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We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Saturday 12 September 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

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