top of page

Author Interview

Image by Jr Korpa

Cassie Swindon

Jun 16, 2024

I’m always (pleasantly) surprised by the amount of people who have read my work and responded positively to it.

How long have you been writing and why did you start?

I’ve always loved reading and writing. I started writing my first novel, Dead Blood City, in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic was—I want to say ruining my life but that sounds so dramatic. Let’s just say ruining my life. I started writing while working in a psychiatric hospital at the start of the pandemic, following the death of a thirteen-year-old patient by suicide. The magic and monsters in Reilly’s world are metaphors for the very real evil and darkness that exists in our world. The painful experiences of my characters are things that real people go through every day. Unfortunately, treatment is not always enough to help them escape the darkness inside their own minds.

What gets you in the mood to write?

Music! I love creating book-specific playlists. I boil down these hours-long lists to short ‘soundtracks’ that I include in each book

What is your creative ‘process?’

I always create a detailed outline before I start writing. Then I create scene cards, a strategy discussed in ‘Story Genius,’ to make sure every scene actively contributes to character development. I jump around to different chapters and scenes when I write so a good outline helps me stay on track.

Who do you look up to most in this profession and why?

This may come as a surprise, but I’ve always been a big urban fantasy fan! I love the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Briggs has a way of humanizing snarky heroines that really helps readers connect with them. I like that Mercy is relatable and responds in human ways to traumatic experiences.

What’s one of your most recent five star books?

I’m stingy with my five star ratings so I had to check my Goodreads history for this one, haha! It was a two-part novella series from Marie Cardno, Monster Girlfriend, that I ARC read for.

What is the most surprising thing about being an author?

I’m always (pleasantly) surprised by the amount of people who have read my work and responded positively to it.

What’s something unique about yourself or your writing?

I have been a mental health therapist for many years. The Saoirse Reilly series and all of its colorful characters are inspired almost exclusively by my work. Talking with literally hundreds of people from all different backgrounds has made it easier to really get into my characters’ heads.

What is your favorite candy?


Finish this sentence: “When she reached forward towards the doorknob ….

a sudden sense of dread swept over her, as if all that was good and pure in the world ceased to exist on the other side.

What is one of your exciting upcoming ideas/themes for a project you haven’t started yet?

I want to do a closed door mystery set in a psychiatric hospital. My plan is to do this for book five of the Saoirse Reilly series. I used to work as a therapist in such a facility so I’d like to write a realistic portrayal of it. On TV, psych hospitals are so backward. It’s not the 1920s anymore.

Who is one of your favorite heroines and why?

Sophie Hatter from Howl’s Moving Castle and subsequent books. I love a practical, hardworking heroine who calls pretty boys out on their bullshit.

Who is one of your favorite villains and why?

I’ve got to go with Dolores Umbridge. Not because I like her but because THAT is how you write a villain. A villain that people love to hate.

Read more here...

bottom of page