May 17th, 2019
I asked Linette where she would like to chat:
A warm, spring breeze nudges my checkered blanket as I raise it up to lay it on the fresh, green grass by the row of hollies near Davis Circle. To one side, crypts and monuments to the dead decorate the landscape and on the other, the James River flows steadily between Belle Isle and me. As I sit, I set the picnic basket to the side and pull the contents out one by one, arranging tea sandwiches and fruit on a platter in the center.
The sun is absent today as gray clouds stretch across the sky, threatening rain that doesn’t come. I pour a glass of sweet iced tea and take a long sip as I enjoy the serenity of the cemetery coupled with the roaring din of the river below. The city seems so far away, even though its towering buildings are within view. But here, nature reigns.
I’m lost in my reverie as a woman walks up and greets me…
Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?
Linette Kasper: I have always been a storyteller, ever since I could talk. I love creating my own worlds, people, and situations. After I learned to write, I put those stories on paper. I love writing, as a creative outlet, an escape, or just to tell a story.
LM: How long have you been writing for?
LK: Since I could. Published, however, has only been about ten years. I wrote and self-published my first book, Daimon, with BookBrewer (online only) in 2009. Indie publishing and ebooks were still in their infancy, so I wasn’t very successful. I continued working on my series over the next several years, completing the second book and starting the third when I found out about CreateSpace through a friend. I was ecstatic when I discovered I could have an actual paperback of my book. I tidied up the first book and published it again with a different cover in both paperback and ebook in 2017.
LM: What are you currently working on?
LK: I’m attempting to complete the third book in my supernatural fantasy series. I say ‘attempting’ because I’m finding it increasingly difficult to end this chapter of my characters’ lives. I have other books planned for the series, but this will be the last from this character’s point of view.
The other novel I’m working on is a kinda-sorta collaboration with my husband about a vampire serial killer. He came up with the idea, feeding me bits and pieces, but I’m doing all the writing and filling in.
LM: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?
LK: Anne Rice has been a huge influence, as has Lucy Maud Montgomery and Jeff Lindsay. For books, Wuthering Heights, Dracula, the Harry Potter series, and even the Twilight Saga have inspired me, especially the latter two for bringing me back to my love of reading and writing.
LM: What has been the most challenging for you so far?
LK: Writing? Easy. Editing? A snap. Formatting and publishing? Hold my tea. Marketing? Ugh, I just can’t.
It’s just not in my personality. I don’t like pressuring people to buy things if they don’t want to, so I don’t over saturate my site or social media with ads for my books. I don’t really publicize that I’m an author either. I just hope that people will happen upon them or me and like what they see. I know I need to get better and I’ve tried to put myself out there more, but it’s hard.
LM: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
LK: I love travelling and visiting places. I also love history and learning, which plays into it, too. One quirk I have is whenever I go to a new place, I try to find and visit an old cemetery. I enjoy looking at the graves and reading the epitaphs because they themselves tell a story. I also enjoy reading (of course), taking pictures, and gardening.
LM: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?
LK: Oh, there’s so many. Recently, it’s been The Book Thief. It’s such a beautifully told story and is the only book to ever make me cry. Before that, it was (and really still is) Wuthering Heights. I’m a sucker for gothic Victorian era literature.
LM: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
LK: I regret not having more confidence in myself and my writing early on. My series would have been out a lot sooner had I not been so caught up in my own head, feeling it wasn’t ‘ready’ or assuming people wouldn’t like it. I have also passed up a lot of speaking opportunities at events because of fear and a lack of confidence.
LM: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
LK: I started out self-publishing with BookBrewer as an ebook only but found it hard to market myself. It was ten years ago, so it wasn’t as easy as it is today to reach a wide audience. At the same time, I tried to go traditional, querying several agents, but all the rejections were wearing on me. I gave up and focused on writing the rest of the series, hoping things would change in the future. Flash forward eight years where I met someone who wanted to talk books and writing with me. She told me about CreateSpace, and I found my new self-publishing avenue that would allow me to have both ebooks and paperbacks. Through her, I also learned about using social media to promote and having booths at a variety of events to sell books (hi, Erin!).
LM: What genre do you read?
LK: Pretty much any genre, though I’m not a big fan of romance (like the Harlequin kind). I like things left to the imagination, not all out there on the page.
LM: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?
LK: Unfortunately, writing for me is whenever I can fit it in. I work full-time, so nine hours of my day is taken up with that. I have done some writing and editing at work, but most of it is reserved for evenings or on the weekends. Must-haves? Motivation. I’m so brain-dead and tired from work, it’s hard to find it for writing.
LM: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
LK: Most of the time, I play Classical music while writing, but on occasion I’ll listen to alternative and classic rock.
LM: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?
LK: I absolutely cannot stand the word ‘incredulous’, though I have used it (sparingly). It’s one of those words that seem to be everywhere and in everything. Also, I don’t like the way it sounds.
LM: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
LK: From reading (any and everything), music, TV, visiting places, and research.
LM: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
LK: You may think you can’t, but you can do this. Take your idea, your story, and run with it. Sit down with pen/pencil and paper or at a keyboard and let it flow. It will come. And if you get stuck, step away and work on something else – read, write character side stories, research, visit somewhere – to reignite your inspiration.
Linette is a writer of supernatural fantasy, but enjoys dabbling in other styles, especially horror and suspense. She has released two novels from her first series, Daimon and Rogue, and is currently working on the third book. She also has a horror short story, “What They Did Not Know” published in Fundead Publications anthology One Night in Salem.
Daimon – Still dealing with the death of her mother and the void it left in her heart, Megan tries to return to the life she once had. But with her father’s impending marriage to a woman she can’t stand, she’s instead left feeling betrayed and alone. Having no one else to turn to, she seeks solace from her mother in the cemetery.
There she meets David, a beguiling stranger, and finds herself drawn to him as though something has brought them together. Choosing to foster these growing feelings, she continues to see him and with each encounter, her life seems to change for the better.
That is until she starts to notice odd things about him.
When she confronts him, he explains them away, but she can’t bring herself to accept his answers, feeling there’s something more to him than he’s letting on. His roommate, Brian, however, is eager to share the truth with her, but being leery of him and his intentions, she refuses to give in and trusts David will share it with her when he’s ready.
When his secret is finally revealed, she embraces him rather than pushes him away. But Brian is not satisfied, continuing to antagonize her, and she begins to wonder if he has something else planned for her.
Buy it here!
Rogue – Forced to go on an extended family vacation, Megan makes the best of the situation and finds an unexpected friend. But soon she realizes there’s more to Cristiano’s motives and is glad to leave him behind.
Once back home, Megan notices bizarre happenings around her. School faculty, friends, and even her stepmother act odd while a nondescript figure keeps appearing at random moments. When she expresses her concern to David, he seems distracted, like he’s hiding something. Could Brian be behind it all, or is some other entity out to get her?
Buy it here!