Author Cassie Alexander Release Party and $100.00 Amazon Gift Card Contest! LIVE Here!

Moonshifted (Edie Spence) by Cassie AlexanderHello everyone!

I’m Cassie Alexander, registered nurse and author of the Edie Spence series. Nightshifted came out this past May, and Moonshifted came out last month. There’s still Shapeshifted, Deadshifted, and Bloodshifted to go.

Since we’re going to be spending a whole day together here I thought I’d tell you a little bit about me and the books. I’ve been a critical care nurse at a huge hospital for five years. In a lot of ways, my angst and frustration at being a new nurse is what spurred me to write Nightshifted. Edie Spence is a new nurse who works on a ward for supernatural creatures – and actually working in a public hospital isn’t all that different from working with vampires or zombies or weres in the least.

Nightshifted wasn’t my first book. It was actually my tenth. And before my amazing agent pulled it out of her slush pile, it’d been rejected as “too dark” or “vampires are so over” 56 times. (My agent was lucky number 46 – but it took her awhile to get to me! ;)) Luckily, none of that mattered when St. Martin’s Press scooped the series up :D.

I also was recently deployed with the Red Cross to help out victims of Hurricane Sandy for two weeks in New Jersey, which was one of the most frightening and rewarding things I’ve ever done.

I would love to answer questions about anything – the writing process, the publishing process, the getting published process, questions about the books, hospital life (including weird things, sad things, and gross things, and happy things), my Red Cross deployment, American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy. (Not that I have any insider info on those shows, but I am a huge fan of both of them!)

Thanks! 😀

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Learn more about Cassie Alexander below:

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  1. Woohoo, we’re live!

    I’m working on editing the first ten k of Deadshifted, the fourth Edie Spence book, today…and doing laundry. So distract me, please! 😀

  2. Hi Cassie,
    This is a new series for me.
    In a sentence how would you describe the series to hook new readers?

    • Edie Spence is a para-medical series about a nurse who works on a ward for supernatural creatures and vampire exposed humans — written by a nurse, so the medical stuff is real. (Or, True Blood meets Nurse Jackie. That’s two sentences, but inside parenthesis, sentences don’t count!)

  3. And my next question is
    What 3 things would your main character never leave the house without?

  4. Persistence paid off, Cassie! After knowing you and your writing for years, I knew it would 🙂 About your work in the Sandy-afflicted areas, since I’m betting most of us haven’t experienced a natural disaster’s aftermath–and bearing in mind that this was relatively minor compared to, say, the Japanese tsunami or the Haiti earthquake, and in a very affluent nation–what was teh frightening aspect?

    Much success to you, now and in the future!


    • Dario! I miss you. Damn the distance between us!

      Hmmm. That’s actually a tough question. I think that the members of the Red Cross who went out door to door in ravaged zones had it much harder and more frightening than those of us who worked in shelters. Not that shelter-nursing wasn’t crazy, but we weren’t in danger of stepping on broken glass, loose dogs, people with shot guns protecting their property, etc.

      For us at the shelters…well, as a nurse you get used to not knowing what’s going to happen next sometimes, and dealing with the unexpected. But the enormity of the care that people needed, and how dependent they were on you — that was frightening. At work I only have a patient or two at a time, since I’m in critical care. At the shelter, I had a whole tent of people (100? 120?) under my wing. Not that all of them needed medical attention, but it would have been awfully easy to miss the ones that did, and that — the unknown unknowns, if you will — as a nurse, is always frightening.

  5. Do you ever find your fiction to leak into your real life? For instance, do you ever find yourself thinking “is this dude a vampire?” when dealing with real-life patients, or imagining how Edie would respond to a situation you’re in yourself?

    • Um, yes, and yes. Heh.

      Anyone who has worked a night shift job — be that security guard/valet/construction — has met someone who looked like a vampire. I can guarantee it. Anyone who is up at 3 AM on their own, wandering around outside, or inside a facility, not getting paid to be there, is generally…off.

      I think Edie’s sense of indignation at the ironies in the world and mine are very similar, so it’s not so much a WWED situation, as it is, “Are you kidding me? THIS IS HAPPENING AGAIN?!!?” angst that she and I both share. Linked-at-the-brain and all that ;).

  6. Thanks for the nice giveaway! I was wondering if you plan to come in France as your books will be out next year?

    • Melliane, I would so love to!

      My brother actually just got transferred to Italy for his job two months ago, and he’ll be stationed there for three years. I’m hoping to get to go to visit him and the rest of Europe sooner than later — it would be my first time over there, so France is definitely on my list.

  7. How many books do you envision in the series?

    • Hey Beth! (reposting here as a reply!)

      I would like to get to write nine of them. (And, in theory, self publishing being what it is these days, I could.) But I try to give each book an ending and each segment that St. Martin’s has signed on for an ending too 😉 . It’s a balancing act.

  8. Is there going to be a future book in which we see Edie respond to a natural disaster?

    • I want to do a novella where she’s trapped on an island after a hurricane in a shelter as the full moon approaches and they’re under attack by a mysterious Thing. (Which I know what it is, but I don’t wanna give away just yet ;)).

      So yes? :D.

  9. What’s the plan for the first royalty check? after taxes… of course.

    • Man. I’ve only been doing really boring stuff with my money so far. (Advance money. I wish I’d already earned out! Alas!)

      I currently live in a studio with my husband, too many knick-knacks, and a cat. So with the exception of a few awesome pairs of shoes, I’m hoarding the $$$ all Smaug-like to hopefully eventually get a house.

  10. Hey Beth!

    I would like to get to write nine of them. (And, in theory, self publishing being what it is these days, I could.) But I try to give each book an ending and each segment that St. Martin’s has signed on for an ending too ;). It’s a balancing act.

  11. When does the “grandson” from the first book come back? 😉

  12. Thanks for being here! This series has been on my wishlist! So what’s your favorite scene in Moonshifted?

    • The part at the end with an MRI machine. I don’t wanna ruin it for you, but I looooove it. As a writer you get certain set pieces stuck in your head that you spend the whole book aiming for — for Moonshifted, that was mine 😀

  13. One of the things I love about your books is that you work in your medical knowledge. It really adds a gritty realism–and some grossness, too. Is there anything out there, though, that totally squicks you so you could never write about it?

    • Wow — I really wish there were a way here to do a spoiler-hidey-white-text thing to hide this from people who don’t have strong stomachs, heh. Look away now, easy-pukers!

      I saw them shave off someone’s nipple once in the OR. That’s the one and only time I’ve almost thrown up at work. (So far, heh!) I was so glad I had my mask on. It hid my absolute horror and profound disgust.

      That was too gritty to see in real life, and definitely too gritty to use. (It still almost made me crawl outta my chair watching it on the screen in Crank 2, come to think of it.)

      I figure if it grosses me out, or if I think it’s questionable, I need to dial it back some, because my line’s further out than most. I only hit that line once or twice a book, but gross for gross’s sake isn’t the point of the books, I try to make it fit with the plot :D.

  14. Hi Cassie, you’re a new author to me but I will definitely check this series out. Did any of your coworkers read the books yet, and if so what did they say? Are any of the characters based off some of your coworkers?

    • I wasn’t going to tell them about it, but eventually I fessed up…and a ton of them read Nightshifted and are now reading Moonshifted. (They’re very very sweet!)

      None of my characters are directly based on coworkers, but the general camaraderie and reliability — that whole ‘in the trenches together’ — that Edie, Meaty, Charles and Gina have is definitely gained from work. On nights, we’re the only people in there if things go wrong. We only have each other. We have to be a team. We all love each other, we’re like a family. It’s special and I know from floating to other units in the hospital that I’m very lucky to have them.

  15. Robert L. Stubbs Jr.

    Whats the funniest incident that’s happened to you working as a nurse?

    • Ha — well, it may not be the funniest thing, but it was really humorous to me at the time….I had this patient once who was bound and determined to crawl out of bed. They were in four point restraints, each ankle and wrist, so I had to be at the bedside the entire time, ’cause that’s mandatory (in case someone vomits and aspirates or starts eating there own pillow? I kid, but not by much.) They’re thrashing back and forth, kicking, rolling around as much as they can, completely altered, for the whole night. And I have to be all, “Please calm down. Stop that. Calm down. Don’t do that. Stop that.” etc.

      So they’re still Linda Blairing it up, when and I turn on the TV in the hopes that they’ll watch it and calm down and it’s late Sat night, early Sunday morning. A fervent preacher is on, gesticulating with every point their making — and my patient calms down and asks, a little afraid: “Can they see me?”

      And I was all, “Yes. They can. And they want you to calm down and stay in bed.”

      That bought me about a half-hour of peace.

  16. Hi and Happy Holidays! Well, as I was reading up there, this was the thought that popped in my mind — combining the two things, being a nurse and being in the paranormal world… as a nurse, if someone where to tell you that the stuff/people you’ve seen or dealt with were somehow paranormalish, would things all of a sudden make more sense? 😉


    • Yes! Very yes!

      Then there’d be some sort of underlying rhyme or reason (even if that reason was that there was no reason, perhaps?). The physiological turns of events generally make sense, but people’s reasons for being there — what bad decision led to them getting admitted, what drug or how much booze was involved, and how they decide to react from then on to staff based on their pre-existing mental illnesses and/or alternate realities….yes. Vampires would make more sense than trying to decipher what the hell they were thinking when they did “that”, whatever ‘that’ is at any given time ;).

  17. Hey Erin,

    I have a question, have you ever had a scene you were so in love with, that you’d planned and plotted and polished and were proud of, and then in edits had to lose and how did you cope, if so.

    • Laurie!

      I have kicked and screamed and pouted and shouted at the unfairness of the editing world so many times. I have a first reader, Daniel, he’s my only reader actually, since the way I write is really scattered up until it makes sense — he can read my braille and offer amazing suggestions on it without letting it’s crapitude get in the way — and every time he emails me after reading a new chunk I want to puke and cry. Being told that things aren’t good enough or aren’t write is always like a gut punch.

      And then when my editor sends me notes…oh man, those hurt so so so much more. I put on a super shiny face, ’cause hey she’s paying me (and I don’t pay Daniel to put up with tantrum me, so I gotta be nice to him too ;)) — and usually I can come around and see the wisdom of their suggestions.

      I think it’s like a lot of awful things though — you go through it and you learn that it wasn’t so bad, and you survive. What helps the most-most is seeing the book get better at the end. That’s the most satisfying thing of all, even if I’m editing it while hyperventilating.

      A lot of times I feel more stupid than anything for not seeing how to make my work better on it’s own — like, of course that’s a more elegant way to get from A to B! How could I be so dumb? Why does my editor still talk to me!?!

      And usually even if I don’t totally agree with their suggested changes, the fact that they’ve said something is wrong *here* means that something is, even if it’s not their something. I just gotta figure out what.

      I’ve really only pushed back like 2-3 times total to my editor, mostly because I know what I want to have happen in the next books so sometimes I need lead ups to that, whereas she’s just concentrating on the book she has in front of her right now.

  18. What inspires your writing?

    • Good music and good art and thrilling situations. I like angst and tension and real encounters where real stuff happens to real people. I don’t always enjoy going through ‘adventures’ personally, but I love it when other arts (books/movies/etc) hit that resonant point where what’s happening feels true and I come away changed.

      Any time I hear/read/see that, it makes me want to write, to share my own feelings with the world, and maybe give that gift of feeling listened to and understood (gah so cheesy) to someone else.

  19. I am so looking forward to reading this series. I have the first two books in my TBR pile as we speak.

  20. What do you do to “color” outside the lines?

  21. Did you ever get discouraged when your book kept getting rejected?

    • Oh god yes.

      I started going to therapy at the beginning of Nightshifted’s agent search. (I’m still in therapy by the way. Highly recommend it!) All we talked about was how I wanted this one thing more than any other thing ever in my entire life, and how I could cope with not getting it, no matter how hard I’d tried. (So I sound less crazy, lemme reiterate = Nightshifted = tenth book, me = writing with professional goals since 1998.) Especially when so many of my agent rejections were near-misses. Those were worse somehow than all the plain ol’ rejectiony ones. I was super depressed. I didn’t stop trying because I knew that Nightshifted was the best thing I’d ever written and I knew that there was nothing else like it out there and I knew (read: hopedtoeverlovingchrist) that someone would want it someday. But it was a soul crushing slog. The summer before Michelle found me (my awesome agent, Michelle Brower) I had five fulls out at different agencies. I thought, ‘For sure, one of these will bite.’ They each rejected me, one at a time. But I kept going because I’d heard about someone getting signed at rejection 70-something? And then figured, ‘Surely there’s 100 agents out there that do UF.’ Michelle was lucky #46, ha!

      My emotional state is very unfortunately based on my ability to write. Nursing is good because it keeps part of me occupied…and paid and fed. But my moods rise and fall with how well I think I’m doing (word count/quality/sales/reviews) in any one book at any time.

  22. A few years ago I attended a Mystery Writers Conference and the guest of honor was an Medical Examiner. This is a random thing to remember, but he said out of all the medical dramas/shows on TV, Scrubs was the most realistic. Do you think that’s true?

    • Yes! Completely.

      I don’t watch too many medical shows — although I catch them on at the hospital All the Time, which I find bizarre…if I were in a hospital, I wouldn’t want to watch a show…about being in a hospital, but I digress — I had to stop watching most medical stuff after I got into nursing, because it was all so bad. Most of it ranges from crap to complete lies.

      I used to really like House, and I’m a huge Hugh Laurie fan from Black Adder days…and the second I went to nursing school I had to stop.

      In Scrubs everyone’s human. Comically so, but human. And everyone has foibles and everyone has bad days, and everyone tries really hard. There’s a sweetness of spirit there that other shows don’t have because they’re trying so hard to be edgy. But the truth of the matter is that a hospital is really just a group of people all coming together and trying really-fucking-hard to get you healthy.

      In other shows where it’s all rare-disease-of-the-week, organ-transplant-this, or sex-in-the-closet-that, they lose track of the humanity of it all.

      Yes, in real life you get a couple glorious moments, a few fast (lucky) saves…but mostly you’re just doing your job. People in Scrubs were just doing their job, sometimes under adverse conditions (but not Dr. House yelling at you all the time conditions — lemme tell you how fast that shit would be frozen out at a real hospital), but they genuinely cared about their patients and each other, which is how real facilities work.

  23. If you did not write, what other creative outlet would you pursue?

    • Ha. I have asked myself this many times. As in, “Why can’t I have another hobby that’s easier?”

      The truth is I don’t really have another hobby as a back up plan. I used to play the violin, like way back in high school. So maybe that, but only maybe.

  24. If you had the money and the free time to put up Nurse Speaks billboards (along the lines of the God Speaks ones), what would they say? “Don’t smoke near your oxygen canister,” and…?

    • “We’re on the same team, honestly.” “I’m sorry, I can’t give you dilaudid, so please stop asking.” “Turn off your phone when I’m talking to you, or at least stop texting, thanks.” “I’m not here for my health — you are.”

      (those came surprisingly easy!)

  25. The series sounds very interesting! Why did you become a nurse in the first place? Were you a writer before you were a nurse?

    • I became a nurse because I needed a job where I could afford to be part time, so I’d still have time/$ to get to write, and because it’s intellectually stimulating. I’d done a lot of time in the customer service-and-sales mines, and in a way, that was really good experience for selling people on what you’re going to do to them (sometimes against their wishes and poor judgement.) There’s not many jobs where you get to solve puzzles and use empathy. It turns out I enjoy the hell out of it, I just wish it were less hard on my body.

  26. Hi You are a new to me author. These books look great I’m putting them on my TBR list now. Happy Holidays to everyone.

  27. You said this was your tenth book. What happened to the other nine books? I mean, I know they were rejected but is there any chance, now that you have a good agent that they’ll be published, too.

    • Nah. Embarrassingly, it took me nine books to get good ;).

      I was really in love with the ninth book, but it is (in the words of my agent) ‘Weird.’ I think it’s a good weird, but it’s a weird-weird. I’d be tempted to just set it loose on the world, only it’s really a duology and I don’t have time to write the second one, so that would be a jerky thing to do.

      The rest had good ideas, but would take so much work to fix that it’d be rewriting from scratch. If I had free time, maybe, I like them, but working nights and writing two books a year is all I can juggle right now.

      • I’m halfway through Nightshifted and am thoroughly enjoying it but a little concerned for Edie! Thanks for a nice dark story!

  28. hi Cassie, this is not a ? but I also love SOA and Charlie was in a film named 3,2,1….Frankie Go Boom and I met Jamie Greenberg celeb makeup artist who did Lizzy Caplans makeup for an event, cool huh? I did aske her about meeting Charlie and she said he was very nice 🙂

    • haha — that is super cool! 😀 😀 😀

      My husband and I were going through random shows on netflix and started watching Undecided…and then halfway through we were all, “Wait a second! Is that…Charlie?!!?” He had an accent and everything! (Which I realize is his real accent, but still!)

  29. What tips, tricks or advice would you give to a novice writer?

    • Hm.

      That’s actually hard. There’s the ones that are easy to say — write a lot, read a lot, submit your work to professional places.

      But in actuality a lot of my time spent as a writer is in getting out of my own way. Earnestly try to do the best you can, as often as you can, and accept that it’ll probably be better next time — which is awesome! Annnnd, also a little depressing. It takes awhile to get good. It takes even longer to be recognized as being good. You need to be nice to yourself in those gaps and as long as you’re doing as much as you can, be fine with that.

      Which is a long way of saying that the only variable you actually have control of in the entire publishing process is you and your own attitude. Try hard. Try again. Try again-again, because there’s no short-cuts. Wash/rinse/repeat.

  30. I am looking forward to reading your books, I have the first 2 on my Christmas list. The series sounds like it will be great!

  31. Think Inkheart (movie with Brendan Fraiser or the book)… If you had the silvertongue ability. What would be the first book you’d grab. Who/what would you read out of said book or would you read yourself in?

  32. Who are some of your favorite paranormal authors?

    • I really like Seanan McGuire — I’m almost done with Ashes of Honor and then I’ll be upset that there’s not magically more — and Kat Richardson and Diana Rowland.

      Old school, I like Anita Blake but I’m a few books behind now, same for Charlaine Harris, and Keri Arthur.

  33. Oh, I ADORE SoA and AHS! I have a degree in psych, and I know on that level, AHS doubly freaks me out this season, because I know some of those things really DID happen in sanitariums. I wonder if it creeps you out from a nurses’ perspective as well as a horror fan’s?

    hafowler at gmail dot com

    • Heck yeah! Why doesn’t the Monsignor pretend that he never knew what Arden was doing and just stop it all!?!??!

      And when Chloe’s character got out but that somehow didn’t blow the lid off of everything, like a faceless monster just arrived in town outta nowhere and there’s no criminal investigation or follow up — what the what!?!?

      Creepy science for sheer science’s sake always weirds me out. *shudder* And also the patient’s complete lack of autonomy or any way to repeal or protest their stays there…that’s like half the horror right there.

  34. I have Nightshifted in my To Be Read pile!! It just moved to the top!! Thanks for the entertainment!!

  35. Hi Cassie,

    I’ve read both of Edie’s adventures and enjoyed them. The concept of the emergency ward for the paranormal is great (and I loved the dragon near-catastrophe in book 1).

    Question 1: Haunted radio? Where did that come from?
    Question 2: Does Edie’s name have a story behind it? Not many Edies running around in the real world, or in urban fantasy. 🙂

    [Also, love Rachel’s question above — and your answer to it, which is totally intriguing… *g*]

    • Yay! I’m glad you liked ’em! 😀

      The haunted radio originally came from this Buddhist patient we had who was on comfort care (slowly dying, essentially) and the family would turn on this little prayer-repeater when they left the room at any time, and at night.

      So there was this elderly withered dying person in the room that we were mostly supposed to leave alone (since interventions = not comforting, and probably painful) and it was dim in there, and all the time this low continual chanting-chanting-chanting in a language none of us understood…which, all things considered, around 3 AM, got a little creepy. So I swiped it, and then embiggened it some ;).

      Secondly (oh god, and lean in close so I can whisper) Edie’s name is a pun. Don’t kill me. Yeah, on TV, the show is called ER, for emergency room, but in actuality most places call them Emergency Departments…or the ED. (I hope that didn’t ruin it for you!)

      [And re: Shawn, he was based-ish on a patient I had in nursing school. I reserve the right for him to come back later, but also do not guarantee it, ;)]

  36. Hi there! The books sound good, they are in my wish list at amazon now. I will def be checking them out soon. What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Do you listen to any? Are yours available or if not, do you think they’d “read” well in audio format?

    • Hey Joani!

      Nightshifted and Moonshifted are out there as audio books :D. I’ve have people (even here!) tell me that they were good. I tend to rock out in the car though, so I don’t have any good audiobook recs, sorry!

      • sweet! I just went to audible and put nightshifted in my list there. I get more audiobooks listened to lately than books read, so hopefully I’ll get to it soon. Thanks!

  37. I absolutely love this series in audio format!! Thanks so much for the awesome entertainment!!!

  38. Of all hobbies, why writing?

    • You know, my husband asks me that pretty regularly. “Wouldn’t you maybe be happier doing something else?” Heh.

      I think when I was a kid I didn’t feel very listened to. (Like a lotta kids, I’m sure. I love you Mom, don’t hate me.) I also couldn’t see very well until I was nine and got coke-bottle glasses. So all I had were books. I didn’t get the chance to act out at home, ever — I couldn’t even really see to act out, really, heh. I think words were the only thing I had going for me. Not to sound all Nell about it or anything, but words were safe and I understood them and after awhile that’s just how things were easiest for me. I enjoy writing most of all, even when it feels like I’m throwing myself against a brick wall. (Secretly, maybe even especially those times.)

      I kind of suck at talking in real life. On here though I’m a super genius! See? (she says, with so much irony and hopefully charming ruefulosity.)

  39. I just discovered Nightshifted and I’m super excited about Moonshifted!!

  40. Hi, Cassie. Welcome to BBB!

    What are some of your favorite medical television shows, current or past?

    • Definitely Scrubs!

      St. Elsewhere. I rewatched all of them about a decade ago and they really held up.

      House, before I became a nurse and that ruined it for me.

      M.A.S.H. because of course!

      And Trapper John, MD because I used to watch it with my grandma ;).

  41. I absolutely adored Nightshifted and I’m dying to read Moonshifted (which is on my wish list). My question is: will Edie either learn German or find a translator so she can understand Grandfather? Or will she find some other way to communicate with him – better than she already does that is. I loved that character, I think it’s so cool that a radio could become a character with a great role to play in the story. 😀

  42. You said this wasn’t your first book. What was your first book and what was it about?

    • Ha.

      My first book was a Big Fat Fantasy novel where I had five people from Earth go to another world telepathically to work with five people on a fantasty world (well, technically, a few people, and an alien and a wolf) and stop bad dragons from taking over. Also rabid unicorns.

      That was the first one I finished, at least. (The one before that was a Conan rip off where everyone had a magic pet AND a magic sword, heh.)

      Long may they rest in peace.

  43. Hi Cassie,

    Your books look great.

    Do you generally set one large or many small goals?

    • I used to just try to do 1000 words a day, but now that I’ve got deadlines (and I know that I can push myself for more) I tend to set more of weekly/monthly goals. “Finish this draft by the end of the month,” or “Fix this plot problem this week,” etc.

      The large goal is always “Turn the book in on time!” 😀

  44. What do you do to reward yourself when you reach your goals?

  45. Do you keep track of random plot bunnies as they pop up or do you let them run free and grow until you need them?

    • Each book I have a three or four document system where I keep track of things I delete but might want to salvage later or good ideas that I should try to insert later if they work, or things to go back and do on the rewrites. I’ll chase down random plots if it feels right, but usually I try to think about why I want to do something before I do it, so that I don’t waste too much time in a blind alley.

  46. Hi
    This series sounds great. Are you planning any other series?

  47. Do you have the series length/arc all planned out in your head when you start, or does it evolve over the course of writing?

  48. Were you as devastated as I when Oopie was killed on SOA?! I will be done that show if they kill of Chibs or Juice!

    • YES. (Spoiler alert!)

      When Chibs went off in that van with one of the nomads and they had their side of the road thing, I was all NOoooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOOOOO.

      And then, *phew*.

      My husband and I were debating how Opie’s girlfriend apparently got care of his kids now, if that was some sort of transactional-biker-law, heh.

  49. I’ve read Nightshifted and just got bought Moonshifted from BN. Hoping to get it started this weekend. 🙂 I work in the healthcare field, and really like the twist that you’ve put on it. Thanks so much!

  50. This series is new to me. Since Edie shares your profession, have you included any good experiences that have actually happened to you?

    • Hey Susan!

      I’ve sat here thinking for awhile…and decided that good is relative. For awhile, good was not crying in the bathroom once a shift. And then it was not crying in the bathroom once a week. And then….

      (I’m totally copping out of your question, because everything I can think of is a little too specific to share on the internet. But even me and ‘can the preacher lady see me?’ guy in my story up above wound up being tight by the end of his stay, and we’d watch Judge Judy in his room every time I could.)

      What you learn to do a lot is be satisfied with the now. You maybe can’t change someone’s whole life, but you can help them out a little now, and that’s OK. I like to think those moments are sprinkled in the whole book.

  51. The story of your 10th book being scooped up by St. Martin’s is inspiring! I only have 2 more to go! 🙂

    This series looks excellent! TOO DARK is what I do!

    Did you self-publish the first 9?
    What difference did you see before they NY publisher and after?

    • Thanks Olivia!

      I didn’t self publish the first nine — they were written over the course of about ten years, and while I tried very hard on them at the time, they’re not salvageable without heavy rewrites, which I don’t have time for right now.

      As for differences before and after — I think my editor found a lot of ways to make Nightshifted (and so so so much Moonshifted) a meatier book. I always know what I’m writing and why I’m writing it, but sometimes not all of that is on the page, even if it’s in my head. (And honestly, sometimes it’s not in my head, although it’s fun to pretend that “I meant that all along!”) So usually she asks for a ton of clarifications, which wind up making the final book more rich and dense. And sometimes she has me keep a scene but wind it up or slow it down so that it’ll flow better and feel more booky.

  52. I’m glad your story was “born”. I’ve always liked vampire stories even before they became popular and will still enjoy them when another trend takes off. As long as you write what you love then I wish you a long and successful writing career. If I hear a story is dark it actually appeals to me even more!

  53. Even before you “knew” your characters were there any traits you wanted them to have and hope readers could appreciate?

    • Oh totally. It was super important to me that Edie be completely human because I wanted her to be relatable.

      I like sexy ass kicking heroines as much as the next reader, but I wanted her to stay away from her having super powers, or being half-this, a quarter-that — not that those characters aren’t fun, but sometimes I wanted to read someone who felt like I did on three hours of sleep — effing tired. I think some readers like the fantasy heroine better, and that’s fine, I can’t criticize people’s personal preferences — I just wrote what I wanted to see, and luckily some other people wanted to see it too.

  54. Hello fellow Red Cross volunteer. I deployed for Hurricane Sandy Nov.1 and got home the 21st. I was in the NYC/Long Island area. It was my first deployment and a very enlightening experience. I did a variety of jobs and spent my last week as a shelter dorm supervisor. It can be a bit scary at times, if for no other reason than not being sure how to handle a situation. We called in medical or mental health frequently. I was very glad to have their help available 24/7.

    What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you at the hospital?

    I am still in the sampling stage of paranormal reading. There is such a wide variety of worlds, scenarios, and creatures, one could sample for years without repeating. Some are too dark for my taste, some fun and humorous. Where would you place you books within that spectrum?

    • Oh wow — three weeks! I only did two! I had to be home by Thanksgiving to work back at work. I was so exhausted and sleep deprived by the end of things, as I volunteered to work nights since I do normally, that I’m not sure if I could have done it another seven days. And dorm supervisor — my hat is off to you, you are brave and awesome. All the ones we had were completely rad. And the mental health people we worked with were amazing too, they saved our bacon all the time, clients really needed them.

      The weirdest thing that’s happened to me at the hospital is probably the patient I gave a Clive Cussler novel, thinking it would help them pass the time, who then decided that they were a character *in* the novel and wrote me notes about the CIA being after them for the rest of their stay. I’d walk past their room and they’d hold up the book and give me significant ‘you know we’re both in this together, and they’re listening to us RIGHT NOW’ nods.

      I’ll admit that my books are pretty dark, but they’ve got lighter moments of humor throughout — I’m pretty sure you can read the first few chapters online at the Macmillan website if you wanted to give them a try. They stay pretty consistently like that.

  55. Did you model (or name) any characters after people you’ve known in real life?

    • In Moonshifted, Rachel is named after one of my bestest writing buddies, Rachel Swirsky. I was all, “I need a NAMMMMMMEEE…” and then, “Um, can I use yours and make her sort of awful?” Luckily, since she’s a writer, she understood.

      Marguerite the cat is named after Maggie Croft, another writing friend, who I happened to be sitting across from as I was putting her in the book.

      Basically, the secret to me putting you in a book is for me to be lazy — but I generally ask permission first!

      (Other than that, no people are based on anyone else, other than that my coworkers are just as cool and badass as the ones in my books are.)

  56. Okay, after reading through this I am totally intrigued.

    I’ve always been amazed by people who can handle the chaos of a large ED. Why did you go for being a critical care nurse rather than pediatrics or some other speciality?

    • Ha.

      I just say I do ‘critical care nursing’ in real life. I try not to give away my specialty. If it seems like it’s ED, it’s because gah, sometimes it pretty much is. I’ve floated everywhere. I work at a very big place that is occasionally very short staffed (and sometimes I’m very poor, or need something like car bills/vet bills, and that works out nicely, heh.) I also used to work 12 hr shifts before I jacked my back up last year and dropped back down to eights, so I had to float around a lot for my first four hours, which was great experience for nursing in general and writing in particular.

      Once upon a time, I wanted to be an ED nurse very badly. (I’ve never super liked kids. I like ’em at the hospital well enough, and I’m a great aunt, but motherhood is not for me, and there’s not a maternal bone in my body, so peds, L&D or NICU was never an option.) When I was leaving school we had to apply for places to precept to, to follow a nurse around for our last six weeks of school.

      I sort of knew that everyone wanted to be an ED nurse? And I also knew that while I had fantastic grades, I hadn’t really greased enough social wheels to make that assignment happen for me, at least not like other people who were better at that sort of thing.

      So I looked at the specialty list, and I was all, “I bet if I can make it *here*, going to an emergency department later will be like a cakewalk.”

      And luckily, they found someone at *redacted* who was willing to take me on. She’s an amazing nurse (I shout her out in the acknowledgment to Moonshifted) and I wound up freaking loving it. Not that the work wasn’t hard, or many times bathroom-cry worthy. It was scary, every single moment of learning and thinking I was gonna kill someone on accident. I still sometimes get like that! But they trained me, and then they decided to keep me around, and I super wanted to be kept around, so it all worked out ;).

  57. What motivated you to become a writer? Did you always want to write?

    • For better or worse I have always wanted to write. I write to tell myself what I’m feeling, what’s happening in my day, what I want to have happen in the future — words are just my thing. Other people talk to each other or take instagrams — I write ;).

      Even when I was a kid. I started my first book in middle school. It was (as I mentioned above) a total Conan rip-off. But I knew I wanted to write. Books and words were the best things I had in my socially awkward middle class childhood. How could I not want to write? 😀

  58. I work in the lab of a large hospital. Strange things do happen in hospitals, especially if you are in critical care. I can see where you were inspired… =)

    So this is your tenth book? Your first published, well second of the series but you get what I mean. Do you like to think you will go back to your previous works and change them, try publish them as well? I know so little about the publishing aspect of books…

    • Yes! Fellow hospital workers unite! 😉

      I have thoughts about going back in time and trying to gussy them up, but usually moving forward is better than looking back. I don’t suffer from a shortage of ideas, only a lack of free time, so I’d rather keep pressing on :D.

  59. Okay y’all, I am pooped — annnnnd I did not edit very much, or fold any of these clothes.

    I’ll cruise by later and in the upcoming days (assuming I’m allowed) to wrap up anything else anyone asks though.

    Thanks so much for hanging out with me today, and thanks to Bitten By Books for hosting me!

  60. Hi Cassie
    I really admire your dedication in following your dreams! You are an inspiration!

  61. My question is, what has been the hardest to put on hold when you are writing, and also, what do you do when you get to a “tough” spot in a book?
    Thank You!!!

    • Hi Lynn!

      Oddly, housecleaning. I have to go to work, and I have to go to the gym to move (or my back freezes up)…but man, that phrase ‘cat-vacuuming’ can be so so true. I just have to accept the fact that I will live in a messy place until my deadlines are reached, and then do a megaclean. But it’s so so so hard sometimes. Sometimes having a messy place is depressing — and hey, I live in a studio, so the mess isn’t insurmountable — but I’d rather be done with my books on time than have everything put away. My husband does his fair share, but he works very long hours too — plus, he can’t clean while I’m asleep during the day, and when we’re both awake at the same time we like to hang out together instead of putting books away.

      About a tough spot — it really depends on why it’s tough. Is it tough because I’m writing the wrong thing? Or is it tough because this draft is just gonna have to suck before I can make it better? Most times my tough spots involve me not choosing the best path from A to B — but I find that if I write A and B, and keep going, I can get a little perspective down the line about what should have happened to keep escalating tension. The most important thing is to get it down on the page. For me, I can’t fix what I can’t see.

  62. What are you reading these days?

    • Currently my kindle says I have only 10% of Ashes of Honor left. I’ve been reading it at the gym…because it’ll actually get me to go to the dang gym. And then I’ll be haunting Seanan McGuire’s amazon page till there’s more, dammit.

  63. I love this cover!!! Can’t AIT to check out this book!

    Question for author and blogger, What’s your favorite book??

  64. Hi! I absolutely LOVE American Horror Story. Joseph Fiennes being my favorite followed by Zachary Quinto. Did you watch the show Camelot where Joseph Fiennes played Merlin? I was sad to see that they had canceled it. I found King Arthur annoying but Merlin made it all worth it haha.

    I am very happy that you are able to find the time to write. I am an elderly care giver on top of a couple other things so I know how hard it is. I can barely find time to curl up and read a book let alone write one haha. I hope you have great success and happiness! 😀

    • Awww, thanks for the wellwishes, Steph! My hat’s off to you, taking care of the elderly is super hard.

      I never saw Merlin, but I soooooo agree on Quinto. (Even if this season he’s creepy as hell.) Every time he comes on the show, my husband is all, “Oh look, it’s your boyfriend!” and I’m all, “Shhhh! Don’t ruin it!”

  65. as a nurse how ever do you find the time to right a book?
    are you not tired and just sleep when you get home?LOL

  66. What was your absolute favorite scene to write in your books?

    • So tough!


      Each book has a few scenes I’m dying to write in it — my most favorite scene that you all can read about is the MRI scene in Moonshifted.

      My super most recent fav (because I wrote it two weeks ago) is the epic set piece at the ending of Deadshifted. It would be super spoilery to talk about though!

  67. What was your favorite childhood book?

    • D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths. I checked it outta my elementary school library so many times. And I cried when I checked it out and some other kid had drawn all over the pictures.

  68. Have ever written fan fiction? For what fandom?

    • Ha…man, that’s tough.

      I’ve never written out and out fan fiction, but I do spend a lot of time analyzing TV shows and books along the way to see if I can figure out what’s going to happen next. I spent like 15 mins after the end of Seasons of Anarchy trying to figure out what all would happen next season (and there were so many events this season that I couldn’t guess were gonna happen next!) that my husband was laughing at me. If I can’t figure out where a show’s going — or worse yet, where it should go, and then not go because it doesn’t have the guts to follow through on its potential — then usually I’m sold. And eventually I stop trying to suss things out in my head and just go with it ;).

      Alternate answer: Dr. Who, where Captain Jack Harkness and David Tennant and I somehow get stranded on a time-island and are forced to kill two weeks of time. Somehow. Sommmmmme how.

  69. I need to add this book on my TBB list.

  70. Hi Cassie, I met you briefly at this past RWA conference and got your first book there. I’m really glad you persevered through all those rejections because you are a great writer. 😀

  71. The premise of this book is so unique. Love the title too.

    Why did you decide to write this genre?

    • I wanted to write urban fantasy because I really enjoyed reading it. And my friends who I’d tell hospital stories to would always say I should write a book around them…eventually it became a peanut-butter and jelly thing — two great tastes that go great together ;).

  72. I already have your series on my TBR List. I will be reading it very soon now that book 2 is available. I typically like to have at least 2 books available before starting a series or I get a little impatient…

    My question? What is your most anticipated read of 2013?

    • My most anticipated read of 2013 is The Folly of the World, by Jesse Bullington.

      (It’s coming out in three days, but I won’t get to read it till 2013 then, after Deadshifted’s turned in!)

      He’s a super genius. My admiration for what he writes and how he writes it verges on stalkerish. I am in love with and greatly jealous of his craft.

  73. How much of you do you add to your characters? Coffee, tea or pop ;)?

    • I add in quite a lot of myself! Whichhhh is creepy come to think of it. Then again, nobody ever askes James Patterson if he’s a serial killer, so hey ;).

      I’m a tea drinker mostly. I freaking love my starbucks, but I try to only drink it when I’m at work and I really need the boost.

  74. I will get tot the book stuff and questions later. But I LOVE Sons of Anarchy! I don’t know if you’ve seen the whole season, so I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s awesome!

    So I think the safe question is to ask who’s you’re favorite member of the club. Tig and his doll fear(any excuse to mention that) or someone else?


    • Oooooh — okay, so not technically a member of the club, and yet —


      She is such an amazing character. We’re all caught up, and especially the last few episodes of this season — she’s just got this almost animalistic sense of which way the wind’s blowing and how to use events to her benefit. I hate her — but I love to hate her.

      Tig’s a close runner up though, ’cause he just is who he is. He is an animal, almost — which sort of explains why he loves dogs so much.

      • I know what you mean about Gemma. I hate her, but then I somehow route for her at certain times. It’s so weird!

        I think the dogs part, made me love Tig a little bit more. In the weirdest possible way because he has done some truly weird stuff.

        And just because it deserves mention…Chucky. The hands. The rhyming. The French. All weird and yet awesome. And I accept that.

  75. “Too Dark” – I’m all for that. I’m adding your books to my ‘to-read’ list. So excited for you on being picked up.

  76. I’m so excited to get a chance to read your books soon. I love reading anything with vampires 😀

  77. your books have been on my wish list for a while. I work in a very large hospital too. I do payroll. Not sure I could do patient care though I’ve worked in those depts as non direct patient care. My hats off to you and to anyone directly responsible for patient care. is there anything on your coming soon that different from this series?

  78. What was your inspiration for Edie?

  79. I’m not good at thinking up questions, so… let’s just do an old stand-by, what motivated you to become a writer?

  80. I just bought the book, I’m looking forward to reading it. It sounds very interesting.

  81. how do you keep yourself disciplined when writing?

    • Hey PC!

      Being interested in the story is my biggest motivating factor. If I’m not interested — looking forward to writing some upcoming part — then I’m doing it wrong. There should always be something to look forward to for the reader, and for me as I write along.

  82. Before and during ur writing process, did u know for a fact that u would publish or was it something u completion?

  83. What is your favorite part of the story?

  84. I finished Nightshifted and I really liked it. I’m about to start Moonshifted now. Thanks for the great stories and thanks to BBB for introducing me to a great new series.

  85. What inspired you to write this book?