Cass Morris

Cass Morris will be our Toastmaster at ArmadillloCon 2022!

Cass Morris works as a writer and educator in central Virginia. Her debut series, The Aven Cycle, is Roman-flavored historical fantasy. From Unseen Fire was published by DAW Books in 2018, and won the 2019 RavenCon Webster Award. It received excellent reviews, including a starred review from Booklist: “Morris’ epic-fantasy debut melds Roman history and elemental magic into a spellbinding tale of political machinations…. Fans of I, Claudius and Game of Thrones are in for a treat in this series starter. The combination of history, dark and light magic, family, political and religious rivalry, and military conflicts will draw readers from many genres.” Give Way to the Night, Book 2, was released in December, 2020, also to good reviews. Book 3 of the Aven Cycle, The Bloodstained Shade, is due out in Fall, 2022!

” ‘Rome with magic’ turns out to be exactly the novel I wanted to read. The magic cleverly intertwines with religion, politics, and daily life. The characters appeal, especially the loving portrait of three loyal sisters. There are battles (of course), a budding love story of the illicit kind, some remarkably topical political maneuvering, an awareness of diverse layers of class and ethnicity, and a love of place that shines on the page.” —Kate Elliott, author of Cold Magic and Black Wolves
“The multilayered politics—both mundane and supernatural—will keep readers hooked. This is a satisfying return to the series.” —Publishers Weekly

“a character focused reading experience that is strong and plot driving… excellent worldbuilding that makes for an epic historical fantastic reading experience that is rich and rewarding… Nerd Coefficient: 8/10 well worth your time and attention” — Nerds of a Feather, Flock Together

Fans of I, Claudius and Game of Thrones are in for a treat

Booklist, starred review of From Unseen Fire

Morris also writes short fiction. Her story “The Price” appeared in Witches & Warriors: A Sirens Benefit Anthology (2018). “Corvus Monitus”appeared in CORVID-19: A RavenCon Anthology.

She is also one-third of the team behind the Hugo Award Finalist podcast Worldbuilding for Masochists.

Worldbuilding for Masochists has been a finalist for a Hugo. It’s a super fun podcast for writers and SF fans, and has a consistently amazing guest line-up!

From 2010 to 2017, she worked as Academic Resources Manager at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, VA. During her time there, she composed over 20 full-length teaching guides for Shakespeare’s plays, as well as developing and leading workshops for students of all ages and experience levels, assisting with leadership programming and other professional training, and facilitating the biennial Blackfriars Conference. She has presented at conferences including the 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Shakespeare Association of America conferences, the 2015 Halved Heart conference at Shakespeare’s Globe, the 2016 Shakespeare Theatre Association teaching practicum, and the 2011, 2013, and 2015 Blackfriars Conferences. She also contributed essays to Shaping Shakespeare for Performance: The Bear Stage and Shakespeare Expressed: Page, Stage, and Classroom in Shakespeare and His Contemporaries.

She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, where she wrote her thesis, Another Self: Amicitia and Relationship Dynamics in Shakespeare, on the topic of the narrative of male friendship in Shakespeare’s comedies. She earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. Cass served on the boards of theatrical extracurricular groups at both Mary Baldwin and William and Mary.

She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart.

Website: Guest Posts, Interviews, Podcasts, and Radio | Academic & Other Publications

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