Authors Athena Phoenix & Caia Daniels #interview

Please give a warm welcome to authors Athena Phoenix & Caia Daniels

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Tell us a bit about yourself

CaiAthena is an ambitious word whorder who loves to flirt with deadlines. That aside, I’m also a hopeless romantic. Daniel is also a hopeless romantic, who knows that Love is the way for everything. I also love flirting with deadlines, because look how sexy they are, would you? (See? Daniel’s got a much better sense of humor than me! -CaiAthena. I can be a bit too serious at times, and Daniel knows how to lighten me up! Together, we use our own ‘second chance love story,’ inspiring us to give HEA’s to our characters. We love writing urban fantasy and especially contemporary erotic romance like our ongoing Boys of Summer series which includes all standalone stories that do not need to be read together, although if you do read them all, you get more insight into Madame Summerlan West!

Most importantly, Daniel and I write love stories that celebrate love, so we take pride in writing with a pro-feminist message, and creating badass leading ladies who never need to be saved and who have the power to heal and to save the world all by themselves. We also love writing outside the box relationships such as Poly, Ménage and RH, as well as featuring diverse characters including LGBTQ, characters of color and those with rich or diverse backstories to tell. #LoveIsLove, and only love can save the world, as Wonder Woman once said, therefore all our stories at their core are about how love heals us in whatever shape it takes in our lives.

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Have you always wanted to become an author?

CaiAthena: I’ve always been a storyteller, but I came into authorhood a little late. I started out wanting to write for magazines, then looked into working in acquisitions for a publishing houses. Eventually, I had this story idea that just wouldn’t go away. That’s when my entire life changed. My story was finally ready to be written, so I wrote it. Coincidentally, it’s also when Daniel and I were reunited… he read my book, flew across the country to visit me again for the first time in 20 years, and the rest is history. Daniel: I’ve found that I tend to teach people things, often without realizing it. For me, it’s about relating things I know to others in a way they can comprehend, and hopefully with heart. I started flirting with writing (I’m such a flirt!) a couple of years before I found CaiAthena again, but never really buckled down to finish anything. Mostly because I didn’t know how. She taught me many things about writing and convinced me to start co-writing with her. The rest is history. And our future! ♡

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What was your inspiration for your current book/series?

I’m currently writing the Clash of Queens series. My inspiration was a combination of my disgust with the current state of the world and the greediness of some humans. As a former teacher, we taught ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ about an ex-military man who got bored with hunting large game, so he moved on to hunting people. My ‘what if’ came when I got into the Fated Mates set and was charged with writing a shifter book. I thought ‘what if these trophy hunters got bored and started hunting shifters? It seemed like the ultimate game to me, and that’s where the premise of Clash of Queens was born. I also am saddened by the state of female relationships in the world. We should be lifting each other up but instead, most woman consider each other ‘competition’ and that’s where the title, ‘Clash of Queens’ plays in. What if multiple women were all queens in their own right, but had differing agendas and thoughts on what it means to lead an army or a species of people? That led into creating Arcadia, the heroine of my story. And I love her!

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What are you working on now?

As I’m a habitual word whorder, so I always have multiple projects in progress. In addition to writing as Athena Phoenix, I also co-write with my husband Daniel as Caia Daniels. We’re co-writing quite a few projects in the coming year, and those are all in the planning stages. They include an Urban Fantasy dystopian series called NOLA Wars with April Canavan, a series that’s dear to my heart about an extinct line of wolf shifters to be co-written with the amazing Carmen Fox, and of course, Daniel and I are always writing Boys of Summer stories as well as our PNR series about the mother of all humanity. That series will be our career shaker, and I cannot wait to get it all written and published… so stay tuned!

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Do you have any quirks while writing?

CaiAthena: Lately, I have to ‘go under’ as I say by jamming out to music with my headphones in. And I have to have a drink, or I’ll die. Other than that, trying to fend off needy children (I have two teenagers and a 9-year old with Autism) is my side job. Daniel: I bring her many drinks!

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What are your hopes for the future?

CaiAthena: I hope to be writing full time by the time my youngest daughter graduates HS. My bucket list is to find an agent, a publisher, and maybe become a spec writer for a publisher. And to make the NYT bestseller list with a solo title. Other than that, I ‘might’ pursue an MFA in creative writing so I can teach college or perhaps just offer writing courses and seminars online somehow. Maybe write craft books, too. Daniel: I hope to become good enough to only need light editing, instead of hoping CaiAthena doesn’t hate me by the end of each first draft. That, and I plan on writing a few solo novels of my own someday soon.

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Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?

CaiAthena: 1 – Write an entire series before publishing it. I made the mistake of writing first in series books and got surprisingly busy trying to market them, then got even more busy writing other first in series stories. Many readers won’t even touch a series until it’s complete. 2 – Hire an editor, no matter how good you think you are. When I published my first book, I already had a Master’s in English Ed yet my editor then was invaluable. I had no idea I had done so many things wrong. They’re def. worth the money. 3 – Keep writing. We get better the more we write, so don’t think if the first few books don’t do well that it means you should stop. Writing is more than a talent, it’s a skill that gets better with time. Keep going. You’ll learn something new with every book you write. Daniel: Listen to CaiAthena. That, and make sure you put heart into your writing, not just technique. Anyone can paint-by-numbers, but true artists bleed for their craft. Do the same, it heals eventually.

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Do you have anything to say to your readers?

We love you. We truly, honestly do. You’re a huge reason why we do what we do, and why we’ll keep writing until they bury our moldy corpses. Maybe even after. They have Word in Heaven, don’t they?

Twitter

Website

Newsletter

Amazon:

Caia Daniels

Athena Phoenix

BookBub:

Caia Daniels

Athena Phoenix

Instagram

CaiAthena Facebook Page

The Goddess Realm Reader Group

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Fated Mates Box Set: Clash of Queens, Book 1 in the Clash of Queens Series

Chasing Tigers by Athena Phoenix, featured in Fate’s Call, a FREE anthology

Prophecy of Magic Box Set: Of Magic and Lies, Book 1 in the NOLA Wars, Resurgence Series by Caia Daniels & April Canavan

Merlot: A Boys of Summer MMF Ménage Short Story

Something Wicked: A Boys of Summer RH Short Story

The Naughty List: A Boys of Summer RH Short Story

Tempting the Huntress

Cursed

Athena Phoenix & Caia Daniels

Authors Caia Daniels and Athena Phoenix, AKA CaiAthena, is a blissfully married writing team living their very own second chance romance. After growing up in the same small town where neither really fit, even having dated for a week, these soul mates followed their own paths, but eventually, the universe propelled them back together. Both lovers of fictional realms, they discovered a mutual passion in penning socially conscious love stories that often inspire and sometimes scintillate their reader’s wildest fantasies.

CaiAthena strongly believes in the feminist agenda, and their writing reflects that. Every story features strong female characters that never need to be saved and always deserve to be worshiped – both out in the world and behind closed playroom doors. Strongly believing that only love can save the world, CaiAthena strives to represent all types of relationships including Polyamory, Ménage, Reverse Harem, LGBTQ, and BDSM dynamics. Their favorite genres to write include true-to-life Contemporary Erotic Romance & Urban Fantasy.

Welcome to our playground… where playing pretend never felt so naughty.

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