Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hello. I'm Rebecca Scarberry, Scarberryfields on Twitter and the self-published author of MESSAGES FROM HENRY. I have interviewed a debut novelist, Cassius Shuman, @CassiusShuman on Twitter. This is one of my favorite things, spotlighting debut novelists. You're going to love his answers, I did.

Scarberryfields: What is your background as a writer?
Cassius: First off, thank you so much Rebecca for hosting me on your BLOG!
Scarberryfields: My pleasure.
Cassius: I started my writing career as a broad journalist on radio and in television. Working in that fast-paced environment was the foundation for my writing. I've also written full-length stage plays and screenplays. I'm currently adapting a book ("Without Remorse" by Dr. Vonda Pelto) with my screenwriting partner, Jim Koski, about an unemployed single mother of two who, after obtaining her Ph.D. in Psychology, takes on a newly created position at the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail with the task of preventing suicides amongst the country’s most notorious and high profile serial killers, including the Freeway Killers (William Bonin, James Munro & Vernon Butts) and the Hillside Stranglers (Kenneth Bianchi & Angelo Buono).
Scarberryfields: Can you tell us a little about your nationality?
Cassius: I was born in Newport, RI, but raised in Dartmouth, MA (where the story for my novel is set) after my mother remarried. My mother is German and Portuguese. My father is Irish, French, Swedish and Dutch. My father has done extensive research on our lineage and determined that we're related to the Kennedys.
Scarberryfields: When you finish a novel, do you miss the characters?
Cassius: I always miss my characters. They haunt me. I can't get them out of my mind. In fact, I feel quite schizophrenic because they're like real family to me.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation, grammar, etc., where do you turn?
Cassius: Thankfully, I've written enough that I don't encounter these problems too often. But, the Word program grammar and spell-check, as well as thesaurus are quite useful.
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
Cassius: I find that it is tough to be a writer and be present all of the time. Most often my mind wanders into plot points and story ideas. However, most people who know me understand that I am an extremely creative person who can withdraw while producing, or working on my latest literary endeavor. As far as relationships go, that can be a little trickier. Thankfully, I've been with some very supportive partners in this regard.
Scarberryfields: Does writing benefit you in any way and if so, how?
Cassius: At times, writing can be an escape. I get lost in my story while I'm writing. In fact, I've forgotten to stretch, eat or go to the bathroom while writing. That's how absorbed I can be in my stories. So the benefit is not only flexing and expanding your creative muscle, but hopefully writing something that moves and touches people in some way and makes the world a better place.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Cassius: No, and I often watch either ESPN or COMCAST Sports (Boston) because I'm a little bit of a sports junky. I will also check FB and Twitter periodically so that I feel connected to the world. Writing is a solitary exercise, so the less I feel isolated the better for my productivity. I need to keep my mind stimulated to keep the creative juices flowing. So checking FB and Twitter accomplishes that, as well as keeping me connected to other writers, like you Rebecca. :)
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
Cassius: Absolutely!  This is probably unorthodox, but my mother followed along as I was writing. I would subsequently send her three chapters. She would in turn provide me with feedback. So I guess you could say that she was my editor and critic all rolled into one throughout the writing process. And she reads a lot, so it was invaluable to me.
Scarberryfields: Do you feel social networking as a marketing tool, is beneficial?
Cassius: Yes! It is essential to promoting your work to the global marketplace. I also like that I can interact with people all over the world about my book or stories. Relationships with people are the key to everything. And I value my reading audience because they can promote the cause associated with my book. In the case of The Dead Boy’s Legacy, the cause is missing children. I am donating a portion of the proceeds to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as doing charitable work against Human Trafficking.
Besides, I wouldn't be on your BLOG if it weren't for Twitter. :)
Scarberryfields: What is the last book called that you completed and published?
Cassius: My first novel: The Boy’s Legacy.
Scarberryfields: Where can readers go to find your book? 
Cassius: They can go to my website: www.cassiusshuman.com

Or they can go to (Amazon)...

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Dead-Boys-Legacy-ebook/dp/B009WYLJ3W/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1

Or (Barnes & Noble)...

Thank you, Rebecca!  I've enjoyed being on your Blog! :)
Cassius Shuman

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