Heather: A love story between a human and a robot, I love it! How did you come up with such a concept?
Cassandra: I’ve always loved robots and robot stories, so it was only a matter of time before I wrote something robot-centric. Around the time I started the book, I was interested in some of the tropes of Gothic fiction, like a big “haunted” house in the woods, an innocent woman, and an emotionally detached love interest. Somehow or another — my process always gets hazy around this point — the two concepts melded together into Mad Scientist’s Daughter.
Heather: I love that you melded two concepts together, too cool! This novel is set in a collapsing future America. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Cassandra: In the novel’s history, a series of environmental disasters threatened to wipe out the earth’s population. At the point the story takes place, civilization has more or less been rebuilt, but America is no longer a super power — although this fact doesn’t have much effect on the characters’ day-to-day lives. I liked the idea of a world that was old-fashioned and futuristic at the same time, so that’s what I was going for in Mad Scientist’s Daughter.
Heather: Old fashioned and futuristic, sounds challenging. Is this a stand alone novel? And if so, what do you have in the works?
Cassandra: Mad Scientist’s Daughter is a stand alone novel, although I’m currently working on a couple of new science fiction novels. I don’t want to say too much about them, though! I also have a YA series going, an adventure fantasy made up of a pair of duologies. The first book is call The Assassin’s Curse, and it’s out now, with its follow-up coming in June. The second duology, which takes place in the same world but follows different characters, will be released in 2014.
Heather: Fantastic, plenty to keep us readers busy! What is your writing ritual like (music, snacks, drinks, free-hand or on the computer, etc.)?
Cassandra: I set aside time to write every day. I’m usually working on multiple projects at once — a major project and a minor project. For the minor project I just write 500 words a day, first thing in the morning, before moving on to my major project a little later. When working on my major project, I usually write in 30-45 minute chunks of time, mostly because I don’t like sitting for that long. However, my boyfriend bought a bike desk recently, and I’ve found that I get way more work done on it, mostly because the positioning of the desk part makes it extremely awkward to use my computer’s track pad. Which means I don’t get on the Internet — I just write. So I guess the bike desk is part of my writing ritual now, too!
Heather: I've got to get me one of those! Thanks for dropping by and for sharing info about your novel and your writing life with us. I'm looking forward to reading The Mad Scientist's Daughter. For those of my readers who are as well, here are a few links to find out more: