Today Toad welcomes Cassandra Jade, author of Death's Daughter.
Tell us a little about yourself and what got you started with writing?
I’ve always just loved reading and telling stories. There was something magical about being able to turn a page and be in a whole new situation and I loved creating as much as I loved experiencing. I particularly loved creating new characters and throwing them into the craziest situation I could imagine. When I was fifteen I had to write out a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish within ten years for school. I decided I wanted to finish writing a novel. From then I started focusing more on working through to the end of my stories but it has only been in the last few years that I’ve managed to find the time.
Who are your three favourite authors and why?
My favourite would have to be Traci Harding because she created one of my favourite characters (Tori Alexander from the Ancient Future Trilogy). Her mix of fantasy and history (and recreation of history) completely captivated me when I was in school and is still one of my favourite reads today.
There are so many other authors but I would have to go with David Eddings and Terry Pratchett as my next two favourites. Both write fantasy but use humour to really engage the reader. Pratchett does this in an over-the-top manner that makes you laugh out loud while Eddings seems to slip the subtle sarcasm into the narration and makes you smile.
Why do you write?
I write because I like to find out what would happen if… I’m always asking what if and by writing fantasy I can play out any scenario I like and lead the characters to a logical resolution. I think that is what really kept Death’s Daughter going. I wanted to know what would happen if everything you believed about your life wasn’t true. Admittedly, the question has been asked before but it is one of those questions where there are infinite answers depending on who you ask and how they react.
How do you go about crafting a story?
Usually I’ll start with something simple, like an outline of a character or a single scene or something that gets my attention. I’ll spend time playing with the idea in my head and add different elements to it and slowly the idea starts to take shape. At this stage I know whether this is just a passing idea or something I want to spend time developing and I decide whether I want to start taking notes on it or not.
Eventually the idea ends up in a notebook and it may stay there forever, particularly if I’m currently working on something else. If it gets to the stage where I’m going to turn it into an actual story, I will write an outline of events and do some character mapping and then I’ll start writing the first draft. Quite possibly I need to take a more methodical approach to crafting a story in the future but at the moment I like that at each stage I step back and think about what I’m doing and I can jump between ideas and notebooks.
Sum up Death's Daughter in three words.
I tried. I really did and I cannot think of three words that would sum up Death’s Daughter. The best I could come up with was: Desperately seeking escape from destiny – which is five words and more of a classified advertisement than a summary.
My blog is Cassandra Jade in the Realm (http://cassandrajade.wordpress.com).
My Twitter is @darkened_jade
An excerpt from Death’s Daughter can be read on Lyrical Press (http://www.lyricalpress.com/deaths_daughter_excerpt)