Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the co-owner of Change of Attitude Construction Services and Reality Based Management Services (which handles community association management). I also own a company with another writer called Realm Multimedia which is an entertainment firm committed to providing artisans of all genres a voice. We currently have several subsidiaries including Realm Publishing, Realm Art and Realm Music. We are also producing two magazines: Realm of Nuance and Splendor to highlight our collective creative talent. In addition, I write as often as possible in several genres and under several pseudonyms.
I am also a HUGE animal person and currently we have three dogs including our new Golden Retriever puppy, MacGyver, who is getting his own blog and will be a part of one of my series. I am married and live with our menagerie somewhere Virginia.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
Probably from the time I was about eight.
What was the first fiction you ever wrote? Was it for publication? What reaction did you receive?
I wrote 17 novels by the time I was 14 and unfortunately none of them were published but I did receive acclaim from my high school and several critiques for my creative voice in Science Fiction.
What author or book influenced your writing
I don’t this there is one. I was always a voracious reader from the time I could read. I believe my first real influence was based on the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden series as a teen. Today I enjoy everything from Steven King to Carl Haissen. Carl’s campy writing truly gave me inspiration for my series called “Pinked” about murder and campy mayhem in a gated community association.
What is your most and least favorite part of writing
Of course I love the creating part including setting up worlds for my characters. I will spend a great deal of time researching where they are and how they live and what they drive before I put a pen to paper. Granted, that’s for the series. I’ll just sit down and write an erotic story in a weekend because I have that delicious little spark. Least favorite part is editing about twenty times! And trust me, I still don’t catch everything.
Do you have a ritual you use to get you ready to write?
No. I can write anywhere during anything and for any reason. I tend to write at our kitchen table under the huge bay window, but I also enjoy taking my laptop outside when weather permits. I also have to write to music – the darker the better.
After writing for hours at a time what do you do to relax?
I must admit that I do enjoy a glass of wine or two and our hot tub is quite relaxing. I also continue to read whatever I can get my hands on. Sadly, there has been little time to relax with all the businesses going.
Where do you write?
I write mostly at our kitchen table looking out at our acre of trees and flowers or on our deck. Whether there is snow or a shimmer of sunshine, I tend to be very creative there.
Does your environment color what you write?
No, I have always had a tremendous imagination and tend to dream in color. I also dream wild and crazy events I remember and go over stories in my sleep.
What does a typical writing day look like for you?
Sadly there is nothing typical. On weekends I do write more so it simply means I try and get done what I have to get done first and settle in to write, BUT…life does interfere and I can easily break and get back to writing as needed. I also tend to work on multiple books/stories under several of my pseudonyms at the same time. Or, I’ll then just be creative with a drink in my hand and develop new stories that I type all the details out later.
What is your opinion of writer's groups? Do you find them helpful? And how did you find yours?
I love my Virginia Chapter of RWA – great group of folks that have really helped me. Passionate Ink is also wonderful and I hope to be able to run for their Board next year. They really provide so many things a writer needs from inspiration to contests to support to laughs. You have to be a part of one so that you feel like you are not alone.
What are some of your pet peeves in life?
People – hate to say it, but working in community associations, I see people of all walks of life that are entitled and that drives me completely insane. I am a bold girl that refuses to keep my mouth shut!!
What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Write – do NOT ever allow anyone to stop you. There will be those including folks close to you that will refuse to take you seriously. DO NOT hear them or heed them. If you do, you will fail. And…if you think creatively and put anything on paper, you are a writer. Remember that when the next rejection letter comes. You are a writer.
Tell us about the stories linked here today? How did they come about?
The series “Pinked” came about because of so many idiotic stories based in community associations. They are too funny and too real not to pen on paper. My series about vampires – “The Shadow of Darkness” – came from my original love of vampires and all things that go bump in the night when I first watched Dark Shadows. Boy, am I dating myself! The erotic stories, well because I think all women enjoy and hunger for something a bit naughty and refuse to allow themselves to enjoy except for on the pages of a book.
I know you also have a new book coming out soon what can you tell us about that?
Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper – well, the story was based on my very delicious UPS man – I know, telling secrets. And it’s simply a saucy little adventure about an erotic writer that has “treats” delivered by her UPS man to help her write her stories. One day she kicks up the heat and invites him in for a drink and…well, we shall leave it that they enjoy a wonderful blustery fall afternoon that turns into something truly decadent.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have learned so many things from others writers and editors and reviewers and all of the critiques are priceless. I had one fantastic editor at Ellora’s Cave that really took time to help me understand how I needed to develop further as a writer and I honestly think she will remain forever in my mind as a mentor. Criticism is tough, but you gotta hear it and learn. If you do, the rewards will be sweet and in my opinion, the road traveled to get there is a wondrous adventure.
You can purchase Cassandre's book at http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-treatsinaplainbrownwrapper-478013-144.html
You can also Find Cassandre at http://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/pages/Cassandre-Dayne/178164866655 or http://www.cassandredayne.com/