Please join us in welcoming author Cassie Alexander here today to Dark Faerie Tales. The first book in her new Edie Spence urban fantasy series, Nightshifted, recently hit shelves in May. You can read an excerpt from the book here. Want to know our thoughts on the book? You can read my review here. We are also featuring this series in our UF/PNR Reading Challenge 2012.
Cassie Alexander is a registered nurse and the author of Nightshifted, the first book in the Edie Spence trilogy. Nightshifted is the story of Edie Spence, a nurse who works on a ward for supernatural creatures.
Want to read more from Cassie Alexander?
Relationships with Monsters
by Cassie Alexander
Urban fantasy at its broadest, for me, is all about relationships with monsters. The details change from book to book — but that’s really what it’s all about. I thought this guest post would go into why my protagonist in Nightshifted is attracted to a zombie — but you all, as savvy readers, already know why mild-to-moderately good girls fall in with men they shouldn’t/can’t have.
So I thought maybe I’d talk about why I’m attracted to writing about those situations and relationships. I spent some time thinking about it, and while I can’t answer for other urban fantasy authors, I know what did it for me.
I was a really, reallllllly, reallllllly imaginative and gullible kid. I didn’t have glasses until I was nine, and I was practically blind. I learned to read really fast though, and that’s where I spent most of my time, nose deep in a book, because words were the only things I could see. It gave me sort of a semi-autistic sensibility about the rest of the world (I think, while knowing, as a nurse, what a horribly bad idea self-dignosing is). I couldn’t react with other people well because I couldn’t pick up on visual cues for a long, formative time.
So, I thought of a lot of things as true. And I read voraciously. And the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark were some of the first books I can remember. If you didn’t read them as a kid, here’s a smattering of illustrations for you: Comics Alliance.
And I think, at an early age, those books — with those those wonderfully intricate, horribly horrifying illustrations — sealed it. Without a frame of reference for much else in the world, I had to go with what little I could see. And what I saw were horrible monsters. They did exist, and they were out to get me. How could I avoid so many terrible fates?
The only option available to me, pale, nerdy, and semi-blind, was to come up with really good stories. I clearly remember coming up with a story in which, for some reason, I got the vampires who came to eat everyone else in my house but me. (I’m not sure what that says about my relationship with my parents and brother, but there you go.) Same for every other iteration of every bad thing. Inasmuch as stories are a way to make the world make sense — my overclocked imagination was desperate to make the supernatural world make sense. Anything, so the monsters wouldn’t win.
I think that’s where my love of urban fantasy began, even without me knowing. They were the books in which the monsters got tamed. And as I grew and expected more adult situations, urban fantasy grew with me. How does a girl who’s trying her best against impossible odds succeed? Why would she fall for a zombie that’s wrong for her? What happens to her afterwards? It turns out I’ve been asking myself questions about monsters for my whole life — and I’m still just as interested in telling myself stories until I find the right answer. (Or, until the vampires eat everyone else but me.)
Available on May 22, 2012 from St. Martin’s Press
About the book:
From debut author Cassie Alexander comes a spectacular new urban fantasy series where working the nightshift can be a real nightmare.
Nursing school prepared Edie Spence for a lot of things. Burn victims? No problem. Severed limbs? Piece of cake. Vampires? No way in hell. But as the newest nurse on Y4, the secret ward hidden in the bowels of County Hospital, Edie has her hands full with every paranormal patient you can imagine—from vamps and were-things to zombies and beyond…
Edie’s just trying to learn the ropes so she can get through her latest shift unscathed. But when a vampire servant turns to dust under her watch, all hell breaks loose. Now she’s haunted by the man’s dying words—Save Anna—and before she knows it, she’s on a mission to rescue some poor girl from the undead. Which involves crashing a vampire den, falling for a zombie, and fighting for her soul. Grey’s Anatomy was never like this …
Click HERE to read an excerpt
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.