BIO: Cassandra Carr is a multi-published, award-winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Siren, and Loose Id who lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Cassandra’s book Caught was recently named Best BDSM Book 2011 by LoveRomancesCafe.
Nymph Du Pave: What lead to your choice to write?
Cassandra Carr: Funny enough, getting laid off and deciding to have a baby. I know that’s not a real traditional route to take, but it worked for me.
CC: I’m currently working on the first book of a five-book series which revolves around IT geek heroes. I love geeks (I married one) and think they’re underrepresented in the romance market. 😉 Here’s a snippet – UNEDITED, as the book has not sold:
A knock sounded at the door and Keith rose to answer it. When the woman Michael assumed was Juliet stepped into the room he made a distinctly undignified gurgling sound. This gorgeous, elegant woman was their director of IT? He thanked the heavens for small favors when it appeared she hadn’t heard him. She glanced around and Michael took a few seconds to assess her.
Her brown, shiny hair hung to just below her ears, and even though her mouth was currently drawn into a thin line, it was obvious she had a beautiful set of lips that Michael could think of about a thousand uses for. Her gaze was cold, but an undeniable source of heat lurked in their depths, as if she was at once furious and also completely disapproving of SOS being there. She was wearing a snug red sweater and a slim black skirt with black high-heeled boots that lovingly wrapped around her calves, and she was currently tapping her foot in a staccato beat. A throat cleared beside him.
“Michael?” PJ prompted.
Shit. No doubt PJ had noticed his reaction to Juliet.
Fucking brilliant, man.
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Juliet snapped. She stepped forward and held out her hand. “Juliet Brun, director of IT.”
NDP: Do you see writing as a career, either current or future?
CC: It’s definitely my career now! I’m a full-time writer, or as full-time as you can be with a toddler at home part of the time. I fully intend to make this my life’s work.
NDP: Do you have a message or theme you want to get across? Is that something that is in all of your work, or just a particular line/series/piece?
CC: There are different themes in different pieces. Overall, love conquers all.
NDP: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
CC: On a bestsellers’ list. But seriously, if I can make enough money from my writing to help send my daughter to college I’ll feel like my mission in life is complete.
NDP: What books have most influenced your life most?
CC: The Westing Game, when I was younger. It was a Newberry Award Winner in the late 1970’s (dating myself, eek!) and I read it until it fell apart. I still have a copy of it.
I also enjoy books like Pride and Prejudice.
NDP: What book are you reading now?
CC: Fifty Shades of Grey. I figure since it’s in my genre I should see what all the hype is about. I’m about halfway through it. I have all three of the trilogy but I’m not sure I’ll read them all since I have over 200 books on my to-be-read list.
CC: Productivity is by far my biggest challenge. I only have part-time childcare so when I do I really need to put words down on the screen. It’s hard to fly into productivity and stay there all day, though. I also write at night after my daughter has gone to bed, but I’m tired then and sometimes it’s a struggle to get up the energy to sit down and write a few thousand words. I do sprints with other writers on Twitter – that helps a lot!
NDP: Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so how do you get through it?
CC: Every writer does. Here’s my advice for beating writer’s block: keep writing. Don’t allow yourself to stop; you’ll lose all momentum and compound the problem. You will eventually write yourself out of writer’s block, so even if you have to re-work or delete part of what you did it’s better than nothing.
NDP: How do you find inspiration?
CC: Oh wow. Inspiration is everywhere! I am often inspired by one small kernel which turns into an entire book. In my release, Collision, the whole story was started with the idea of the King of Rodeo and the Ice Queen. The plot and characters grew entirely out of that.
NDP: How do you keep the love of writing alive?
CC: I keep selling books. 😉 Seriously, this is what I love to do, and when it gets hard I just look at my friends and family who are struggling in Corporate America. Do I want to change places with them? Hell no!
NDP: Have you learned anything from writing? What was it?
CC: You mean like life lessons? That you if you want something badly enough and work hard enough for it, combined with doing the proper research into how to do it, you will have a much greater likelihood of succeeding.
NDP: What do you feel are your strong points? What about things you’re working to improve?
CC: I’m told my sex scenes are my strong points, along with heroes my readers can fall in love with. My weaknesses? Hmm. Probably secondary plotting. I tend to keep a very tight focus on my hero and heroine. That’s okay in a shorter work, but in the longer works it’s a problem because you need subplots and secondary characters to keep the story moving.
NDP: Do you have any advice for other writers?
CC: Everyone has advice, and I’m no exception. 🙂 If you really want to be a writer, write. Finish that book. Don’t say you’re going to; actually do it. Lots of people WANT to be writers, but not very many really are.
NDP: Do you write an outline before every book/story you write?
CC: HAHAHAHAHA No. I’m a pantser, to the point that sometimes I end a chapter and literally have no idea what I’m going to write next. I oftentimes don’t know how a book is going to end. I’ll be typing along and cock my head. “That looks like a good place to finish.” The End. There, done.
CC: I write characters I’d like to read about. It’s as simple as that.
NDP: What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily/weekly writing goal?
CC: I don’t have a typical day since my childcare is somewhat in flux, but when I write I try to sit down at the computer for at least an hour at a time. I don’t always write during that entire hour, sometimes I check email and the like, but I try not to get up more than once an hour. I write mostly in the corner of my living room (remember that toddler I mentioned?) and at cafes if I need to leave the house. I don’t set writing goals. I think they’d stress me out. I’m pretty prolific so I don’t really need them either.
I want to thank Cassandra for taking the time for this interview! I hope you enjoyed reading it.
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