Monday, November 18, 2013

Larger Than Life Antagonists - Guest Post by Christine Amsden - Author of the Cassie Scot series

And the guests keep rolling in. The Mad Muncle is pleased to welcome Christine Amsden to the Forge. The anvil is yours, Christine...


“There is nothing so evil in the world as what humans can do to one another.” – Edward Scot (Cassie's dad)

The fantasy genre loves larger-than-life heroes, which is probably why we tend to turn to larger-than-life antagonists. Who can stand up to a man with the ability to crush a tree into splinters using only his mind? Not you or me, for sure. So instead we turn to werewolves, vampires, orcs, goblins, and demons, just to name a few.

But for some time I have felt that in the search for evil, we really need look no further than our own backyards. Human beings have an amazing capacity to hurt one another, and many of us even manage to rationalize that it's all for a greater good.

If my hero can crush a tree to splinters using only the power of his mind, then I can give you an anti-hero with the same power. Using that formula, you could say we may as well cancel the magic out and just write about regular people, but where's the fun in that? I do love make believe, or I wouldn't write fantasy. :)

There are serious advantages to writing human anti-heroes, chief among them being that it's rare to find a human who is pure good or pure evil. My kids may like knowing who the good guy is and who the bad guy is at all times, but life isn't like that. When you go beyond demons, you have the opportunity to figure out why the antagonist does what he does in terms that the average reader can understand.

On the flipside, why is your hero basically good? How did a two-year-old with some destructive power learn that he doesn't always get his way? Or did he?

As the fantasy genre matures, the demons themselves are becoming less evil in response to authors' instinctive realization that “BWAHAHA!” is not a great motivation for sowing destruction. Dark heroes are becoming the norm rather than the exception, vampires are simply misunderstood, and shape shifters are getting cuddly.

In Eagle Rock, Missouri, where Cassie Scot makes her home, I opted to create a world of mostly human sorcerers to prey upon one another. And in Secrets and Lies, you'll see some of the worst humanity has to offer.


Author Bio:
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, 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.

Social Media Links:


Blurbs:
Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective
Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Buy Links:




Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)

Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.


To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness.

Buy Links:




Praise for the Cassie Scot series:

From Publisher’s Weekly:
“In this entertaining series opener, Amsden (The Immortality Virus) introduces readers to the eponymous Cassie, a decidedly mundane member of a magical family. …Readers will enjoy Cassie’s fish-out-of-water struggles as she fights magical threats with little more than experience and bravado.”

Kim Falconer, bestselling author of The Spell of Rosette, Quantum Enchantment Series, had this to say:
“When sorcerers call the shots, what’s a girl without powers to do? Get ready for a ripper of a murder mystery full of romance and intrigue, where magic potions bubble, passions spark and vampires are definitely not your friend. Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective grabs you by the heart and won’t let go until the very last page. Well written, immersive and unputdownable. This is urban fantasy at its best. More please!”

"Christine Amsden unleashes her brilliant storytelling magic as the adventures of Cassie Scot

escalate to the extreme. Rife with betrayal and a debt too deep for money to clear, Secrets and Lies plunges the reader into an utterly believable world where villains and heroes spring lifelike from the pages. Brace for a whirlwind ride of sorcery, romance and knife-edge peril. A truly original urban fantasy. Not to be missed!



Thanks for stopping by, Christine. Good luck with the Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2) tour.  

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