I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and it’s something I’ve always loved to do. Ghost stories are probably my favorite to write, but I also write science fiction, fantasy, and realistic fiction. I am currently getting my MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University. Something random…I always sleep with the fan on—probably to block out the sounds of ghosts creeping around my house!
Will you tell everyone what your book is about in six words or less?
Honestly, I think the title does a really good job of summarizing my book in five words—the possession of Cassie Quinn. Something a little more boring: girl moves into haunted house.
What was the inspiration behind Cassie’s story? Why did you decide to write a horror novel?
I’ve always loved reading and writing ghost stories. I actually had the basic idea for this story when I was younger, and even wrote some pieces of it when I was thirteen (like the dividing the room with the blankets scene). I always had that idea with me, and as an adult I went back to it. The setting for Cassie’s story was inspired by a house I actually lived in. It was a very creepy place to live!
This book is filled with chilling moments. What was your favorite ghost scene to write? Why?
My favorite scene to write was the last chapter. I knew people wouldn’t be expecting it, and I love to read and write unexpected endings. I am not a fan of the happy ending, especially in horror, and think the best endings leave you hanging or wondering what happens.
The woods outside of Cassie’s house are spooky, especially considering that’s were the boy who used to live in her house died. Considering I also live right on the edge of the woods in Minnesota, this spooked me a bit. What, do you think, it is about the woods in Minnesota that lends itself to the perfect haunted setting?
I’m realizing that the woods play a part in a lot of my books I’m writing, as in most of my stories the characters live by woods - even for stories that are not horror stories. I think the woods can seem so haunted for a number of reasons. I think a lot of people aren’t in touch with nature now and for that simple reason nature can be scary. We aren’t familiar with all the sounds and sights of the woods, especially at night, and don’t know what might be lurking in the darkness. That unknown is really scary! Plus the woods, whether at night or during the day, tends to be more dark and quiet, and you really can’t see very far and anything could be hiding behind the next tree, watching us, waiting to jump out and scare us. I have a woods behind my house, and I often imagine what might be out there, hiding in the trees, watching me…
I’m still hung up on that ending! Did you know how it would end when you began writing or did you figure it out as you went along?
I figured it out as I went along. I originally had a different ending in mind, but as I was writing I knew the ending had to be what I eventually made it. That’s where the story kept leading me.
The Possession of Cassie Quinn ends with a "The story continues…June 2013” note. Can you tell us a little of what to expect in Book 2?
Just be happy I’m going to write a sequel – originally I wasn’t planning on it! The sequel is going to pick up exactly where the first book left off, but told through the eyes of Ashleigh. She’s going to find a hidden diary that was written 90 years ago and talks about a similar haunting at the house and find out some useful information that can help her.
What is your favorite horror novel?
Hmm…I don’t get much chance to read nowadays (sadly). I really liked Stephen King when I was growing up. Also, one of my favorite books growing up was Wait Til Helen Comes – by Mary Downing Hahn. Not quite horror, but a great ghost story!
Favorite horror movie?
The Grudge – I usually don’t get scared from movies, but this movie terrified me! I even had to close my eyes at the end—too scary for me to watch!
You can find Kathryn Knutson online at http://kathrynknutson.com/!
I'm also giving away a copy here. This giveaway is international as long as Book Depository ships to you. You must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends on July 11, 2012.