Today’s interview is Cassandra Duffy, a.k.a. Twitter’s @SapphicPixie, author of The Gunfighter and The Gear-Head. An apocalyptic alien invasion set humanity on the edge of extermination. Unable to match technology with the invaders, humanity bet their existence on their physical strength overcoming. In a desperate last stand by the world’s greatest scientists, the cataclysm electromagnetic pulse wiped out all technology on the planet, stranding the aliens on earth, effectively locking them in the cage with the beasts of humanity that remained. Using pre-industrial weapons of war, the surviving humans fought back…
Who are you and why are you here?
I’m Cassandra Duffy, romance author and relationship advice columnist, and I’m here because reincarnation has gone very well for me so far.
Plug your book(s) in three sentences or less:
Steampunk airships and post-apocalyptic old west cowboys fight aliens in the American Southwest. Fans of dirigibles, romance, gunfights, and creepy cults will find a lot to love in The Gunfighter and The Gear-Head.
What genre(s) do you write in? Why did you choose it?
I write romance with steampunk, science fiction, and paranormal slants. I’m kind of a nerd, and you can probably take out the “kind of” part. I love vampires, and video games, and Star Wars, and so often I wanted to read a book that combined these interests but just couldn’t find them, so I decided to start writing my own. I’m also a highly romantic and sexually charged person; sadly, being cute doesn’t trump being weird in high school, so when I really wanted to start being sexually active, it was kind of hard to find out lesbians in my school, let alone any interested in me. So, like most sexually charged nerds denied awkward high school sex, I had to wait until college, but I wrote a lot of erotica in between. It’s probably a little more involved than that, what with the whole college degree in creative writing, but the essence of it is that I like romantic things mixed with nerdy things.
Do you use a pen name? Why/why not? How did you choose it?
My scene girl persona from high school has an alias that I sometimes use as a pen name: Liz Darkling. I’m using it less and less because I’m just owning the naughty side of me without having to hide it all behind a fake name. Plus, I’ve been coming to the realization that it sounds really high school.
Most writers are ‘different’ from the rest of the world in some way. What makes you different/odd/weird?
Holy crap, let me count the ways. I’m a Pacific Rim mutt, coming from a family who all look very Asian, but as you can tell, I got all the Caucasian genes from both parents, so I look more like my extended family in Iowa than my immediate family in California. Then I bleached my hair and started wearing colored contact lenses in every shade of the rainbow to make myself look even less like my family. My grandmother also convinced my parents I should have epicanthoplasty when I was super young so I would look even more western. Growing up in a predominantly Korean neighborhood as a Korean in the body of the Swiss Miss girl was pretty odd all on its own, and then I came out as a lesbian, which pretty much solidified my position as an outsider. Have I mentioned my live-in girlfriend was my high school bully?
Where do you get your ideas? What motivates you?
Like I said, I write the books I wish existed. I love Christopher Moore books, but they lack the lesbian romance angle that is pretty much what I like to read. Sadly, most of the lesbian romance books out there tend to be light on action, super light on humor, and don’t appeal to the inner nerd inside me who wishes for more zombies, aliens, and airships in everything. Growing up watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer really spoiled me for anything that doesn’t combine nerdiness and cleverness in astounding amounts.
What do you like on your pizza?
Grease! No, I’m just kidding. I like Hawaiian pizza.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
I’m sure there’s a nice, demure answer I should give here and claim I only have a Michelob Ultra when I’m feeling decadent, that is my beer brand but it’s hardly a guilty pleasure. Tell you what; I’ll give you a tidbit almost nobody knows about. There is a point most months where I lust after a certain type of woman, huge breasts, lots of curves, and for some reason, blond hair. During those lust driven times, when my body is saying I should be procreating but I’m only super interested in fertile looking lesbian women, I really enjoy Molly Cavalli porn. She is a fantastic girl-girl only porn star who embodies that one craving I have tied to ovulation.
What do you wear to bed?
I’m weird on this one too. Most girls wear tops only. I wear bottoms only. I don’t know what it is, but I hate wearing a shirt to bed. So I’ll wear shorts, underwear, or pajama pants, without a top.
What is your ideal vacation?
Having grown up in Southern California, and now living in Florida, I’m pretty used to having my home area be a vacation zone. My ideal vacation would probably be something antithetical to normal life—an Alaskan cruise where I can see the northern lights and killer whales maybe?
What’s the weirdest search term that led to your blog?
I really don’t keep track of this sort of thing, which is bad, because I should know this so I can expand my e-presence or whatever. Probably something mixing feminism and strap-ons though.
And now for some either/or questions: Bath or shower?
Mayo or Miracle Whip?
Cat person or dog person?
Chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate—the darker the better.
The book or the movie?
Probably the book.
Floss or brush?
Phone call or email?
I’m like my girls of my generation and my phone is really only for emails and texting. I talk to my girlfriend and my mom on the phone, but I really don’t even like Skype.
Bonus question: What is the airspeed velocity of a coconut-laden swallow?
African or European? Told you I was a nerd.
Bio: Cassandra Duffy spent most of her childhood being precocious, which stopped being entertaining or impressive when she grew into an adult, at which point she had to start being precious. She writes a free-lance sex advice column found in various lesbian magazines, and has written a handful of short story collections and novels found on her website at http://cassandra-duffy.com/. She is a native southern Californian, an author of some truly naughty things, a dutiful partially-Asian daughter, a stereotypical younger sister, the aunt of a hilarious little boy, a modern techno-freak, gamer-girl, and gleefully monogamous girlfriend to an earthbound goddess. She lives and writes inWinter Park,Florida with her partner and soul mate Nichole and their two cats: Dragon and Josephine.