Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Author Interview: Cassandra Rose Clarke


Authors Website
Strange Chemistry

Guys, I fell in love with the Assassin's Curse (I'll be posting the review later this week, so come back!) and was so enamored of it I just had to follow up with the author, see what made her tick, and then pass it on to you! So, without further ado, I introduce to you Cassandra Rose Clarke!

Thank you Cassandra for stopping by! To start off, was becoming an author always a dream of yours (you do have an English and creative writing degree) or did it just kind of evolve into that?

I used to daydream about becoming a novelist when I was a kid, but I actually went to college intending to major in studio art (painting and drawing and so forth). The problem was that I burned out on visual art during my senior year of high school, when I crammed too many art-related electives into my schedule. Fortunately, I found that I loved college-level English classes, and since I’d always enjoyed writing, I signed up for a poetry workshop. That workshop was the starting point for me: I wound up taking a creative writing minor, and my advisor encouraged me to apply to graduate writing programs and submit my work to magazines. I haven’t looked back since!

What are some of the things that helped inspire you to write The Assassin's Curse? (practicing piracy comes to mind, but I don't want to limit you to that)

Well, I’ve never practiced piracy per se, but I did go through a phase a few years ago (largely brought on by Pirates of the Caribbean, honestly) where I read quite a bit about the history of piracy. Some of those details stuck in my brain and later worked their way into the story. Another inspiration was the BBC series Planet Earth, with all its beautiful cinematography of the earth’s various landscapes.  Everytime I watched an episode, I wanted to sit down and write afterwards!

If any of your secondary characters could have their own story told, whose would you want to explore and flesh out more?

Definitely Marjani.  She has an interesting backstory (which you’ll learn more about in the second book), and I would love to write that story properly some day.  Her story actually emerged as I was writing, so I feel like I’ve only touched the surface of it, given as how she’s not a main character.

What is the writing process like for you? Do you outline or just go with the flow? 

I tend to write a story treatment before I begin.  It’s not a true outline, but rather a page or two where I summarize the story the way I’d relate the plot of a movie to a friend. I touch on the characters, their interactions with each other, and the major plot points.  I usually forget about this once I’ve written about 10,000 words or so, but it helps me organize my thoughts when the story hasn’t quite blossomed yet.  Then, when I’m actually writing, I’ll summarize the upcoming action in more detail. I do this every thirty or forty pages. I find writing comes a lot easier when I know what I’m going to say, but I also find the process of writing a full outline incredibly dull. This is my compromise.

Obviously, those who have not read The Assassin's Curse need to immediately, but for those of us who have and are now waiting for the sequel to come out....what to you recommend reading in the interim? (i.e.- what are some of your favorite books or authors?)

One of my favorite YA writers of all time is Francesca Lia Block. I like her old stuff a little better (probably because I first read it in high school),  especially the Weetzie Bat books and her collection of fairy tale retellings called The Rose and the Beast. Margaret Atwood is another favorite, and I love her book The Blind Assassin — and not just because it also has assassin in the title! 

And finally, the most telling question of all: if you could have any super power, what would it be and why?

To be able to breathe (and see!) underwater. I love swimming and it’d be nice not to have to come up for air.

Thanks so much for letting me pick your brain a bit Cassandra...but most of all, thank you for writing such an awesome book! You are definitely one to keep a watch on for future favorites!

Aw, thanks so much! And thanks for having me on your blog!

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! I'm always fascinated by author's writing processes. I feel like I should be more of an outline person, but I don't know that I'm organized enough.


Thanks so much for stopping by! I LOVE comments and do my best to return the visit! ^__^ And while I appreciate the notice, this is an award free blog. Too many books, too little time!


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