Posts tagged with: Goth chicks

The Faux Cinderella~Growing Pains of a Goth Chick Writer

It’s probably no surprise to any of you.

I’m guessing it was a surprise only to me.

Let’s Goth chick owlbacktrack here.

You see…Owls are my favorite birds.  Odd for that one in the photo to be out in the daytime…hmmm.

Most of my clothes are black.

I’ve never minded the whole “sleeping in a coffin” persona because it fit.

If I had no alarm clock, my natural creative cycle would run from about seven in the evening until about three in the morning. So I work as many—or more–hours as the next person. I just work when the sun is sleeping.goth chick trees

Bottom line? By nature I’m a nocturnal creature, and when I first started writing romance, it was in the middle of the night.

The story that first came pouring out of me was a romantic suspense. Think big city. Fog. The sound of a ship’s horn in the harbor. Evil peering around the corner, waiting to pounce.

I probably could have written true crime or hard-boiled detective mysteries. Heck, I like trench coats.

It fits with the whole nocturnal thing, don’t you think?

But see? I needed the happy ending. Even then, happy endings were all I wanted to read.

So I wrote romantic suspense—the best of both worlds, or so I thought. The manuscript that made me a finalist in the Golden Heart—which made me a Romance Bandit– was dark romantic suspense. I had a feel for it, based on the contest wins and the editorial feedback.

Flash forward a few years.

Goth chick degreeI was heading for the computer every day, but I was veering off to do something else. I got a degree. I landscaped properties. I studied wine. I gutted and rebuilt most of an old house.

I was stuck.

My best friends were writers. I talked a lot about writing.

Heck, I was writing. But I wasn’t writing books.

The truth is, I was avoiding it.

Finally I told my friends,“I think I’m not meant to do this. I need to stop saying I’m a writer.”

But my wise and discerning friend, Dianna Love said, “No, that’s not it. Cassondra, you need to write something else.”

Maybe it was the place I was in mentally. Maybe it was the tiGoth chick lightbulb momentme of year. Maybe it was the food I had for dinner or the phase of the moon. I dunno, but those were the best words anybody ever said to me.

Because I heard it.

When Dianna said, “you need to write something else,” I went to my suitcase (we were in some city at the time—I don’t remember where) and I dug out the books I’d brought.

They were light contemporary romance.

Small town romance.

I just stood there, shaking my head.

I got home from that trip, and I went to the pile of books on my bedside table. There was a stack on the back corner that was covered with dust.

And there were two stacks on the front that had no dust at all.

What was in those stacks?

Small town romance.

Jill Shalvis. Terri Osburn. Early Susan Crandall novels I’ve read a hundred times. Susan Mallery.

Happy endings wGoth chick omgith no big world threat. No murders. Real life, but not much ugly at all.

And the truth hit me.

Obviously, the reason I wasn’t writing was that I was avoiding the darker subject matter.

What was wrong with me?

Anybody who’s read the blog for a while knows that when I really write from the heart, what I write about is old houses. Barns. Tractors. Farms. Country.

Small towns.

Well, duh.

So the next day I took my laptop out to the deck, sat under the umbrella, and started typing, and I realized I had a big goofy smile on my face.goth chick blue fingernails

I looked down at myself and laughed out loud. I had on black jeans, a black shirt, and my fingernails were dark navy blue.

All the signs of a Goth chick were still there, but I was writing small-town romance just the same.

And I haven’t stopped since.

My first cover is almost done, and on the 20th of this month, I’ll show it to y’all. I want to show my cover here in the Lair first, because you’re my family. And because I still have this funky disconnect.

“Goth Chick Writes Small-Town Romance. Film at Eleven.”

Does that not sound weird to you?

So a while back, I had this website all planned out. Black. Gray. Fog. Intrigue. But I ditched it.

Now I have a landing page all set, and some awesome people are designing a new website for me…with nary a wisp of fog anywhere.

I feel like Cinderella, except…

I keeGoth chick wicked witchp waiting for the spell to break, and the dark Fairy Godmother to announce, “You cannot write THAT! You must write about BAD things, WICKED things, and good that triumphs over EEEEVILLL! It is who you ARE!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!”


My series is set in Honey Bend, Kentucky, not too far from where I live right now.

There’s a bunch of friends who’ve known each other since high school. There’s a few churches, a few decent bars, and in the town square, goth chick courthousethere’s a bunch of old men sittin’ on the benches outside the courthouse, whittlin’ and talkin’ and keepin’ an eye on their grandkids in line for ice cream at the Frosty Freeze across the street.

And there are some folks who really need to fall in love, but they’re not one bit interested in that at the moment.

There are barns, potlucks, and county fairs. There’s gossip, and there are good people.

That’s how I grew up. It’s what I know, and it’s where my soul goes when I want a smile and a good story.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to come around to this, since that’s what I’ve been writing about in my blogs forever.  But that’s what I’m writing in my books now too, even if I still have dark blue fingernails.

So while the Bandits are reinventing themselves, I am too.

I’m not sure how to integrate the black clothes with the small town stories, but it’s all me…maybe more of me than I’ve ever been before.

Barn welcome to honey bend 40 percent sizeThe first book in the Honey Bend series will be out this year.

I’ll announce it here of course. But if you want to know ahead of time when it’s about to be released, you can go to my temporary author webpage and sign up for my newsletter.

It would be great if you also like my facebook page .  I can’t promise I won’t post a photo of an owl or someone with blue fingernails on occasion.  My snarky sense of humor is not going away, and I still need a LOT of coffee to get going in the mornings.  But most of it will be fun, and I’d love to connect with you there.

I won’t bother you much with emails though.

Okay, well…I might bother you a little when the first book is released. I’m guessing I’ll be really excited about that.

I’ll show y’all the cover, and tell you a little about the book, in my blog on February 20th.  I can’t wait.

But in the meantime, to celebrate the reinvention of the Bandits and the reinvention of ME, I’m giving away a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble, and a surprise grab bag of two books and some goodies from my bottomless box of conference swag.

Have you ever gone one direction in life, only to figure out that you should be going a different way entirely?

Ever changed directions in mid-stream?

Have you ever reinvented yourself in any way, large or small?

What about your reading habits?  Do you read everything, all the time? Or do you go through phases–darker, grittier books for a while, then lighter, easier books?

Who’s your favorite small-town romance author?

Did you know any Goth kids growing up?  And did any of them turn out to be, by any chance, romance writers?

Oh yeah.  I’m on Twitter too…but I’m telling you..I need serious remedial help with that.  It might be funny….even when I don’t mean for it to be funny.  Just sayin.