With Friends Like These by L. Hunter Cassells (Book Tour & Interview)
Publisher: Amazon (November 24, 2012) Category: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Tour Date: November, 2013 Available in: ebook, 107 Pages
Callie Walking is a freelance mage who solves supernatural problems. When a troubled client hires her to protect him from a “vampire”, she casts the appropriate spells and positions the usual amulets. Now, something has gone terribly wrong. Her client has turned up dead and drained of all his blood. The cops say it’s suicide, but Callie knows better.
Now she is on a mission to find out what went wrong. In her search she uncovers an ancient, long-hidden power. It challenges Callie’s deepest beliefs about right and wrong, good and evil. She knows her life will be forever changed… if she survives.
Praise for With Friends Like These:
“ I really enjoyed the characters, their histories and especially their interactions. There was nothing trite or old hat. It was surprisingly “new hat.” I recommend it to anyone who loves vampires and even to those who don’t usual like vampires. It shows that there is always a refreshing new way to look at seemingly settled concepts. Now, I am just waiting to read the next book. These characters have not come even close to exhaust the possibilities inherent in their personalities.”- Skeptic, Amazon Reviewer
“Best book I have read in years! I am a avid reader, but never read vampire books of any kind. What a surprise was waiting for me. This book is wonderful, and a written with great wit. I laughed out loud. The suspense kept me turning pages until I had read the whole book in one day. Now I am yearning for another book about “Miss Callie”. I would enjoy reading more from a truly gifted author. This should be a national best seller.”- Earle Drake, Amazon Reviewer
“Lots of fun! It’s great to see Cassells’ writing in a more modern setting, and her characters are as engaging as ever. One of my favorite things about her stories (past her artful descriptions) is the depth and accessibility of her characters. I was impressed that even in a short like this she was able to smoothly set up a world with lots of potential for back-story and new plots – I hope she uses it! Would recommend to a friend (did already).”-AJCB, Amazon Reviewer
Welcome to IAB I'm so
glad you could stop in today to chat. May I offer you a beverage?
LHC: Witches Brew,
please. Wine seems a sad thing to do to a sweet little grape, but
barley into beer is nothing less than apotheosis.
Great choice and perfect for this chilly weather.
Now that we are settled
in, let's get to know you better.
BK: Looking out the
nearest window, describe the scene you see.
LHC: A grey day, a
listless, indifferent breeze. Oh, crumbs, the bird feeder’s empty
again--I guess “pigs” do fly. A few purple morning glories still
cling to the porch railing, but the green beans twined there have
gone brown. Across the driveway, half a dozen chickens mill about as
if their electric fence was so much air, and they hide their eggs in
BK: Tell us about your
office. Is it a mess like mine, or is everything in its place?
LHC: Office? It’s so
messy, it hasn’t even that much integrity. In the living room is my
beach chair, with a cup holder for a coffee thermos or beer bottle.
The remains of the mail litter the floor, and my footstool has been
hijacked by a grandson. My bedroom has the unfinished 3’ plank
across two columns of book boxes for a desk-cum-sewing-table, but the
exercise ball I used for a desk chair popped and I haven’t replaced
it yet. Still, there are shelves above, where the notebooks, napkins
and other scraps associated with my writing are at least together, if
BK: What is a must-have,
such as coffee or a favorite pen, that you need to write?
LHC: Feet up at least to
heart level is preferred, but I’m adaptable.
BK: Do you like to write
in silence, or do you need music or background noise?
LHC: It must seem like
silence to others, but since I sort of speak my text in my head as I
write, it doesn’t seem quiet to me. External sounds neither help
nor hinder--so long as it’s not conversation! Conversation hijacks
me into participating.
BK: Tell us a bit about
your hero/heroine, and their development.
LHC: Callie Walking, a
young woman with a knack for magic, makes a living helping people
with supernatural issues and still wonders what she wants to be when
she grows up. Because magic comes readily to her, she considers
herself to be not “really” working, but can’t bring herself to
get a “real” job like, say, accountancy or programming.
She helps support a
younger brother, crazed in some as-yet-unrevealed magical incident,
and her Lakota father who works intermittently as a stage shaman. She
is somewhat haunted by Coyote, the Native American trickster.
BK: What is your unique
twist that you've brought to your storyline?
LHC: I’m rather a fan
of moral ambiguity. I like leaving readers unsure whether an event or
a character is “good” or “evil”; even better is leaving them
wondering the same about anything, real or fictional. Is it “good”
to kill a killer?
BK: As a writer myself,
I'm always curious how other writers get through stumble blocks. When
you find a story not flowing, or a character trying to fight you, how
do you correct it?
LHC: I yield to the
character; their story is invariably better than any plan of mine.
When a story isn’t flowing, there is some issue or concept I
haven’t yet gotten clear on myself; reading nonfiction is my best
lubricant. It helps that I have some half a dozen very different
stories currently in progress--when stuck on one, switching to
another helps. At least, it keeps me from feeling too much like a
BK: Using the letters of
your first name as an acronym, describe your book...
LHC: But that would force
me to reveal my first name! I’ll use my preferred nom d’adresse:
yarn (a cheat; there is
a dreadful dearth of “y” words!)
BK: How did your writing
LHC: When I realized that
my daydreams took the form of describing, in words, precisely what I
was seeing/doing/experiencing, and that I would go over a scene again
and again until I was satisfied with the grace and power of the
phrasing--just like in my favorite books--I thought, why not write it
BK: Using the letters
from the word, Summer, how would friends and family describe you?
BK: What is the craziest
thing you've ever written about, whether it got published or not?
LHC: A happy hooker,
whose “super-power” is the ability to manipulate other people’s
BK: Tell us one thing
you've done in life, that readers would be most surprised to know.
LHC: Two weeks in Maui in
an Anthony Robbins seminar, climbed and jumped from a 50’ pole and
did a 30’ firewalk.
BK: What can we expect
from you in the future?
LHC: Panic. What if
people like my stuff and I can’t write fast enough?
Coke or Pepsi?
poison, the both of them. Make mine an IPA, Sierra Nevada’s
“Torpedo” for current favorite. . . . OK, OK: long ago and far
away, in a previous incarnation of great ignorance, I chose
Pepsi--but only because I couldn’t get Tab.
Night Owl or Early Bird?
I am by preference a
creature of the night.
Fantasy or Mystery?
Pen/Paper or Computer?
Computer? I have a lovely slim lightweight MacBook, and a spiffy,
almost medieval-looking padded bag to carry it in, anywhere. So I
carry the carrier (and laptop) in a Girl Genius Jagermonster
backpack, because I still have to have my (spiral-bound,
college-ruled, multi-tabbed) notebooks. Notebooks don’t quit for
lack of battery.
Pizza or Burger?
Salad. With vinaigrette.
Rock or Country?
Classic rock; Celtic;
mostly folk. But Country does have the occasional gem, like Billy
Currington’s “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”
Chocolate or Vanilla?
What’s vanilla? (If it
ain’t chocolate, why eat it?)
Beach or Mountains?
Thank you so much for
having us as one of your stops today. It has been great getting to
know more about you and your book, and hope you will come back when
the next release is out (*hinthint*)
Wishing you much success!
About L. Hunter Cassells:
L. Hunter Cassells grew up near the Germantown of which she writes, and now lives not far away, in a curious household involving a happy man, two ambiguous cats, two loud grandsons, their studious moms, and what might be a dozen chickens (chickens come, chickens go; best not to ask too many questions). She has seen more than twenty thousand days and nights, holds a degree in geology, occasionally goes contra dancing, has belonged to the Society for Creative Anachronism longer than most of its members have been alive, and herds nuclear physicists for a living (no, really, she does).