An Interview with Kasey Dean

Kasey DeanKasey Dean was born and raised in Northern New York where she still lives with her husband, two sons, one daughter, stepson, and several pets that some days she really wants to get rid of. She works a full-time job twelve hours a day but enjoys reading books so much that she decided it was time the characters in her head needed to have their stories told.

Her favorite books involve lots of romance and a happily ever after. Don’t tell her characters that though, some of them are mad at her for not writing their stories yet. While she loves romance between a man and a woman there is just something to be drooled over about hot and sexy men loving on each other.

Q: It’s quite interesting that the vampires in the Destinies series are classified into two groups, “daywalkers” and a more traditional vampire that can’t be out in daylight. What was the inspiration for this, and can we expect to explore more of these differentiations in your upcoming books?

A: Kassie was a big part of creating my “daywalkers.” I couldn’t bring myself to bring a human little girl into the story and have her never be able to enjoy the outside during the day with her family. However, I did need to give some of my characters a few weaknesses. The “daywalkers” will be a part of the next book and maybe future books. The next book is going to be Lucian’s story and his inability to “daywalk” will play a role in the story of his past and possibly his future.

Q: Damian’s relationship with his niece, Kassie, plays an important role in Destiny’s Journey. It’s so genuine. Was there a real-world inspiration for this, or did it just spring up organically during the writing process?

A: Damian’s relationship kind of took on a life of its own. I knew early in the story that Anstice was going to lose a child and was somehow going to be reunited with her. I had no idea that it was going to be Damian that was going to bring them together again.

Q: There are some very dark themes central to the story, specifically trauma and loss. In Destiny’s Journey, we see Kassie playing a sort of guiding light through many of those darker times. As the author, what was the experience like writing some of the darker moments in the story? Did you have an equivalent of Kassie to help you get through them?

A: The darker moments, especially during Damian’s deepest depression, were difficult to write. There were many times I had to take a step back and look at the story as a whole. Knowing that they would eventually get their HEA helped me work through Damian’s pain.

I don’t have one specific Kassie in my life. I have three children that I love and know that no matter what is wrong and no matter how depressed I am about something, all I have to do is look at them and know that somehow, sometime, everything will work itself out because I have them.

Q: Destiny is clearly an important idea to this series, appearing in the title of your latest book as well as the series. Did you start writing the series with the idea of some sort of destiny for your characters, or was the overarching theme a sort of afterthought that came later?

A: The idea of destiny came from Anstice’s tattoo in No Escape from Destiny: To pepromenon phuegin adunaton. Greek for “It’s impossible to escape from what is destined.” I actually have that same tattoo around my wrist and it is a daily reminder that you cannot escape what fate has planned for you.

Q: There is strong focus on the army in Destiny’s Journey, and it’s quite plain that there was some sort of familiarity in the foundations of it all. Did you do a lot of research about different bases in the U.S. and abroad before writing the series or was there some other connection there?

A: I actually live about thirty minutes from the Army base mentioned in Destiny’s Journey. I have great respect for the military and have many friends that have served. Creating a character that is a true American hero was an honor and I hope that I did him justice. He is as close to a “real” soldier as a fictional character can be.

Q: What’s the biggest thing that you’ve learned about/from writing that you didn’t know when you first started?

A: I’ve learned that the characters are not just fictional characters. They are “real” people. While reading books I have connected with characters before, but it wasn’t until I started writing that they became “real” people to me. Also it’s very hard to finish a book. It’s hard to say good-bye to a character without wondering where the story could go on from there. You want their “life” to continue indefinitely.

Q: Tell us about your writing routine.

A: My writing routine varies. I work twelve-hour days at an Evil Day Job, so I write when I can fit time in. I try to write after I get home from work in the evenings, but with three kids it’s not always possible. My dream would be to write full time, but unfortunately, that isn’t a possibility at this time.

Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you that might surprise us.

A: Everyone always looks at me, sees my height of four foot ten, and are not intimidated by me. What they don’t know is that I am very capable of taking care of myself having received my black belt in TaeKwonDo at the age of seventeen.

Q: If you could be any of your characters, who would it be and why?

A: I don’t have one character in particular that I would want to be. I think that even though I write different types and genders of characters that there is a part of me in all of them. I want to be them all—to have all their strengths, talents, and even weaknesses. I want to be loved and love as completely as they all do.

Q: Out of all the characters you’ve killed off, which one do you most wish you could have spared? Why?

A: I would have really liked to have Anya live a long and happy life with her children and was saddened by the fact that they would grow up without her, but if she had not passed on the story could not have progressed the way that it had. I have faith that the family will do everything in their power to help the children know who their mother was.