Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she's a mom and freelance editor.
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Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.
When a couple freezes to death on a fifty degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.
Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.
Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.
No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time.
Frozen (Cassie Scot Book Seven)
Print Release: July 15, 2018
Audiobook Release: TBA
Detective (Cassie Scot Book One)
Q: Congratulations on the release of your book, Frozen. What was your inspiration for it?
A: Cassie herself inspired me to write another story for her! Frozen is the seventh book in the Cassie Scot saga, which was originally supposed to end with book four. And to be clear, the first four books do tell a satisfying story, enough that I am now calling them “the original quartet.” But two of Cassie’s friends demanded spin-offs, giving me Madison’s Song (five) and Kaitlin’s Tale (six).
Yet Cassie herself still spoke to me sometimes, telling me what she was up to, and what she said most clearly became the tagline for this book and is even the first sentence of the novel: Life doesn’t end when you get married!
So true. :)
Q: Why was the writing of this book important for you?
A: Frozen was an affirmation of healing after years of dealing with depression and anxiety.
After I wrote Kaitlin’s Tale (book six), I suffered a long period of burnout. It was two years before I produced anything new, and what I learned during those two years drives my life now.
Writing is, first and foremost, supposed to be fun. I lost sight of that as I strove to reach unrealistic sales goals. And the truth is, I always did want to write more Cassie books, it just didn’t make a whole lot of business sense to do so. I needed a new series to draw in new readers.
When I finally let myself write Frozen, I was truly and completely living my new truth – that I’m writing for me. I publish for my loyal fans, but as long as at least some people are getting pleasure from my books, I no longer care how many copies I sell.
Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?
A: I dabbled with this idea during my period of burnout, but when I finally sat down to write it in the summer of 2017, it came to life very quickly. I started in mid-June, paused for two weeks while I went on vacation and another four while I revised something else, then finished in late September. Altogether, this didn’t even take three months to write.
The process was as the smoothest I’ve ever experienced. Part of it, I’m sure, is practice. I’m well into double digit books now (some of them are trunked), have been a freelance editor for almost seven years, and am very familiar with the process. But I was also in the right head space, which is something easily underestimated. The difference between pushing myself to write and letting myself write proved its worth for Frozen.
Q: What is the one thing you hope readers will take away from your book?
A: Enjoyment. And maybe a sleepless night because they stayed up all night to finish! (Insert evil laugh.)
Q: What discoveries or surprises did you experience while writing this book?
A: That Cassie actually still has quite a few issues to work out. Her character arc in the first four books was fairly complete, but as I say in the book, “I guess in real life, self-actualization is a never-ending process rather than the dramatic culmination of a series of events. It does make for a handy conclusion to a memoir, though.”
Q: How do you define success as an author?
A: I’m successful if I’m enjoying what I do, and making others happy.
Q: Could you talk a little bit about your publishing process?
A: I use a small press, Twilight Times Books, which has published all my books to date. They take care of cover art, editing, formatting, production, etc., making the process fairly easy for me. I still have to handle a lot of marketing.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring nonfiction writers? Could you offer some tips or resources that have been helpful to you?
A: Remember that, first and foremost, writing is supposed to e fun. If you’re not doing it because you love it, you’re in the wrong line of work!
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: If you haven’t read the first Cassie books, start there. I think you could probably pick up Frozen and more or less understand what’s going on – it definitely begins a new arc – but you’re going to miss a lot of subtext. Series are really best read in order, which is why I decided to put “Book Seven” right on the cover!
If you have already read the earlier books, I hope you’ll give this new adventure a try. My best guess right now is that the new plot arc begun in Frozen will take three books to complete. But as with the other books, Frozen has its own mystery arc that is solved in this volume, giving you some resolution while (hopefully) making you want more!