Interview: Cassandra Rose Clarke, Author of Forget This Ever Happened

Hello book nerds! Who’s up for a YA sci-fi thriller with a dash of queer romance?

I read Forget This Ever Happened back in August and I adored it! I was initially interested in it because I loved the synopsis and the concept! I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but this one particularly caught my attention because it reminded me of energy vortexes and for a little bit, Supernatural and Stranger Things. The fact that it also featured queer romance just added to my excitement.

Forget This Ever Happened was so atmospheric and so gay! I loved the plot and the writing style, although the pacing could be better. The science fiction elements combined with historical fiction gave this story such a unique and mind-bending atmosphere. And as for the romance, Julie and Claire’s relationship was something I really adored throughout the whole book. Overall, this was a great read!

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to as ask Cassandra some questions as part of the Forget This Ever Happened Blog Tour hosted by TBR And Beyond Tours! We talked about inspirations for her book, the writing process, and upcoming projects.

Hi Cassandra! Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi there! I’m a native Texan currently living in Houston, although I grew up in South Texas, near where Indianola takes place. I have two cats named Ozzy and Rocky. Most of the time I’m writing, but I also love watching movies, listening to music, and crafting. Cross stitch for the win!

Can you tell us three things that people can expect from your latest book?
1) TONS of awesome 90s music references, 2) a creepy beach town, and 3) a super sweet queer romance

I looked it up, and there is actually a town called Indianola in Texas which was almost wiped out by a hurricane. Was this the initial inspiration for Forget This Ever Happened? Or was there something else?
It was! The real Indianola is a ghost town along the Texas coast. I grew up about thirty minutes from it and had always been fascinated by the story. That being said, when I sat down to write Forget This Ever Happened, it was actually because I wanted to write one of those cool YA horror books that were popular when I was younger (like the Fear Street series). A ghost town seemed like the perfect setting.

I loved the chemistry between Claire and Julie, (and the queer romance in general!). How did you go about creating their characters and building their relationship?
I really pulled from my real-life experiences when it came to Claire and Julie. Julie was basically the kind of girl I wish I’d known when I was coming to terms to with my bisexuality in high school. She’s super cool, doesn’t care what people think, and is willing to help Claire learn more about herself. And I was very much a Claire when I was younger!

What was the most challenging part of writing Forget This Ever Happened? How did you overcome that challenge? 
Definitely making sure the family mystery all made sense. When I was drafting it, I mostly just had stuff happen that sounded cool or interesting. In revision, though, it was important that all the pieces—the story of Claire and Julie’s ancestors, the weird SF stuff in the present day of the book—all link together in a logical way. I definitely had to do some rethinking of things as I was working on it.

Your book blends science fiction and thriller and historical fiction. Did you have to do any research for these?
I did a lot of research for the historical parts. Probably the most fun was looking up old newspapers from the time period and recreating them in the book. Newspapers from the turn of the century are VERY different from modern day ones, it turns out! It was cool seeing what was considered newsworthy at the time. And since the book takes place in the 90s, I also got to do a lot of fun research into fashion trends and music from the time. 

Do you have anything new you’re working on? What’s next for you?
Right now I’m working on a tie-in novel set in the Star Trek universe, which I’m very excited about! It comes out next year. I also have a few other projects in the works.

And that’s it. Thank you so much Cassandra for taking the time to answer my interview questions! Thank you as well to TBR And Beyond Tours for including me on this tour!

Follow the blog tour to see more reviews and creative content by other bloggers! Click the photo below!

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Forget This Ever Happened Cover

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Sometimes there’s a town called Indianola.

And sometimes there isn’t.

Summer, 1993. Claire has been dumped in rural Indianola, Texas, to spend her whole vacation taking care of mean, sickly Grammy. There’s nothing too remarkable about Indianola: it’s run-down, shabby, and stifling hot, a pin-dot on the Gulf Coast.

Well, there is one remarkable thing, she discovers. Something otherworldly.

But if you leave Indianola, you forget about it… and if you stay, you have to live with it every day.

Because there’s a confluence of energies at Indianola, a fissure in time and space, a gap in reality. Nothing is as it seems. And unless Claire can figure out this town–the talkative lizards under the pecan trees; the honey-sweet but terrifying girl next door; the cute daughter of a powerful family, who would answer Claire’s questions if she had any answers; the pervasive sense of history coming unspooled, like a video tape–she might never leave.

Featuring a mindbending plot, heartfelt queer romance, brilliant writing, and intricate worldbuilding, Forget This Ever Happened is a lush and thrilling genre-bender perfect for the Black Mirror generation.

Join the Giveaway

One (1) US participant will receive a finished copy of Forget This Ever Happened! Click here to join! This ends on October 12th!

About the Author

Cassandra Rose Clarke Author Image

Cassandra Rose Clarke’s work has placed in the Rhysling Awards and been nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, the Pushcart Prize, and YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults. ​She grew up in south Texas and currently lives in Houston, where she writes and serves as the associate director for Writespace, a literary arts nonprofit. She holds an M.A. in creative writing from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle. Her latest novel is Halo: Battle Born, out now from Scholastic.  

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