Author Interview: Cassidy Salem, Dying for Data

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Bad karma, a rival suitor, and a deadly attack are enough to put a damper on any date.

My head throbbed the next morning and did a nifty spinning trick when I first stepped out of bed. I sat down and took a few deep breaths before heading into the bathroom. The image that greeted me in the mirror was scarier than usual — bloodshot eyes embellished by remnants of the mascara I had neglected to remove the night before My face was covered in soap when my phone rang. It was only 8:55. No one who knows me would ever call that early on a weekend unless it was important. A quick splash and wipe move later, I grabbed my phone.


 

Just when Adina’s social life is looking up, her night out is interrupted by the scream of police sirens. Afraid her bartender boyfriend might be accused of murder, Adina’s neighbor enlists her assistance, and in the process exposes her to the seamier side of illegal immigration and crime in the city. Hard as she tries to limit her involvement, the more Adina learns, the more she needs to know – until a case of mistaken identity lands her in hot water. Will she uncover the truth before it’s too late?


Q: Cassidy, welcome to Island Confidential! Can you tell us a little about your protagonist? 

 A:  Adina Donati is a young college graduate living in Washington D.C. She works  at the illustrious Drake Institute, or the DIPPeR, which is a think tank that focuses on policy trends. It’s not what she dreamed of doing when she went to college, but the job market is tough.  She loves dogs and gets her “warm puppy fix” by volunteering at a local dog rescue center a couple times a week.  She puts her research skills to good use in helping  a nice detective solve a series of  murder investigations.

Q: How much of you is in Adina?   

A:  Adina is a fictional character. That said, we do share a few quirks – her incredibly loud sneeze and terrible eating habits, to name a few. And I do love dogs.

Q: Do your characters change and evolve throughout consecutive books in the series?

A:  The core characters and the relationships between them evolve as the series progresses, in Adina’s workplace, at the dog rescue and in her love life.

Q: Have you ever thought of killing someone that you know in real life–on the pages of a murder mystery, I mean? 

A:  Believe it or not, no. I may have fantasized about killing a few people over time, but have never put characters from real life into my fiction.

Q: How realistic is your setting? Do you take liberties, or are you true to life?

A:  The series is set in Washington, D.C., and I have tried to keep descriptions of the city and well known locations as true to life as possible. Of course, I have taken a few liberties in creating settings (parks, restaurants, and such) that are entirely fictional.

Q: When the movie or TV series is made, who plays the major parts?

A:  I’ll be so thrilled I wouldn’t know who to suggest.   Maybe a younger version  of Natalie Portman as Adina, a younger and shorter version of David Krumholtz as Jonathan, and Derek Theler as Bruce.

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Q: What’s the worst and best advice you’ve heard or received as an author? 

A:  Worst – avoid using adjectives and adverbs. Well, if there is a stronger word or verb, go for it. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes those modifiers add necessary color to the story. Everything in moderation. Best – network with other authors (you’re not alone and you can learn a lot) and don’t rush to publish. Always take the time to have your document properly edited and proofread.


About The Author  

Cassidy Salem has always been an avid reader. She is especially fond of mysteries (both cozy and traditional) and police procedurals.  Cassidy also enjoys reading historical fiction focused on American and world history, as well as the classics.  When she’s not reading, she enjoys music and spending time with family and friends, and travels with her husband and son whenever possible. Her travels have taken her to destinations throughout the United States, Europe, and Scandinavia.

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