Cassandra Carr lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing, she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011. Two other books are coming soon. Head Games is book one of the Buffalo Intimidators hockey menage series. It will release as an e-book in November 2011 and in print in March 2012 from Siren Bookstrand. Caught, a BDSM holiday-themed novella will be released in December 2011 by Loose Id.
For more information about her, check out her website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com, “like” her Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr or follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr.
1) Writers have all kids of reasons for using a pseudonym. What were your reasons, and why did you choose Cassandra Carr?
I have a very odd last name. People ask me at least a couple of times a day, “Is xx your real last name?” and I hate that, so I couldn’t see putting it on a book cover. Also, I married into a Big Fat Italian Catholic family and not all of them are thrilled at my choice of occupation, so having a pen name spares them from discussion about my career with strangers.
I picked Cassandra because I like the name – it was in the top five before we chose our daughter’s name. Carr was easy – I chopped off my mother’s maiden name.
2) What makes men in uniform so damn hot?
I don’t know, really. Maybe it’s a little bit of the alpha-authority thing, at least where police officers/military types are concerned.
3) What variety of uniformed men did you write about in “Circling”?
A cook, actually! Funny story – Circling is semi-autobiographical. I worked in a restaurant with this guy who was a cook, and I never noticed him then. I went away to school and came back after my first year and there was this hot busser. Everyone laughed at me when I asked who he was. He was trying to pick up extra hours by adding bussing to his kitchen duties, we really did circle around each other for months. In fact, I was dating somebody else. When that guy broke up with me, he said, “Go get the guy you really want.” So I did. It didn’t happen the way I wrote about in the story, though parts of that were taken from a party we really attended.
4) What path led you to be a contributor to Uniform Behavior?
The fabulous Lucy Felthouse of Erotica for All put a call out via Twitter and I started talking to her about it. She was really enthusiastic and welcoming, so I decided to go for it!
5) Do you have in mind a specific number of books in your Buffalo Intimidators series?
Well, there are 23 guys on a hockey roster. <g> The first book is with two guys, the second is with three, and the third is with two, so if I keep going roughly like that there will be roughly ten books in the series.
6) I’ve always wanted to work the phrase “BDSM holiday-themed novella” into casual conversation. Is Caught related to any of your other works?
Isn’t it fun to say?
No, it’s a one-off story. Loose Id put out a call for holiday-themed stories. I thought to myself, “I’ve always wanted to write a BDSM book. Why not make a holiday-themed BDSM story?” You wouldn’t believe what the Dom, Jack, does with a candy cane. It’s indecent. And awesome.
7) What exactly is a book thong, and why is mine so uncomfortable? Am I doing something wrong?
Um…. *whispers* It’s for a book. That’s why it’s called a book thong. Please wash it before you use it in a book, though. Book thongs are great! My friend Hockey Vampiress makes them, and they’re absolutely gorgeous! Basically they’re a ribbon you place between the pages of the book (hence the name). Hockey Vampiress makes hers by hand-enameling your book cover into a bead at the bottom. Each set uses the colors in your cover, so mine, for instance, were white, blue, and purple. I lurve them!
8) What are Romance Trading cards?
Romance Trading Cards are a brilliant promotional tool that a bunch of writers thought up on Twitter. Now hundreds of authors (including me) have them. You can see mine on my FB fan page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandracarr - like me while you’re there! I’m looking forward to designing them for the releases of Head Games and Caught.
For anyone reading this interview, if you would like a signed set of Romance Trading Cards from Talk to Me, send me an e-mail at AuthorCassandraCarr AT gmail DOT com. Tell me you saw this offer and want some cards, and give me your snail mail address. I’ll get them right out to you!
9) If Inspiration brings home the bacon, who fries it up in the pan? How does writing time fit into family life?
He brings home already-cooked bacon, and usually microwaves it for me so I can keep writing. Inspiration is awesome – I highly recommend every woman get themselves some Inspiration.
Frankly, writing time doesn’t fit well into family life right now. My daughter is a toddler and I stay home with her, so when she’s up, I write blog posts, do promo, read about craft, etc. Then when she naps or after she goes to bed at night, I write. I’m still able to pump out 3-5 books a year, so I guess that’s not bad… (I write really fast too, thankfully)
10) What unites members of Passionate Ink?
Our mutual love for writing erotic romance! I think sometimes erotic romance writers aren’t considered “real romance writers” because of the high heat levels in our books. But for a book to be erotic ROMANCE there has to be a solid, believable romance.
11) Are there hard and fast rules about what defines erotica?
I don’t think so. One of the things that separate erotica from erotic romance, however, is that a happy-ever-after or even a happy-for-now isn’t necessary in erotica.
12) You have erotic romance, ménage, BDSM… what next?
Oh geez, I have no idea! I’d like to write some longer books and perhaps publish through a NY publisher, but who knows. I might write some non-erotic romance, too.
13) What is your editing process like? Have there ever been any changes suggested to you that you were reluctant to make?
My editing process would be considered scant by some, in that I write the book, edit it once or maybe twice, and then send it off to my beta readers. When it comes back I look at the suggestions and decide which changes to make. Then I edit the book once or twice more and send it in. I find if I fiddle with it more I start to over-write, and that’s not good.
Changes suggested by my beta readers or my editors? Of course on both counts, but they’re usually right. Not always, and I don’t always take their advice, but I try to at least consider it.
Very little. I got the cover for Talk to Me about five days before release, so there was little I could say, even if I’d wanted any changes. But I love love love the cover for Talk to Me, so that was fine.
15) What social media do you use? Do you combine your personal and professional or keep them separate?
Heh. My name is Cassandra, and I’m a Facebook and Twitter addict. I sort of combine my professional and personal accounts, but that’s because I was on Twitter long before I chose my pen name. I do have a Cassandra Carr account where I rarely Tweet about personal stuff, though.
16) What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
My laptop. It’s been with me since I started writing Talk to Me and it’s treated me pretty well!
17) What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?
Chocolate syrup and a man’s abs.
18) What is the most persistent distraction from writing?
Twitter and my toddler… But neither is going away anytime soon! <g>
19) What is your ideal writing environment? Have you ever been able to create it?
I wouldn’t know my ideal writing environment if it slapped me across the face. I write wherever and whenever I can.
20) Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
You know, I believe Han did. And I don’t blame him. Greedo was a bounty hunter! Around a guy like that I’d have a shoot first, ask questions later policy too!
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