By Tiffany Lovering
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Cassandra Blizzard. She is the author of over 30 novels and has recently released Seven Years of Surrender which is the first book of her spiritual non-fiction series.
Cassandra Blizzard is one of the world’s most detailed psychic mediums. She is internationally known for her evidential mediumship skills as well as her psychic abilities, with clients on nearly every continent. She is also an accomplished, award-winning author, with over 30 novels to her credit. She has been writing since the age of 15 and has published numerous short stories, articles, and books. In the realm of mediumship, Cassandra is known for her accuracy and compassionate readings. When it comes to her writing career, she is known for her skills in hopping genres. She has written in nearly every genre, including romance, mystery, thriller, science fiction, and mainstream. She has recently added to her list of writing accomplishments with a spiritual non-fiction series, the first of which is titled Seven Years of Surrender. In fiction, she writes page turning novels that keep readers avidly engaged. Cassandra’s non-fiction series promises to be an eye-opening series of revelatory books designed to broaden the reader’s understanding of the soul and the spiritual realm.
Q: You have written over 30 novels in several different genres. If someone were just now starting to read your work, what would you suggest they read first? What is it about?
A: That’s a tough one. In the fiction zone, I would have to say Blackwater (C. D. Blizzard.) For non-fiction, my choice would be Seven Years of Surrender (Cassandra Blizzard) because that book is literally the foundation of the spiritual series that follows. Blackwater is my personal choice because the story has really complex characters moving through a complex theme. It took a year to write Blackwater, which is unheard of for me. I wanted to take my time writing the book and really get the depth of the characters, the feel of the times, and the descriptions that really pop and pull the reader into the story. Even though I grew up in Florida on the St. Johns River, I had to do a lot of research for the book. I wanted every nuance to be there, from the type of gas they used in the Evinrude, to the feel of the heat on your shoulders, to the bugs chirping in the brush. Blackwater is about a young, sheltered boy growing up in Florida in the 1960s. Mikey has the opportunity to spend the summer with his crazy cousin Cotton. Cotton is a local legend, the epitome of Florida Cracker at that time. Being a Florida Cracker is something to be proud of, and Cotton lives his life to the hilt. Cotton’s approach to life is unapologetic. He is what he is, and he makes no bones about it. Cotton’s story unfolds through the eyes of the boy as Mikey is introduced to this wilder side of Florida. The book is a wild ride with a punch in the head at the end. But it’s really the depth of the characters that make this book stand out. Like Cotton, I was very unapologetic in my approach to writing this book. It’s a raw, honest book. No hint of political correctness. I wasn’t catering to anyone. I wasn’t writing to any particular audience. I was just writing some really amazing characters. Blackwater was my first break out book. And by break out, I mean breaking out of the standard publishing mold.
In the non-fiction arena, Seven Years of Surrender chronicles an event that spun my life completely out of control and left me bed-ridden and in severe pain for seven straight years. Housebound and ill, the only things left to me were my thoughts and my soul. Talk about soul-searching! That was it. But this time in my life did not leave me wallowing in self-pity. It just made me question life even more thoroughly. Not just life, but everything about life, about us as human beings, about our perceptions. So, Seven Years of Surrender is the beginning of the spiritual series I am working on. And it really tells the story of how this tragedy became an epiphany of the soul.
Q: Is there a specific book that you are most proud of?
A: Blackwater (C. D. Blizzard) for sure. For all the reasons mentioned above.
Q: Since you have many years of experience you must have experienced the dreaded writer’s block more than a few times. Do you have any tricks to help get you through?
A: I’ve never had writer’s block. I know that may sound egotistical, but I don’t mean it that way. My problem has always been writing obsessively to the exclusion of everything else. But I do have a bit of advice for people with writer’s block. To me, writer’s block is an indication that the story is not unfolding naturally. So, my suggestion for writers who get blocked is to give yourself permission to take a break and do something else. Go do something physical and stop thinking about the book. The answer will come to you in the right timing. Authors tend to put deadlines on themselves. These personal deadlines can lay the groundwork from some stressful perceptions about writer’s block. So, it’s important for the author to give him/herself permission to just take a break. Self permission takes the pressure off, and when the pressure is off, the answer presents itself.
Q: Your book, Seven Years of Surrender is the first in your series of spiritual non-fiction books. How many books are you expecting in this series?
A: I expect to write about 5 more in this series. My husband is trying to convince me to do a few more than that, and I probably will. Like Blackwater, these are unapologetic books. These are very in-depth, sort of hard hitting books. A few books will certainly be a call to action, if not a kick in the head.
Q: Has your experience as a psychic medium influenced your fiction writing?
A: I think it has to some degree, but not entirely. My book Covenant (E. J. Deen) actually stemmed from a dream I had and some experiences I was having that made me want to delve deeply into some of the concepts society has about the spiritual realm. But at the time I was writing highly commercial fiction, trying to fit into the mold of the big publishing houses. So Covenant naturally ended up falling into this commercialized version that had nothing to do with my thoughts on spirituality at the time. My dreams have always influenced my writing, and having mediumship skills certainly does make for some interesting spiritual ideas, but by and large, the fiction writing has always been just your standard commercial fiction writing. As a medium, I see things from a very different perspective than the mainstream. I am asked (that will be explained in my spiritual series) to see people from a non-judgmental perspective. Blackwater (C. D. Blizzard) actually came out of a very spiritual question. The seed was planted when I heard a conversation that left me asking, “WHY?” I was sixteen years old at the time, and there was a lot about human behavior that I did not understand because much of human behavior was counter to what I felt at a spiritual level. Bearing in mind that I was born a psychic medium, so my perspective was always different, as far back as I can remember. So, I hear this gut-wrenching story at the age of 16, which leaves me with this question in my mind: “WHY?” Fourteen years later, I begin to write Blackwater around that same question. Why? The question may not be blatantly apparent in the book as one is reading the story, but the book is actually written in such a way as to shock people into asking themselves the same question. Why? So, in that sense, yes, the fact that I am a psychic medium does influence my writing, in the context of perspective and questioning.
Q: What has been your influence to keep writing?
A: Love of characters. I really think I began writing because of my fascination with all the complexities of the human condition. Why we love, why we fear, why we hate, what makes us tick. That sort of thing. I actually stopped writing for about 7 years. I refused to write anything. I had gotten so sick of the publishing industry with its agent model that I just couldn’t see spending my time on it anymore. I never liked being told what to do, what to write, where to be, when to promote, all of that annoyed me. I also didn’t like the idea of an agent getting my money first, then holding onto my money for me for an indeterminate amount of time. So, I was done with the whole industry. But my husband had other ideas. Being that we are the best of friends, I naturally tell him about my spiritual thoughts. He became so intrigued that he is actually the one who kept pushing me to write this spiritual series. So, here I go again…writing up a storm. And, of course, I still have several fiction novels that I intend to publish within the next two years. I have a few irons in the fire, for sure.