I’m so excited to have Cassie Alexander on the blog today! Cassie is the author of the brand new urban fantasy, Nightshifted (which is awesome-feel free to check out my review) and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions! Also, she’s offering an awesome giveaway (a copy of Nightshifted and the coolest syringe necklace), so be sure to check out the details at the end of the post!
Please welcome Cassie to the blog!
Cassie, you’re a nurse with an obviously crazy schedule! How the heck did you find the time to write Nightshifted, your brand new urban fantasy?
I’m pretty rabid about protecting my time, and making the most of the time I do have. I haul my laptop around with me everywhere, and am willing to write in ridiculously small periods of time — I’m writing this on a short plane flight right now, in fact.
I will admit though, that having official deadlines and the whole getting paid to write thing makes it easier to go offline ;).
What was your favorite part of writing Nightshifted? Your fave character to write (besides Edie)?
Oooh, that’s tough. There’s a lot of favorite parts — there have to be, or no one would ever finish writing a book, ha. Probably the end, when everything came together and I knew that I was going to pull it off. If you write like I do, until you reach the end, you’re never sure you’re going to nail it.
Secondarily to that, I send everything to my alpha reader, Daniel. And doing his round of insightful edits is my second favorite time in the process. He’s got a good gauge as to whether the book is going to work or not. And actually, I really enjoy the editing process — making things better has a much faster reward-return cycle than just coming up with the 1st draft words.
My favorite character is probably Dren, because he’s an asshole, and those are fun to write. Basically any time I can have a character on stage who is a psychopath I’m pleased, because they have their own very obscure reasons and rules and answer to no one. My editor at St. Martin’s, the lovely and awesome Rose Hilliard, has had to tell me to make people nicer before, which I do because I know she’s right, but I’m sad about it, ha.
When you started Nightshifted, did you already have plans to write a series?
No. I was aware of the market, in that most people writing urban fantasies write in series, I knew it would be expected of me, but I didn’t have an entire series in my head yet. But by the time I got to the end of it, I knew what would happen next for the next several books, because the characters took on lives of their own. I did try to write Nightshifted as a solid standalone book though. I know readers don’t like to be left hanging.
What’s your fave paranormal creature?
(Author stares out the window on the plane thoughtfully for a bit.) That’s hard. I like a lot of the mythology for the obscure ones, like manananggal from the Philippines, etc. I’m torn because a lot of things I’m into aren’t particularly paranormal, (while still being mythological to me) because people are still worshipping them — I’m very into Santa Muerte and Erzulie right now. Santa Muerte shows up in Shapeshifted in a big way.
What are some of your favorite authors or novels?
I love old science fiction, I love Zelazny, Bester, and I recently read all of Cordwainer Smith’s work…like everyone else I’m a crazy huge have-half-the-book-memorized fan of Dune — there’s actually a small Dune shout-out in Nightshifted, if anyone else can spot it.
Other than that, I’m pretty eclectic and whatever I like is whatever I read last week ;). I’m a bad reader in that when I love a certain book I don’t always chase all the other books in the series down, or even other books that that author has written — I just try to keep out a wide net out at all times.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
Stiff by Mary Roach — a friend at work just lent it to me ;). And The Pillars of Hercules, by David Constantine, which is awesome.
If you weren’t a nurse and a writer, what would be your next career choice?
It would be very hard for me to find something I liked to do more than either of those. I enjoy autonomy and high stress. I’ve done a ton of other jobs and not enjoyed them, discovering the hard way that being a travel agent and accounting are not for me. I’d probably fall back on my elementary school choice — large animal vet.
When you do manage to find some downtime, how do you like to spend it?
I usually try to see friends. With working nightshift and every other weekend, it’s sometimes hard to be social, so I schedule out writing-dates and lunches as often as I can. Super-sick-in-bed downtime, I watch enormous quantities of Dr. Who on Netflix.
Quick! Name something that makes you laugh out loud!
My husband. In a good way. He has a strong sense of the absurd, and he amuses me like no one else can.
If you could pack your bags and travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
New York City 😀
Is there any advice that you would give to a struggling writer?
Keep on keeping on, and keep your eyes on your own page. All you have control over is honing your own skill and your own rate of production. Social media’s great for us author-introverts, because it lets us know that we’re not alone…but it also makes it very easy to compare your career path (or lack thereof) with other writers. If what you’re seeing online depresses or frustrates you, get offline and keep writing.
Anything else you’d like to share about upcoming projects, events, or anything at all (fave curse word, guilty pleasure, etc)?
Ha — my fav curse word you’d find out quickly if we conversed long enough. Guilty pleasure is Etsy….omg so much Etsy. I would be so sad if they put up a firewall up at work — it’s what gets me through a slow night!
Keep up with Cassie: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Snag a copy of Nightshifted: Amazon | B&N
Add Nightshifted to Goodreads!
1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander to 1 winner AND Syringe Necklace (see picture at right)
3. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian addresses ONLY
4. Must include a valid email address with your entry (as long as you leave it in the Rafflecopter form, you’re all good)
5. You must enter on or before 6/2/12
6. Giveaway book and necklace courtesy of Cassie Alexander/Necklace by Lost Apostle
7. Please see my Giveaway Policy.