Anna Mirabilis et Terribilis

Monday, August 27, 2018

Debuting is hard. This past year has felt, in many ways, like a crucible of anxiety. There’s so much build-up, so many expectations, and then such detritus left behind when the rush ebbs away. For someone already inclined to fret, this pretty swiftly became a Problem, and so a lot of the past year has been spent learning new techniques for managing my instincts for self-flagellation. Last week, my extended…

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Guns and Pumpkins

Monday, August 20, 2018

I have two favorite bloopers from the writing process of From Unseen Fire. They’re both historical screw-ups — massive, glaring anachronisms. One of them, we caught in the midst of main edits. I headdesked pretty hard over it. It was one of those idiomatic phrases that just slipped out without my brain being aware of its passage — a dangerous thing for a writer, really, but let’s face it, something…

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No One Minds Cake

Monday, August 13, 2018

My launch party took place at the awesome Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia — the place which is, more or less, my hometown. I wasn’t born there, but it’s where I spent my formative years, where my parents still live, and where I recently returned after leaving Roanoke. If you’re ever in the Richmond area, definitely stop by — it’s my favorite kind of indie store, quirky and charming and…

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Book Two: Blessing or Curse?

Monday, July 30, 2018

When I sold From Unseen Fire, I got that coveted thing: a multi-book deal. Three, in fact! A guarantee that the story would go on, and we could stop trying to sell the blatant lie that the first book was “a standalone with series potential”. How magnificent! I could traipse merrily into Book Two in a state of security and confidence. After all, I’d already written some scenes, back when…

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Finding the Details that Fill a World

Monday, July 23, 2018

I. Love. Research. I mean, if you’ve read From Unseen Fire, you could probably guess that. As much as I’m a writer, I’m also a historian. It was my second major in undergrad, and my Master’s degree certainly relies heavily upon it as well. I live with my head as much in the past as the present, and while it’s not always the Roman past, for the past seven years,…

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Expectations and Exceptions

Monday, July 16, 2018

Debut authors get told, a lot, to moderate their expectations. I didn’t need to be told that. Sure, I might dream of selling millions of copies of From Unseen Fire, getting a Netflix deal, having people obsessively discuss the series and write fanfic and wonder what will happen next. My parents certainly think all that’s going to happen. I want all that to happen. But expect? Of course not. I…

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References and Rhetorical Flourishes

Monday, July 9, 2018

So the question posed to the Debs this week was: Are there any “easter eggs” or “hidden Mickeys” inside your book? And my answer? Boy howdy, are there ever. There are so many, in fact, that I’m offering up an annotated copy of From Unseen Fire once I hit my next Patreon goal, with every one of them marked out and commented upon. (So if you’re interested in knowing what they…

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Cass is a Pack Animal

Monday, July 2, 2018

There are a lot of difficult and frustrating things about existing as a woman, period, let alone as a woman in the publishing world. It’s a strange and particularly maddening state of affairs. More readers are women, more of the money spent on books (as on entertainment in general) is spent by women, and more of the people working in publishing houses are women. And yet — Men still occupy…

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Reviews: An Object Lesson in Subjectivity

Monday, May 14, 2018

Reviews — Who are they for? Honestly? I have no gods-damned idea. The standard line is “Reviews are for readers, not writers,” but I’m not sure they’re even that. Maybe in aggregate — if a book has a large number of ratings, the average may be some sort of an indication of overall merit. And maybe some of the large, reputable reviewers serve that reader-informing purpose — I’m thinking of…

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Cass’s Literary Debut…and it’s Incredible

Thursday, April 19, 2018

  From Unseen Fire is a literary blend of historical fiction and fantasy that will blow your mind. The city of Aven is so richly imagined, no detail goes unfinished. Cass has filled every corner of this world until it practically breathes. There is political intrigue, love, revenge and redemption. And while there is a strong argument to be made for Cass’s gift in writing her secondary characters so well…

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