Today, I have the privilege of interviewing Cassandra Hamm, guest judge for the Unicorn Writer’s third flash fiction contest! Cassandra is an author, public librarian, and a part-time editor for SnowRidge Press. When asked what she enjoys doing in her spare time, Cassandra stated, “In my free time, I love to read and write, of course, as well as put together jigsaw puzzles and hang out with my cats, Keefe and Chase, though usually not at the same time. The two habits aren’t particularly compatible.” Learn more about her with the full interview below!
Q) What mythical creature would you like to have as a pet?
A) Perhaps this is cliché, but it seems fitting because of the subject matter I write about–I would love to have a tiny dragon as a pet. Yes, they’d be annoying, but they’d also be adorable, and, hello, dragons.
Q) Which location in a book would you most like to visit and why?
A) I would love to have attended Hogwarts. Alas, I am too old now. But I can dream of learning magic and hanging out with magical creatures and playing quidditch!
Q) How do you select what books you want to read?
A) I am a mood reader. I often go through book binges where I read a lot of one genre and then move to another genre. I also like to finish book series in a relatively quick fashion unless it’s a series I’m not particularly enjoying, in which case I might wait a year or more to read the next book).
Q) What are your favorite book tropes? Least favorite?
A) I love a good enemies-to-lovers and, if it’s done well, friends-to-lovers (I know people usually like one or the other, but here I am), as well as fake-dating and magical boarding school (Hogwarts, Keeper of the Lost Cities, Nevermoor). I tend to hate love triangles, especially if they’re totally unnecessary to the story, and to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the “chosen one” trope. I also get really frustrated by the miscommunication trope where if people just talked to each other, this whole problem would be avoided.
Q) What was your most recent 5 star read?
A) I just finished How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. It’s completely different from the movie and just as fantastic. Also, David Tennant does an amazing job with narrating. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.
Q) Where is your favorite location to read? To write?
A) To be honest, I usually just read and write in my room, though I can read pretty much anywhere. I should probably have some sort of designated writing space, though.
Q) Can you tell us about what books/stories you have currently available?
A) My work appears in several anthologies, including collections from Havok Publishing, Ye Olde Dragon Books, Dragon Bone Publishing, and Twenty Hills Publishing. They range from flash fiction to short stories to poetry in various genres and styles, though my preference is fantasy written in third person limited (with a deep POV). I also have many stories published on Havok Publishing’s website, though those are only available to the public for a few days out of the year. Check out my website to see more about each anthology.
Q) Can you tell us about your current writing project(s)?
A) My current WIP is a middle grade fantasy novel in which only people under the age of thirteen can see magical creatures. My main character, Drew, just wants to get rid of the tiny dragon living under his bed and ruining his life, but as he starts to care for the dragon, he has to decide what lengths he’s willing to go to in order to remember her. It’s full of shenanigans, family problems, and the struggles of pet parenthood.
Q) What advice would you offer aspiring authors?
A) Your writing is separate from who you are. It might be very important to you, but it is not you. When people give you criticism, they are not criticizing you, just your work, which can always be improved.
Annnnnd, be sure to check out the flash fiction contest happening now here! Comment below with any questions about the contest.