The Writing Life of: Cass Kim
This week I am thrilled to be interviewing author Cass Kim. Cass will be sharing with us details of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Autumn Nights: 12 Chilling Tales For Midnight‘, which was released on 25th August 2020 and answering a few fun questions too. This post contains affiliate links.
Having burst onto the publishing scene for the first time as a public author in May of 2019, Cass Kim completed the “Wilders” series in January of 2020. Cass is now working on the second “Autumn Nights” Charity Anthology to celebrate Halloween and give back. Cass continues to actively ghost write as well, something she has been doing for quite some time (and in deep secret, sort of…ghostly).
As a firm believer in kindness and lifting others up, Cass spends her non-writing time developmental editing, beta reading, answering questions on Twitter or posting inspirational quotes on Instagram. She also believes in volunteering, being fun, sassy, reading a ton, and is more than a little enamoured with the outdoors, her cat, and the dog.
1) As a child did you have a dream job in mind?
I wanted to be a veterinarian with a ballet school on the second floor that I would teach in. I guess it’s no surprise that I took ballet for 6+ years as a child. I’ve always loved animals.
2) Who was your favourite childhood author (s)?
Truthfully, I struggled to read until about third grade (hooked on phonics worked for me!). I was really into the Sweet Valley High books and the Babysitters club books once I was able to read more fluently. I remember my brother reading “James and The Giant Peach” out loud to me and the day care kids, too. From there I moved into Piers Anthony and Anne McCaffrey.
3) Was there a particular point in your life that you realised you wanted to be a writer?
I think i’ve always written fairly regularly. I wrote stories as a child, and audition monologues for my theater classmates. I wrote a few plays, and worked on a fantasy novel that will die in the shadows. I chose to write a thesis and do an internship my final semester of graduate school. I’ve just always enjoyed writing. It wasn’t until I was regularly ghost writing and had a few books self published that I realized I wanted to write/edit freelance full time, and could do it.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any special routines, word count, etc?
For me, an average writing day looks like a lot of time at the table, head down, punching through chapters. I take a break every 2k-ish (less writing and more breaks lately with the struggle to focus and create with the world such a mess) to stretch, do a work out or a chore, and then self-edit what I’ve written before moving forward. I also spend the first part of my morning, while drinking coffee, engaging in social media, responding to emails, etc. I typically schedule my editing work back to back, and write during the slower times.
5) How many books have you written? Any unpublished work?
Oh gosh. Well, under my own name, Cass Kim, I was published the first piece of a space opera saga, a full young adult dystopian/half-pocalypse trilogy, “Wilders” (the first two books are novella length, the final book is full novel length) and I’ve written a story in both of the “Autumn Nights Charity Anthology series” books that I head the creation of annually.
As a ghost-writer, the number is much higher. Awkwardly, I don’t keep track, especially since a lot of ghost writing tends to be stuff other than novels (like blogs, scripts, even an entire downtown ghost tour). I will say it’s over three actual books this year alone, in addition to the non-book writing and my own projects.
6) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Planster for life!
Concerning your latest book:
Autumn Nights Charity Anthologies Book 2
Pages – 352
Release Date – 25th August 2020
ISBN 13 – 979-8673395578
Format – ebook, paperback
Between the long days of summer and the dark nights of winter, autumn envelops the evenings with the scent of cinnamon and apples. Of wood smoke and fallen leaves. In the dim light of a fading sun the night returns to reclaim its own.
From witches and demons to haunted circuses and deals made with hidden consequences, to ghosts and secrets buried in the past… “Autumn Nights: 12 Chilling Tales for Midnight” brings together the very best in spooky tales to tell under a harvest moon.
Created for those who get excited for Halloween, pumpkin carving, and crisp Fall weather. For those that love the things that go bump in the dark. Do you dream of windy nights and tumbling leaves even while summer days stretch on? Do you want scary bonfire stories with a wide variety of lore? This collection is perfect for you.
Even better – your purchase helps your fellow humans. All profits generated through the sales of this volume of Autumn Nights will be donated to the Feeding America’s network of food banks, pantries and meal programs that serve almost every community in the United States — 40 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
These twelve spooky short stories originate from ten outstanding authors to delight your love of Autumn and get the hairs on the back of your neck standing at alert.
These stories are meant for adult and young adults alike, with no graphic gore, violence, or sexual situations.
7) How did you go about researching the content for your book?
I set my story for “Autumn Nights: 12 Chilling Tales For Midnight” in Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula, because I went to school there. I get very homesick, and lately I’ve been dreaming of walking along Preque Isle Park in Marquette on a windy fall evening, light I used to do in college. I could sit out there and stare into the waves for an hour, just being still. I did a lot of internet searches to research shipwrecks. There have been a TON of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. Most people know about the Edmund Fitzgerald because of the Gordon Lightfoot song, but there are hundreds more.
8) How long did it take to go from ideas stage to writing the last word?
I wrote the short story (about 7k) in one day. I took breaks to help my husband hand wash our vehicles.
9) How did you come up with the title of your book?
The Autumn Nights anthology set was named as collective the first year through a series of suggestions form the authors and polls with them. “Autumn Nights: 13 Spooky Fall Reads” was named that way, and I built on that name for the second book, “Autumn Nights: 12 Chilling Tales for Midnight”.
10) Can you give us an insight into your characters?
In my short, Kelly is a young girl, recently graduated from high school, who is off to her first real job as a CNA (certified Nursing Aid). She took a job that required relocation and was out of her comfort zone because the pay rate was good, and she was feeling left out with all of the friends off at college. She’s the main character.
11) What process did you go through to get your book published?
As a self-published author, I’ve never gone through the query process. I choose to publish exclusively on Amazon, so my process is pretty simple.
12) What’s next for you writing wise?
Once I finish my current ghost writing novel, I plan to step back from creating for others in order to focus on editing for a few months (a nice change of pace, and I have some clients lined up that I’m really excited to work with). Then, at the end of the year I will start a new project for myself while still editing. I haven’t decided yet what I will be writing.
1) If you could have any super power for the day which would you choose?
I would choose teleportation. It takes me a minimum of 16 hours of travel (one way) to see my family. With layovers and car rides, it’s usually closer to 20-24 hours each way. So, teleportation would be amazing.
2) Do you have any pets?
I do, I have a cat and dog. They’re ridiculously spoiled.
3) If you decided to write an autobiography of your life, what would you call it?
Great question. Maybe “Go For It: The Tale of a Small Town Girl That was Unstoppable.” Mostly because I have a high working drive and I just do what I want. I find a way to make anything work.
4) Your book has been made into a feature film and you’ve been offered a cameo role, which part would you choose, or what would you be doing?
I would play Renna’s Mom in “Wilders” because it’s the only character I could realistically play. Most of the parents are racially diverse from me, and the main characters are almost all teens or young adults, since that’s the genre. Plus, I’m really good at looking tired, since I’m always up before dawn.
5) Where is your favourite holiday destination?
My parents house. I really value family time.
6) A baseball cap wearing, talking duck casually wanders into your room, what is the first thing he says to you?
“Remember Who Framed Roger Rabbit? it’s your turn now. Better get sleuthing”
I would like to say a big thank you to Cass Kim for sharing with us details of her writing life and for a wonderful interview.