t remember which books were Genesis semi’s? My Frasier finalist was actually my very first contemporary and my second book ever. I’m still blown away that it made it that far! I was so green in writing that book. But it’s still one that I think about often and wonder if it will ever unearth itself for a total rewrite and a chance to see the light of day. Who knows. J
rem: Not horrible at all! We writers have a myriad of stories swirling in our heads all.the.time. You are passionate about Committed to Purity. Talk about this a little bit. How did you become interested in this?
CASEY: I was definitely raised with a strong understanding and respect for modesty and purity and played a part in my daily life and how it would affect my future whether I followed these Biblical precepts or I ignored them. I saw so many girls (and guys) pass through my life in one way or another that were wounded or hurting. Longing for a relationship, like myself, and settling for the first guy (or girl) that found them attractive and voiced their sentiments. I wanted to encourage these young people, just like myself, to stand strong in their morals. To live their lives, to glorify God and trust that He had the absolute best plans for their future. I wanted the next generation—my generation to be transformed by living to honor to God and to stand strong in who He is calling them to be.
rem: Casey, I agree 100%, and honor what you’re doing with Committed to Purity. What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?
CASEY: I want readers to be reminded of who they are as sons and daughters of God: beloved. Forgiven. Redeemed.
rem: Our true identity, yes. Anything else you’d like to add?
CASEY: I’m so honored that you’ve invited me to your online home, Robin! It’s been so fun to sit down with your friends here and spend a little bit of time. If they have made it this far, I am incredibly honored and humbled. I hope you’ll stop by my online home at The Alley and say hi sometime!
rem: Thanks so much for joining us today, it’s been a pleasure having on my blog!
Casey Herringshaw, The Writers Alley, Author Interview, Interview Blitz, Chat Thursday, ACFW Genesis Semi-Finalist, My Book Therapy Frasier Finalist, Committed to Purity, Forgiven, Redeemed