Friday, November 12, 2010

Interview with Cassie Ryan

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Cassie Ryan. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Seducing the Succubus. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Seducing the Succubus is the first book in the Sisters of Darkness series. The series is about four succubi sisters in Hell’s version of the Witness Relocation Program. The first book is about Jezebeth who is living out the centuries as any succubus must—seducing men to survive and corrupting souls to make her quota with her queen, Lilith. But when she’s attacked by a bounty hunter demon, it’s a handsome human who saves her.

Noah Halston is a horror writer who owes his life to Lilith. Now he must pay up by eluding the fearsome beasts of hell while escorting a very attractive and tempting succubus safely to Lilith lair—or else he will forfeit his soul to an eternity of torture.

Trouble is, if he spends too much time with the all too tempting Jezebeth, he may just lose his heart—or, even worse, his life.

The Sisters of Darkness: Seducing the Succubus is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

My editor, Kate Seaver, actually came up with the series title, The Sisters of Darkness and I fell in love with it immediately. As for Seducing the Succubus, my agent, Paige Wheeler, Kate and I all brainstormed different titles with Succubus in the name and all agreed that Seducing the Succubus was a perfect title for the first book in the series.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve always loved to read anything paranormal and I’m a huge fan of romance, so combining the two was an easy choice for me. As for writing HOT, one of my critique partners, Brit Blaise, was published in erotic romance and I really enjoyed her books. At the time I was published in sensual paranormal romance, but I’d never written anything close to erotic. But when I heard Audrey LaFehr from Kensington say she was starting a new line (Aphrodisia) and was looking for uber hot books, I took a chance and sent her a partial. The rest is history.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I was actually watching a History Channel show on demons and they mentioned how Lilith was believed to be kicked out of the Garden of Eden along with Adam and Eve—and she’s often considered the first succubus. That made me wonder what it was like to be the “bad girl” from the beginning of time, and what kind of life she would end up leading for all of time. The world built itself out from there.

What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?

I don’t really have any specific sites or books that are my favorites for research. I tend to find wonderful bits and pieces of research information in tons of different places. I love the Internet, but tend to just Google what I need as my research needs change. And I love to go hang out at a well-stocked bookstore with a notebook and skim books for the facts I need. And if it’s a Barnes & Noble, that has the added benefit or feeding my Starbucks addiction. Another terrific resource is interviewing people. Everyone loves to talk about their jobs, and I’ve had some fascinating conversations with nurses, policemen, ambulance driver’s and many others.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

There were so many fun characters in Seducing the Succubus, that it’s tough to pick, but I’d have to say that Jezebeth as the heroine who needs to learn to open up and love was my favorite. And a close second is Uriel, the Archangel with a past who is trying to balance his duties and responsibilities with a forbidden love.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

I start by doing a birth (or creation in the case of my succubi) to current day character sketch in 1st person. I just let the character tell me all about themselves and I get to learn all kinds of amazing facts that end up coming out throughout the story. Then as I write and new facts come to light, I keep an Excel Spreadsheet that helps me keep track of everything—especially over the life of a series! As for the world—I consider the world another character—it has personality, rules, and attributes just like my characters and is an important part of the story that interacts with every other character in the book.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

A lot of my world building is organic and tends to form in my imagination as the story idea and the characters gel inside my head. However, once it takes on a life of its own, I do jot down notes, drawings, charts or whatever else will help me keep everything straight. There’s nothing worse than making a “rule” within your world and then not remembering you did! So being organized helps me ensure that doesn’t happen.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

So many… I grew up reading Piers Anthony, Anne McCaffrey, Terry Goodkind, Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe and a host of others, then I added Nora Roberts, Cheyenne McCray, Jennifer Ashley, Laurel K Hamilton, Stephanie Laurens, Sabrina Jeffries and a thousand others… I’m such a book lover, and every book I read inspires me to continue to write and do what I love.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

I think that depends on if we’re talking short term or long term. For short term, as in one book, I think doing the Romantic Times Convention and being on the Fairy Court was an amazing promotion vehicle. That got my cover and my author name in front of tons of readers and it was a very effective promotion, although it was a bit expensive. But if we’re talking long-term promotion, I think book signings. (I can hear authors snorting at this…lol). I love doing book signings. I get to meet readers and make that personal connection with them. I still get notes from people who I met at my very first book signing who buy every book I write because we made that personal connection…and I hope because they also love my books J

What do we have to look forward next?

The second book in the series, The Demon & The Succubus, is scheduled to release on April 5, 2011. And I’ve got some other books in the works, and will hopefully very soon be able to announce some great news!

Thanks, Cassie!

To celebrate her book release, Cassie is offering a free book of Seducing the Succubus to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Check out author’s website at


Anonymous said...

Good morning Cassie, thanks for joining us today. How about some chocolate flavored coffee from Starbucks? Sorry all the Halloween candy is gone. I love how you got your idea for Lillith and a series of stories grew from there. :) Enjoy your day with us.

Alexis Walker said...

Hi Cassie,
I cannot wait to read this book. Hmm, if I comment twice do I get two chances to win? :-)

I'm all for a good Starbocks Chai and a walk around a bookstore. Can't wait to hear some more good news from you. Keep those Cassie Ryan books coming!

Cassie Ryan said...

Thanks for inviting me, Kim! :) I just got home from a shift at Starbucks where I work P/T for insurance - yeah - I smell like chocolate and coffee right!

Hi Alexis! Thanks for stopping by! I agree on the yummy chai! And hopefully over the next few months I'll have some good news to announce for both pen names :)

Carolyn Matkowsky said...


I love paranormal. Your book sounds wonderful and I love the series title. I can't wait to read it.

Carolyn/Cara Marsi

Estella said...

This sounds like an awesome series!

Carolyn Hughey said...

Sounds like an awesome story, Cassie. Is it also available through Kindle?

Carolyn Hughey said...

If it's not available through Kindle, I can always stop to see you at the fabulous Chocolate Affaire in February, 2011 for an autographed copy.

Jezebeth has a tough life, huh? LOL Meeting a quota. I love it!

reba said...

Cassie - I just loving seeing you and your succubi getting the recognition you deserve. Keep it up!

Cassie Ryan said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! :) Carolyn, it is available on Kindle and from what I've heard, the iPad as well :)

Unlike my Succubi, I've gotta get to Starbucks to caffeinate the masses, but I'll check back for comments when I get home :)

Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

Hi Cassie! Your new series sounds so unique & creative, I can't wait to read it! So glad to have you here at MCTT! Hugs.

Cassie Ryan said...

Thanks Kathryne! Great to see you here too! :)