Cassie Graham is funny, cool, kind, and a little sassy – maybe more than a little. 😉 She’s an indie author and has written several paranormal and contemporary romance novels. Her latest one, The Girl Behind the Red Door, released exactly a month ago today and in honor of this blogiversary, Cassie Graham answered a few questions about the book, her life as an author, and everything else bookish.
Hey Cassie, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview for 5171 Miles Book Blog! Also, congratulations on releasing your latest novel, The Girl Behind The Red Door. What’s the book about?
Hiii! Thank you so much for having me! The Girl Behind the Red Door is a small town feel-good romance about a woman with a broken heart and a man who hasn’t quite found love yet. Charlie and Reed meet in a college class, and their friendship blossoms gradually throughout the book. There’s lots of laughs, feels, and romance.
How did you get the idea for this novel?
Oh, goodness. So, I started writing this book last year BEFORE I finished my paranormal series, The Wilder Series. It all came to me because I had A LOT of readers asking about the couple from my third book, The Truth of a Liar. They wanted to know what happened to Lark and Rowan. But I didn’t want to write an entire story for them because I felt the story was finished. So, I wanted to bring them back in some way or another. And, The Girl Behind the Red Door was my way of doing that. Reed is British, Royal, and in theater. So, it fit with bringing Lark and Rowan in. The story grew as I figured out the character’s and their stories.
What was your favorite part to write?
The entire thing was an amazing experience. It healed me in a lot of ways. I’ve never had a book come so easily and effortlessly. But my favorite was the friendship between Reed and Charlie. Their genuine love for each other and the way it sprouted was just so perfect.
Are you planning on writing a book with the secondary characters of The Girl Behind The Red Door?
Not at the moment, but I’ll never say no because there are a few characters who still like to talk to me. And one character in particular didn’t get a happy ending, and I love to explore her world. So, possibly! I’m already 20% in on my next book, but when I finish, I’ll think about writing another DOOR book.
Speaking of writing. Do you have a special routine when plotting new books? What are the usual steps in your book creation process?
I always write a rough outline. Major plotlines. That typically happens before I even have character names. But once the important storyline is ready, I make character outlines. From their names, height, features, favorite color, occupation, childhood memories, the cars they drive, odd quirks. Once that’s done, I research towns and figure out what state I want them to live. I typically make up a fictional town within a real state. Then, I write and write and write. I try to hit 3K every day. That hardly ever happens, though. LOL.
In the past you have written both Contemporary Romance/New Adult books as well as Paranormal/Fantasy books. Why did you start writing books in both genres instead of sticking to only one?
Both genres hold a half of my heart. I couldn’t write one and NOT write the other, you know? Paranormal and Romance is my home. It felt like a natural transition to go to PNR after I wrote a few contemporary novels. And same goes for returning to contemporary after I finished my Wilder stories. They go hand in hand. I wouldn’t be Cassie Graham without both genres.
Is it easier for you to write Contemporary Romance books than Paranormal books or vice versa?
Contemporary is easier simply because the world has already been established for you. In a PNR world, you have to build from the ground up. Everything is new. Everything is foreign. You have to describe miniscule details and when you have to do that, the process is longer. Every detail has to be match and it can sometimes get a little insane.
How did you become a writer in the first place? Was it always a dream of yours?
I’ve always been a writer. I’ve always loved reading. But I was very into performing in school. Choir. Drama. Anything on stage. So, when I got married and moved away for the military, I desperately wanted a creative outlet. Writing was that outlet I yearned for.
Are your book characters based on people you know in real life? Are there any characters based on you?
The men in all of my books are in light of my husband. It’s why I can’t write a bad guy. Even the assholiest of men are just sweet guys who are misunderstood. The best friend is ALWAYS my very best friend, April. She’s the kindest, sweetest and most supportive person in my life, so I tend to write best friends exactly like her. And I’ve never really written a character like myself. They each hold qualities I feel like I have. Especially because each main character (in my contemporary novels), man or woman, have always been in the entertainment industry. Author, actress, Broadway star, singer. I’ve always said that if I weren’t writing, I’d be touring the world as a backup singer for someone famous. Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a backup singer. LOL
Have you ever thought about re-writing parts of your already published novels or would you leave them as they are?
Ugh. Yes! LOL. My first book is just . . . whew. It needs to be taken down, re-written and re-edited. But it’s so much work and I’m so busy writing new novels. At this point, I’ll probably just leave it and hope people forgive me for producing a mediocre first book.
If you were given the opportunity to live in one of your books permanently, which one would you choose and why?
Oooh, this is an AMAZING question. I’d live in my Wilder series. I’d become a monster hunter and fight alongside badasses every day. I’ve always secretly hoped paranormal monsters existed because I’d love to kick some serious ass.
What special message do you want to convey to the readers with your books?
I really try to convey that there is good in the world. It might be hidden, you might have to search for it, you might have to work your booty off to find it, but it’s there. No matter how horrible your situation is, no matter how much you’re struggling, no matter how sad or depressed or stressed you are, that there are beautiful things to live for. The world is such a magical place and I try to write to SHOW my readers that. I’ve lived a lot of what is in my books, the good and the bad, and I’m still here. I want my readers to finish my books with a smile on their face and their hearts full.
Purchase The Girl Behind the Red Door NOW!
Read my review of The Girl Behind The Red Door here.