Monday, November 15, 2010

Meet C.A. Verstraete author of The KillerValentine Ball

C.A. tells us a little about herself. I grew up with my nose always in a book, so it seemed a natural progression that I wanted to be a writer. A prophetic wish, it seems, judging from my favorite baby photo as seen on my website of me with a newspaper and a pencil behind my ear. I studied journalism and continue to do freelance writing for newspapers.

I also enjoy writing all kinds of fiction, with stories appearing in several anthologies including the recent Steampunk'd from DAW Books (coming out Nov. 2).

My kid's mystery, Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, was #1 on Kindle for Miniatures books and was a 2009 EPPIE Award finalist for best YA/children's ebook by the Epic Foundation.

Here's an Excerpt from The Killer Valentine Ball:

As they walked into the shadows, Jess noticed that things weren't quite as they appeared. Sections of the room lightened for a moment before being cast again in deep shadow. What Jess thought she saw in that split second made her heart race. On the dance floor, the same three couples stood, clasped to each other. Jess stared. She swore they never moved.

The music played quietly in the background. When the shadows brightened, Jess caught a quick glimpse of one of the couples. The young man's mouth gaped open. His partner's gown glistened with streams of dark ribbons. The light flashed again and Jess gasped. Those weren't ribbons! The girl's dress shone with dark glimmers. Like-like blood, she thought. No, it can't be! She looked back at Dylan, who shook his head and urged her on.

"Light tricks," he whispered. "It's not real. It's Halloween stuff, like the movie. Don't worry."

I asked C.A. a few questions about her writing.

  1. How long have you been writing?

Forever? Ha! For years. Being trained in newspapers, I'm used to writing every day so the real question is probably when am I not writing?

  1. What is your favorite genre?

I confess to split personality writing. I'm drawn to mysteries, horror and kid's books, so I seem to write about the same as what I like to read. I love a good scare.

  1. What's been the hardest thing you've written so far?

I'd have to say that learning more about science fiction-type writing has been interesting and a great challenge. I learned about a whole new category when writing my story for the Steampunk'd anthology and had a lot of fun doing it. Some of my stories had some magical and supernatural elements already, so I hope to try my hand at more of that.

  1. If someone walked into your office, what would they see?

Stuff! (Or what others call junk! :>)) Being a collector and crafter, as well as a writer, you tend to collect a lot of supplies, projects and materials, besides the books and other "writerly" items.

  1. Is there a particular author who influenced you?

I have several favorite authors, though I think Stephen King and Dean Koontz rank at the top. I also enjoy reading mystery authors like Margaret Grace, Elaine Viets, and others.

  1. What made you decide to sign with Muse It Up Publishing as people are generally leery of new houses?

It sounded like an interesting venture and I have to admit I am impressed with how thorough and professionally it's being run. The openness is also refreshing. Publisher Lea Schizas has a good reputation and runs a tight ship.

7. What has been your worst experience since you became an author?

I'm sure just about every author has horror stories and bad experiences to share. A few things I learned along the way are the value of openness, open accounting, especially where fundraising and royalties are concerned, and the importance of checks and balances.

8. What has been your most positive experience?

Growing as a writer. Seeing my work published in new anthologies and working with new publishers has been a fun experience for me.

9. What constitutes a good book, in your opinion?

A good story. Nothing is more enjoyable than spending time with characters you like (or sometimes even hate!) and want to know better.

10. Which of your books is your favorite?

I've learned something different with each book or story I've written, so in that respect, they all are special. I've enjoyed writing, and trying new things with each one, whether it was delving into past history and fantasy as I did in my story, The Dream Child (Dragons Composed), developing a friendship (and conflict) between pals Sam and Lita (Searching for a Starry Night), learning about time travel (Timeshares), or writing horror with a macabre sense of humor (The Killer Valentine Ball).

11. If you were asked by a new author for advice, what would you tell that person?

Write every day. Writer's block is an excuse. If one story isn't working, write something else.

12. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I enjoy crafting and working in miniature. I collect dollhouse miniatures and like to make many things myself. (Click miniatures on my website for some samples.)

12. What can we expect from you in the future?

More! Haa! I'm continually working on new projects. See my website and blog for updates.




Book page:


  1. The Killer Valentine Ball is a perfect light dark fiction read for any day of the year. C.A. moves the story forward at a nice pace.

    Great interview, ladies, and loved to read more about C.A.

  2. Thanks for visiting today, C.A. Good luck with the Killer Valentine Ball. It sounds like a great read!

  3. C.A. sounds like an interesting person with many creative ideas.

  4. Nice interview! I've read "The Killer Valentine Ball" & truly enjoyed it.

  5. Nice excerpt and interesting interview. Best of luck with your book, C. A.

  6. Hi all, thanks for stopping by, especially to Janet who said I sounded interesting., haa! Debra thanks for reading it... did you/could you put a review up on the Amazon link? Karent, Ncy and Lea thanks for the nice comments!

    During the tour one reader will receive a free copy....

  7. Hey Chris, loved your interview. The book sounds spooky and fun, a great gift for Valentines Day for the person who has everything! Nancy