The Author Spotlight will focus on a different author every few weeks – it may feature an experienced writer who has a long history of published books, or a new author who is destined to be a future star. Today our Author Spotlight will be on Cassie Sweet. You can keep in touch with Cassie at the links following the interview!
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Author Spotlight: Cassie Sweet
First off, I want to thank Cassie for taking the time to answer these questions for me. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comment section below!
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
What is the title of your newest or upcoming book?
Kiss of Death: Alchemists and Elementals Book III
What publisher is this book being published by?
What is the publication date?
Alchemists and Elementals Book III
Purchase link: Dreamspinner
THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Cassie Sweet is switching locations and leaving the long, cold New Jersey winters for the sunshine of Florida. She lives with her artist husband, Dave and their rambunctious canine, Lily. When not writing, Cassie spends her time watching doctumentaries, reading reasearch materials, and having deep philosophical discussions with her hubby about the fate of the crew on the Red Dwarf and will they have an 11th season or not.
Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest book?
Headmaster Oberon Bertolini, has been placed in a difficult position. Seventeen years ago, his lover, Hazrael, the most powerful etherealthant to ever live, was abducted and presumed dead when no trace of him could be found on either the physical or metaphysical plane. Through a miraculous turn of events, Hazrael has returned to the fold with no memory of his time with the necromancers or the atrocities he was forced to inflict on humanity while under their control. Oberon is torn between his memories of the man Hazrael used to be, and the one who now stands before him, trying to make amends for deeds preformed without his consent or knowledge. Fear fills Hazrael as new, odd powers manifest as he physically heals. Necromantic carvings decorate his body, reminders he is altered from his alchemists’ teachings. He is now other and the chasm between those he thought were his friends and himself is a divide he despairs he’ll never bridge unless he can help them defeat the necromancers and gain a bit of revenge for all they’d done to him. If he can rise above his circumstances and begin anew, redemption might very well be within his grasp. But a visit from the Hierophant, a religious seer, warns Hazrael that the marks he bears are the Kiss of Death, a way for the necromancers to track him. He knows to win the war he must sacrifice himself to save those he loves, but wants only to live the future he and Oberon had planned together as young lovers so many years ago.
What genre does it fall in?
Will you share a few words about your latest book, other than the usual blurb?
Redemption is never an easy path to tread, even more so when one has been forced to live and serve the necromancers. It takes a strong will and great fortitude to find the light in the dark.
Give us a little insight into your main characters! Who are they?
Oh, Hazrael! My heart actually bled for this character. He’s so tortured and tries to do the right thing to help those who were once his friends. His former captors have changed him in ways he doesn’t realize or understand. His powers are many, but without a way to control them. His treatment at the hands of the necromancers was brutual and unforgiving. Now if he can only forgive himself and move on. As for Oberon. Dear, sweet Oberon. Seeing his former lover alive after believing him dead for so long is a shock. He’s conflicted between the man he’d known so long ago and the creature the necromancers have made. Still, he feels in his heart that deep inside the real Hazrael is struggling to get out. He’ll do what he can to help, even if it means both their destruction.
Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, this is the final book in the Alchemists and Elementals series. I do have plans for a follow up series that will take place 500 years later.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. When and where is your favorite time/place to write?
It all depends. Since at the moment my household is in flux, (moving across country is never an easy proposition), I’ve been using the living room for my work area, since I’ve packed up my office. I write better in the mornings and will do the bulk of my work then. Since I write on about 3-4 books at once, I can keep a writing session going until the evening. At times I’ll close the computer and write long hand on a spiral notebook. I’ve managed to fix quite a few plot tangles that way.
What sort of book do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?
Last book I read was the final book in the Coldfire Triology by C.S. Friedman. I thought it was very well done and a brilliant conclusion to a great series.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?
I’ve pretty much dabbled in writing since I could first hold a chubby pencil and learned my letters. I started writing seriously for publication a little over 20 years ago. During that time, I’ve pretty much held one job in the healthcare industry. As a result I can write body trauma that will make your hair turn white. Prior to that I worked as a waitress, hostess, radio DJ, sold life & health insurance. I’ve had a lot of interesting experiences over the years, and regret none of them.
What does your writing process look like?
You know those clover-leaf traffic patterns you see in major cities? Yeah, that’s what it would resemble if I drew a schematic of it. It’s very round-about. I used to be a compulsive plotter. I’ve since gone a bit more on the wild side and started having more of a vague idea of where I’m going and then just get in the writing car and drive. Even when I plotted the book out, I never really stuck to it anyhow, so I think I always was more of a pantser at heart. However, I do like to use my spiral notebooks to figure out direction if I’m stuck or to do a bit of pre-writing in the evenings and then go back the next morning and flesh the scene out. After I finish a book, I’ll let it set for a few days or weeks while I work on something else, and then go back and do a critical read where I take notes on anything that sticks out or catches my eyes. After that I work on those scenes that need fixing or fleshing out, fix continuity errors I might have and then ship it off to the submissions editor.
Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?
With 4 different pen names I write across all genres. Cassie Sweet is the only one that write purely m/m. I never really set out to write m/m it happened when I got the idea for the first Alchemist and Elemental book, Eye of Truth. It was one of those moments where the characters simply said, “Yeah, we’re gay.” I was like, all right, good to know, now let’s get this done. I found while writing that book that I really loved it. I’ve always enjoyed writing heroes, so this is just an extension of that enjoyment. Under my other pen names I do have a few characters who are bisexual, so I guess I’ve been writing GLBTQ characters for longer than I’ve had the Cassie Sweet name.
One last questions…totally unrelated to books! I am a passionate foodie. Is there one thing in your pantry that you would be horrified for people to know that you eat?
Pressurized cheese. – I know. What can I say other than there isn’t any in there at the moment. It’s my only defense.
Thankyou so much for answering my questions. I think my readers will enjoy learning more about you! Good luck in your future writing!