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Interview with Author Jude Cocaigne

What made/inspired you decide to be a writer?

I wrote my first story when I was eleven, inspired by Edgar Alan Poe and the horror movies I used to watch at the time (I was weird like that!). Then, as years went on, I dabbled in poetry—the broody, moody kind, since I was still very much into horror, gothic, and murder mysteries in my teenage years. Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clarke, Dean R. Koontz, Stephen King, and Anne Rice were my jam back then, but my writing style had nothing to do with theirs, and for some reason, I felt like nobody would ever want to read my stories because of that. So, I stopped writing. It took me ten years and Terry Pratchett’s awesome storytelling to realize my style could actually find its readership, and then another ten years building my world before I came up with my first story. Now I’m here and I’m writing and nothing will ever make me stop again!

What inspires your writing?

Everything! I find inspiration in the movies I watch, the video games I play, the books I read, the world around me, the society we live in, the society I wish we’d live in, my experiences, my studies… Everything! I see magic everywhere, so I write about it.

What's the first thing you remember writing, and how old were you?

A gruesome story about star-crossed lovers (I was already into Shakespeare) who were doomed to destroy each other because of a curse cast on their families centuries ago. I was eleven, there was a lot of gore and very disturbing images in that story… I swear I was a happy child though!!! But yeah, I already had a very vivid imagination…

Do you need quiet or can you write anywhere?

I used to be able to write everywhere, I would write my college essays in pubs, and a coffeeshop has always had my preference over a library to work. But lately, my ADHD has been playing tricks on me, and while I still cannot stand the loaded silence of a library, I tend to prefer being alone with little to no noise now. Which is hard, since I write from home with a baby and a 5-year-old almost always around…

How do you handle brain block?

I don’t! I’ve learned to live with it. When I can’t write, I just do something else and wait until the urge is unstoppable again. I own my procrastination because even when I’m playing or watching a show or reading a book, my brain keeps on returning to my stories, incorporating things I see, pondering on things I hear and thinking about what comes next in my various WIPs (I usually have several… I shamelessly blame it on the ADHD!) I take notes, and when I’m ready, I keep on writing. I’m a slow writer anyway, and I’ll always wait until the last minute before a deadline to use the rush to cross the finish line. I don’t like stress-writing, that’s why I take my time and don’t try to force my brain when it doesn’t want to play along. Until my deadline looms around the corner, and then my brain goes into rush-mode, which is stressful, but also very focused and rewarding somehow. I love a paradox!

If you could bring any character from any story from any time period to life, who would it be?

Oh gods, there are so many!!! The first one to come to mind though is Lestat from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, I love him so much! He’s my all-time ultimate book boyfriend. The thing is, I wouldn’t so much want to bring characters into our world as I’d love to be thrown into theirs! I would loooove to travel to Middle Earth or get sent on the Discworld and meet all the wonderful creatures and characters living there. Or go back to the Victorian era and have tea with Phileas Fogg and Mr Darcy, that’d be nice!

What made you want to write this particular piece?

I love twisting fairy tales around, make them spin on their heads and see what comes out so to speak. I studied fairy tales and their adaptations in college, and the first story I ever published was a short retelling of Little Red Riding Hood as a response to Angela Carter’s Company of Wolves. Since then, I’ve been playing with beloved tales and lesser-known ones in most of my stories. For Castings & Curses, the one that immediately imposed itself to me was Beauty and the Beast. I used to have this fantasy when I was still single and a lot younger about moving to England and getting lost in a forest and find a lonely mansion in disarray that I’d remodel while the grumpy owner would scold me for interfering with his life as he fell irremediably in love with me… The great thing about fantasies and dreams is, they make awesome subjects for paranormal romances! I tweaked the story I used to tell myself to fit the genre and voilà! Curvy and the Cursed was born!

What can readers expect from your story?

A lot of fun, slow-burn romance, grumpy x sunshine, a beast of course and magic! Also, same-sex love and a curvilicious badass!

For those readers who are new to you, what book should they start off with and why?

On the PNR front, I’ve written another standalone novella called Shifting Magic, so if you like why-choose romances with cute shifters, that’s the one for you. I also write good ole humorous Fantasy adventure in Ze World. The first series is called Gods of Ze World, made up of standalone novelettes designed to ease you into Ze World and its magic system. Godnapped! is the first one in the series, followed by Snooze or Lose, but they can be read whichever way. The third book is in the works. And I also have a Fantasy romance out called The Elf Girl and the Prince, also set in Ze World but much less humorous and much more spicey!


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