Hey, my lovely people! First off, apologies for being MIA the last few weeks. I meant to keep posting during November, but life was like “No way”. It’s NaNoWriMo and I’m having a blast with my novel (though I’m so far behind its not even funny) and I’m also currently on holidays with my family, visiting my grandfather. It’s so nice to be out of the freezing cold of my hometown and in a warm, semi-coastal environment. I’ve been hanging out with my dog, knitting, reading and writing! The life, am I right? So I also decided to take a bit of a break from my blog for the rest of my month. I’ve still got a few things I want to post, so I won’t be completely absent, but I just need a little rest from the pressure of constantly blogging. You guys are so nice and understanding, so I’m sure you’ll be fine.
But anyway today we’ve been blessed with an interview with Kassie Angle! Kassie’s new release Stop The Rain, is releasing tomorrow and I’m so excited! So as part of the blog tour, I’ll be posting an interview today and a review tomorrow! Let’s get into it!
Chelsea R.H.: What are three things we don’t know about you?
Kassie Angle: My brother and I once auditioned for America’s Got Talent, I prefer riding bareback over any kind of saddle and have still never been thrown from a horse, and I once spent a layover in Germany watching WWII movies. 😇
CRH: I had no idea you’d auditioned for AGT! That sounds like a lot of fun. What inspired you to write this novel?
KA: A sappy country song late at night and just absolutely running away with the ideas I got from it… coupled with my frustration with other books I’d read while being unsure of how well I could handle it better… it was complicated. 😝
CRH: Sappy country songs are the best. What parts of this novel are drawn from your personal experience?
KA: Considering the subject of Stop the Rain I have a feeling this should be a serious question, and I am totally avoiding that because, there’s a scene where Nigel and Harley are listening to the Spanish station (hashtag Texas) and making up lyrics to fit. Yes, I know that’s probably the least politically correct thing you’ll hear all day. Yes, it’s a very real-life scene, what can I say. 🤣
CRH: That’s the funniest response I’ve ever got to that question! What did an average day in this writing of this book look like?
KA: There was no average days writing this. 🤣 Some days I’d write in the morning, some days I’d be up way too late knocking out three chapters, some days I’d be writing little bits on my phone between doing other things, one of my favorite chapters I wrote in the car… there was no predictability. 😇
CRH: What are three interesting facts about this novel?
KA: 1) One random thing I feel like a lot of people will presume I made up is the sign (not billboard) on the side of the road that says “You survived the war, now survive the highway.” Believe me, it is very much real and haunting. 2) All of the horses in the story are based off toy horses I played with obsessively when I was younger, with their names only slightly changed if changed at all. 3) I have an unofficial rule not to write a story with more chapters than my first book; Stop the Rain has one less, and I only broke up chapters after I finished editing.
CRH: Do you have any special secrets/tips for naming characters?
KA: Possibly 😇 Nigel’s last name, Manning, came about because I wanted a name that meant “brave.” Keith’s last name, Hayes, is from a WWII Marine I wanted to honor. Harley’s middle name, Allen—came about because I was blanked out on a name and an Alan Jackson song came on the radio. How’s that for some trade secrets, right? 😝
CRH: Your naming method is very much like mine, for some reason it seems to work very well 😛 What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research?
KA: Oh man… okay, so I haven’t researched all the random weirdness people I presume I do because I write military stories. I come with random weirdness pre-programmed. I do not come with a ton of knowledge about poisons pre-programmed. Did that count as an answer?? 😂
CRH: What are your top tips for someone looking at indie publishing?
KA: You have the obligation to make your book the very best it can be; don’t give anyone an excuse to say indie authors are any less than traditional ones. Don’t rush it if you’re not ready. Being able to just print your own book doesn’t give you permission to just throw it out there. But also, don’t take just any writing advice you read out there. Listen to the people you trust, who want the best for you. Not some random expert on the internet who doesn’t know anything about you and your story. Be teachable, absolutely. Be willing to admit you’re not always right. But the reason you’re not writing a mainstream novel is because you’re not writing for a mainstream audience.
CRH: That publishing advice is absolute gold. I love it. How was writing Stop the Rain different to writing your previous two books?
KA: For starters, I wrote it so much faster. O to be Like Thee is only slightly longer and took me six times as long to finish. I’m just as attached to these characters as any of them, but I spent far less time sharing their story. I hate finishing books, and this one’s ending came so fast. And maybe more importantly, Stop the Rain is so much darker. I’ve never written an on-screen death scene before, much less two. I’ve never been so nervous about messing up a story. There were a lot of differences, and I love it for them.
CRH: Finally, do you play favourites with your characters? If so, which is your favourite character?
KA: In StR or of all of them?? Because yes, I unashamedly play favorites. I used to try hard not to, but then I decided, you know what, who cares. So from StR, my favorite is Harley, easily. There’s some close seconds, but there’s just something special about my crazy kid. Out of all of them, it’s Maysen McKinley from O to be Like Thee, hands-down. I’ll never have another character quite like him, and at this point I don’t want to. He’s my favorite, and that’s all there is to that.
Thank you so much for coming, Kassie! I’ve really enjoyed your books and I can’t wait to give my opinion on Stop The Rain tomorrow! Best of luck with the release tour.
He left his entire world in Iraq. So why did the war follow him home?
Harley Keane and his best friend Nigel were just kids when 9/11 rocked their world and changed their lives forever. When they’re finally old enough to join the Army, all their childhood dreams seem about to come true. But war wasn’t supposed to be like this. A kid’s dream isn’t supposed to become a living nightmare. Fellow soldiers aren’t supposed to bleed out in front of your eyes.
Back home, safe and unwounded, Harley feels anything but. Why would God spare him when so many others were taken? Why won’t the nightmares stop, even when he’s awake? And how long can he hide the truth that threatens everything he has left? When Harley’s invisible scars refuse to stay hidden, will he let anyone close enough to help? And how do you go on with life when “okay” isn’t okay at all?
Kassie Angle is a teenaged Christian author, cowgirl, therapy dog trainer, stereotypical INFJ, and Army girl to the core. Her first love, i.e. debut novel, O to be Like Thee, swept her unexpectedly into the world of indie authors. She tries to use her stories to fill the silences in literature, helping more people understand the world of the Army and showing how God heals the broken-hearted. You can find her and more of her writing at SoldierGirlStories.com.