The Independent Author

Childhood isolation leads author to create Sci-Fan worlds

August 22, 2021 Tom Kranz Season 2 Episode 12
The Independent Author
Childhood isolation leads author to create Sci-Fan worlds
Show Notes Transcript

By day, Cassandra Morphy is a business data analyst, working from home in front of her computer. By night, she delves into alternative realities, creating fantasy worlds and writing about them in 25 self-published books.

By her own admission, Cassandra grew up escaping the real world into the other realities of books, TV shows, and movies, and now she writes about those worlds.

"I have social anxiety disorder. I've dealt with it for most of my life. It started developing about when I was 10 or so. And basically, like middle school, high school, I basically had no friends. And I spent all the time in school, just reading books. So, like that's always been this aspect of my life, just reading the books, imagining myself in those worlds."

Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/tkbooks)

 :00 Commercial

:20 Tom Kranz

Welcome back to the independent author podcast. I'm Tom Kranz, and I appreciate you listening and downloading my episodes today. My guest, live from New Jersey where I live actually, is an author named Cassandra Morphy. Cassandra's website lists her as a data analyst and you know, as all of us do, that's her day job. I have a day job. Well, I'm retired from my day job but I have a part-time day job and one of the things that I look for, in this, in this process is figuring out how people can actually exercise their, you know, artistic expression while holding down work and Cassandra works from home as well.

So first of all, hey Cassandra, how are you?

1:17 Cassandra Morphy
Hi, I'm good. Good, I'm good.

Tom Kranz
So let's talk a little bit about just kind of who you are. You mentioned before we went on the air that you work from home. Is that a pandemic thing or is that always the way it's been and do you think you'll be working from home going forward?

Cassandra Morphy
It is a pandemic thing. There has been some talk about going back to the office for my role and a few other roles for like three days a week at some point. Originally was September 13th but I think with Delta that's going to be pushed out.

Tom Kranz
Yeah you're in that same boat are so many other people where they're in this little gray area right now.  Do we go back? Don't we go back? As a data analyst I don't know exactly what you do or who you do it for, but I'm guessing that 99% if not all of it is computer based anyway. So working from home I'm guessing works, okay for you.

Cassandra Morphy
Yeah, and I mean with me specifically like nobody on my team knows, none of my stakeholders are really in the office that I work out of.  So it's like why go back at all?  I mean, I'd be doing the same exact thing that I'm doing here doing at home. It's just I have an hour commute going in an hour and a half commute going back and sitting in an office that doesn't, that's never felt overly comfortable for me.  I have social anxiety disorder. I've dealt with it for most of my life. It's always an issue, always forefront in my mind but I mean like I had ways to mitigate it. I had ways around it and just having to go into the office especially with the community that I have because I mean, it's a train to a train and the second train is the PATH, which is always overcrowded.

Tom Kranz
Oh, so you commute to New York, I'm guessing?

Cassandra Morphy
Jersey City.

Tom Kranz
Okay, almost the same thing.

Cassandra Morphy
It's the other sixth borough.

Tom Kranz
Right, exactly, right. So um while that's you know, that's interesting and I want to know what if anything all this has to do with your writing, your website is a crowbarland.com and I need you first of all to explain to us. What crowbar land is. This sounds like a place that you've kind of cooked up for, as a venue for your stories.

3:44 Cassandra Morphy
Yes. So, basically right now, I writing in two different worlds with one is Crowbarland, which is sort of my side fantasy world, which is like, this alternate timeline of the 21st century and beyond, and then there's my fantasy world, which is Disparia. But Crowbarland world starts with a prom where a trans woman goes back in time to go to her prom and ends up getting stuck in the past and you know, stops nine 9-11 and a bunch of other stuff happens from it. Then, a passing alien group became aware of earth because of it and a bunch of other, alien infections happened at a magic comes, demons, and devil demons, and, and angels come and all this other stuff. So it's like a lot of mishmash of different things and like, the original the first eight books that I published last year, they're all this sort of anthology series going over all the things that had happened as part of this alternate timeline.

Tom Kranz
Got it. So as I go through your website and I see all the books I count 20 here, is that right?

Cassandra Morphy
I've started writing book number 25.

Tom Kranz
Wow. And you did this over what period of time?

Cassandra Morphy

I started in February of 2014, so seven and a half years.

Tom Kranz
Really? And so, when why did you start what was there something in life that spurred you to start at that moment, or you'v always kind of been writing on and ofr? How did that happen, that you started writing books?

5:20 Cassandra Morphy
Growing up, I did all the few short stories, any excuse that, I had to change a writing set of writing assignment at in school into something of fiction. I usually took it . But along about maybe like 2010, I started actually trying to write books, but I did, I was just this one attempt at it. But in 2013, I signed up for this thing, called Mars One. It's a one-way trip to Mars. I'm still technically a candidate for this but it's not really been moving forward much.  But at the time, I thought, okay, I need to single myself out in such a way that it's, I'm unique. And I couldn't really do, like, the online things because of my social anxiety disorder. I couldn't really do like the promotional stuff but I thought well, you know, I'm good at writing, I like writing, Let's try to do that.  That's when I wrote Missing Mars, sort of a theme going there. It's like this Mars Facebook, where it's like, the first group of colonists going to Mars missed the planet.

Tom Kranz
So how, is that your first book then?

Cassandra Morphy

That was my first book.

Tom Kranz

Okay. In the very brief description I'm reading over here, it actually sounds intriguing. They're going on a one-way trip to Mars and they missed the planet. That must suck! And they kind of show up someplace else and I guess the story goes from there.

Cassandra Morphy
Yeah, yeah. And it's actually been my best-selling book for some reason. It's also it's probably like well I mean, it's not my worst book, obviously, but it's not exactly my best either.

7:03 Tom Kranz
Well, let's talk about The Awakening then. This is the book that you suggested, we talk about. You told me that you think this is your best work so far. This seems, like, at least by what I've read and they review that I read and the, I haven't read the book to be honest with you, but what I'm reading here, basically, it doesn't sound at the face of it, that it's a fantasy. It sounds like it's almost a kind of a crime novel. It starts with this woman who apparently killed her ex-husband and she's covered with blood. Now, she's being interviewed by the police.

Cassandra Morphy
Yeah, and it's like, summer as the book goes through, it explains some of the events that happen leading up to the original killing. It's not murder. She, it was self-defense, but like she was basically framed by her ex-husband for this other murder which, and she actually stumbled upon the body.  So like this dogged detective is sort of harassing her through the entire book and really, she's just trying to pick up the pieces after that incident and trying to figure out what's next.

Tom Kranz
I got you. It's a pretty dark theme. Of course, I haven't read the whole book so I don't know how it ends and I'm just wondering where,  so  you spend a lot of time kind of in these alternate worlds writing and that's of course, you know, great fodder for great stories. Is that--why? I guess I'm asking why, or how did you land there, basically.

8:38 Cassandra Moore
Oh well growing up, I mean, as I said I have social anxiety disorder. It started developing along about when I was 10 or so. Yeah, when I was about 10, 10 years old. And basically, like middle school, high school, I basically had no friends. And I spent all the time in school just reading books. So, like that's always been this aspect of my life, just reading the books, imagining myself in those worlds, imagining myself in other worlds and just kind of recompiling and rehashing things over and over again. And part of that does come from my social anxiety disorder. Like, I had, like, this sort of embarrassment issue, I'll end up rehashing that instance multiple times, but it helps with my writing because, like, as I'm writing a book, I'll be like in the back of my mind, I'll just be rehashing. What comes next? What has happened? What should be changed from what happened to what should have been happening? And so, when I'm actually sitting in front of the computer and writing my stuff writing, my story is, it's like it's straight flow of consciousness because my brain has already worked out.

10:04 Tom Kranz
I see. So it really kind of started as an escape, for lack of a better word. And then you, I'm guessing, woke up one day and said, hey, I can write this. I can write these stories.

Cassandra Morphy
Yes.

Tom Kranz
And you did.  So we met at the Independent Authors Book Expo in Roselle early in August. It was actually a great place to meet authors. It's, it's amazing what people write about and where people come from. Certainly, you are among a lot of people out there, you had your display and all your books out and you had a smiling face and you talked easily with me. I didn't see any evidence of this kind of social disorder that you have here, obviously, you know it better than me but I guess I'm glad you spoke to me and I'm glad that you're out and about.

Cassandra Morphy
Yeah. Absolutely. For me, it's more about starting the conversations.

Tom Kranz
Oh, I see.

Cassandra Morphy
With people of authority. Once I start, it's usually just a rolling boulder for me. That's momentum going.

11: 11 Tom Kranz
I got you. So when, if you have a job that I'm guessing keeps you pretty busy during the day, how do you, when do you write? Do you have a schedule? Do you do it kind of while you're working? Do you just kind of put everything aside at the end of the day and write at night? How do you do that?

Cassandra Morphy
Well, when I first started it was just like seven PM every day, I sit in front of the computer and write for an hour. When I first started, I targeted at a thousand words. Now, I'm at a chapter a day. So and with the pandemic, it kind of slipped. So like basically it's just at this point. It's I log out of work, at like 330, a little later if I have a media meeting, but then I just take like half an hour to 45 minutes, just do something else.  I watch an episode of TV, or I go out for a drive or just go out front and stare at my garden.

Tom Kranz
That's that's great. So, your book is out The Awakening, the book that's, is that your most recent book?

Cassandra Morphy
No, it's it was my I want to say 9th or 10th that I wrote. It was the second that I published last year.

Tom Kranz
But that seems to be one of your favorites. I'm guessing here, right?

Cassandra Morphy
Yes. Yeah, I have like three singletons that I, like, really push right now. It's The Awakening, The Last Scientist and Mountain Princess. Those are largely my top three at least for quality, in my opinion.

Tom Kranz
I got it. So, if somebody wants a sample of, like, who you are as a writer, any of those three books would be a good place to start?

Cassandra Morphy
Yes. Absolutely.
 
Tom Kranz

All right, and where can we buy your books?

Cassandra Morphy
Amazon and Barnes & Noble and pretty much anywhere e-books are sold.

Tom Kranz
And all of them are up and for sale?

Cassandra Morphy
Yes.
 
Tom Kranz
All right. Well, I'm really glad to meet you. I'm glad that you were able to put work on hold for a few minutes to have our chat here. I've been speaking with Cassandra Morphy, it's M-O-R-P-H-Y. She's a prolific author. And she, you're the first person I've interviewed who writes in kind of the sci-fan slash fantasy world. And I, I'm glad that you agreed to do this. I hope you guys will all give Cassandra a shout,  sample some of her work. The book we've talked a lot about here is The Awakening, but she's got a lot of other books on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Thanks so much.

Cassandra Morphy
Yeah, thank you.

13:40