I always enjoy talking to author Cassandra Chandler and since she’s ending one long running series and beginning a new spinoff series, this was a great time to catch up and ask a few questions.
Here’s the blurb for her new book, Kral (Cygnian 7 Book 2): He’s waited long enough. Kral has respected the wishes of others for long enough. His new human friends, his parents, the king and queen of Cygnus-Prime. Earth might not be ready to know that aliens are real, but his soulmate is. He can feel it—feel her. And nothing will stop him from claiming her. For months, Becca Myers has been feeling a growing restlessness, like the electric crackle in the air before a storm. She knows that change is coming, but not how or…who. She never imagines that change is coming in the form of a huge, blue warrior determined to make her his own—let alone that he’s the prince of an alien world. Their coming together will set off a chain of events that will shape the future of both their worlds. But with enemies targeting them and those they love, will they survive to see it?
Veronica Scott for Amazing Stories Magazine: What does it feel like to step away from the long running Dept of Homeworld Security Series to write a new series?
CC: It’s so exciting to start a new adventure with the Cygnian 7 in this well-developed world. I know so many characters and their backstories from The Department of Homeworld Security, it lends a great richness to the new series. I’m thrilled to be exploring more of this universe.
ASM.: What was the story spark for the new series?
CC: I’ve been thinking about the Cygnians since Sorca was introduced all the way back in book four of The Department of Homeworld Security, Tied up in Customs. Sorca was genetically engineered to have both Sadirian and Cygnian DNA. Her Cygnian DNA made her incredibly strong—she’s the strongest soldier in the Coalition’s fleet and head of security for their flagship. She’s also incredibly confident and impulsive and so much fun to write. As part of the Sadirians’ deal with the Cygnians for obtaining some of their DNA, the High Council of the Coalition was only supposed to engineer one Cygnian-Sadirian soldier. But they warped the agreement and ended up cloning Sorca repeatedly and downloading her memories into new bodies after sending her into incredibly dangerous situations to test her abilities—knowing she often wouldn’t survive. I knew the Sadirians were going to have to face some serious consequences for how she was treated, and the Cygnian 7 series explores that.
There’s a moment in Tied up in Customs where Sorca’s brashness is stripped away and we see how much she longs for a normal life. That dichotomy fascinated me—how she accepts and even revels in her existence as it is, yet would trade it all for a single lifetime with a man she could love. Sorca is the character who started me thinking about what it would be like for this group of near-indestructible Cygnians to start interacting with more delicate species—and how that would impact their worldview and behavior. What emerged was a group of cocky, well-meaning, but kind of destructive and surprisingly vulnerable Cygnian warriors who love each other dearly but all long for a soulmate and family of their own.
ASM: Which character was most challenging to write in this new book and why?
CC: Kral himself was the hardest character to write in his story. He has so many conflicting priorities and is pulled in many directions. He wants to do right by his prism—the group of seven warriors who are all bonded with each other on a soul level—and knows that if he bonds with an Earthling as his soulmate, they’ll all have to find soulmates on Earth due to their strong connection to each other. He can’t deny the pull he feels toward Becca, but her brother wants Kral to stay away from her. Since they’re friends, Kral wants to respect that, but also knows that if Becca is Kral’s soulmate, her brother is denying them both profound happiness by keeping them apart. On top of that all, Kral is the crown prince of Cygnus-Prime and his parents absolutely forbid him bonding with an Earthling. He has a lot to navigate—and that’s before he discovers that there are bad guys out there after Becca. I really felt Kral’s stress!
ASM.: Who does your covers?
CC: I make my own covers and it’s actually one of my favorite parts of creating a book. Finding the right model is always the greatest challenge. Then the fun begins with editing the pictures and using various software to make them just right. Going into this knowing that I was writing a series of seven books was amazing. I was able to fine-tune the look of all the covers to make sure they matched and I love the result.
ASM.:What’s next for you as an author?
CC: I am all-in with the Cygnians for probably at least the next year. Kral is book two in the series, and there are five more warriors waiting for their Happy Ever Afters. I’m well into book three, which I hope to release early in 2022, and have most of the other novels plotted out. There’s so much going on with this storyline, I’m considering a spin-off-spin-off series with books about what’s going on in the background! The Cygnian 7 is also the launching point for three more Scifi Romance series set in this universe that I can’t wait to write. It’s going to be an epic ride!
ASM.: What’s on your TBR list?
CC: I’m reading through Pauline Baird Jones’s Project Enterprise series and loving it! And there are so many amazing books in your Badari Warriors series, I never run out of riveting reading material. I’m also re-reading my Department of Homeworld Security stories to make sure I have my continuity right with all these new series springing up around them. There are so many wonderful stories out there—it’s a great time to be a Scifi Romance fan!
For more about Cassandra Chandler and her books visit https://cassandra-chandler.com/