Former Cuero teacher returns with new novel

Sonny Long

Nov. 24, 2012 at 5:24 a.m.
Updated Nov. 25, 2012 at 5:25 a.m.

A former Cuero teacher is returning to town to talk about her new novel, "The Assassin's Curse," released earlier this year.

Cassandra Rose Clarke, who taught senior English at Cuero High School during the 2009-10 school year, will be the guest of honor at a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the high school library.

"It's definitely interesting to go back to the school as a visiting author rather than as a teacher," Clarke said. "I actually have family in Cuero, so I visit the town itself during the holidays, but it'll be cool to go back to the school and speak with the students again."

She is the daughter of former Gobbler coach Mike Clarke, and her aunt, Marie Rangnow, is a CHS biology teacher.

Former Cuero teacher Barbara Cavanaugh was instrumental in bringing Clarke back to Cuero to speak.

"I was her mentor as far as her teaching senior English when she was here," Cavanaugh said. "I knew she was an aspiring writer and when she became published, I thought it would be great to have her come back."

Clarke will read from her novel and be available for questions and book-signing during the reception.

"The Assassin's Curse" is the story of Ananna of the Tanarau, who abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan.

But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. And when Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse, binding them together.

The book was published by Strange Chemistry Books.

Clarke, who has a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Texas at Austin, teaches English at Lonestar College in Houston.

She got the publishing boost she needed after attending the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 2010 and receiving the 2010 Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship.

The 2002 graduate of Memorial High School in Victoria said her fondest memories of teaching in Cuero are of the students, but something else sticks out in her mind.

"They had a pep rally for the debate team," Clarke said. "When I was in high school, we used to joke about how the debate team never got a pep rally, but at Cuero they actually gave them one, which I thought was neat."



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