Thursday, February 13, 2014

Writer's Window Thursday - Casey Clipper

     Welcome to Writer's Window Thursday! It's the day before Valentine's Day, and I had the pleasure of interviewing Casey Clipper who is a contemporary romance author. She's a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Three Rivers Romance Writers, ASMSG, IAN, and IBPA. Casey was born and raised in Pittsburgh therefore she's naturally a football, hockey, and baseball fan. Everybody loves a little bit of romance, so let's take a peek into the alluring mind of Casey Clipper!
     Tiffany:  What is the title of your book and what  message does it convey to readers?

Casey -The titles of my 3 prequels are Darren - a prequel to The Boss's Love; Derrick - a prequel to The Boss's Love; and Courtney - a prequel to The Boss's Love

The prequels convey the message you never know what life has in store for you. That a simple, seemingly inconsequential meeting can change your fate.


Tiffany:   Give a short synopsis of your book.

Casey - The 3 prequels are back stories of the three main characters of The Boss's Love. They give a more in-depth insight into their lives before you meet them in the novel. Readers get to see the characters struggle with love before their worlds come together in the novel.

Darren's story is his struggle with finding the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Courtney's story is her struggle with being sheltered her entire life by those closest to her, which unknowingly helps lead her into a relationship she can't break free from.

Derrick's story is his realization that he's actually fallen in love with a woman who he'll spend the rest of his life trying to protect and shelter from all that's harmful in the world.

All of their back stories leave off at a particular scene in The Boss's Love.

Tiffany: Your stories are about love and relationships. Is there any particular reason you wrote these stories? 

Casey - To be honest, I can't tell you why I wrote this particular story. The best way I can answer this question is to say that I wanted to write a story that was a twist on the happily-ever-after.


   Tiffany:  I would guess that it would be easier to write Romance if some of the characters were familiar to you. So tell me, are there any characters in your books that are modeled from people in your daily life?

Casey - Every character is modeled in some manner after everyone in my life. Maybe not 100% personality wise. None of my friends or family are able to say, "Hey, that's me or that's my husband." But I do take a trait I love or even can't stand and place them into my characters. I tend to borrow the first names of those I know for my characters. My friends get a kick out of finding out if I've used their children's names. They've even petitioned me to use their kids' names. Lol. As for the male characters' physical traits, I always envision Hollywood actors and throw together what I would want in the perfect guy.

Tiffany:  How do you come up with your storylines?

Casey - I'm a pantser. So a story comes to mind and I immediately sit at my laptop and start to write. Or at least record my ideas until I'm finished with my current project. I go to where my mind takes me and the story leads.



Tiffany: What was the point you realized that being an author was no longer a dream but a reality?

Casey - When I self published my first novel. After that, I got the bug. Up until then my writing was a way to lose myself from the daily grind. Now, I want my stories out there for others to enjoy and get lost in. I love to tell a story. You see, I, myself, absolutely love to read. Losing yourself in a book and characters is a way for all of us to escape for that brief period of time. When I find a story I fall in love with, that author has a new fan. I want to bring that connection to readers.


Tiffany: All of us could use a little advice when starting off. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Casey - If you're passionate about what you're writing, no matter what the subject or genre is, keep at it. But write within your means. In other words, find and use your own voice. You don't have to put pressure on yourself to write the next Gone with the Wind, Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, or Pride and Prejudice. The Boss's Love is my third release and it wasn't until then that I truly found my voice. My editor is championing me to stick with that sub-genre and continue down that path. Find an editor who will help and inspire that voice. A good editor will. Entertain your readers, and yes, make it a good read by finding a proofreader and editor, but entertain with your voice. That's what will make you unique and gain you a following.    


Tiffany: I have heard a lot of people say that the writing world is like shark infested waters. It can be daunting and frightening. If you could give young writers a warning, what would it be? 
Casey - Always, always, always keep this in mind. We're in the entertainment industry. Since we've chosen this path, it opens us up for ridicule and wickedness. That's the price we pay. Just like the movie, television, and music industry opens themselves up for review, so do we. It's hard to say to develop thick skin, that's impossible. Your work is your sweat and tears. When someone tries to demean that, it stings. Badly. Find yourself a group of writers/authors and friends that are supportive and will help you through those times. Because every single one of us will experience those moments.  


Tiffany: What do you enjoy the most about the writing process?

Casey - What I enjoy most is when I hand my manuscript over to my betas and my editor and they come back to me excited over the story. Especially when my editor is pleased. I love my betas, who are close friends, because they give me honest reviews from a reader standpoint.


Tiffany: How did you go about getting your book published?

Casey - I self publish. After completing my first novel, I researched on how to get published. After a handful of rejections from agents and publishers I looked into self publishing. One of my defaults is I'm extremely impatient. I refused to sit around and wait for the many "no's" that are guaranteed to come my way because the industry is so saturated. I've kept submitting and pitching to agents and publishers, but found myself losing focus. So part of my 2014 New Years resolution was to go full throttle, committing 100% into self publishing. 


Tiffany: If you were given one day to live, what would you do that day?

Casey - I would definitely spend it with my family. Give my husband and two boys the reassurance of how much I love them. Then my three crazy Irish sisters and father would help bring the entertainment with their witty banter and in-family fighting.

    Tiffany: Who inspires you?

Casey - All authors. I'm inspired by their drive, determination, creativity, and dedication.


Tiffany: Most embarrassing childhood or adult moment?

Casey - To be honest, I can't really come up with one off hand. I'm sure I do have one, but in my early twenties I grew into myself and now don't really become embarrassed. I shrug and take each event or occurrence in my life as a learning tool. Plus, I'm the oldest of four Irish sisters. We tend to battle before submit to embarrassment.


Tiffany:  If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger self?

Casey - Take creative writing classes and marketing classes!  You'll need them.


Tiffany: What’s next for you?

Casey - I'll be writing a spin off novella from The Boss's Love (at my editor's suggestion). I have a stand alone novel that's waiting to go through my first rewrite that I'll be releasing this year. A series I have notes and ideas on I'm also going to get underway. Along with all this, I'm going to start on marketing, which is a new, terrifying undertaking.


Thank You so much Casey for dropping by today and teaching us about your books! If you wish to learn more about Casey and her contemporary romance novels you can find them here:

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