Author Interview with Cassandra Page

All three covers

I’m interviewing Cassandra Page today, author of urban fantasy “Lucid Dreaming”. Welcome!

Author Interview

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Peace and quiet! I either write when my son is in bed or if he’s watching cartoons on a Saturday afternoon. I know that’s not exactly spectacular parenting, but I tell myself that it’s good for him to see me working towards something that’s important to me. It’s inspirational, yo.

I usually do my drafts on a computer—I’m a touch typist, which helps. But sometimes, after being on the PC all day at work, the idea of sitting at my desk at home makes me want to weep. On those days, I’ll pull out a little red notebook some friends gave me for Christmas one year, scribbling down a scene in that. Those scenes are always a hot mess, but when I key them into the manuscript later, I can iron out the worst of the wrinkles and expand on details I didn’t add to the paper version because my hand was hurting from writing too fast.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

 These days I average around seven or eight months for a first draft, although Isla’s Inheritance took a couple of years. I had no idea what I was doing back then, so I wrote slowly, freaked out to the point of paralysis over scenes that I knew needed work but couldn’t figure out how to fix, and added unnecessary details because I couldn’t readily identify them. That book also needed the most editing afterwards and shed maybe 15 000 words, a number that horrifies me given how slowly I drafted it.

Still, now I have a much better feel for issues as I’m writing them, and I don’t let myself get bogged down over an issue. I just push ahead, knowing I can fix it later.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

Because I don’t write every day, whenever I sit down to write I always re-read what I wrote in the previous session, to familiarise myself with exactly where I’m up to. During that process, I do a quick tidy-up edit and expand on things that I missed. After the manuscript is done, I let it sit for a few weeks and then re-read it, looking for issues. I send it to a couple of critique partners and incorporate their feedback, and then edit it again. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

In the case of Lucid Dreaming, because I self-published that rather than going through an independent press, I also paid for an editor to have a look over it as well. My trilogy had the benefit of in-house editing instead. Even though my day job is as an editor, I know how hard it is for a person to edit their own work—so I’m a big fan of the independent edit.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Lucid Dreaming. My plan at the moment is only to write the two books, although of course if it were to be a smash hit I’d reconsider. 😉

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

You can see the kernels of it in my previous answers, so this will probably be no surprise: just write. If you know there are things in your story that you need to fix later, make a note and come back to it when you’re done. Maintain that forward momentum.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Everyone? They probably shouldn’t. If you love historical romance or sweet contemporary then Lucid Dreaming isn’t for you. But everyone who likes urban fantasy with a bit of sizzle, an element of mystery and an unusual supernatural element? For you guys, I’ve been told that my writing is fast-paced, clean and compelling. And not just by my mother; Lucid Dreaming got a five-star editorial review over at Self‑Publishing Review. 😉

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Anne McCaffrey: She was the first writer of adult fantasy and science fiction I ever read. I was maybe thirteen, and until then I thought that adults read boring books and only kids’ books had the sort of fantastical elements I was looking for. McCaffrey opened my eyes to a whole new world of fiction.

Kate Forsyth: These days she focuses more on historical magical realism, but Kate was another author who opened my eyes to a new part of the book market. Her first series was high fantasy, and it was the first I’d read by an Australian author. Until then I thought you had to be in the US or UK to successfully write fantasy. (This might sound strange, but I had a university lecturer tell me this was true in so many words. Forsyth proved her wrong.)

Delilah S. Dawson: Delilah is a US urban fantasy writer who is also a geek. She’s who I want to be when I grow up!

  • What inspired you to write your book?

Lucid Dreaming was partly inspired by stories about the Sandman. I realised when I started researching him that he’d already been done very comprehensively (primarily by Neil Gaiman), but instead discovered Greek myths about the Oneiroi. The other part of Lucid Dreaming—that being the character of Melaina—arrived in my mind one day on the drive home from work. I’d been contemplating writing something else and she came stomping through my brain with her purple-laced biker boots. I fell in love.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

As I mentioned, I’m working on the sequel to Lucid Dreaming, which has the working title of False Awakening. (I’ve never told anyone that before, so that’s a scoop, you guys!) I’m also getting the aforementioned fantasy ready to show people. I describe it as Beauty and the Beast meets Ancient Greece … with steampunk.

About the Book

LD_CoverEbook_Final_smlWho would have thought your dreams could kill you?
Melaina makes the best of her peculiar heritage: half human and half Oneiroi, or dream spirit, she can manipulate others’ dreams. At least working out the back of a new age store as a ‘dream therapist’ pays the bills. Barely.
But when Melaina treats a client for possession by a nightmare creature, she unleashes the murderous wrath of the creature’s master. He could be anywhere, inside anyone: a complete stranger or her dearest friend. Melaina must figure out who this hidden adversary is and what he’s planning – before the nightmares come for her.

Author bio

CassPageCassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — which is ironic, as she’s allergic to cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

Author links

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  1. Ooooh, this sounds really good! Thanks for the interview 😀

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