1. What's your genre or do you write in more than one?
As Tina Gerow I write mostly paranormal romantic suspense. As Cassie Ryan I write smoking hot erotic paranormal romance.
2. Did you choose your genre or did it choose you?
I grew up reading science fiction, so the paranormal aspect was a natural progression for me. I didn’t really read romance until I was in my late twenties, but once I did, I was hooked, so when I began to write, it was easy for those two things to merge. The suspense part sort of just happened, but I enjoy writing it, so it’s a good fit for me as well. The erotic sort of found me. I heard Audrey LaFehr speak at an RWA conference about how she was starting a new line and needed submissions that were smoking hot in all genres. I immediately went home to try my hand at writing erotic. Nearly a year and a half later, Audrey called me to tell me she really enjoyed my hot writing and could I turn that partial into a three book series. After nearly dropping the phone, I gave the correct answer of “yes” and the rest is history :)
3. Is there any genre you'd like to try? Or is there one you wouldn't?
I’m pretty open to trying anything new, but I don’t think I’d be good at sweet romances with absolutely no steam in them at all. Even my non erotic books are sensual. I also wouldn’t be a great choice for children’s books or horror. Not because I can’t tone it down, but I don’t enjoy reading those, and if you don’t enjoy reading them, you won’t enjoy writing them and readers won’t enjoy reading what you wrote as those either. I also won’t be writing a historical of any type. I love reading them, but I’m too lazy to research what type of button was used on 1800...lol...
4. What fiction do you read for pleasure?
I love a good historical or a great paranormal romance, or even a good science fiction story. And then I do enjoy anything by Jane Austen.
5. Tell me a bit about yourself and how long you've been writing,
I’ve wanted to write for as long as I can remember, but just wasn’t brave enough until my husband told me to “just go do it”. I joined RWA in August of 2003 and wrote my first book, Into a Dangerous Mind in eleven months. By early 2005 it was published and I felt on top of the world. Stone Maiden and Fire Maiden followed quickly and I just never stopped writing. If I won the lottery I would write full time and be the happiest person in the world. I’m published in e and in NY by Kensington and Berkley. My next stop is self publishing and the sky is the limit!
6. Which of your characters is your favorite?
That’s like asking me to choose a favorite child – although I do only have one of those...lol. I don’t even have a favorite book – I love them all. I do have a soft spot for Zach and Cassidy who are the hero and heroine of my very first book. But then I do love all of my heroes and heroines who I’ve spent so much time with and they still come and visit and play in my imagination now and then :)
7. Are there villains in your books and how were they created?
Several of my books have villains and I usually take a combination of what I fear most as well as traits of those I’ve met recently that made my skin crawl and turn that into a believable villain. Usually some of my biggest fears tend to transfer over to my hero or heroine, so it’s pretty effortless for me to create a “bad guy” or “bad girl”. And believe it or not, those are some of the most fun characters to write!
8. What are you working on now?
Since Berkely didn’t pick up the last two books in my Sisters of Darkness (succubus) series, I’m going to write those and self publish them. So I’m working on Book 3 in that series – tentatively named Taming the Succubus”
9. What's your latest release and how did the idea arrive?
My latest release is The Demon and the Succubus which is book 2 of the Sisters of Darkness series. I was watching a show on the Discover Channel about Adam and Eve. They said that Lilith was considered the first Succubus when she tempted Adam and my imagination took off. Can you imagine what it would be like to be the one blamed for the entire fall of man? How would she live and thrive after that? How would she make a place for herself in the world? From there I created the Sisters of Darkness series about 4 succubus in Hell’s version of the Witness relocation program.
10. Tell me about your latest book and how it came about. Enclose the opening of the book around 400 words.
My next release (early January) is called Into a Dangerous Mind and is my very first book I ever wrote. I was talking to someone who is psychic and they were discussing the “mechanics” and my imagination began building the story from there.
Here’s the opening:
She hadn’t dropped a lobster tail down the front of her dress or puked escargot on her date yet. So far so good. Cassidy James stepped out onto a secluded terrace at the Top of the Rock Resort, taking a few minutes away while her date paid the bill. The empty ballroom behind her stood dark and silent, which left the terrace quiet and deserted, a welcome change from the lights and noise of the restaurant below.
Cassidy cringed as the mortification of that long ago date assaulted her. But, she reminded herself, none of those things happened this evening. Tonight, she’d been graceful, cultured and elegant, and the date so far had been intimate and romantic…and the most boring few hours she’d ever spent.
What the hell’s wrong with me?
Trying to ignore that particular question, she breathed deep and let out a little sigh of pleasure. The scent of the desert filled the air, ripe with the monsoon rains she knew would sweep through later that evening. A light breeze toyed with the ends of her shoulder-length auburn curls as she looked out over the glorious Phoenix mountainside—red and ochre in the moonlight.
Resting her forearms on the waist-high terrace railing, she glanced skyward at the gentle explosions of stars, and wondered as she always did, why everyone didn’t live here. Lost in thought, she trembled as Brian stepped close behind her, gently pinning her in. Turning in his arms, she smelled his expensive cologne as he cupped the back of her neck and leaned in ever so slowly for a kiss. She thought about pulling away, but as long as he wasn’t looking for a way to talk her into bed on their second date, she didn’t see the harm in a simple kiss.
His lips brushed across hers gently before he dipped his tongue inside to taste her. Very sweet and pleasant, but nothing that could be mistaken for blood-boiling or passionate. Cassidy relaxed against him and into his touch, enjoying the sensations of being in a man’s arms…and wishing she felt more than she did.