Good morning my lovely bookworms!
I am delighted to be joined this morning for a virtual coffee and biscuit by author Tracey Sinclair who is introducing us one of the characters from her Dark Dates series.
So Tracey, who are we talking about today . . .
Cassandra Bick is the protagonist of my paranormal series, Dark Dates. She’s a single woman who lives in London and runs her own business, which just happens to be a dating agency for humans and vampires. Most of the series is narrated from her perspective, providing a sarcasm-laden, sceptical view of an extraordinary world.
When did you create Cassandra?
Dark Dates was published in 2014, so I probably came up with the idea in 2012 or so. In part, she was a reaction to tropes I didn’t – and still don’t – like that I felt had taken over the genre, that of essentially passive girls and women. I wanted to write someone a bit more ordinary, but also who wasn’t going to just take things lying down or swoon over the male lead.
Did you write the book to accommodate Cassandra or Cassandra to accommodate the book?
Unusually for me, the idea came first. I wrote a fun little short story in which Dracula ends up at, and is horrified by, a speed dating event for vampires – the host was just a peripheral character. But when I thought the idea had legs (with Dracula out of the equation!), then I came to work on the character of Cass.
What do you like most about Cassandra?
At lot of her I have taken from my own life (albeit, with polish!) so I like her geekiness, her pop culture jokes, her loyalty, her sense of humour and the fact that she’s outspoken, a feminist and cares about her female friends. I also really like her hot suitors, though they, alas, are not taken from my own life…
What do you like least about her?
I’m not sure I ‘dislike’ anything about her – I think you end up loving all your characters – but she’s flawed, obviously, or it would be boring. She means well but puts her foot in it, she worries about stupid stuff, she gets distracted by things that shouldn’t be important, and she’s sometimes a bit stubborn.
Did your early readers/editorial team like her to start with or did you have to change her in any way?
Most of the feedback has been positive, which is great – it’s hard to hear negative feedback on a character with whom you have a lot in common without taking it personally! Occasionally my beta readers will question her actions, or plot holes, which is really helpful, but while she has grown as a person in the course of the books – I was determined not to write someone who keeps making the same mistakes, as I think that’s frustrating for a reader – she’s essentially the same character as she was when I did my first draft.
What are your plans for Cassandra??
She’ll be appearing in the sequel to Angel Falls, where the fall-out from that cliff-hanger will be making itself felt.
Would you be friends in real life?
Absolutely. One of the tropes I love in fiction and TV is the ‘Scooby gang’ of friends (in shows like Buffy and the like), and it was important to me to write a woman you could imagine going to the pub with.
Tracey Sinclair is an author and freelance editor and writer. Her books include the romcom The Bridesmaid Blues and the Dark Dates/Cassandra Bick series, the latest of which, Angel Falls, is out now:
Thank you so much for joining me today Tracey! It’s been great getting to know Cassandra, she sounds like my kinda gal-pal!
I love the idea of vampires needing a dating agency too!
Enjoy the rest of your days whatever you are up to 🙂
Keep reading xx