2017 covers

The Black Tide
The Black Tide
Cloud Door
Fate in the Sun
Chasing Taz
Silver Reaper
The Starman's Arrival
Ashes Reborn
Beta’s Mark
Secrets at Wongan Creek
Freeman's Choice
Blood Chance
The Years of Voyage
Just a Dinosaur
Necessary Alpha
Fighting Mac
Exclusive
Taken by the Desert Sheikh
Alien Resistance
The Stars to Guide

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Darklight On... Cassandra L Shaw

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



How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?

I read a wide range of genres and sub-genres but the truth is over 70% the novels I really enjoy contain some sort of sci-fi, supernatural, or paranormal element.

When I decided to give writing a well-focused go, the story that came to me the strongest was a paranormal / sci-fi romance so it was that story I wrote. I love the world building in speculative fiction, the sense of I can make the rules of this world (yes, I love power—he he he), and I enjoy how I show my characters exactly how I see them.

I also write contemporary romance and romantic suspense but the majority of stories I think of come to me with otherworldly or supernatural elements though they usually also contain suspense elements too.


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

A strict pantser. I keep playing with plotting and have taken so many courses and workshops in the art of plotting but in the end—I pants my pants off.

I’ve even written over 20 pages of plot then when I dove into writing the story only followed my week worth of effort for two chapters (and I ended up changing those too). So I must face the fact my natural way of writing is pantsing.

I do however, when stuck or faced with a writers’ block, jot down ideas for the next two or three scenes and choose the best option and follow those ideas. That method probably makes a devoted plotter’s skin crawl but we must work the way that suits us as individuals and writers.


Do you have a favourite of your characters?

That’s a tough one. While writing each story those characters become your favourites but I have to admit I have a soft spot for Angel in my Grave Robber series. This is probably because she and I have to work together over several more books so I better enjoy her.

In my Katoom series each couple only gets the one novel devoted to their story, their romance. I have to admit I love writing men the most. Men talk to each other differently compared to the average woman. They think and react differently—in general to women. Kaid in Twin Flames is a mix of alpha and beta guy (whatever he needs to win and save the girl) and Xylvar the hero in the second in the series (currently writing first draft) comes over as such a bitter soul I’m enjoying trying to hide his good heart.


What are you currently working on? 

I’m working on four books. Yes four, and yes I’m nuts. But life got in the way for twelve months and I’m way, way, way behind where I should be. I’m revising the second in the Grave Robber series, writing the first draft of the second in the Katoom series, revising a single title contemporary romance, and I’ve started writing a Sci-fi romantic suspense that’s a little dark.


What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

Mmm, that’s a tough one. But I love starting a new story, meeting the characters and developing the plot and story. Then I also love the first two or three revisions where the characters grow richer and fuller and the plot tightens. Once past the 4 or 5 pass point I’m starting to wonder why I write—he he he he.


What can we expect from Cassandra L Shaw in the future?

Books on the New York Times best seller list – yeah, don’t I wish. (Daily. I wish for that, daily.)

Well I love where my muse is currently taking me. So more urban fantasy, more paranormal romantic suspense, and a slight side-step with some contemporary and sci-fi romance.


Who are your favourite authors?

Another hard question as it changes and evolves as I find new authors. But on my top re-order book list, I have Karen Marie Moning and Darynda Jones but then I also follow other authors from other genres. Discovering new must buy authors is the best thing for a reader.


What are you currently reading?

J.D. Robb, her seventh in the Eve Dallas murder mystery series (so written a long time ago) and I just finished Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (suspense with romantic elements and new author for me).


Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

This too changes with time as some start out great then wander off the track—but currently I’m enjoying Arrow, The Flash (when it’s on), Teen Wolfe and Dark Matter (though I’m still unsure on Dark Matter).


Do you have advice for emerging writers? 

Write a story and finish it (this is the most important part) then take workshops and courses and use these to improve your story. Once it’s all polished and shiny and you think it’s awesome throw the story under the bed and forget it exists.

Think of that story as your apprenticeship piece – it’s not really for public consumption. It was however a very important learning tool.

Now write another totally different story using all you know. And join writing groups, find a critique partner or three you gel with, and keep taking courses and improving your writing and never think you can’t learn more.

~~~

 Thanks, Cassandra
 
 


Twin Flames (Book 1 Katoom series) 
 
Paranormal Romantic Suspense out with Black Opal Books.
 
She’s in grave danger, but she doesn’t want his protection…
 
After a long and bitter world-war for pure human supremacy, humans and two sub-species the Eli and Crea reside on Earth in an uneasy harmony. One morning on a jog, Bliss Jacobs finds a murdered fellow Eli. She scents the killer on the body, but other evidence is washed away by a savage storm, leaving Bliss as the sole witness and the target of an assassin—and forcing her back into the world of the man who shattered her heart.
 
He believes she is his destined mate, but he knows there are no second chances…
 
Kaid Sinclair is chasing more than his best friend’s murderer. He wants Bliss in his bed and in his life, but after their relationship went south several years ago, he knows he has to tread carefully. So how can he keep her safe, while still proving to her that they are destined to be mates, and he doesn’t just want to control her? All he wants is for her to be safe—but with a killer who sees her as Kaid bait, Kaid may have to choose…his life or hers?

Buy Links:   Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Smashwords / KOBO / BOB / Book Depository


Author Bio:
Cassandra L Shaw writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, & Contemporary Romance. She lives in a small farm on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Her eclectic past includes fashion design, environmental science and years of drudgery as an office worker where she dreamed of NOT being an office worker. She discovered writing a few years ago and has decided that with its mix of art, writing craft, and study she’s at last found the career that suits her arty and academic mind.
 
Find out more about Cassandra L Shaw here:  Website / Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter




















Enchanged Orb with Cassandra Shaw

Cassandra L Shaw likes to focus on Adventures Beyond Reality with Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romantic suspense, but she also dabbles in some contemporary romance. 

Today, on Enchanted Orb, Cassandra talks about some of the things that inspired her to write Twin Flames, Book 1 in the Katoom Series.
 



I read many genres but my go to list is usually, romance, suspense, paranormal and urban fantasy. I love the edge suspense brings to a story, how it kicks up the pace and can morph into horror or hope. It’s even better when it does both.

I also feel that a reader cheers on characters that have the chance of love and that a growing romance (either over one book or several) enriches a reader’s emotional journey.

So what inspires me to write a story, any story and Twin Flames?  I usually mentally see pictures of scenes – often like photographic stills or small action scenes that inspire me to start a story. I’m a very visual person but mostly my ideas come from my own imagination rather than pictures from the net. 
In Twin Flames with a backdrop of forest, I saw a shiny silver creature that was distinctly female, horrified as she leaned over the mutilated body of a dead man on a set of train tracks.

Who wouldn’t be inspired to write THAT story?
That image instantly screamed – paranormal romantic suspense. A mix I love to read and write.
A dead body makes you ask questions. Who is he? What does he mean to my main characters? What was his story before he died? And the who the Hell killed him and why? All fun to speculate on to inspire the next scene then the next.

On about my third revision of Twin Flames I changed the image of Bliss (my heroine) at the beginning to be human in appearance. The Eli, Bliss’s race still has the silver beast inside them when really needed but I wanted my race to be mostly human.
 
Then came the who are the Eli questions. In developing the story of their race I had a lot of fun working out their genetic make-up, and how the metal in their blood would react (it shows their emotions on the surface of their skin). It was also lot of fun to add heightened olfactory senses which acts as a sexual enhancement. I got a real buzz out of writing that!!

Then I worked on the how and when they arrived on Earth. Working out how humans would react to an alien race even after 500 years of co-existence was sadly easy. Modern history and the horrors of World War II pegged exactly how things could go. And it was this, the fact we are so intolerant that has given me my plot arc for the entire series. It’s really only lightly mention in Twin Flames (book 1 of the Katoom series) but it takes a higher perspective in book two which I’m currently writing.

For me the parts of any story I love to write the most are action and love scenes.

In fact if I’ve hit a wall in my story or my muse is taking a nap or a frustratingly lengthy holiday, I will jump ahead and write a love scene or a fight. And it this action that often jump-starts my writing motor again. I also enjoy writing men. I love the way men interact, joke around and I use this for a little relief for the reader.

Funnily, for me the hardest part of any story to write is the romance. I have to keep asking myself, is it emotional enough, is it too much (need a bucket to throw up it’s so sickly)? Is it believable the characters end up together, believable they have conflict that is keeping them apart, believable that they would ever look at each other to start with? 

To get over this I have to focus solely on the romance parts of the story many times to get the feel I’m after. Once I think I have it somewhere near where I want it, I send it to my critique partner. When it comes to romance she’s brutal and will soon tell me I need more romance here, here, and here. She’s also good at telling me I’m dragging it out - get them together - I’m over it. Got to love critique partners!


 
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Kobo 


Twin Flames Blurb:
She’s in grave danger, but she doesn’t want his protection…
After a long and bitter world-war for pure human supremacy, humans and two sub-species the Eli and Crea reside on Earth in an uneasy harmony. One morning on a jog, Bliss Jacobs finds a murdered fellow Eli. She scents the killer on the body, but other evidence is washed away by a savage storm, leaving Bliss as the sole witness and the target of an assassin—and forcing her back into the world of the man who shattered her heart.
He believes she is his destined mate, but he knows there are no second chances…
Kaid Sinclair is chasing more than his best friend’s murderer. He wants Bliss in his bed and in his life, but after their relationship went south several years ago, he knows he has to tread carefully. So how can he keep her safe, while still proving to her that they are destined to be mates, and he doesn’t just want to control her? All he wants is for her to be safe—but with a killer who sees her as Kaid bait, Kaid may have to choose…his life or hers?



About Cassandra Shaw:
Cassandra L Shaw writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, & Contemporary Romance. She lives in a small farm on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Her eclectic past includes fashion design, environmental science and years of drudgery as an office worker where she dreamed of NOT being an office worker. She discovered writing a few years ago and has decided that with its mix of art, writing craft, and study she’s at last found the career that suits her arty and academic mind.  

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