Cassondra Windwalker, author of “Parable of Pronouns” and “Bury the Lead”, welcome to the New Writing Hangout! Tell us all about yourself and what you do when you aren’t writing.
Anytime I’m not writing, I’m listening to stories. The world is full of mysteries and wonders if we have the eyes to see them. I live on the southern coast of Alaska, so I spend a fair bit of time walking the beaches here and doing my best to learn from what I find around me: eagles and otters, bears and moose, fungi and ferns. And people-watching yields all kinds of tales.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I use everything, every experience, every emotion, that I encounter, whether my own or someone else’s. It would be difficult even for someone who knows me well to decipher them from my work, though – I ruthlessly dissect, disembowel, and reassemble the flesh and bones to make new monsters.
Tell us about where you live.
I live on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, in the salmon and halibut capitals of the world. Life here is much nearer to its origin. Few safety nets exist, and it’s the norm rather than the exception for people to risk life and limb for survival on a daily basis. While the community bands together in an instant whenever help is needed, individuality is prized, oddballs are welcomed, and the arts are a vibrant, pulsing energy. It’s a land of paradoxes and breathtaking beauty.
If you could travel anywhere in or out of this world, where would it be?
Ireland – for both in and out of this world. Can’t discount the Fae…
True. Where did you come up with the idea for your story?
Hmmm…which one? Parable of Pronouns was inspired peripherally by a series of dreams I had as a young child and informed by world mythologies. Bury The Lead came straight out of the headlines, and The Almost-Children was born out of a series of losses.
What can we expect from you in the future?
The Almost-Children, a full-length poetry collection, will be available as the inaugural book in the Portage Poetry Series from Cornerstone Press in May 2019. I just finished Preacher Sam, the first in a series of murder mysteries, and I’m beginning work on another piece of magical realism, this one narrated by the devil.
Tell us about your books.
Parable of Pronouns
Two women is a lot for any man to handle, but when one of them is a child-devouring demon and the other is Eve, Mother Of All Living, Harry Adams really has his hands full. An erotic contemporary fairytale that follows the reincarnations of Adam and Eve and, of course, the ever-hungry Lilith, throughout time, Parable of Pronouns finds the first dysfunctional family in what may be their final time. Harry Adams and Riann Haava don’t remember who they are, but that doesn’t deter destiny from catching up with them as they struggle to overcome their own demons and save Harry’s son from a fate worse than death.
Bury The Lead
Weekly newspaper editor Jeff Paine’s mind is filled with the detritus of newspaper clippings, presidential tweets, crossword puzzles, and horoscopes. When his artist girlfriend Ada Grigori announces her intention to leave him, he becomes obsessed with finding—or manufacturing—connections between otherwise unrelated events. Driven by professional curiosity and unrelenting cynicism, Paine uses his newspaper to manipulate the people of his hometown of Brisby, Colorado into revealing the ugliness lurking beneath their placid exteriors. A series of dog mutilations and two barely-noticed disappearances set the town on edge, till Paine is able to frame himself for Ada’s murder—even though her body has never been found, and there is no evidence of foul play.
Bury The Lead draws readers into the mind of a brilliant but highly unreliable narrator, forcing them to question their own perceptions of objective truth and the existence of a free press in a world where an unsubstantiated tweet can carry more power than an investigative report.