For my latest Author Spotlight I’m joined by the wonderful Casey Cox. We chatted about his brand new release, how the pandemic inspired him to start writing, being a creature of habit, and his gorgeous French Bulldogs!
Take it away Casey..
First things first, please introduce yourself!
Hi. I’m Casey Cox.
I hail from the land down under, I’m in my early-to-mid forties (inching toward the mid, but still clinging to the early), and in news that will surprise no one, I’m an author who’s obsessed with books!
I love MM romance, obvs, but I try to read outside of the genre every once in a while. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life.
When the pandemic hit, I quit my corporate job, decided to pursue a long-repressed lifelong dream, and put pen to paper (or, more accurately, fingers to keyboard).
When I’m not reading or writing, I love spending time at the beach, working out (by which I actually mean dining out), and chilling with my two adorable French Bulldogs, Ralphie and Lilly.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style.
So far, I’ve mainly written contemporary MM romance that’s veered toward the light, fun, and fluffy side of things. That may change in the future but for now, low-ansgt, rom-com vibes are my jam.
Characters are the heart and soul for any romance, so I love creating real, flawed, zany, strong characters that you want to root for and watch as they find their happily ever after!
Describe your books in only three words.
Fun, laughter, & happily-ever-afters
(That’s technically only three ‘main’ words, right?)
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release?
My current release is Heart Unbroken. It’s a second chance romance featuring two olders MCs in their 40s. They’re each at a crossroads in their lives, and as the story unfolds, they support each othert through their respective crisis’, and discover something beautiful along the way––it’s never too late to fall in love.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of?
Like all authors, I have a strong connection to each of my books, and I’m proud of every book I’ve written, all for different reasons.
In terms of being most proud, I’d say that goes to Oceans That Swim. It marks the biggest departure from my usual ‘light and fluffy’ style. I also grew, learned, and developed so much as a writer during the writing of that book, and I absolutely love the cover art.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer?
I am soooo motivated and inspired by the MM romance author community. It really is such an amazing and supportive group of people that it inspires me so much, especially when the going gets tough.
What inspired you to start writing?
In a way, it was the pandemic. 2020 was the year I was turning 40, and I remember hanging out on NYE with friends who are also 1980s babies, and we were all like, this is going to be our year.
Life, as it turns out, had other plans. But one thing COVID did was it forced me to look at my life and my job. I’d always had this pipe dream of writing, and there’s nothing like a global pandemic to serve as a wake up call that life is short and precious, and if I wasn’t going to at least try to make my dream a reality, when would I? That was a sobering thought, and it lit a fire under my ass to give writing a go.
I figured that even if I failed miserably, at least when I was on my deathbed, I’d be able to look back on my life and say, ‘At least I gave it a shot.’
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”?
I’m a creature of habit, I love structure, and I’m an early bird. All of that combined means I wake up at 5am and work on my WIP until lunchtime. After lunch, I’ll review what I wrote and set myself up for the following day.
Afternoons are spent doing business author-y things like email, social media, promo planning, release scheduling, finances, admin. Some of it’s fun, and the stuff that isn’t is necessary, so I try to stop on top of things.
I start winding down around 4-ish. I’ll exercise, play with the dogs, hang with my partner, before settling in for an evening of reading with some occasional trashy TV thrown in, too.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters?
It’s different for every single book.
Usually it starts off with something small. I’ll read an article, hear a song lyric, have a conversation with someone, and that will spark an idea in the form of: wouldn’t it be cool if… or what would happen if you took that and added this…
I then tease out that initial inspiration and it takes on more of a form, whether it’s a plotline, a character, or even just a theme/trope/concept I’d like to explore.
I collect all these random musings in one handy Google doc (originally titled IDEAS) and periodically I’ll read it, review it, and use it as the basis for my work.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written?
Call Me By Your Name. It MOVED me like nothing else when I first read it, and on subsequent re-reads, I’m still astonished at how much new stuff I get out of it. It’s just a literary masterpiece.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Yikes. Tough question.
I’d say second chance simply because I had such an incredible time writing Heart Unbroken, and I’m fascinated by the idea of having a second (or third or fourth) chance at love.
Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan it to. Mistakes get made, dreams get crushed, but I really believe that as long as you’re drawing breath, it’s never too late to fall in love.
What would be your three desert island books?
IMPOSSIBLE question, geez, haha… I’m going to slightly cheat since I can’t pick just three books. I would instead create my own boxed sets from three MM romance authors I cannot read enough of (and could happily re-read for as long as I’m stuck on said deserted island).
They would be – Eden Finley, Riley Hart, and Alexis Hall.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast?
The Vet Shop Boys series. In a few meta moments, the characters even discuss who would play them in a movie-version of their lives. I believe names like Henry Cavill and Tatum Channing were thrown around.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about?
I’m not sure I understand the promise of the question… Time spent not writing? Haha
I actually LOVE Pilates. I splurged and bought a reformer machine so I can workout every day… okay, almost every day. I like yoga, too, and I find that it’s (annoyingly) true what they say––that exercise is good for mental health.
I don’t really have any hobbies (apart from reading), but I will pretty much watch anything since I like being exposed to all sorts of different things.
I used to love traveling, but post-COVID, I’m perfectly happy staying local.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur?
Jeholopterus ninchengensis – aka, the vampire dinosaur. Google it. You have been warned!
Casey Cox lives on the east coast of Australia, loves the beach, and is the proud paw-rent of two utterly adorable, perfectly-perfect French Bulldogs: Ralphie and Lilly.
For more information on Casey and his work you can visit his website, where you can also sign up for his newsletter, and follow him on BookBub, Instagram, Amazon. You can also join his Facebook Reader Group, Casey’s Corner, for more news and updates.