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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Author Interview: Jax Cassidy

Whipped Cream is pleased to have Jax Cassidy whose newest book, Art of Sensuality, has just been released by Parker Publishing.

Jax told me when she reads a good erotic story, she wants to feel the emotions and envision the story like it was a movie playing in her head. “I’m all the about the senses,” she said, “touch, smell, taste, sound. The sensual imagery is often more exciting for me than the explicit sex.”

The HEA is important as well. She told me, “I have to believe that the characters should be together or else it’s going to disappoint me. Perhaps I come from the old school of romance, but sex doesn’t always spell erotic; it’s the love story that pulls me in and keeps me interested.”

Jax didn’t start out to write novels or romance. She started out as a screenwriter and enjoyed writing romantic comedies, horror, and indie-type screenplays. “Along the way I met a fellow screenwriter,” she said, “who nudged me to write romance. My first attempt was a paranormal/urban fantasy called Ghosthunter, which was an idea I’ve had since I was a kid. Unfortunately, I didn’t sell that project and ended up shelving it when my friend Eden Bradley introduced me to erotica.”

Jax shared with me that she fell in love with erotica, and even though she wasn’t very comfortable with writing sex, decided to give it a try anyway. She teamed up with a co-writer and they wrote as Cassidy Kent. Jax felt, though, she needed to prove to herself she could write independently, so on August 10, 2007, Jax and her co-writer parted ways. “It turned out better than I hoped,” Jax said, “because during the break up of our writing partnership I was offered a contract with my current publisher, Parker Publishing, and am still amazed at my accomplishments!”

“I come from a very artistic family of overachievers,” Jax told me. “There are eight of us! My brothers and sisters are exceedingly gifted in acting, painting, crafts, music...I feel blessed to have the ability to write and paint without any real formal training. That said, singing is not my forte at all because no one can clear a house like I can!”

Jax started on her writing path when she was about seven and decided to write what she calls “a fairytale of sorts.” Her oldest brother had the first Tandy computer and showed her how to type on it. “I think I was bit by the writing bug, which also propelled me to be a computer geek of sorts. I had won a lot of writing contests from elementary through high school, but it never occurred to me I could do it professionally. I had dreams of being the next Entertainment Tonight correspondent when I was swept into the world of movie making.” She had also been a news anchor for her college television station and had to write creative pieces for her segments.

“The thrill of writing made me search for other avenues to focus on and that’s when I discovered screenwriting,” she continued.” After years of this competitive industry, I was more than happy to jump into novel writing. Let me tell you, it was the most difficult transition! When you’re trained for writing dialogue, nothing is as demanding and scary as the mechanics of writing women’s fiction.”

That’s when Jax and Kristen Painter decided to form Romance Divas discussion forum. “We were both new writers who couldn’t find everything we needed to know about romance in one spot, so we created it,” Jax told me. “It was our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the writing community and provide a safe forum for authors in search of support, camaraderie, and family.”

Jax said that all the twists and turns in her journey have been a great learning tool for her. “I can see my growth as a writer in every new project I do,” she said. “I didn’t want to have any regrets and I’m glad I followed my dreams and made things happen because it’s starting to pay off for me personally and professionally.”

When Jax isn’t writing, she told me she is very busy in local and national charities. “I’ve given away original artwork to various organizations,” she told me, “and last year I went skydiving for the Heifer Organization and raised $3,000. I’m currently working on creating a group to campaign against human trafficking in East Asia, as well as raising funds to invest in shares in the Heifer Organization to help small villages in Vietnam to cultivate their own livestock to sustain food for their families. It’s a huge endeavor and the true reason I write is because I want to be afforded the ability to continue doing these things.”

On a personal note, I asked Jax what her favorite food was. “I am a big foodie!” Jax said. “I love any kind of ethnic cuisine and the artistry of the dishes always amazes me. If I were to choose just one, I couldn’t.”

And, she can definitely tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. “Pepsi is sweeter and I love sweet,” she said, “but I can take either when I am desperate for some sort of caffeine.”

Finally, I asked Jax who she would choose to play her if a movie was to be made of her life. “That’s a hard one. I would probably play myself,” she told me. “Why? I started out as a child actor and spent a lot of time in the entertainment industry, so who better to play myself than ME!”

You can read more about Jax and her works at her website.

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