Welcome Dakota Cassidy!

Moi: Today in the League Lounge we have one of my favorites, Dakota Fanning. And all grown up too. Care for a drink, Ms. Fanning?

Dakota: It's Cassidy, darling. Dakota Cassidy. I can totally understand the mixup, though. *Waves hand under nose in a dainty swirl* Maybe you should reconsider sober? Just to avoid these kinds of embarrassing public displays. Oh, and would you ask the skanky dude in the corner to pass the damn booze? Frickin' hog. While you're at it--I believe, before I agreed to this, ahem, interview, I asked that you remove all of the YELLOW M & M's from my line of vision in my diva interview request package. Get someone on that, would ya? Clearly, someone on your staff'll be searching Monster jobs frantically tonight.

Me: Anton! Clean up your soap making supplies and get this bowl of fat out of here! It's offending Ms. Fanning...I mean Cassidy. Pardon me. I think I even read your book. Werewolves, or something.

Dakota: You can read?

Me: Oh...it's a funny lady. I skim...occasionally. Funny shit, if I recall. My eyes didn't bleed or anything, however, I did develop a nasty case of stigmata. I suspect the hemorrhaging is a result of straining from all the laughter. Did you set out to write a comedy or was your goal to steam up the werewolf world with hot sex?

Dakota: Thank Jesus there was no eyeball bleed-itis. However, for the stigmata you can join the class action suit against me. Fuzzy on the details because, you know, I'm a boozer, but it's something about lawyers and candlelight vigils to save the victims who've read my book and are now rendered blind--or some such whiny crap. They call themselves The Accidental Victims. I can't help you much more than that, but I know there's a number you can call... *searches big stack of legal papers* Ahh, here it is. 1-800-Bleed-The-Bitch-Dry. Yeah, thass it :)

And on a serious note--I never set out to write a comedy, it just happens. I just tell the story like I would if I was hanging out with you and that's how it comes out. The Accidental Werewolf was from my 2004 RWA experience where we conventioneers shared a hotel with the Mary Kay chicks here in Dallas. I didn't have a name tag because I was unofficially attending, seeing as I live in Dallas. So whilst flitting from group to group, those who didn't know me would eyeball me suspiciously and ask if I was "Mary Kay or RWA." I certainly understood the confusion because I mean, I do know makeup, but watching those chicks work it with those unsuspecting writers was an amazing experience for me, and set in motion the "what if" factor that rules my insane mind.

Me: Insane? Hmm. I'll reserve comment on that one, just to be polite. So here's one for ya. Marty, Nina or Wanda? Which one is most like the Dakota you are today?

Dakota: Marty is definitely my exterior. I'm all about cute shoes and clothes and wearing what's right for my coloring. Wanda's the OCD, diplomatic part of me. But Nina's who I am internally--she's all about the loud and proud, whereas I, and the ex beauty queen in me, have a filter from brain to mouth. But trust me when I say, I think just like Nina speaks... For instance, right this second I'm thinking much the way Nina would. "What the frig kind of jacked up craptacularness is it with this Mark Henry? First, there were the yellow damned M & M's, then the name mix up, not to mention the lack of some good booze. To top it off, the tard brings me to this hinky, dark basement all wearing creepy clothes and scratching himself. What. The, Hell?"

Me: Didn't mean to offend. Caitlin came home with the Popov's Vodka again so we didn't bother to freeze it. As for the clothes, well. I was buryin...I mean doing some yardwork. Now, where was I? Oh...I can research women's stuff with the best of them, but it doesn't mean I necessarily "get it." So, what's up with the color wheel obsession? Seriously? And why is yellow a scourge against humanity?

Dakota: I love yellow on cars, walls, flowers, and sometimes the occasional "true" blonde, but for the most part yellow does nothing for anyone in terms of enhancing their color auras. Oh, and it's just plain wrong :) And the color wheel thing is a total joke from way back when I first began writing like four years ago. I'm a REALLY SMALL-TIME old, dried up ex-beauty queen, and I won some cheesy tiaras in my reign of vaseline and duct-tape. Back in my prime (long ago and far away), I learned a thing or two about what colors suit you, clothes etc. I just joked all the time about my infamous BQ history and how to be a babe on some groups and it stuck. Believe me when I tell you, it's grown to proportions that even the word epic don't cover :) Most anyone who knows me from the Yahoo groups, etc will crack on me about it and it developed into what I jokingly called the color wheel of life. In reality--I really don't judge anyone on their color choices--it's all in fun--unless you want the truth... LOL

But I'd be happy to do your color wheel--because I only want the world to be beautiful--and that shirt you're wearing is burning my eyes :)

Me: Maybe later, Jonbenet. Can we move on? Accidental Werewolf isn't your first book. It's not even your first werewolf series. Spill some history for the readers, why don't ya?

Dakota: Sho nuff ain't. Here's the short of it. I wrote erotic e-books in the beginning of my writing career--just as the wave of e-pubbing was becoming really popular in 2004. I was a reviewer for an online site when I first discovered e-books, and that's how the writing thing happened for me. I wrote probably thirty or so--mostly series related shorts like the Wolfmates series, and a couple of full lengths. During an ugly divorce after being married for 19 years (and I'm only 29!), and no job history but trophy wife and SAHM to put on my resume, I needed to do something--anything. When that went down, and I couldn't even find a minimum wage job to support myself and two children to save my Cole Haan's, was when I got serious about writing more e-books. I had no other means to support myself and my sons. Needless to say, I had the attorney of a lifetime, and I got my fair share in the divorce--so I kept writing e-books which was my green light to stop practicing "Welcome To Walmart" in the mirror.

My intention was never to write anywhere else but for e-pubs. However, some very close writing friends had other ideas and literally nabbed not one, but two agents for me. One pal cornered my now agent at the RT book fair in Daytona (yes, I still cringe when I relay that because it was so not a set up on my part). She was sitting next to my now agent Deidre Knight. I'll leave the guessing up to you when you wonder who my friend is (think same last name as my agent--crazy talented writer--now a NYT bestseller--and one of my mom-like influences in publishing). Deidre and I totally connected--she emailed me next day to ask to represent me--I wrote a proposal for The Accidental Werewolf, and she sold it two months later, and here I am. There but for the grace of and all, and an editor in NY who truly, truly has some nads and an awesome sense of humor :)

Me: Normally at large social gatherings, I like to be the center of attention. So you can imagine my surprise, when at the Romantic Times Convention, I started hearing whispers of Dakota. Dakota this. Dakota that. It'd be enough to drive lesser only children mad. So I had to meet you, plus your book seemed to be everywhere mine was, again drawing attention away with it's purple cover and cute factor. I was not amused.

Dakota: Is your color green today, darling?

Me: No no. Not at all. How's that drink?

*I point to the plastic party cup. Dakota eyes it suspiciously.*

Me: So! What's next for Dakota Fanning? More werewolves?

Dakota: Well, for Dakota Fanning I'm sure it's an episode of When Child Stars Go Wild, followed by a stint in rehab, an appearance on Judge Joe Brown, and finally a potential Lifetime movie about her recovery. For Dakota Cassidy--it's vampires and Accidentally Dead July 1, 2008, then The Accidental Human, winter 2009 and a stand alone called Kiss and Hell in the summer of 2009 :)

*It's at that moment that Carrie the Book Girl burst into the basement from the exterior door, filthy and dropping clops of sod as she shambles into the room. Dakota snatched up her traveller and darted, leaving me to take a shovel to my poor former assistant.*

Me (yelling): Bye Ms. Fanning. Sorry about the interruption!

*******************

Dakota and I will be sneaking in and out of the comments all day to snark, mostly but also to cull a winner from you crowd of book freaks.

Winner? You ask?

Oh yeah. Count 'em. Three. Trois.

And the prizes are so in your color wheel, we've made sure of it.

A signed copy of The Accidental Werewolf (personally signed in front of me, so I know it wasn't so freaking stamp and then packed into my RT suitcase with my dirty chones).

A signed ARC of Accidentally Dead (cuz once you read AW, you'll sock your mom for more Nina).

And...

A $15 dollar Amazon gift card (in case a certain zombie bitch is more your style, or something).

Make sure to comment, cuz we ain't freakin' psychics. We'll announce the winner on Wednesday so check back then and often.

ETA: I'M GOING TO TOSS IN A COPY OF HAPPY HOUR OF THE DAMNED TO COMMENTOR #75. SO START SPREADING THE WORD. KEEP WATCHING. MAYBE YOU COULD JUMP IN AND SWIPE IT!

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