Manuscripts Burn


"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hard and Stressful (Interview with Cassie Cox, Owner of Joy Editing and Author of INTIMATE DETAILS)

HAWM, blogtinis! It's been a minute since we last had today's guest on the blog, and boy, a lot has happened since then. But enough of me hemming and hawing. Let's jump right in!

About Cassie Cox:

Cassie Cox is an editor from Tampa, FL. A certified Shakespeare geek, she has a master’s in Shakespeare in performance, which makes her all kinds of fun at a party.

Cassie lives with her husband and six cats, and her hobbies include baking, reading the news, and watching old movies.


SK:  Welcome back to the blog, Cassie!  A lot's happened in your life since last we spoke.  Can you tell us about Joy Editing and how people can contact you if they want to become a client?

CC:  So much has changed! At the beginning of the year, I opened Joy Editing, and I specialize in editing in romance and erotica. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing authors already, and I’m looking forward to having a great summer. My website is, and people can always contact me by email at

SK:  I suspect I know the answer to this but obviously our readers don't, so: what is your favorite Disney movie and why?

CC:  The Little Mermaid (as I’m sure you knew), and I think it’s my favorite because of the music and her hair. I always wanted to be Ariel and have long red hair like she does. Hans Christian Andersen’s original ending is so much better though.

SK:  In some other intriguing news, you're now an Amazon bestselling non-fiction author.  How did you come to release INTIMATE DETAILS and what was the process from idea to book?

CC:  You flatter me, sir! Thank you. INTIMATE DETAILS was my publisher’s idea actually. She believed that after all of the sex scenes I’ve worked on, I knew enough to offer advice to writers before they started writing. I dragged my feet on it though. I’m not a writer, and I felt pretty inept trying to put words on a page. But with lots of outlining and encouragement, I managed to finish!

SK:  As someone who's long sworn she wasn't a writer, do you feel like you've betrayed your editing tribe by coming over to the dark side?

CC:  LOL, I’m not a writer! (She says as she starts a new manuscript.) Seriously though, I am so glad I don’t have to do what you do. Writing is hard and stressful. My laptops are littered with manuscripts I started and never finished. I feel like editing is a much better fit for me.

SK:  Obviously, to become an expert at writing sex scenes one need do no more than pick up this book.  But how does one become enough of an expert to write such a book?

CC:  I’ve edited everything from innocent over-clothes petting to dungeon scenes. My job is to make them more appealing to readers, which means I need to know what readers like. I follow fan groups on Facebook, read reviews, and pay attention to what people are saying works and doesn’t work for them. In real life, I have contacts involved in different kinks who can help me work through tricky scenes, and I’ve been known to go to cons and classes in order to better understand things outside my ken so I can help bring realism to my work.

SK:  Can you share with us a Cassie original baking recipe?  (No brownies, please.)

CC:  This isn’t exactly an original recipe, but I’ve made a couple of changes to it, so I think it counts.

Chocolate Chip Funfetti Muffins

•  3 cups all-purpose flour
•  4 teaspoons baking powder
•  1 teaspoon salt
•  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•  1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•  2 eggs, room temperature preferred
•  1 cup sugar
•  1/2 cup brown sugar
•  1 cup buttermilk
•  1/2 cup vegetable oil (or canola oil/melted coconut oil)
•  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
•  1 and 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
•  1/2 cup sprinkles

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray your muffin tin of choice with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until combined. Mix in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand with a wooden spoon. Avoid overmixing. Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain. The batter will be VERY thick and somewhat lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips and sprinkles.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top. Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 13 minutes until tops are lightly golden and centers appear set.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before enjoying. Muffins taste best fresh the same day. Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

SK:  Well, thanks for being with us today.  Do you have any final thoughts or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover today?

CC:  Thank you so much for having me!


INTIMATE DETAILS teaches writers how to craft one of the trickiest aspects of a romance novel: the sex scenes.

Sex scenes are surprisingly difficult for both new and experienced authors. This guide will help you answer all sorts of questions, including some you may not know you had. What’s the difference between erotica and suggestive sex scenes? Does erotica have to include whips and chains? What should you do if you don’t know anything about BDSM? How long should a sex scene be? How many sex scenes do you need? What’s “normal” for a sex scene, and how far can you deviate from that? What are your characters supposed to say while they’re having sex?

Whether you’re writing from experience or fantasy, INTIMATE DETAILS can guide you toward creating sensual, cohesive sex scenes.

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