Cassie Alexander is the urban fantasy author of Nightshifted, the story of a nurse who tends to the paranormal victims in the secret wing at County Hospital. Vampires, werewolves and zombies are her stock in trade. So when I heard she had written an erotic novel — and a Choose Your Own Adventure style one, at that! — I was instantly curious.
The House is Cassie’s first erotic novel. Just like the books you read as a kid, where each part of the story has at least two choices that lead you to new scenarios, the reader decides how the story will flow by picking from available options. Of course, this story is for adults only, and involves scenes with BDSM, bondage, spanking, MMF, FFF, orgies and more.
I recently had the chance to ask Cassie some questions about her writing, and erotica specifically. Here’s what she had to say.
What inspired you to start writing erotica, and how did you come up with the idea for a choose-your-own-adventure story?
A girlfriend of mine, actually, gave me the idea. We were at a baby shower, and she was all, “You know, I think a choose your own adventure erotica book would be awesome…” and somewhere between the games and cake I came up with one. It was great timing, because it was right around the time St. Martins cancelled my urban fantasy series last fall and I needed to keep my writing mojo up, but I didn’t want to get dragged down into anything with a serious plot, because I was feeling a little gunshy of True Literature. I wrote my guts out (or my Id?) and here we are!
Who are some of your favorite erotica writers and other literary inspirations?
My hands down favorite erotica writer is Greta Christina, whose Bending short story collection is amazing. I’m also a big fan of Ella Dominguez. In more general/genre fiction, I love David Wong and some old school Alfred Bester.
Can you describe your typical writing routine?
My job’s part time, and I recently switched to day shift, so I finally have a routine! (When I was night shift, it was catch as catch can.) When I’m not working and at home, I get up, goof around for an hour while I eat waffles, and then write for as long as my brain/wrists/back can stand, with breaks for going to the gym or yoga. I try to be done when my husband gets home, so we can be normal. My workspace is festooned with Maleficent figurines and other trinkets that I feel bring me good luck. (Typing that, I realized I’m spoiled as all heck. I worked nights — and wrote nights — for six years to get to this point, though, so don’t hate me too badly.)
Do you have any favorite beverages that help keep your creativity flowing?
Embarrassingly normal chamomile tea, and vast quantities of Crystal Light lemonade.
What do you think makes for a good erotic story?
The build up. Everyone knows what’s coming, but how you get there — how long it takes, how badly the characters want it, layering it in until the timing’s just right — that’s what matters most, IMO.
What’s your favorite euphemism for genitalia?
Ha! I like the straight terms pussy and cock.