Enjoy I Love Vampire Novel’s exclusive interview with Paranormal Romance author Cassie Alexander, as part of our ongoing October giveaway! Scroll down for more details.
Hi there! I’m Cassie Alexander and I write paranormal romance novels under this name, and with a co-author under the name Cassie Lockharte (with my friend Kara Lockharte). I live in Oakland, I have two cats, one husband, and a million succulent plants. I’m an ICU nurse in real life, and writing this past year has been my big getaway from reality.
How long have you been writing or when did you start?
I’ve been writing since 1998, but a lot of those books never saw the light of day ;).
Why paranormal/urban fantasy? What drew you to the genre?
My first traditionally published book was Nightshifted, which was a thinly veiled exploration of what it felt like to be a new nurse on the night shift when I was pretty sure I was going to kill someone on accident…or that they were going to kill me ;). It’s about a nurse who worked on a floor for vampire-exposed humans, and I just got the rights back to that series, I’m looking forward to re-releasing it in 2022.
I’ve found it’s always easier to talk about the things I want to talk about — or have the kind of excitement I want to experience — with a little bit of paranormal pizzazz. Where real life gets hard, paranormal gets interesting — and I feel the addition of the paranormal amplifies everything. You need a job…but you’re a vampire? Or you want to date someone…but he’s a werewolf? The situations are the same, but the addition of the paranormal gives you the opportunity to magnify the differences more than contemporary — what’s harder to overcome, thirsting for blood, or getting furry every full moon — while at the same time, you have these great opportunities to speak to the humanity in us all, as the creatures themselves have to make allowances for living/working/loving humans, and vice versa.
What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?
Ooooh — I used to be a plot-only person…now I’m more 50/50.
I feel more comfortable starting a project right now if I at least have a vision of the final pin moment — that scene that’s going to make every other scene it took to get there worthwhile, that’ll keep the reader reading, because they can feel in their reader-hearts that it is coming up.
I say that just usually for time’s sake — I have so many projects on-going, it’s easier to write on ones that have the wheels on, so to speak.
Buuuuuttttttt…every once in a while I see a character and I just know that whatever their core-problem is — the thing they lust for, more than anything/anyone else — is going to be so important to them that they’ll do anything to achieve it, and as long as that pull (for them) is strong enough, I’ll start a book and trust that a plot will come because I can already tell that they’re ready to be a story engine (if that makes sense.)
What’s your favorite type of paranormal creature and why?
Vampires. (Don’t tell any of my werewolves or dragon-shifters though. I love them all very much!!!)
But I read Dracula at an impressionable age, and I spent a long time being goth as hell (arguably still am, within the confines of my life/profession — I’m wearing black right now, does that count? ha!) and I’ve always had a fascination with the macabre. I find, too, their situations to be incredibly poignant. How much irony is there in having an eternal…unlife? All the riches in the world, but you can never see the sun? It’s just such a great minefield of hopes and dreams and expectations, and occasionally sexily world-weary bitterness — as an author, I can’t resist that siren song.
Tell us about your heroine/hero. What inspired her/his quirks and struggles?
Her Ex-boyfriend’s Werewolf Lover has two protagonists, Max, and Samantha, who each loved the same man at different times, and is told equally through their present-day stories with each other, and flashbacks about their dead lover and mafioso, Vincent.
Max is a werewolf who has been outcast by his pack for being bi — after they discovered he was in love with Vincent they shunned him and made him leave Vincent after threatening Vincent’s (very human) life. This left him with a hole in his heart as big as the sun, and he’s completely retreated from society, becoming a mountain man essentially, and his pack only trusts him to keep their hunting grounds safe.
Whereas Samantha used to be a prostitute, but she had kind of a Pretty Woman thing going on with Vincent — after Max, he wanted a lover who didn’t have any secrets, and hers were all on the table. Vincent gave her a locket to only open in case of emergencies…and when Vincent gets gunned down, she has no choice but to see what’s inside — it’s Max’s phone number.
Together…they (very sexily) find the strength to go on together, and take vengeance on the people who killed Vincent, while also falling in love (and getting a HEA!)
What inspired any of that? I like to write high drama sexy stuff (uh, very sexy stuff, this book is unrepentantly sexy), and I’m bi, and I’d like to see more bi representation in books. Almost all of my solo titles are queer in some regard.
Would you and your main character get along?
I don’t actually think so? I love Max and Sam, but their worlds are so different from mine, we wouldn’t have much in common in real life. (If they met me in RL, they’d probably be upset at me for killing Vincent, on the page!)
Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
Sam, probably. I admire her passion to do what she needs to to get by, even if it makes her complicated and would make other people judge her. Life is hard and she isn’t ashamed about who she is or what she’s done.
What is a significant way your book has changed since the first draft?
This is one of those books that came out pretty clean, actually, so there weren’t any significant changes! (Don’t hate me, they’re not all like that, as my files upon files in my computer can attest.)
Where can our readers find you?
I am @authorcassiealexander on TikTok (where I am old. Forgive me.)