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Saturday, May 14, 2011
Author Interview: Cassandre Dayne
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Cassandre Dayne, whose newest book Breakfast Eye Candy will be released on May 31 from Rebel Ink Press. She also has several more releases out this year. Check out her website for the complete list. You can also find her at Queer Magazine Online and at Naughty Nights Press where she's a featured writer.
She shared some exciting news with us: she's been named a finalist in Passionate Ink's Passionate Plume contest for her novella Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper.
Cassandre told me she has had many discussions with both writers and non-writers about the difference between pornography and erotic romance and finds that the majority of people who don't read or write the genre don't have a clue.
"In truth, the discussions have gotten very heated," she admitted. "I have been told that I am dangerous and lewd because of what I write. When I hear that, I laugh and realize my imagination must be vivid! The difference in my writing is that my characters, while certainly delving into some rather kinky acts of passion, are not only in a consensual relationship where trust and caring is involved, but the majority of mine do have an HEA. Granted, this happens only after they had to deal with a terrible secret or obstacle. This type of writing is erotic romance because the characters develop a relationship. I have penned erotica, where the characters enjoy consensual wicked sex in a way they may never try again and may not develop their relationship into anything further. Pornography is sex for sex’s sake. It’s raunchy sex without character develop and generally without a storyline."
Cassandre's stories tend to write themselves, flowing quickly. She does an outline, but with the shorter stories, she's been known to write them in a weekend. If the story has issues, she can tell quickly tell, because the language becomes stilted and she finds herself doing the same bits of passion over and over again.
"When it’s good, the characters come to life in a vivid fashion, driving the story to the end," she explained.
"How do you do research for your work?" I asked.
"I read books by other authors from sweet romance to the hottest of hot, and I write down phrases that I read that are sexy and romantic. I also order and yes, play with toys to get the feel and the sound of them. I read how to books on certain techniques. For example I have read on the Violent Wand as that might be one erotic treat I would not try. I have also talked to real live doms and subs and organizations involving this lifestyle to try and tell their story correctly."
She feels it's important that writers who want to consider writing erotic romance to do their research and never stop reading.
"Secondly, make the language real," she added. "Men might occasionally say that you are sexy and beautiful, but let’s face it girls, they do a lot of grunting! I would also say that you might find yourself being challenged by writing erotic romance. Embrace the fact and know that it is one of the hottest genres being read."
Cassandre doesn't just write erotic romance, however. She began writing science fiction and quickly moved to paranormal, which she writes under her real name, Bethany Halle. She also writes campy murder mystery novels about community association living as Dakotah Black.
"Erotica is something I enjoy reading," she said. "I am a passionate, sensual person and that gave me the impetus to give it a try. I've heard I'm pretty good at it."
"Is there a boundary between porn and erotica you would never cross?" I wondered.
"Well, that’s a tough question to answer. I think crafting carefully created stories about any aspect of kink is okay, as long as the reader understands that it’s consensual and both parties are hungry to taste something different. From heavy BDSM to role playing where forced sex is involved, you the writer has to make sure and convey the message of trust. So, no, there is little I wouldn’t write about."
Her husband is not only supportive of her writing, he handles the development and maintenance of her websites, including some artistic character creation.
"He also knew I had the hots for our regular UPS driver and that’s why Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper was penned and my first naughty story told," she shared with me. "And…on the date of publication, he bought me a lovely bottle of champagne and a set of fuzzy red handcuffs! Other members of my family are supportive but refuse to read the naughty stories. That’s okay!"
I asked her about the most embarrassing sex scene she's ever written.
"Hmmm – I think it was having my wicked girl naked and tied to the hotel balcony railing on the third floor of a very crowded hotel in the middle of summer and having my hot stud perform all kinds of sexual acts including spanking, using toys and finally impaling her hot and heavy while others witnessed exactly what they were doing. That might be a toss up with having her dance naked behind a hotel lobby waterfall in front of a crowd of all male travelers and just before the cops come in."
On a more personal note, I asked Cassandre what body part she would pierce, if she had to pierce one.
"I would pierce my nipples and link them with a chain because I am fascinated by nipple clamps, the delicious dichotomy of pleasure and pain. It’s sexy as hell to me because it’s that bit of control both a woman and a man can have during sex and it happens to show off what I consider to be one of my beast features."
Unfortunately, she's allergic to chocolate, but a good substitute for eating off a person's tummy is raspberry jam. She loves to slather it on and lick it off; there are few body parts she wouldn't try licking a bit of fresh whipped cream or taste a splash of crisp champagne from.
And her favorite food? Smoked salmon.
"It’s sexy and an aphrodisiac for me," she told me.
Some things you might not know about Cassandre:
She can tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, and she prefers Coke, saying, "Pepsi is far too sweet.
She can tie a cherry stem with her tongue.
She's a neat freak. Chairs have to be in the exact correct position or she can't rest.
Her toenails will be painted in either scarlet or vibrant purple.
If she's not writing, you can find her playing with her dogs, playing the piano, reading, or spending time outside—on the dock or in the hot tub.
She thinks the only woman who could play her in a movie would be Susan Sarandon—because they are both brassy and bold.
Finally, I asked her, "If you were to give a new writer one piece of advice, what would it be?"
"Never stop writing no matter what wretched things life throws your way!"
You can keep up with Cassandre on her blog, http://cassandredayne.wordpress.com