2018 releases

Hell's Bell
Scent of the Jaguar
His Outback Nanny
The Queen's Game
366 Days of Flash Fiction
On the Horizon: Simple worlds of speculative adventure
Lusting the Enemy

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Darklight On.. Cassandra L Shaw Q&A

Today's Darklight On... is with Cassandra L Shaw. Welcome, Cassandra! 

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre? 
No story I’ve ever made up, even as a child didn’t have some element of oddity: talking trees, talking animals, being able to fly, alien friends who shared their world. As my imagination matured the stories didn’t. They still had aliens, creatures from other worlds, winged men, shapeshifters, ghosts, time travellers- only now I had romance woven in. Some people never really grow up.

I have tried to write a straight romance, but other things kept sneaking in, so I believe in going with the flow, that story became a paranormal romantic suspense.

I love the fact that you can let your characters do anything. Oh, he’s far hotter with wings and can fly – cool. Oh, she can teleport – how convenient. It’s fun, and other than the emotions you put into the story the whole thing is total escapism. Something my mind craves.

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I am a definite panster. I think of a beginning (first paragraph) a character’s name and just write. Whatever comes out - comes out. It not always genius (well never) but it’s what I need for my first draft. This doesn’t take me that long. I’ve written a 70K paranormal romantic suspense in ten days. My first MS took two months to write 170K. (helps being a fast typist).

After that - it’s a whole different ball game. The time consuming, hard work part.

I go over and over, adding, layering, deleting, deepening characters, deleting more and more. My 170K MS is now 110K.

In a way it’s the longest form of plotting, but it gets me where I need to be, the finish of a novel. 

Do have a favourite of your characters?
Although all my books are heroine centric, it’s the guys I love and have the most fun with. Evition Eyes has a love triangle and it’s Jesse, the one who misses out, that I like the most. I made him fun, earthy, a very Australian man in his love for life and fun. I like his devotion and desperation to keep the women he loves safe even when she is bonded to another.

What are you currently working on?
‘Evition Eyes’ is a Romantic fantasy based on Earth contemporary times. Not quite a, urban as it’s based mostly in the tropics in a rainforest area in Queensland near Mackay. It is the first of a series. 

Aisling knows nothing of her destiny. After a horrific accident she moves into her parents’ home to finish recuperating. Only here she feels watched, see a giant Panther, finds a dead creature that resembles a boar the size of a bull. Finds pre-destined love in the man she’s had premonitions of.

Discovers she’s the Magical Queen of the Planet Eva and the Mysticians, creatures from the planet Myst want her dead. Want to steal her soul.

‘Thirty-two’ is a paranormal romantic suspense. Based in a fictional town in America, Shayne finds her boyfriend Jasen stabbed to death. He immediately starts to let her know he has not left her alone, touches her, appears before her trying to give her hints to who killed him and who hunts her. Mike, a detective who is a friend of the family comes to Shayne’s aid trying to keep her safe whilst four more victims, all linked to Shayne turn up. Each one has been stabbed thirty-two times. 

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
The very first draft, where I can just write anything that comes to my mind. Then about draft number seven when all the layers have meshed and the characters are alive. I love that feeling. It still might need editing but the depth is there. I get a head rush at that moment. 

What can we expect from Cassandra L Shaw in the future?
Hopefully dozens of published books. Ha ha ha. I am about to work with an editor on my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, ‘Thirty-two’. Whilst working on that I will flesh out a Romantic Fantasy I have written, ‘Jett and Callidor.’ This one needs a lot of layering as it starts on contemporary earth but soon moves into other dimensions and worlds. I also have started on book two of the Evition series, ‘Magic Circle of nine.’

Who are your favourite authors?
Well I keep discovering new ones all the time but on my shelves I have J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole and there are so many more. I don’t only read speculative I enjoy a good romance and suspense.

What are you currently reading?
I just finished Nalini’s Archangel series and waiting for the delivery of her in that line. I am re-reading the Black Brotherhood series of J.R. Ward's. 

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
Some things aren’t that good to admit to. I still love the original Stars Wars trilogy (yep gives away my age straight up). I enjoy most things of high adventure. Tron was good, Pirates of Caribbean movies I’ve rushed to cinemas to see. Lord of Rings I loved, although I never got into the books.
T.V series. Not many are done that well. I watch True Blood but mostly because I find it funny, which probably isn’t the reaction the writers were after. I’m sorry it’s just so corny, like Days of Our lives dressed in vampires.

Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Well I’m very new to this myself, but I’ve found my writing has developed dramatically since I got a critique partner, joined groups, chat rooms and taken workshops and courses. Even the poor courses taught me something. The editing ones have been the most manuscript changing.

Thanks, Cassandra.
You can find Cassandra at her website


  1. Loved learning more about you Cassandra. And wow on your amazing speed on getting a first draft done. :)

  2. Cassandra - that first draft output is amazing! And it seems we have the same taste in books/authors! =))