Interview with Cassandra Malcolm

What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book was published under a different name back in the 1980s. Since then I have had many books published by major publishers, but I now want to have complete control of my work including cover design. So, this is my foray into the world of independent publishing. I am currently working on a sequel to Turmoil so I hope my venture will be succesful.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Turmoil is my newest work of literary fiction. As the main character struggles to balance her life she wonders if she can survive scandal, murder, madness and a shocking secret that dramatically impacts her life.

Quote from the main character: “This is about my bizarre life. It is possible you might not find my life bizarre at all, but you will need to decide that for yourself. Like my life, my story is presented in an unusual format full of twists and turns and unexpected detours. My mind tends to jump around in time, as most minds do, and I have allowed it to follow its path. It may seem erratic at times but, like a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces fit together and when it is finished you will see the whole picture. Do you wonder who I am? Do you wonder what happened to me? Then let’s get started....”

Set in London and San Francisco, real events are woven into the narrative from the aftermath of war through the hippie movement, the AIDS crisis, life among the rich and famous, scandal, madness, and murder. Turmoil unveils dysfunctional family relationships from just after World War II to the 1970s as the main character tries to balance her life on a tightrope.

Reader Reviews:

“I have never before read a novel in one day, but I couldn’t put it down.”

“Turmoil is sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, sometimes harrowing and totally fascinating.”

“Turmoil is amazing! Sometimes bizarre, sometimes funny, and unexpectedly uplifting. The author is an excellent writer.”

“Turmoil takes the reader through a full range of emotional experiences. It is completely unique.”

“I like the way she brings to life an array of unique characters who are totally believable. I like the way she tells a story so that you are captivated and enlightened by events that actually happened in the recent past. I like the way she does not spare herself when writing about personal “stuff” and the way in which an enormous amount of research has gone into her writings. I also like very much the grammatical accuracy with which she writes.”
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love disappearing into my characters and creating alternative worlds.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on a sequel to Turmoil. Readers have told me they want more about this unique world.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am pretty much always writing, if not at my computer, then in my head.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Each day gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself. If you didn't like who you were yesterday, there is always today - and maybe tomorrow. Each day is an adventure.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was a dystopian nightmare where the government overcame the people rather than representing them. Perhaps I was unduly influenced by George Orwell's 1984. Hmmm.....
What is your writing process?
I write in my head and then when I sit down at the computer words just comes out of my fingers rather like automatic writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I remember reading when I was about five years old. It was a story of a white bear who befriended a wise buffalo and together they saved the world by bringing sunlight in a jar to a world shrouded in fog. It made me realize that two completely different animals could work together, so maybe people could too.
How do you approach cover design?
Since I majored in both creative writing and design, and since as an indie author I am no longer bound by the restrictions of publishers, I feel it is important that the cover accurately reflects the contents of the book. I was advised by friends to do a salacious cover for Turmoil to attract attention, but I felt if I did that and people expected a juicy romp between the sheets they would find Turmoil to be something quite different and then they would be ticked off at me. Turmoil does include considerable juicy material but in its own unique way.
Describe your desk
EEK!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in several countries including the USA, Canada, England, France, Italy, and I traveled extensively in other countries. What it taught me is that people are more alike than they are different and that if you feel what you write then others will feel it too. I can't recall who said it but one writer wrote: if you don't cry when you're writing it, how can you expect someone to cray when they read it? I did a whole lot of crying writing Turmoil.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing little stories when I was five years old but took it more seriously in college. I wrote nonfiction professionally and did that successfully for a number of years. When I write fiction I want it to be totally my own without the views of agents, editors, orpublishers. I may fall on my face by striking out as an indie author, but at least it will be my work on my terms.
Published 2019-10-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Turmoil, A Novel
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 52,630. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
Can she survive scandal, murder, madness, and a shocking secret that dramatically impacts her life? Set in London and San Francisco, real events are woven into the narrative from just after World War II to the 1970s. Her bizarre life gradually unfolds like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together to form a complete picture.