Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thespian Tuesday with Cassanda Dean



Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about who you are.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Jess! Hi peeps, I’m Cassandra Dean and I mostly write historical romances. I seem to jump around a bit, with stories set in Ancient Rome, Early Victorian England, Old American West and even a few contemporaries. To top it off, I have plans to write a Steampunk series as well.

I’m from Adelaide, South Australia, and I’m gearing up for the Festival and the Fringe. Such a wonderful time of year, when thousands of people pour into Adelaide to celebrate arts and culture and super fun times… Can’t wait!

Please tell us a bit about your book.
FOOL’S GOLD is second in The Diamond Series and part of Decadent Publishing’s Western Escape. All Western Escape books are set in the fictional town of Freewill, Wyoming, and I was lucky enough to be able to do a sub-series set in the Old West. Here’s the blurb:

Christmas in Freewill
Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.
Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.
When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?

What was the motivation/idea behind this book/these characters?
I think with this book I was going with a theme of acceptance – Pearl and Ethan both need someone to accept them as they are. Actually, that theme runs through a lot of my work. Huh. Well, there you go.

In regards to this, I saw Joss Whedon speak at the Sydney Opera House about writing from your ‘dark place’, from an issue you possess deep inside that you’re trying to work through (more about Joss below). It was such an eye-opening talk, and really resonated with me. I think it’s very true that authors write from this place inside them, a place that is small and scared. So, in a way, we’re all performing self-therapy when we write…Puts a different slant on things, doesn’t it? J

Did you enjoy writing this book, or did you have some tough times with it?
This one wasn’t too bad at all. I had struggled with the previous book in the series, ROUGH DIAMOND. I couldn’t get the feel of the Western voice right, and I just about tore my hair out before it finally clicked for me. Luckily, all of that pain and suffering was over and done with by the time it came to write FOOL’S GOLD.

When / Where / How do you write?
Whenever I get the opportunity! However, I seem to work problems out while I’m driving. I guess when my brain’s concentrating on the driving, it frees up my subconscious to make connections I couldn’t find when I’m focusing on the problem. Tis always the way, isn’t it??  I also do a lot of plotting when I’m having a massage… Good excuse to have one, methinks!

Do you have some other qualification/interest/something else you do besides being a writer?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Arts (Communication Studies), which is a very pretty decoration on my wall ;) In my other life, I work in a financial institution, which is great as my brain is taken up with financial matters during the day and then at night, I can be all creative and stuff.

What book/s are you reading at the moment?
I just finished re-reading Meljean Brook’s Guardian series, in preparation for the last one to be released in September (come on, September!). I’m currently re-reading Richelle Mead’s The Golden Lily, second in her Bloodlines series, in preparation for the release of the third book, The Indigo Spell. Hmm. I seem to do a lot of re-reading!

Do you have any authors who were your inspiration/hero?
My F4E and critique partner, Lucy Clark, has been invaluable in this caper. She’s encouraged me, supported me and taught me so much about the writing. Yay for Lucy!

I’m also a MASSIVE FAN of Joss Whedon. MASSIVE. There are no words to convey the depth of my adulation of this man. If you would like a masterclass on what’s important in writing, watch any of his commentaries on Buffy, Firefly, Cabin in the Woods or anything else. I’m HANGING for his commentary of The Avengers – there’s bound to be some gold there.

What are you working on right now?
The second in The Silk Series, SILK & SCORN. I’m in the process of working out who the characters are as people, what their goals, motivations and conflicts are…and I’m having a blast! I’m really enjoying writing this series, and I’m really glad my editor suggested I turn SILK & SCANDAL, the first book, into a series.

 Do you have any other books out you'd like to mention?
I have several ;)
SILK & SCANDAL – Book 1 in The Silk Series, coming soon. A reputation-conscious barrister and a scandal-riddled lady – what could possibly go wrong?
FOOL’S GOLD – well, you peeps already know about that one!
ROUGH DIAMOND – Book 1 in The Diamond Series. A lady saloon owner and a seemingly empty-headed Englishman. When he wants to buy her saloon, tension – and passion – flares.
TEACH ME – A curious widow and a dissolute earl. Let the lessons begin.
ENSLAVED – A daughter of Rome and a rebellious slave. He is forced to be a gladiator and she must teach him of Rome’s legends…and try not to fall in love.


Thanks for having me, Jess!
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Christmas in Freewill
Christmas Eve, the Diamond Saloon is empty of its people, and Pearl la Monte has a hankering to retire early. A pounding at the Diamond’s door rids her of such a fool notion. Her irritation rises when she sees the prissy, polite-like Garrett standing outside.
Ethan Garrett has a powerful need to gain succor. When the saloon’s voluptuous redheaded singer scowls at him from the threshold of the Diamond, he doesn’t stop to think on how his ire at her has disappeared. Or how he just wants to spend some time in her company.
When a blizzard storms in, trapping them, will they spend their time arguing or find their irritation for each other disguises something more?

Available from Decadent Publishing

Excerpt:

Turning on her heel, Pearl marched off toward the stairs.

A weird kind of panic jolted through Ethan, one he’d never felt before in all his days. It was…he didn’t…. She couldn’t leave him. “Where are you going?”

She whirled to face him, her irritation plain. “I was seeking my bed before your arrival, and now I’m seeking it again. Help yourself to whiskey this one time. I got better things to do.”

Shoving to his feet, he strode to her. “Don’t just walk away when we’re discussing things.”

“We ain’t discussing nothing. You’ll be down here, waiting out the blizzard. I’ll be in my bed, doing what I was gonna before you arrived. That’s the end of it.”

Taking a step, she made to leave him. Again.

He grabbed her arm. “Don’t leave me.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” Glaring at him, she stood before the bar, her magnificent hair slipping from its pins, her breasts rising and falling.

Abruptly, his mouth went dry. Clearing his throat some, he said, “You’re supposed to offer succor to those in need.”

“We’re closed, remember?” Paint-less lips pressed tight together, she glared up at him.

They were so close he could see the faint marks of freckles on her skin.

Pearl La Monte had freckles.

A kind of haze came over him, tightening his skin and bringing with it something all-fired powerful and completely unstoppable. All the years he’d known her crashed through him, all the times she’d flirted with him and meant something else, all the times he’d seen her perform on stage and wished he could have held such fire.

Grabbing her upper arms, he hauled her against him and, ignoring her shocked gasp, he covered her mouth with his.


Bio:
Cassandra grew up daydreaming, inventing fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures. Once she learned to read (First phrase – To the Beach. True story), she was never without a book, reading of other people’s fantastical worlds and marvelous adventures.

Fairy tales, Famous Fives, fantasies and fancies; horror stories, gumshoe detectives, science fiction; Cassandra read it all. Then she discovered Romance and a true passion was born.
So, once upon a time, after making a slight detour into the world of finance, Cassandra tried her hand at writing. After a brief foray into horror, she couldn’t discount her true passion. She started to write Romance and fell head over heels.

The love affair exists to this very day.

Cassandra lives in Adelaide, South Australia.



1 comment:

cassandradean.com said...

Thank you for having me on your blog, Jess!