Name: H. R. Kasper
Age: Let’s just say I’m not as young as I used to be 😉
Where are you from? I’m a born, bred North-East Ohioan and proud of it.
A little about yourself, i.e. your education, family life, etc.
I live on 10 acres of gorgeous land, and am currently balancing a job with pursuing higher education.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
H.R. Kasper: My most exciting news is that I will be revealing the cover of my latest book, The ShadowMaster, on November 30th!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
H.R. Kasper: I started creative writing at a very young age. I enjoyed it and so continued to do it for years.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
H.R. Kasper: I think I first considered myself a writer just before high school.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
H.R. Kasper: I wrote the first chapter of my first book in a response to a cliffhanger writing prompt. I drew off childhood memories of reaching towards a mirror, wondering if there could be something on the other side. I didn’t expect to continue the piece but after months of writing it became my book The Mirror.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
H.R. Kasper: My style has changed a lot over the years, and in some ways I’m still figuring it out. I want to inspire with my writing and make people think a little, and I try my best to do just that.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
H.R. Kasper: I don’t remember my exact thought process, but the title seemed really obvious to me. It was simple and didn’t reveal too much yet conveyed the genre well enough.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
H.R. Kasper: The main message in my series is that sometimes you have to be a hero, whether you like it or not. 😉
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
H.R. Kasper: Since it’s fantasy, not very much! 😉 Part II of TThe mirroe is probably the most realistic, and even that isn’t too true to life. The realistic parts are mainly the human feelings, the love, loss and triumph.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
H.R. Kasper: I don’t base too much off of real life. However, I do find myself mixing and matching traits from people I know to create my characters.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
H.R. Kasper: I think the books that most heavily influenced my love for fantasy were C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series. C. S. Lewis inspired the descriptive and contemplative part of my writing, and Riordan’s work has made me strive to add more humor to my stories.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
H.R. Kasper: I’m currently reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. It was recommended to me by a close friend.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
H.R. Kasper: Yes, I’m watching L. A. Starkey and E. L. Ervin closely. I enjoyed their first books. I hope to read L. A. Starkey’s whole trilogy if I ever find the time!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
H.R. Kasper: I’m currently finishing up the sequel to The Mirror, titled The ShadowMaster. I hope to have it available for purchase before Christmas. The cover reveal will be on November 30th, on my website/blog, and I will have preorder information then.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
H.R. Kasper: A very close friend of mine has been and is amazing. He’s supportive but also gives great writing advice, being one himself. We have different perspectives and have collectively helped other writers. I’m very grateful we have each other to bounce our rough drafts off of.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
R. Kasper: I do, yet most writers do need part-time or even full-time jobs to get by. It’s a tough, sometimes seemingly thankless job. Readers may not stop to consider how much blood, sweat, and tears were poured into a story before judging it as good or bad. Yet when you hit that sweet spot there’s a feeling that can’t be described, and that makes it all worth it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
H.R. Kasper: I don’t think I would make any drastic changes. Perhaps the main romance would start off a little differently, but other than that I can’t think of anything that bothers me a lot in hindsight.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
H.R. Kasper: My interest in writing, the first spark of it anyway, came about when I was in 2nd grade or so. I wrote stories about our daily life from the family dog’s point of view. Over the years, it (writing) gradually became something I really loved to do.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
H.R. Kasper: Sure! I’ll give you a little description from The ShadowMaster, which describes a landmark in one of my worlds.
Honor Falls was no ordinary waterfall. It was so high that the refraction of light on the waters made it impossible to see the top without both looking all the way up and squinting. The water came plummeting down in an unusual way.
Rather than there being a wall of rock for the river to pour over, there was a ledge of rock, in a pointed shape like an arrow. The water did not flow all the way to the end of the jagged formation but rather split in two, one giant stream gushing down either side of it. From that great height the water plunged down into a large pool. A mild mist hung about the vicinity of the falls, and even standing quite far away from it I could sense the moisture as I inhaled.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
H.R. Kasper: I’ve struggled with description. I have been chasing that delicious description of C. S. Lewis, who somehow makes everything sound glorious and magical without being wordy. I do my best, but I still feel that’s a weak point in my writing.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
H.R. Kasper: Such a tough question! I think my favorite author would have to be C. S. Lewis. Like I said before, his description is fantastic. I also love how he places subtle lessons and metaphors in his works.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
H.R. Kasper: I don’t travel a lot. I like doing small, local events. You get better interactions with people that way.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
H.R. Kasper: I designed The Mirror’s cover. As for The ShadowMaster, I’m very excited about that cover. It was designed by Adrijus Guscia of Rocking Book Covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
H.R. Kasper: Another tough question! One of the toughest things for me is letting my characters make their own choices…even though that might end badly for them. I feel almost protective, yet it would be a violation of their free will if I wrote them as perfect, because none of them are.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
H.R. Kasper: One of the most important things I’ve learned is just how complicated people are, and how what you see isn’t always what you get.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
H.R. Kasper: The only way to get better at writing is to write, write, and write some more!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
H.R.Kasper: Thank you, I’m so happy to share this story with you.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
H.R.Kasper: No, because as soon as I learned to read I read so many books I can’t possibly remember which was the first.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
H.R. Kasper: My family makes me laugh a lot, along with my pets. and Pixar manages to get me to tear up almost every time.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
H.R. Kasper: This may come as a surprise but I would love to meet Abraham Lincoln. I have always admired him.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
H.R. Kasper: I think I’d like to have something to the effect of “Everything else comes and goes, but love lasts forever.” I want to be remembered for who I was to other people and not necessarily what I did.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
H.R. Kasper: I enjoy photography, and dabble in it in my free time. I’ve also been feeling around a bit with graphic design.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
R. Kasper: I’m always up to watch a Marvel movie. I also really enjoyed Agent Carter and am looking forward to the second season of that. BBC’s Sherlock is another show I love to watch (I hate the waiting time in between seasons, however!).
Fiona: Favorite foods/Colors/ Music:
H.R. Kasper: My favorite foods are all over the place. I’ve got a Polish and Belgian heritage which means lots of potatoes and mayonnaise 😉 I love bright colors, my favorite being a deep purple. I lean towards hard rock when it comes to music but I also enjoy instrumental and film scores.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
H.R. Kasper: I love kids, so I would probably teach or coach. I would also pursue photography to a point.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? I have a website which also functions as a blog. You can find it at hrkasperbooks.jimdo.com