Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Cassandra Dean

1. Welcome to the Author Spotlight Cassandra! Can you tell us a little about what genre you write and why you chose it?

Thank you so much for having me!  Of course I write Romance, predominantly historical with leanings towards England and Europe in the 19th century, however my first published novel is set in Ancient Rome – a little different to the 19th century Europe!  I also have a keen interest in urban fantasy, paranormal and steampunk, with many plans to tackle these sub-genres as well.

 2. Congratulations on the release of your book, Enslaved. What is it about? 

Here is the beautiful blurb for Enslaved, which I in no way ripped off my own website, and which you should in no way visit to enjoy all the many fabulous features contained within (just in case I was way too subtle, you should totally go visit my website! But, you know, at the end of the interview.)

I was to teach a slave.

Marcus, a gladiator in my father’s ludus, was compelled to my presence to learn of Rome’s gods, her legends. When first he came, fear consumed me – fear of this silent, resentful slave who burned with his anger.

Time, though, changes much. Marcus softened and I grew unafraid. As we became closer, I grew more than merely unafraid – I grew to love him. Never did I think we would be separated.

I was wrong.

I forced myself to forget. Forget Marcus, forget the almost-smile he gave to me alone, forget everything but my life as it was now. Then, one day, I wandered into a market and spied Marcus, and the truth I had always hidden, thought to forget, was thrust upon me.

I had never ceased to love my slave.

Sounds like a ripper, doesn’t it? 🙂

 3. When coming up with an idea for a new novel, what comes to you first, the plot or characters?

Hmm, that’s a toughie!  It’s different with different books.  With Enslaved, Lucia, the main character, came first, however I was insanely inspired by the TV show Spartacus: Blood and Sand.  While watching this nifty little show (and thinking how hot the lead actor was) I thought, “What if the main character, a slave and a gladiator, somehow formed a friendship with the daughter of his owner and they fell into a forbidden love?”  How could I resist that idea?  I got to writing and before I knew it, the first draft had been completed.

With my second book, Teach Me, coming soon from Decadent Publishing, the epilogue popped into my head fully formed.  As I was on a bus tour of Scotland at the time (and, silly me, didn’t have pen or paper with me) I rather desperately sought a means to write it down.  Luckily, the hotel where we stopped that night had a free pad and pen and the rest is history. 🙂

4. Do you have a writing schedule that you follow?

Not as such.  I would love to be that organised!  I write when I can, around the commitments of the day job, family, friends, etc.

5. Do you use any prompts to get you into the mood for writing, eg: music, candles…etc?

I find music helps to shut off the distractions of the outside world and with those taken care of I can write and write and write and then look up to discover…huh. Two hours has passed.  When did that happen?

Apart from that, I try to write in any environment, however my friend and critique partner, Lucy Clark, inspires me to no end.  We get together regularly and after meeting with her, I find I’m all manner of inspired.

6. Do you mostly read books in the same genre you write in, or do you enjoy reading other genres too?

I read outside my genre, sure!  While romance is my go to love, I do love reading fantasy, horror, thrillers, even sci-fi occasionally.  Also, I find watching TV helps me immeasurably with my writing.  Faves at the moment (apart from the afore-mentioned Spartacus, which I HEART big time) are Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Supernatural, Misfits and Doctor Who, as well as many others.

7. What do you think is the most important piece of writing advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up.  It’s so hard to keep going, to find inspiration, to face another rejection. 

I was ready to give up several times.  It felt awful during the long process of submitting to publishers and agents, getting knocked back time and again.  I would often moan my despair to my friends and I am so grateful for their support during that yucky period. 

What’s worse is it doesn’t stop.  Each book could be knocked back, and so we get to endure the nail-biting despair over and again.

But honestly, it’s the best job in the world.  As the grandma said in Parenthood, “I like the rollercoaster.”

8. Name three character traits you think are essential for the hero of a romance novel?

Ohhh, another toughie!  Um, I don’t set out with specific character traits, for me it’s more whatever the story demands.  However, I find humour extremely attractive, although it isn’t necessary.  I also love the dark, tortured hero (a la Beauty and the Beast) but again don’t feel it essential for every hero I write about.

I think the best answer I can give is both the hero and heroine need to have complimentary character traits, ones that force them to learn and grow, ultimately becoming better just by the presence of the other.  Does that work??

9. Apart from writing, what are your other interests and hobbies?

Hobbies…hmm. I like watching TV way too much and I enjoy hanging with friends, drinking wine and eating cheese.  I LOVE travelling, discovering other cultures and histories. I also love to cook, which marries up with the hanging out with friends thing really well!

10. Are there any books on writing craft that you’ve found helpful?

On Writing, by Stephen King simply because he says, and I’m paraphrasing, “This is how I do it, which may not be how you do it. No one can tell you how to write, all I can do is tell you how I write.”  I love that.  Also, I found The Writer’s Tale, by Russell T Davies, which details how he wrote season 4 of Doctor Who, an extremely interesting examination of a writer’s process.

11. What are you working on next?

As I’ve mentioned, I have another book coming soon from Decadent Publishing.  Teach Me is the tale of a curious widow who seeks tutelage in the erotic arts from a dissolute earl…whatever shall happen? 😉

I’m also working on a sequel to Enslaved, yet to be titled, featuring the heroine’s son, all grown up!  This one is set in Roman Britain, with the legions and the Picts and lots of fun times.

12. Where can readers buy Enslaved, and how can people find out more about you online?

Purchase Enslaved here!  It’s available via my publisher, Decadent Publishing, as well as other ebook retailers such as Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks or Diesel eBooks.  And please come visit me at my website, on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.  I would love to hear from you all!

 

Thanks Cassandra, we wish you the best of success with your books!

*For your chance to WIN an ebook copy of ENSLAVED, plus a signed postcard, magnet, & keyring, simply comment below by 5pm Sydney time on Friday 2nd Sept!

 

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26 Comments

  1. ROB HAMOND

     /  August 27, 2011

    Thanks Casandra for telling us about your great novel Enslaved and you have really hiped it up to the stage where I am so excited to read. Congradulations on your success ….ROBHAP

    Reply
  2. Cassandra,
    Can’t wait to read Enslaved. Such an exciting, and unusual, period of history to be writing about.
    And as for that sexy cover…Woo Hoo!!
    Suzi

    Reply
  3. Michelle Mercieca

     /  August 27, 2011

    Hi Cassandra, I absolutely loved Spartacus too! I really enjoy reading historical romances and think that Enslaved would be right up my alley! Really looking forward to reading it.

    Michelle

    Reply
  4. Louise Reynolds

     /  August 27, 2011

    Hi Cassandra,
    Good to learn more about you. And there are not enough hunky Roman slaves around so thanks for bringing us Marcus. Good luck with the book!

    Reply
  5. DD

     /  August 27, 2011

    Can’t wait to read enslaved, the perfect read to pass the time while I”m recuperating. Now how do I get ‘him’ to go and buy it for me!?!?

    Reply
  6. DIANA

     /  August 27, 2011

    Looks like a great book…hint hint to all that love me, it’s my birthday on Monday, a great gift idea!

    Reply
  7. kerry santillo

     /  August 27, 2011

    Hi there!!! I like the fact that you write in different genres, from romance to the historicals. You sound like you are very down to earth and that reflects in your interview. I would love to read Enslave, and thankyou for letting us readers get to know you a little bit better. Good luck with your book, Im sure it will be FASCINATING and cant wait.

    Reply
  8. would love to have the chance to win this contest

    Reply
  9. Ying Ying TAN (Joyce)

     /  August 27, 2011

    I just finished reading a fabulous trilogy – The Hunger Games, cannot wait to get my hands another mind-blowing novel and I believe your book can satisfy my hunger. Thank you and keep up the great work =)

    Reply
  10. Sue Rees

     /  August 27, 2011

    To be able to combine my enjoyment of reading romance with my love of Ancient History – what’s not to like? Best wishes. I’m looking forward to reading both “Enslaved” and its sequel.
    Sue

    Reply
  11. Thanks for the great contest and I look forward to reading the book if I win!

    Reply
  12. Wow, sounds like you have a positive treasure trove of stories still write across such varied genres!! I love stories set in ancient Rome and enslaved sounds fabulous 🙂 Look forward to reading it.

    Reply
  13. Heather

     /  August 28, 2011

    Hey Cassandra, I love Spartacus & Supernatural too. Enslaved sounds like a really good book. I would love to see how their love unfolds 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  14. Kay Gerritsen- Blaney

     /  August 28, 2011

    can’t wait to read it.

    Reply
  15. Na

     /  August 28, 2011

    Fantastic cover! You are a new author to me and I would love to read Enslaved. Thank you for the chance.

    Reply
  16. Hi all,
    Thank you for your lovely words, they have certainly made me feel very chuffed! Good luck to all of you and I hope you enjoy Enslaved!
    Cassandra

    Reply
  17. Hey Cassandra,

    It so good to see you going well with your writing. It’s been way to long. Enslaved sounds fascinating, with the master/slave relationship and forbidden love. Good luck with your upcoming release as well. 🙂
    Eleni x

    Reply
  18. Leanne Gaudry

     /  September 1, 2011

    Thank you for sharing, looking forward to reading!

    Reply
  19. This looks great can’t wait to get my hands on a copy – Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  20. samantha newton

     /  September 1, 2011

    looks interesting

    Reply
  21. Hi Cassandra,
    I just love your work and look forward to reading your latest.

    Reply
  22. Ooh sounds like a great read!

    Reply
  23. tracy wedding

     /  September 2, 2011

    sounds great just what i need a book to keep me captivated

    Reply
  24. Jenny Gregory

     /  September 2, 2011

    I simply love romance novels

    Jenny

    Reply
  25. Thanks to everyone who left a comment… Stefanie is the lucky winner! (I’ve sent you an email, Stefanie).

    And thanks to Cassandra for taking part in our Author Spotlight, all the best for your book! 🙂

    Reply
  1. Cassandra around the web! « Cassandra Dean

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