Interview with Cassidy Reyne, Author of Fallen: Unchained (State of Grace Book 1)

10 Apr 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Fallen: Unchained (State of Grace Book 1)?

I spotted a premade book cover online by my amazing cover designer. I stopped scrolling and stared at it for a long moment, trying to figure out what it was that intrigued me so much. Suddenly, a story exploded in my head. I reached for a pad and pen and a couple of hours later, I had the entire plot outlined. At first, the idea seemed easy with the dual timelines as long as I got them set out clearly beforehand. It turned out not to be quite so easy and took a fair bit of wrangling and puzzling, but in the end, I got there. The core message I wanted to convey with the two characters’ challenges and triumphs was that although life is never easy, it comes with rewards that will fill our hearts, no matter how small they might seem, if we allow them. And how our ideas, relationships, and acts of kindness – or otherwise – can have a huge impact, not only at the time but in the future as well. Since it’s a romance, the overarching premise had to be about love. In this case, it became a story about a second chance at love after tragedy and loss but also about hope and perseverance against all odds.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Fallen: Unchained (State of Grace Book 1), what would they be?

For Kiran, it would be Rise Up by Andra Day. For Alina, Bigger Than The Whole Sky by Taylor Swift. The lyrics and feel of each song seem to fit the characters perfectly, at least they do for me when I listen to them.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I love a good political or military thriller à la Tom Clancy or Scott Mariani, and when I need utter escapism, I go for mystery or adventure yarns – in the vein of Indiana Jones – no matter how farfetched or unrealistic. I have a few Fantasy and Urban Fantasy authors whose books I will read as soon as they’re released, but I’m quite picky about those genres. Of course, I also read romance, mostly the suspense kind, but also some romcoms if it’s from an author I particularly enjoy.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I currently have a ridiculous TBR list of more than six hundred books on my Kindle waiting for me to get to it, and at the top of that list is The Cave by Gia Colt. It’s a new romance book with a trope that isn’t my usual go-to, but I thought I’d switch things up a little and try something different. Next to my cozy reading chair sits two paperbacks; The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro and The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Oh, what a tricky question. I think it was probably Kiran’s meeting with his older brother Michael. A lot of suppressed resentment and anger was finally given air, and many questions were asked and answered. Their conversation was somewhat cathartic, for me at least, and unraveled much of the mystery surrounding Kiran’s existence and reasons for what he’d endured for such a long time.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I’m not sure it’s particularly quirky, but I always have a scented candle burning when I write. I often change it so the scent suits the chapter or section of the story I’m writing. I’ll have a heavier, spicy scent for darker scenes or action sequences, and lighter floral or citrusy scents for the softer, romantic parts. I also have to have something to drink, whether that is water, coffee, or wine, depending on the time of day.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Find the Silver Lining.” I’m normally a positive and happy person, and I always try to find something good, the silver lining, in every adversity. It can be very hard to see sometimes, but if I give it time and peace, I usually find it.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I hope the reader remembers the love and friendship that can blossom during the most difficult of circumstances, and how a small act of kindness can change someone’s entire life.


Cassidy Reyne is the author of the new book Fallen: Unchained (State of Grace Book 1)

Connect with Cassidy Reyne

Author Site


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