Welcome USA Today Bestselling author Cassandra Chandler for this week’s Thirteen for Thursday
Who was your first book boyfriend/girlfriend?
My very first book crush was Legolas from The Lord of the Rings. I started reading really, really early, and thought elves were the most amazing beings. Now that I’m older, I’m all about Aragorn, though.
What is the most interesting topic you’ve researched?
One of my series features a serial killer who is killed by one of his victims as she’s escaping. That wasn’t the end of him, though (because paranormal romance). I needed to know what would happen to his body when the dust settled. Would he be buried in an unmarked government grave? Cremated? Could his family claim his remains (there were reasons one of them would want to)? I was sure researching this would get me on at least one watch list, and was bemoaning my fate to another writer friend. Lucky for me, at the time she was working at a mortuary science library and had just finished cataloguing a series of articles on a very similar subject. She was able to tell me everything I needed to know, and I didn’t have to fill up my search history with…unsavory subjects.
What is your favorite book, song, and/or movie guilty pleasure?
My favorite guilty movie pleasure is the Baywatch movie starting Dwayne Johnson. It’s hilarious and I absolutely loved him in that role. When I tried to tell my husband about some of my favorite jokes, he just stared at me like, “Are you serious right now?” I’m still trying to get him to watch it!
You’re trying to find a brand-new author to read. No recommendations allowed. What’s your decision process?
I definitely judge books by their covers, which has burned me a few times before. There was one series with the most amazing artwork, and I kept buying them and trying to read them just because I liked the look of them. Finally, my husband asked me if I’d heard of the expression, “Throwing good money after bad,” and I stopped picking them up. I gave them to a friend who loved that author’s writing style, so that was a win! Now I’m a little more focused on the blurb and if I’m still on the fence, I read the reviews. Reviews are so important!
You have to move somewhere you’ve never been. Where would you choose to go and why?
I would choose to move to Japan, preferably within walking distance of a café that has cats, street food vendors, and some really great sushi places. I love Japanese cuisine and culture, and have been working on learning the language off-and-on for several years.
What are your favorite and least favorite words? (in any language…)
How do I say this here… So I write romance, and I don’t use metaphoric prose usually. But there are certain words that I really don’t like using in certain scenes, and those words are pretty commonly used and even expected in my genre. I also have to keep in mind that the characters I’m writing don’t have the same opinion of these words as I do, and I want to stay true to their internal (and external) voices. What I usually do is use the words I like, and then do a global replace if it’s appropriate. That has led to some interesting typos…
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done while sober?
The “while sober” part of this is easy, because I so rarely drink. I even had someone ask recently if I drank wine, and I said, “I’m trying to start.” I need my brain active to catch all the story ideas that come up! It’s the “adventurous” part that’s hard. I’m a stay-at-home type. When I was a kid, I used to play search-and-destroy in a swamp near our house in Florida. There were poisonous snakes and alligators and all kinds of bugs and reptiles. I’m not sure if I’d call that adventurous or foolhardy, though!
Would you ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane?
Not unless I absolutely had to.
White chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate, always. And lots of it!
Which movie without a sequel needs one? Which movie should have never had a sequel?
The A-Team movie with Bradley Cooper absolutely needs a sequel. I loved that movie so much! The prologue felt like an entire movie experience to me, and then I got to enjoy a whole other adventure! In terms of movies that shouldn’t have had sequels, it has to be Highlander. After watching the sequel, I had to ask myself if the people who made it had ever seen the first one.
If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
I’m a perennial optimist, no matter how hard it can be. So, I’m going to say, I would want to witness the future moment when Earth unifies into a single, egalitarian government, where everyone’s basic needs are met, the environment is treated with respect, our resources are managed in an ethical and sustainable manner, and humankind finally achieves their ultimate potential of working together in harmony. (This is where I expect my most popular optimistic Scifi Romance series to land eventually.)
If you could speak a second language, what would it be and why?
Japanese. I have several favorite anime (Japanese cartoons) that I’d love to be able to watch without subtitles or dubbing. Cardcaptor Sakura is my all-time favorite, and I’m always ready to argue the point that Li Syaoran has one of the greatest character development arcs ever.
What is the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had?
This is another hard one. I’ve had so many unusual conversations. There was the time I tried to explain to my preschool teacher that I was an android from the planet Mars sent to Earth to observe humans (one of my earliest memories—she had no idea what to do with me). Or the time I described a bunch of different creative ways you could write about assassins trying to kill people to a woman who slowly backed out of the room while staring at me in horror (I used to watch lots of 007 movies with my dad growing up—I guess she…didn’t). Or trying to convince my husband to have a traditional Klingon ceremony for our wedding. There are too many to choose from!
Spiders, friends or foes?
It depends on the species. I adore jumping spiders. They’re so cute! Growing up in a new development in Florida (meaning that the animals were not ready to leave, and there was still lots of undeveloped land right next to our lot), I would occasionally wake up to find giant spiders on my pillow. That is not how you want to wake up. We moved to Kansas when I was sixteen, and the teeny, furry jumping spiders were such a change, I found them cute. They’re also really curious, and will watch you and kind of wave the little feet under their eyes at you. And yes, I know I’m anthropomorphizing them. We all need hobbies.
What is one motto or philosophy you consistently live by?
“There’s plenty of awesome to go around.” I love helping people and try to do what I can for others. I’ve encountered people who seem to want to hold onto knowledge or potential possibilities, seeing others as competitors for limited resources instead of fellow living beings sharing the same world. I just can’t do that. If I help someone and good things happen for them because of it, that’s to be celebrated!
Cassandra’s Online Playground
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cassandra-Chandler/e/B00V5713T4
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/cassandrachandler
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CassChandlerAuthor/
Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1562856810451659/
Twitter Author Page: https://twitter.com/CassChandler
USA Today Bestselling author Cassandra Chandler uses her vivid imagination to make the world more interesting, spawning the ideas she turns into her whimsical Science Fiction romcoms and darkly evocative Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Romances. Fast-paced and funny, lighthearted or dark, her stories will introduce you to characters you want to be friends with and worlds where you’d like to build a vacation home.
If you want to talk to her, head over to Twitter (@CassChandler), Facebook (CassChandlerAuthor), send her email at AuthorAtCassandra-ChandlerDotCom, or, of course, leave a review. Remember to sign up for her newsletter (cassandra-chandler.com/newsletter) to receive exclusive content!