Ten Things about Casey Cox - An Author Interview

Please welcome Casey Cox to the hot seat!  I've been following his work and read everything he's written except the latest book, which is burning a hole in my TBR waiting for a break in the ARCS... because I know it got great reviews from my fellow reviewers here on the blog... You can check out all the reviews here!

Let's jump right into the questions, since that's what you are all here for!

Plot or Pants? Do you pre-plot your books, use an outline, fly by the seat of your pants or some combination of things? How do you keep track of characters in a series? Do you keep a journal of your characters’ statistics, such as hair and eye color, relatives, hometown, etc.
I am a plotter with ever increasing pantser-tendencies. I actually really enjoy the plotting process. It’s a time when my mind goes, “Ooh, what about this?” and “What if I mixed this and that together?” It’s fun to brainstorm and let your imagination run wild.
The more I write, though, and the more confident I get in being able to reach those two holy words (The End), the more I’m giving myself some breathing room. I no longer need to know the exact details of what happens in every scene. As long as I know the general direction I’m heading in, I’m good.

Do you write full time or part-time?
I write full-time. I quit my corporate gig in June 2020. I wanted to give writing my full attention. I was starting from absolute zero with NO creative writing experience and NO clue how to run the business side of an author career. There was no way I could have done all of that on top of working.

Where do you write? Do you have a routine?
Yes. I am a very routine-orientated person. Doing the same thing day in and day out is my idea of zen (assuming I like the thing I’m doing).
I’m a morning person, so I wake up at 5am and by about 5:02am, I’m at my desk, booting my computer up. I do ‘morning things’ with my family (breakfast with my partner, taking the dogs outside for them to do their thing), but I typically power on with my writing until about lunchtime.
I don’t do word targets since I find them too stressful and too much pressure. If I wanted that, I would’ve stayed in my corporate gig. Instead, I’ve adopted a ‘slow down to speed up’ approach. Rather than racing through the story and focusing on getting as many words in as possible, I slow things down. I try to write clean. I make notes as I go along. I’ll usually do a quick tidy-up edit before finishing. That slower approach has (ironically) helped me to write faster.

After lunch, when the creative part of my brain lays in smouldering ruins, I tackle the million and one other things on my plate––email, social media, planning, finances...and so on. The joys of being an indie author! Even though I am working harder than I ever have in my life, it is sooooo worth it!

What are your writing goals for the next year? The future?
I’m one of those nerds that actually loves new year resolutions and planning ahead. So, I’ve started thinking about next year, and I think my main phrase for 2022 is going to be: Explore and Expand.

I’ll be exploring different styles of writing. I’m still staying within the broad ‘contemporary’ umbrella, but I’ll be looking to bring different elements into play. For instance, I’ve just finished Book 1 in a sports romance trilogy. It was the hardest, most challenging, and most complicated book I’ve written so far. And I am obsessed with it. I can’t wait to share it with the world, and I am really happy I pushed myself as hard as I did.

I’ll also be expanding. 2021 has been my first year of publishing and it was about setting up a foundation. Now that I’ve done that, I want to expand my horizons. Whether that’s collabs with other authors, moving into audiobooks, or a whole bunch of other exciting stuff, I’m ready to take this to the next level!

What is the funniest scene you’ve written?
In Got Me Hoping (Vet Shop Boys Book1), there is a world-first scientific discovery that, if it were true and happening in real life, it’d revolutionize bottom prep. There’s a hilarious scene toward the end of the book where a couple of the characters are explaining this to their friends, and it’s just so wild and out there, and so freaking funny! I have NO IDEA where I came up with that from, but it makes me laugh whenever I re-read it!

What’s the hardest part about writing?
One of the hardest things is having the time to implement all my ideas. A book typically takes me between three to five weeks to write. The ‘problem’ is that in that time, I come up with at least three or four ideas for other books. There really just isn’t enough time to write everything I want to write, so I’m learning valuable lessons in the art of prioritization.

Where do you find inspiration?
Literally, everywhere. This is one of the biggest discoveries I’ve made about being an author––you can find inspiration EVERYWHERE! Even in the most mundane situations. Standing in line at the grocery story, being stuck in traffic. All you need to do is take a moment and look around. Overhearing a snippet of a conversation, seeing the expression that’s on a person’s face, it’s all fertile stuff that feeds my imagination and ultimately, ends up in my work.
I also love spending time in nature, with my animals, and being exposed to all sorts of artforms. It stimulates other parts of my brain and feeds my creativity.

What have you found helpful in your MM Romance writing career?

The thing that has probably been the most helpful to me is the support I’ve found in the MM romance community––both from authors and readers. It’s incredible how kind, passionate, loving, and just downright fun and cool this community of amazing people is. It has helped me tremendously to feel like I fit in and belong, and it’s really powerful because it comes from like-minded people. Knowing that this community exists and that they support me, is really special.

Oh, and the support, advice, and help I’ve received from other MM authors has been mind blowing. At first, it actually confused me because I was like, “Why is everyone being so nice and helpful?” I’ve never experienced anything like it.

I haven’t met any other authors in real life yet, but I can’t wait to do that because I’ve relied on their support so much, and I’d really like to thank them in person. It’s meant more to me than they’ll ever know.

What is your favorite thing about writing M/M romance?
This is going to sound soooo sappy (and I’m okay with that), but I just love, love, love a happy love story. There is so much crap happening in the world today, that to have the experience of watching two (sometimes more) people falling in love, it’s such a beautiful thing. It gives people hope, and I really enjoy putting that kind of positive, accepting, inclusive energy out into the world.

How can we connect with you?
There are two main ways you can connect with me. If you’d like to get updates about my two beautiful French Bulldogs, hear about what I’ve been writing, and get excerpts and other exclusive bits and pieces, I send out a weekly newsletter - https://caseycoxbooks.com/subscribe

I also have a Facebook reader group. I pop in there for chats and giggles about all sorts of things. It’s also a great place to chat with other people who enjoy my books - https://www.facebook.com/groups/casetheplace

And if you just wanna know about my latest releases, you can follow me on Bookbub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/casey-cox and Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Casey-Cox/e/B08H7X63JZ