Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer living amongst the beige stucco and overgrown pecan trees of Houston, Texas. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and in 2008 she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. Both of these degrees have served her surprisingly well.
During the summer of 2010, she attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, where she enjoyed sixty-degree summer days. Having been born and raised in Texas, this was something of a big deal. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund.
Hi Cassandra, welcome to Once Upon A Time!
Pirates and assassins and curses – oh my! Where did you get your ideas for this series?
From all over the place! In my ways this book is just a giant mash-up of stuff I think is cool. I’ve always been interested in pirates, which is how they worked their way into the story. Everybody knows are assassins are just objectively awesome. And one of the things I wanted to do with the book was to try and make the magic really weird. I never liked fantasy stories where the magic didn’t feel magical. So a lot of the book came from that urge as well.
What initially got you interested in the fantasy genre?
I’ve read fantasy, of some stripe, since I was a kid. When I was in elementary school, I was all over horror and ghost stories, and as I got older I became more interested in science fiction and fantasy. My favorite stories are the ones with a sense of strangeness, and you really get a strong sense of that in the fantasy genre, because magic, at its nature, is meant to be unpredictable.
Also, nothing disappoints me more than a story in which the fantastical elements turn out to have a mundane explanation. As I mentioned, I loved horror stories when I was younger, and I would always watch episodes of Scooby-Doo hoping that this would be the one where the ghosts were real. It never happened, of course. I guess I’m just a fantasist through and through.
The cover art for The Assassin’s Curse is amazing! What was your reaction when you first saw it?
I loved it! I wrote The Assassin’s Curse before I had a book deal, and I used to have those aspiring-writer dreams about the book being in Barnes and Noble and that sort of thing. The cover I daydreamed about my book having was almost identical to the one it actually got. So that was pretty awesome.
What kind of pirate would you be?
Probably not a very good one! I’m a total Hermione — authority figures freak me out and I hate getting in trouble. I’m just not made for living outside the law. But I would definitely be a pirate sympathizer.
Finally, please tell us something interesting about yourself!
Let’s see. Well, I have two cats. One is named Robert Barcatheon and the other is named Leeroy Catkins. I play this game with them that I got from some friends of mine college. It’s called Alien. It involves turning off all the lights in the apartment and then chasing the cats around with flashlights. They love it, weirdly.
The Assassin’s Curse is available for purchase on 4th October, the day after the end of the blog tour. You can check it out on Goodreads now, there are loads of fab reviews, and pre-order your copy on Amazon.
The grand giveaway of the tour is actually something quite unique. Each tour host will choose one winner and each of these winners’ names will go into a hat and the winner of that particular drawing will win an annotated version of The Assassin’s Curse. This will be a fully readable copy with lots of extras from Cassandra and is available worldwide! Just sign up in the Rafflecopter to put your name in for Once Upon A Time’s drawing.