Please give a warm welcome to Cassandra Kass, who kindly stopped by the blog to answer a few questions and tell us about her current projects, writing goals, and more! Read on below:
What motivated you to start writing?
I started writing as a young child. The first thing I ever wrote was a biography when I was six. It was bound in a little hardback book and I even illustrated the pages with my crayons. I never thought that I would do it seriously, until in 2017 when I completed my first NaNoWriMo. Since then I have been writing and creating new stories consistently. My main motivation for writing now is that I want to share stories in which I feel are interesting and that a multitude of young readers can relate to.
Tell us about your WIP (work in progress, aka your current project)!
I have two works in progress currently. The first is a sapphic Romeo and Juliet retelling with fantasy elements. Synopsis below:
Elina, a princess born to be a Witch Queen, wants nothing to do with the title. Aurora, a princess born to rule beside a Fae King, wants to rule the kingdom alone. They are destined to hate each other, but learn to find love through it all, even in their last breath.
In a war created by bitterness and misunderstanding, Elina and Aurora grow up in the complicated world of revenge. When the Witches crash the biggest Fae party of the year, it spirals out of control. Elina is on the run looking for her brother, and Aurora is trying to find Elina to stop the war. They unite deep within the forest where there is animosity between them. Tragic events happen in succession. Elina blames Aurora but Aurora wants to stop the war.Aurora refuses to fight Elina. Elina realizes in a brief moment the love she has for Aurora because Aurora has never judged her. To stop the war they must get through to their parents, but will they?
The second work is a middle grade where a boy goes missing, and his friends go deep into scary Calhoun Forest. To save him from the evil magician that steals kids’ souls, they must learn more about themselves. The kids learn that they need to trust each other, be themselves, and learn to ask for help in order to make it to the middle of the forest where the magician’s castle lies.
Have any writers inspired you?
I am amazed and inspired by writers all the time. I consistently find new writers to follow on social media, because I think their works sound ingenious and also something I would love to read. Hannah Whitten, Kaylie Smith, Lara Ameen, Rachel Griffin, Andrea Hannah, Leigh Bardugo to name some. Of course my favorite author of all time, the one and only, Holly Black.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to other writers who are drafting?
I am still learning even after five years of writing my heart out. I think we continue to learn throughout our career, but if I were to give new writers or writers who are working hard on their drafts some advice, it would be this: never quit. It seems hard now, and it absolutely is, and it will get harder, but don’t give up. If this is truly what you want, then you need to give it your all. It’s worth the fight.
Tell us about a favorite character you’ve created.
This is a hard question, because I have put a lot of myself into my characters. I think most of my characters have a little piece of me and who I am in them. If I had to pick an overall favorite it would be tied between a red squirrel named Malice, and Elina, my Witch character in my Romeo and Juliet retelling.
What’s something on your writing career bucket list?
To get published, in all honesty. I am not published yet, and it would be a dream to publish any of my books. The one I am really hoping makes it into the world is A Death Marked Love. I would also love to go visit a school and talk to teenagers about the themes in my books. In addition to all of that I would love to be on a panel with Holly Black. That’s the ultimate dream. I would simply perish at the thought of us being able to discuss our books together in the same room.
What book are you currently reading?
I read several books at a time because I get distracted easily. I need to switch around to stay on track. The books I am currently reading are below, and are in order.
- For The Wolf by Hannah Whitten
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to edit yourself into print by Renni Browne & Dave King
- The Magic Words: Writing Great Books For Children and Young Adults by Cheryl B. Klein
- The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing: Everything You Need To Know To Create & Sell Your Work by The Editors of Writer’s Digest
Thank you for much for joining us, Cassandra! I love a good retelling and a sapphic retelling? Even better! I can’t wait to follow along your writing journey and see what next steps happen with your career!
Keep up with her writing and find out more about Cassandra Kass:
Cassandra Kass is a middle grade and young adult writer. Kass tends to focus on the contrast of love and pain in her young adult novels, while her middle grade works are more lighthearted with themes of friendship and family. She is currently working on a sapphic Romeo and Juliet retelling, and a spooky, swampy middle grade tale set in South Carolina. She is currently residing in Pittsburgh, Pa with her two cats and partner.
Reach Kass on Instagram and Twitter @cozy_kass.
On Goodreads as Cassandra Kass, and on her blog firstname.lastname@example.org.