Welcome back to the My Interview With... series. May's author is a soon-to-be debut YA novelist, Cassidy Taylor.
Cassidy and I swapped interviews to be featured on our respective blogs. My interview with Cassidy will be posted in the coming months.
Below is Cassidy's bio and interview:
Cassidy studied English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and won the Bill Hooks Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2007. Her first novel, The Runaway Queen, the first in a YA high fantasy series, is forthcoming from Fantasy Works Publishing. She is also a paralegal and amateur photographer. She lives in beautiful North Carolina with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and one cat who thinks he's a dog.
I'm one of those that's been writing since I was little and has always wanted to be a writer. After graduating, I let "real life" get in the way and take me away from writing for several years, but thanks to NaNoWriMo, I rediscovered my passion several years ago and have been working to realize my dream!
What are you working on right now?
My first book, The Runaway Queen, is in edits, and I'm currently in the midst of writing the sequel. There are three books planned in the series, called The Mondragon Chronicles.
Why did you choose the genre you write in?
I'm going to say that the YA life chose me. In my Advanced Writing Workshop in college, my first story was torn to pieces. The biggest criticism was about the "immature" voice. This was before YA was a thing, but looking back now I'm able to realize that I've always been writing YA. The Runaway Queen is a fantasy, but I like to dabble in contemporary and dystopian, too, and am looking forward to branching out when this series concludes.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I'm a mom to two young kids and I have a full-time job, so I'm very strict in my schedule and value my writing time dearly. I free-write in a journal in the morning before work (usually only about 5 minutes), and then will sometimes work on my blog during lunch. I spend the evenings with my kids, but once they're in bed, I sit to write for at least one hour every night, more if I'm on a roll. My parents spoil me, too. They've started taking the kids for a few hours on Sundays so that I can get in a big block of uninterrupted writing time, which has been awesome.
How does your writing process work?
I am a pantser in every sense of the word. The Runaway Queen was just an image in my head when I started. The first draft is quick and dirty, with minimal editing. Then I print it out, do a read-through, and start on the second draft, which usually expands the story and turns into almost a re-write. It's been eye-opening to work on a trilogy because I'm having to learn how to plan, but even still, I have just vague ideas of the plots for the next two books. I trust my creative process and know that the stories will emerge as I write them.
What other authors do you read?
All of them! :-) My Goodreads TBR list is over 1,000 books long. Right now I'm reading Elise Kova and Morgan Rhodes, both of which are amazing. Some of my other favorites are Sarah Dessen, Marie Lu, Alex Bracken, Maggie Stiefvater, and of course, JK Rowling. I am also patiently waiting for the next installment of A Song of Ice and Fire.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read and hang out with my kids. I don't watch much TV, but when I do, it's either The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or Grey's Anatomy.
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