Rainy days, shifters, and The Cost of Secrets. Interview with Cassandra Gold plus WIN!
I’m thrilled to welcome Cassandra Gold, who shared a sizzling kiss from her new release The Cost of Secrets as part of the New Year’s Kisses Party. Cassandra has kindly dropped by to tell us about it, answer a few questions, and offer one of her amazing reads as a giveaway prize to one lucky commenter!
Q. Hi Cassandra! Please tell us a little about yourself! How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing all my life, really. As a child, I loved to write stories about horses. During junior high and high school, I went through a horror phase and attempted to write my first novel, which turned out to be about eighty handwritten pages of generic young adult horror. I don’t know if I still have that story in a box somewhere, but I think it’s best I don’t look for it, lol. In my later high school years and in college, my focus turned to truly terrible, maudlin poetry.
It wasn’t until about six and a half years ago that I wrote my first gay erotic romance story. I’d been reading the genre for a couple of years, so when I came across a Halloween-themed writing contest I decided to try my hand at a gay paranormal on a whim. The story was chosen as one of the contest winners, and I’ve been writing gay romance ever since.
In my “real life,” I’m a middle school teacher. I spend my days trying to get preteens and teens to read and use proper grammar in their writing. I love reading, writing, music, animated movies, anything chocolate, and cooking shows. Sadly, the cooking shows don’t seem to be improving my technique in the kitchen!
Q. You have an exciting new release, The Cost of Secrets – please do tell all!
The Cost of Secrets is out today from Loose Id! It’s gay contemporary set in St. Louis County, Missouri. (I generally set stories near where I live, although not always. I’ve written a few set in places I’ve visited, such as Hawaii and Las Vegas, and one or two set in locations I’ve never been to.)
Here’s the blurb:
Police officer Dan Fallon knows the streets, but he’s a rookie at romance, and still very much in the closet. He thinks sexy fitness instructor Isaac is way out of his league, until a dangerous situation breaks the ice between them.
Isaac Weiss has spent years trying to get his life back together after a series of terrible mistakes. The last thing he should be doing is trying to have a relationship with a cop, especially with his past. Too bad he’s unable to resist sweet, shy Dan.
It’s not long though, before the secrets both men are keeping rise to the surface and threaten to destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged with one another. Can Dan and Isaac find acceptance or will the cost of secrets be too high?
This story was a tough one for me to write in some ways. Both Dan and Isaac have unfortunate pasts, but Isaac’s in particular was difficult to think about. The book also went through a LOT of major changes during the writing process. That was a good thing, but it’s often hard to realize changes need to be made, and even harder to force yourself to do them.
Q. Your books span contemporary and paranormal themes, plus a touch of BDSM. What’s your favorite genre to write? Are there any themes that unite all Cassandra Gold books?
Ooh, tough question. There are a couple of themes I tend to incorporate into my stories. One is that everyone deserves love. Many of my characters are misfits, outcasts, or just men who don’t think they will ever be loved. I’m a true romantic at heart, so no matter what I put my characters through, they get rewarded in the end. The other theme I like to include is that things (or people) aren’t always what they seem.
I love writing gay romance in general. A few subgenres, like historical and science fiction, aren’t for me strictly because I’m too lazy. If I wrote a historical, I’d want the details to be perfect, and I’d probably get so lost in the research the book would never get finished! I admire authors who put so much effort into their research, or their world-building, but I prefer to stick to settings that are closer to the real world.
That’s why I love contemporary romance so much. I can write a story firmly grounded in the world I live in, yet there are endless possibilities of what can happen in that world. Most of my published works are contemporary.
Paranormal romance is a close second in my heart. I really enjoy writing about shapeshifters. There’s something fascinating about people who look exactly like us, yet have this other side to them we can’t see unless they want us to. My most recent paranormal series deals with the same theme in a different way. Seemingly ordinary humans have extraordinary powers. It’s called The Institute. So far, I’ve written two books. Healer has a main character who can heal by touching others. His love interest can shape-shift into anyone he’s seen. The second book, Touch, is about a man who gets impressions from touching things around him, which turns out to be a double-edged sword. I’m working on a third book in the series, and I think there will be at least one more after that. They can be found at Amber Allure.
As for BDSM, I have one story that fully focuses on that particular topic. The story, entitled “Trust,” was written for an anthology put together by my friend Beth Wylde. It’s a sweet, emotional take on BDSM rather than anything hardcore. I pushed my writing boundaries , which was fun, but I don’t see myself writing a lot of BDSM in the future.
Q. Please describe your ideal writing day.
Due to my day job, my writing schedule is all over the place. In real life, I write whenever I get the time and feel the inclination. I think my ideal writing day would be rainy, so I wasn’t tempted to go outside. Cold and rainy would be perfect. I could curl up with a cup of tea or cocoa and my laptop, and write away. Oh, and the house would be clean and all my chores finished, so there would be nothing to distract me from my characters.
Probably not going to happen anytime soon…
Q. Do you have any exciting new WIPs to tell us about?
I’m always working on a few things at the same time, due to what I call my Author ADD. Currently I’m most focused on a short story about a man who thinks his lover has fallen out of love with him. He has to decide if he’s willing to fight for their relationship, or if he is going to let go. It’s kind of bittersweet so far, but that’s the mood I’ve been in.
I’m also working on a novella about a man attending his brother’s wedding in Key West, where he runs into someone he never thought he’d see again. This one should be fun, and on the lighter side.
Last, I’m in the beginning stages of the third book in my Institute series. Right now I’m planning out the basic plot points. I tend to write in the “pantser” style rather than plotting everything out, but this series is a bit too complex to write by the seat of my pants. Of course, anything I try to plot out may turn out differently when I actually get to that point. I’m not great at sticking to outlines.
Kay, thanks so much for having me on your blog! You asked some great questions, and I always love talking about my writing.
Gay romance with a heart of gold
Thanks, Cassandra! If you’d like to your choice of the following stunning reads from Cassandra’s back catalogue, please leave a comment. You need to fill in the email box on the prompt form, but your address won’t be published. Giveaway closes 15th January. Click on the covers for more info.