by Javier A. Robayo

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cassidy Jones Adventures by Elise Stokes

Every so often a novel or in this case, a series comes around that you just know it's a hit. Elise Stokes creates a world that has something for everyone, regardless of age. That in itself is an incredible accomplishment as an author, but there is more than an appealing superhero story at play here. 
The success behind Cassidy Jones is in its characters. Yes, they're special, out of the ordinary, and yet, they deal with situations and relationships any reader can identify with. Elise's novels will pull you in and make you forget the real world while Seattle comes alive around you. 
It's been some time since I've been eager for the next volume in a series. Taking advantage of knowing Elise as a friend in the ever growing world of Indie Writing, I've been one of the many who is constantly asking for the next novel. If The Secret Formula left me grinning for ear to ear, Vulcan's Gift literally blew me away. These two novels actually inspired this blog. Why? Because I've had these questions in my head when I couldn't stop thinking of the story way after I read them.

When I was considering what type of novel to write, I was almost pulled into the wave of paranormal romances, and horror stories, along with Templars and history. How did you come up with a story about a superhero?

ES: My husband and I were brainstorming cool story ideas. He mentioned a superhero whose senses, strength, and speed are enhanced ten times the average capacity. I said, “Love it, if the superhero is a teenage girl.” From there, a storyline quickly unfolded. I call Serena Phillips’ gene therapy Formula 10x in honor of my husband, who tossed the lit match into the cauldron of my imagination (LOL. I have never used that phrase before, and may never again. ;) 

I can tell you're in writing mode, which is great for anyone reading this post. I'm glad for the resulting explosion of great writing that came from that cauldron. The idea of a teenage girl as the central figure is genius, where did Cassidy Jones come from, someone you know?

ES: If you asked me this question before Book One was published, I would have said I had no clue where Cassidy came from. But since then, family members and friends have pointed out on numerous occasions how much Cassidy and I are alike, so apparently I project on her. :) Cassidy values what I value, sees humor in the things I do, and reacts to situations in a similar way as I would if in her shoes.

My favorite author's perk, to live within the pages in our own vision of ourselves. Cassidy is the concept of the American Teen at its best. What's behind the pages of Cassidy Jones Adventures?

ES: Complete and utter chaos. What can I say? I have four kids. I adore them, but they treat my writing similarly to when I’m talking on the phone: like I’m staring at a blank wall, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for someone to rescue me from boredom. I can’t even tell you how many great “writing rolls” have been brought to a screeching halt by one of my kids yelling “Mom,” and by “writing roll” I mean two or three paragraphs. Writing for me is like being in stop and go traffic. I’m always amazed the story makes sense when it’s all said and done.

If the stop and go style of writing results in the stories you write, I'll find the patience I'm not known for while waiting for the next volume of Cassidy Jones Adventures. A writing roll for me entails an entire night, but much like you, I'm just as amazed if the writing makes a lick of sense, so you might be much better off, especially when it comes to edits. I've wanted to ask this question since I first met one of the most unforgettable characters ever written. What inspired Emery Phillips?

ES: Thank you so much, Javier. That is a tremendous compliment. I first began writing Emery as the stereotypical genius nerd, and then thought what’s the fun in that? What I decided would be fun is a teenage boy who appears to be the stereotypical genius nerd, but is actually like a young James Bond. Emery is definitely my character who lives in the gray, “the end justifies the means” sort. In other words, he isn’t above breaking rules, or the law, if doing so paves the way to the greater good. I also use him to demonstrate the qualities I hope my daughters will look for in a man: commitment, loyalty, respect, tenderness, putting other’s needs above your own, a killer sense of humor. 

I push Kendra, my eight year girl old into reading Cassidy Jones Adventures not just because it's one of the most fun reads she'll ever experience, but because in an age lacking solid role models, Cassidy and Emery, superhero and genius mind aside, are two kids with an array of values and attitudes that make them the young people we wish we'd been, and the teenagers a lot of us hope to raise.


***

Elise was still working on the third volume of the series when I asked her to be a part of my blog. Often, I draw conclusions and opinions about the featured novels completely on my own, but this time was different. At home, my father is a huge fan of Cassidy, Kendra's become quite curious and wants to know more. I have no doubt she'll love it. Amber, my five year old, already wants to be a superhero. My wife Sheri enjoyed every page, and I've loved the series enough to start a blog just to know what's behind the pages of Cassidy Jones Adventures. 

   Javier A. Robayo


to learn more about Elise's work, visit:


14 comments:

  1. Looking forward to the third book in this great series.

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    1. Seb, you're one of a ton of voices clamoring for the next volume. I've got to wonder how far it'll go, and I look forward to being a witness to Cassidy's reach.

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  2. Very much looking forward to the next book Elise. :)

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  3. A fabulous series so far, Elise!

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  4. Terrific interview! Looking forward to more from Cassidy :-)

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  5. Javier! You have me close to tears! Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. You honor me greatly. :) I appreciate the opportunity you've given me and am so pleased you appreciate Emery. What can I say? I've sort of taken to him, too. ;)

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    1. You have something special with this little universe of yours and thank you, for making us all feel a part of it.

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  6. Elise, you are a fantastic person, writer, and all-around inspiration to other Indies on so many levels. Great interview, and I fully appreciate the "writing rolls" that are like stop-and-go traffic. It's when it comes to a complete halt because life gets in the way is when it really drives you nuts! :)

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    1. David, couldn't have said it better. Elise is my hero when it comes to Indie Authors.
      Your cover work is second to none, by the way. What a talent, to go along with your writing.

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  7. I just sent the first book to my granddaughter. I was thrilled to find a book that would spark her imagination is a positive way.

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