I’m currently in the process of doing a massive overhaul of my writerly systems, part of which includes a website update coming soon, but right now, I need to announce something that I’ve been hiding in the shadows…
You see, a little over a year ago I was not in a very good place; if you’re a regular here you might have picked up on that lol. I’d been really depressed, exhausted, in pain – for a long time. We now know that was/is Fibromyalgia. At the time, I didn’t. I just knew shit wasn’t good. We were gearing up to move home, Nana had died, I was overtaxed on so many levels, and struggling with my mental health as well as my physical health.
So, I ran away from it all in the best way that writers know how.
I started a secret penname.
Have you recovered from that news yet?
I know, I know, I’m typically a very open person, but for a time there, I needed to be someone else. I needed to not be Cassie, to not even be J.C. Those people had done cool things, had some fans, had people waiting on books. Those people had expectations hanging over them; and yes, those were mostly placed by myself (I can own that), because when you’re already struggling, it’s super easy to smother yourself in guilt.
So, I became Nova. I basked in anonymity, and somewhere along the line, realized that actually, she’s as much me as J.C. is. Neither are false, but Nova gave me a new name to hide behind, a name that meant nothing to anyone but me. Allowing me to write whatever the hell I wanted to write. To be bolder than I had been in the past.
These are good things to embrace.
Thankfully, this past eight months or so has seen a lot of awesome transitions for me. I’ve been able to develop my writing via the amazing opportunity that is Te Papa Tupu. I’ve had my diagnosis and have been able to work on my health to the point where things are okay most of the time. I’m always tired and in pain, but I can handle that. And, I’m on amazing meds that have the dulled the poison-tipped claws of my mental health beast so that it’s only a small thing that mewls in the corner of my brain, rather than sitting on a throne admiring its handiwork.
Which brings me here. To the point at which I also realize that running two pennames entirely separate is completely ridiculous for a person such as me, and also, where I finally feel like I can bring the two together; bring all of me together. The only difference moving forward is that J.C. will be focused on NZ based fiction, and Nova will be responsible for writing all the other things. And it will all be here. Somewhere.
From now on I’ll be finding a way to make this place all about Cassie. Because it’s all, always, been just me. And my pennames can flit around doing exactly what they feel like. Which is going to be interesting, and fun.
If you’d like to check out what I’ve been up to, you can start with this freebie – the first book in the series is coming out soon (if you like adventure, Egyptian gods, and magic, it might be a thing for you) – and this novella is a prequel to that, involving the mythical Fountain of Youth.