Cassandre Dayne, who started writing stories and poems before she knew how to ride a bike, publishes highly erotic romance stories and novels in the contemporary, GLBT, science fiction and paranormal genres. And as her alter ego Bethany Halle, who writes more mainstream romance, she is the host of two blog talk radio shows with Robin Falls Red River Radio and is a contributor to Naughty Nights Press and Queer Online Magazine. She's currently a finalist in Passionate Ink's Passionate Plume contest with Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper.
Q. Welcome to TwoLips Reviews Interviews, Cassandre. You have a slew of releases coming out over the next year. Can you tell us something about the next half dozen or so and where/when we can buy them?
Cassandre: I have one coming out every month through at least next June. Taming Paradise comes out this month. It’s about a woman that is whisked away by her best friend to the islands to mend a broken heart and they begin a naughty game of seducing two men. Of course there’s a twist to their naughty adventure. Next is Truth, Dare or Dangerous Intent, my first full–length novel. In it, my heroine runs away from the States to start a new life in the Bahamas and away from her private nightmare. Working with four of the hottest men on the islands, she learns to live again. One night during a violent storm the five engage in Truth or Dare and passions. She is ready to love again, until her nightmare finds her. In Deception, Domination & Hunted Desire, a game of Spin the Wheel has our heroine in the islands finding two men that speak no English. Just as she starts to feel more than just kinky sex, the truth is revealed. In Through His Looking Glass of Desire, what lengths would you go to in order to save your marriage? Would you go to his office wearing nothing but hot undies and a raincoat? Power Struggle is a hot male/male release about two very strong-willed men and neither want to be the bottom. As their one night stand turns into something else, one hero’s fiancé wants him back. That’s just a taste for you.
Q. How long have you been a writer? What inspired you to start writing?
Cassandre: I started writing literally as a child, but then college and life settled in and writing was placed on the back burner but never forgotten entirely. It started in earnest again three years ago because I had stories that would wake me up at night.
Q. You are known for writing steamy erotica. How do you keep the sex fresh in each story, not letting it get repetitive?
Cassandre: Well, in truth I am a passionate person, but I also read everything I can, not only to learn about engaging activities but for pleasure. I have a very active imagination and I’m not afraid to put my characters into some unusual circumstances like voyeurism and public display.
Q. What do you hope your readers will get out of your interracial romances? Do you write them with any kind of message in mind?
Cassandre: I do. I write them because I do have an affinity for all colors and flavors of men but also because I want people to understand that love is love. Discrimination has no place in passion, period.Q. A couple of your books feature a D/s theme with strong alpha males. What draws you to this genre? Would you ever do a D/s romance with a female Domme?
Cassandre: I enjoy reading about BDSM and in truth, some is written so badly that I wanted to try my hand. I have studied with Dom’s – as in talking with them and talked with societies in my research. What most people don’t understand is that the lifestyle – whether playtime or living it 24/7 is about trust – not pain. I would indeed have a feminine Domme – I just haven’t gotten around to it yet!
Q. Have you ever thought about venturing into new genres with your writing? Is there a genre that you're thinking about tackling in the future?
Cassandre: I actually write as several people including under my own name. I just had a brand new series accepted by my current publisher writing as Dakotah Black. The series is called PINKED. The books are campy murder mysteries set within community associations in which it’s delicious fun to kill people in wild ways, including with weedeaters and epoxy!
Q. Can you give us a peek into projects you are currently working on?
Cassandre: Right now I’m working on a new hot male/male piece called Male Order about a business that caters to finding the right male for your business or pleasure. It’s a contract situation much like the mail order bride thing. I am also working on editing my paranormal erotic trilogy that Naughty Nights Press has an interest in, and I'm editing a long erotic future piece for Rebel Ink Press called The Fire of Tomorrow – which is about new breeds, half human/half beast - genetically created for the human race in order for us to survive.
Q. Where do your characters come from and how do they evolve? Have any of your characters been based on real-life people or experiences?
Cassandre: Several of mine have been based on real life characters including in Breakfast Eye Candy. I really do have a hot 6’5” chocolate skinned hottie as my maintenance man in my office building, and in Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper my UPS man really is Al, name and all. Others just come to me in the middle of the night.
Q. All your realeased works to date have been published by Rebel Ink Press. Lately, many authors seem to be steering away from publishing houses in preference of self-publishing. Might you ever consider doing the same? Do you think this is going to become a more pedstrian path for authors in the future?
Cassandre: Oh God NO! I couldn’t say that any louder. I have had friends who’ve self-published and I cringed at what they produced. I LOVE – let me say it again – I LOVE Rebel Ink Press and their entire staff and the wonderful publisher “E”. You have to have the editors and the people behind you. I am also working with Naughty Nights Press – with one book coming out soon and others requested but I’m also not a house jumper. I think loyalty will take you further in this business.
Q. What do you feel is the most important element in a well-written story? Is a fast-paced plot more important to a story than sympathetic characters or vice versa?
Cassandre: I think the plot has to fit the characters and vice versa. I think writing about sex – especially if you do something like write about BDSM – you have to get it right. Do your research first. Mostly – it has to be well written. No matter how well liked your characters are – if you can’t muddle through the story, then you’ve lost the reader.
Q. How important is cover art to a book? Do you have any input into the final covers of your books at Rebel Ink Press?
Cassandre: Because I’m a backbone of Rebel Ink Press, I can have opportunities to have a say – for example, Truth, Dare or Dangerous Intent has a heavy rape concept in it and I wanted to convey her damaged heart on the cover right. “E” worked with me doing several renditions. I do think the artist can determine whether someone hits “select” to read about a book or even buy it. And we have a fine artist in Carl J. Franklin.
Q. Which of your heroines is the most like you? And have you ever fallen in love with any of your hunky heroes?
Cassandre: I think there’s a little bit of me in all of the stories, but perhaps the most (of me that went into a character was) in Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper – she's spunky and willing to try anything. And I love my men in Breakfast Eye Candy and in Truth, Dare or Dangerous Intent.
Q. How important is it to have family support in your writing? Does yours know you write erotica? How do they feel about it; do they brag about you or are you their dirty little secret?
Cassandre: I have a husband that does my website and my banners and creates art so I’m lucky there. A few family members shy away (from me) like I’m a prostitute. I hate that, but oh well, their loss.
Q. What is the highlight of your career so far?
Cassandre: Getting the nod from Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume contest and being a finalist for my very first published book. Wish me luck. I’ll know if I won by the time this comes out!!
Q. How did you react the first time a fan approached you for an autograph?
Cassandre: It wasn’t really about an autograph, but I attended Mysticon this February and was asked to be on several panels, including one about erotic writing. It got very saucy and we really turned up the heat – no pun intended! One rather young girl came up to me and thanked me because she said she’d been abused as a young girl and hated sex. She actually told me she felt good and that sex could be fun. I cried!
Q. Which books by other authors are “chained” to your bookcase or in your DO NOT DELETE file?
Cassandre: I have to tell you that I have so many including fellow writer friends of mine that aren’t well known (but they’re gonna be): Dawn Prochilo, Jodi Olson, Elizabeth Black, Liz Crowe, Marcos London, B.L. Mortica, Jean Joachim and Blak Rayne – JUST to name a few. These guys and gals rock me with their style and passion.
Q. What book(s) do you feel are classics in your genre? And what book do you wish you’d written and why?
Cassandre: The Story of O all the way around – it was really where a lot of my naughty ideas came from.
Q. Do you have any interesting hobbies or pets you'd like to tell us about?
Cassandre: I have two golden retrievers that are my world – Goldie Hawn and McGyver. Hobbie – I’m an accomplished piano player and singer.
Q. Are there any charitable/humanitarian projects you advocate, and if so, how can your readers best help you with this cause? Can this organization be found on the web?
Cassandre: Any and every dog organization in the world. Locally the Richmond Animal League and they can be found on the web at: http://www.ral.org/.
Q. Where can your readers find you on the Web?
Cassandre: Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Pub-it, All Romance E Books, Bookstrand, Coffee Time Romance. I’m everywhere! You can email me at
or find me at these locations on the web:
, http://twitter.com/bethanyhalle and http://cassandredayne.wordpress.com/.
Pillow Talk with Cassandre...
...Oh, c'mon, give it up! We're all sistahs here!
Q. What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you or your partner while you were making love?
Cassandre: I was in the back of his pick up truck in the middle of a shopping center parking lot and yes there was a camper shell but when the cop came and pecked on the door, well, things went south from there!
Q. What do you remember about your first love that still warms your heart...or any other body parts?
Cassandre: The dizzying feeling I had trying to find the right hot red dress. Every part of my body quivered waiting until he arrived. He was a hot American Indian and I was hooked! WHEW!
Q. Is there a sex scene you have always wanted to use in a book but never have because it's just toooooo raunchy?
Cassandre: Well, I’ve done almost everything allowed by God and man in books but…let’s see – I hate to say this but no. I’ve written about toys and anal sex and recently figging and men with men and women with women so no! Does that sound bad??
Q. In your opinion, what food is just as good as sex?
Cassandre: Smoked Salmon hands down! And yes, my husband makes the most delicious rum soaked salmon in the world. Jealous?
Q. On a warm summer night, what real life man – other than your hubby – would you most like to arrange a clandestine meeting with in a secluded spot on the beach and what would you want to do with him?
Cassandre: Tom Selleck and I would ride him like a wild stallion! How’s that for honesty?