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Debut Print Book: Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.


Name of debut release: Nightshifted

Release date: 05/22/2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

2 sentence summary: When Edie’s heroin-addicted brother overdoses, she’s given a choice at the County Emergency Room: she can watch him die or buy him an unconventional treatment by quitting her current nursing job and transferring to Floor Y4. Nursing school didn’t prepare Edie to work with vampires, werewolves, and zombies, but now she has no choice.

Genre: urban fantasy,

Characters: Edie — the protagonist. She’s new to being a nurse, and that was hard enough before she got transferred to Floor Y4, where all the supernatural creatures in her home town come to hide or heal.

Jake — her brother, who is a long term heroin addict, who she hasn’t written off all the way yet.

Mr. November — a daytime servant of the vampires, and a patient of Edie’s that she accidentally kills, which sends her on a quest to save Anna

Anna — a living vampire, a hundred years old, trapped in a child’s body.

Ti — a zombie firefighter who tries to help Edie in her quest to find Anna.

and many more! ;)

What makes this story different: I’m actually a nurse in real life, so the medical drama aspects are as real as I can make them without losing track of the story. (This is also why I mostly use a graphic for my author image, as opposed to a real life photo.)

Is this a series?: An Edie Spence Novel

Why you wrote this book: Because a doctor pissed me off.

No, really. It happens a lot when you’re a nightshift nurse, you call up with some information you believe is important, like “Hi, my patient in room three has a hematocrit of two,” and the doctor blows you off. One of my coworkers told me, “It’s okay. No one ever believes nightshift.”

Up until then, I was content to write science fiction and fantasy stories, but at that point in my rage, all I could think was, “He’s going in a book.”

And Nightshifted was born.

More generically than that, as well, it helped me to process some of the things I was dealing with as a new nurse myself. Being a new nurse on a critical care floor is incredibly lonely. Other shifts are mean to you (don’t ask me why, but as they say, nurses eat their young) and your shift coworkers, while helpful, have already been through everything before. So when you’re trying to deal with “Holy shit, I just saw that guy’s _lungs_. Those were _lungs!_” they’re already back at the main desk eating a sandwich, and you feel a little lost about everything.

Writing Nightshifted really helped me get through all of that.

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? Nightshifted is my tenth novel, and none of the rest have been published. In my opinion, it’s the one that made it because it had the most voice, and was the most raw, honest, thing I’ve ever done.

What’s your writing process? I write anywhere I can, any time I can. I work nightshift, so my schedule’s almost always messed up, so I’ve learned to write on break, at coffee shops before work, at home awake while everyone else is asleep, etc. I tape ideas I get in the car with a recorder ap on my phone. I usually write flat out until I’ve messed up so much stuff I can’t stand it, edit what I’ve got, and then write some more, wash, rinse, repeat. And while usually I don’t outline, I’m trying to learn how so that I can write faster. I wrote two books in about 14 months last year, I’d like to get faster than that.

Your next published book. Moonshifted, which is Nightshifted’s sequel.

The last book you read that you loved. I finished House of Leaves about a month ago, and adored it. Despite my complete inability to personally write them, I really enjoy Mandelbrotesque esoteric digressions, so it was right up my alley.

The last book you read for research. Bitten, by Pamela Nagami MD. I really like her style, and it’s a good overview of anything bad that can bite you.

The romance book character you most identify with. I don’t read much straight romance, but I do read a ton of urban fantasy and PNR. I identify with anyone who does the right thing even when it sucks, especially when they’ve got their own issues to deal with. I really liked Verity Price in Discount Armageddon recently, and I reallly liked Angel Crawford in My Life as a White Trash Zombie.

You can check out more about Cassie Alexander and her books at



Guest Reviewer


  1. Spinster
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 10:22:24

    I read “Nightshifted” the day it came out–I’d seen it on the future releases page of some book site or other, and liked the concept so much I jumped on it. I’m SO glad I did; it was a very good read. (I’ve already preordered the sequel.) Edie’s a great heroine, impulsive but not stupid, and flawed without being a hot mess. And I really hope we see more of Anna in future books.

  2. JenM
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 07:57:35

    Doctors ignore the nightshift – LOL – so true. I’m a former L&D nurse and one of the reasons I left nursing and went back to my previous career was my frustration with the doctors. We’d call them at 3AM on a laboring woman who was almost ready to deliver and they would yell at us for waking them up, then stroll in literally one minute before the baby was about to be delivered. The worst was if they didn’t make it in time for the delivery and we ended up having to deliver – as if that wasn’t bad enough, we then had to write up an incident report, as if it was OUR fault that the doctor didn’t come in time. I miss L&D, but I definitely don’t miss any of the docs, that’s for sure.

    I put this down on my wishlist months ago, as soon as I saw the premise and this article reminded me that the book is now released. I’m off to one-click. Looking forward to reading it and best wishes with your stories.

  3. Susan
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 12:38:53

    I hadn’t heard any prior buzz about this book but, on a recommendation, I bought and read it about a week ago. It took me a little while right at the beginning to warm up to Edie, but I ended up really liking (and respecting) her character. I enjoyed the book a lot and immediately pre-ordered the next one when I finished. Looking forward to it!

  4. Ani Gonzalez
    Jun 07, 2012 @ 15:53:14

    I saw the book, but didn’t feel compelled to purchase it. However, this author’s questionnaire has intrigued me. I’m putting it in my TBR list.

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