About Madison’s Song
Her voice is enchanting; his soul is black…
Madison Carter has been terrified of Scott Lee since the night he saved her from an evil sorcerer – then melted into a man-eating monster before her eyes. The werewolf is a slave to the moon, but Madison’s nightmares are not.
Despite her fears, when Madison’s brother, Clinton, is bitten by a werewolf, she knows there is only one man who can help. A man who frightens her all the more because even in her nightmares, he also thrills her.
Together for the first time since that terrible night, Scott and Madison drive to Clinton’s home only to discover that he’s vanished! Frantic now, Madison must overcome her fears and uncover hidden strengths if she hopes to save him. And she’s not the only one fighting inner demons. Scott’s are literal, and they have him convinced that he will never deserve the woman he loves.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
With great difficulty! Honestly, I’ve only written one book that didn’t go through at least half a dozen title changes before I settled on the publication title – that was The Immortality Virus. Catchy, right? Can’t believe I came up with the idea before I came up with most of the story and that the story didn’t end up making the title irrelevant!
So … Madison’s Song. It’s a spin-off to the Cassie Scot series involving Madison, who is a songbird. The title is meant to convey the idea that this is her turn in the spotlight, her chance to become the heroine of her own story. The first Cassie Scot book was eponymous as well (Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective), so it fit both the pattern and the idea that the book is, first and foremost, a character story.
Plus Madison’s Song is eons better than “Songbird” or (get ready to cringe) “The Cry of the Wolf.” (I warned you!)
What is your writing environment like?
Chaotic, like my soul! I cleaned my desk just last week (in anticipation of school starting – need to make room for all my kids’ paperwork) but already, the surface of the desk is becoming cluttered with this and that. At least I still have room to light my candles without serious risk of setting fire to something. I love lighting candles when I write, but I figure I have another week or so before the paper to desk ratio gets too high.
To tell you the truth, the best place for me to write these days is the coffee shop. I get too distracted here at home – by the clutter I know I should clean, by social media, by marketing tasks, and (at the moment) by Sense8, which I’ve watched straight through twice on Netflix.
What is your favorite quote? Why?
I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but way up there is one by Arthur C. Clarke that goes:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
I love it because t mocks the idea that magic and science are essentially different, and because as a writer, I don’t like to get stuck with a genre label. Science fiction and fantasy are two halves of a whole – the difference is primarily in what we do or do not understand about what’s going on.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I grew up reading, and I grew up watching old science fiction movies. From the moment my mom found an old manual typewriter in her parents’ basement when I was 8, I was a writer. And from that moment, I wrote about strange, out-of-this-world concepts.
It’s also possible that my innate shyness influenced my writing. I was what you might call “painfully shy” as a child. I had few real friends, but I had a rich inner fantasy life where I could always find escape and adventure.
What inspires you to write?
I can’t not write. I’ve tried. After finishing The Immortality Virus, I felt burnt out. Finished. I decided to stop writing for a year to see what happened, but three months later I came up with the idea for the Cassie Scot series.
Now that the final spin-off to the Cassie Scot series is complete, I’m feeling burnout again, but I have a precedent to suggest that if I just back off for a while, my muse will return with the right story for me.
What do you consider the most challenging part about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Marketing. It’s also the most rewarding part, because my books take on new life in the minds and hearts of readers. I love that interaction, and that validation. But my innate shyness from childhood hasn’t gone completely, though I have come a lone way and done a great deal to overcome it. The one thing I’ve learned that helps is this: Honesty. Like me, don’t like me, this is who I am, and not only can’t I be anyone else – I don’t want to be! Honesty doesn’t make me the kind of quick-witted marketing genius who has thousands of followers from sheer force of personality, but honesty does give me that connection I crave when readers love my books.
Did you learn anything while writing this book? If so, what was it?
I learn something while writing every one of my books. While writing this one, I finally and completely came to turns with my Catholic upbringing, and the fact that though I’ve set it aside, I don’t resent it. The main character, Madison, is devoutly Catholic and it was my joy to make her belief something beautiful for her. Her faith is personal and powerful, but doesn’t require the validation of others.
I always knew that the magic system I developed worked largely on the power of personal belief, but this was my chance to show it.
What have you done to promote this book?
I love virtual book tours, and if you do an Internet search, you’ll find me all over the place at hundreds of blogs! Virtual book tours give me a chance to interact with people through my strength – writing – while giving me the space my inner shy girl needs. You can also find me on social media, connect to me through e-mail or my mailing list, and visit my web site.
I do some direct advertising, but at the moment that’s mostly for the first book in my Cassie Scot series, which is deeply discounted to 99 cents in a blatant attempt to hook readers at a low price. (Didn’t I say I’m honest?)
I do make in-person appearances from time to time. I plan to attend Archon in October, where I’ll be on several panels discussing writing (not sure about the topics yet, but I hope they’ll be character related). I’m pretty good at public speaking, all things considered, I just can’t do it too often!
What are some of the best tools available today for writers?
Social media gives us a platform to showcase our work that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago. Also, ebooks allow authors, particularly new or unknown authors, to sell books at a lower price to hook new readers.
But for me, the best tool is the simplest – a word processor. I’m legally blind. I’m drafting this interview in 36-point font (don’t worry, it will look normal to you). Sometimes I think how lucky I was to have been born into this time, because I honestly can’t read a normal font. I’m even an editor! A darn good one too, thanks to the ability to enlarge the font of entire manuscripts.
About the Author
Christine AmsdenChristine 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, a condition that effects 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. In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work. Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.