Thursday, September 25, 2014
Carol Cassada - An Author Interview
Tell us a little about yourself and your background please, Carol?
I live in a small town in Virginia called Ringgold. I live there with my mom and younger brother. Growing up I loved to read and that helped influence my desire to become a writer. After graduating from college in 2008, I began working on my first book which was published a little over a year later. Since then I’ve written 4 more books and I have plenty more to come.
What were you like at school?
I was shy at school, always the quiet one during class. During my early years of high school I felt like I didn’t fit in, I stood out by the way I dressed and acted, and I mostly kept to myself. By my junior year I came out of my shyness, made friends, and participated in school activities.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to not let fear hold you back and to enjoy life.
Why do you write?
The reason I write is because it’s what I love to do and I find it’s a great outlet. There’s nothing more relaxing than writing stories, letting your imagination run wild, and expressing yourself.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
The idea for my first book just popped into my head, I thought it would make a good story and I decided to just go ahead and write it.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time, I’m working a couple of other jobs while pursuing my writing career. I’d like to write full-time, but at the moment it’s not possible.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I write whenever I have time, usually it’s in the afternoons or evenings when I’m relaxed and can fully concentrate.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
On weekends, I strive for 1000 words and during weekdays I’d like to get 200 words in if possible. Even if I don’t get my goal in, as long as I write a little I’m happy.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It takes a couple of months; I’d say an average of six although sometimes it can be longer.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
After I finish writing I like to get started on editing right away, that way everything’s still fresh in my mind.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
So far I’ve written 5 and I love all of them so I can’t choose a favorite.
What does your family think of your writing?
They’ve been very supportive, especially my mom. She’s always asking me what I’m working on and I go to her on advice on what I should do with the story or what image to use for the cover. Whenever I publish a new book she’s the first one to buy a copy and read it.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’m the type of person who likes to experiment. At the moment I’m mainly writing romance, but down the line I’d like to write different genres like crime and paranormal. Aside from books I’d also like to try my hand at screenplays.
So, what have you written?
Going Home Again is my first book, it’s a heartwarming story about high-school sweethearts reuniting after a tragedy brings them closer together. My next 4 books are part of a series called Westmore; it’s what I call a literary soap opera book series.
Where can we buy or see them?
They’re available at Createspace, Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Rachel Mitchell is the lead character in Going Home Again, her dream was to always be a photographer and she’s living her dream in New York where she works at a fashion magazine. Even though Rachel has a great life, she feels there’s something missing and she soon discovers what it is during a return trip home where she’s reunited with her family and ex-boyfriend.
How are you publishing this book and why?
Going Home Again is my first book, which I recently just re-released. It was originally a traditionally published book from a small ebook company called Romance Divine. Last year when my contract was up, I made the decision not to renew and instead go with self-publishing. I had self-published my other four books and I felt it was time to do the same for Going Home Again. It was a tough decision, but one I’m glad I made.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
The main advantages of self-publishing are you have complete control over the book and you’ll get more royalties. One disadvantage of self-publishing is you may not be taken as seriously as a traditionally published author.
What are you working on at the minute?
At the moment, I’m finishing the fifth volume of the Westmore series and soon I plan to start on volume 6.
What’s it about?
The Westmore series is a literary soap opera book saga. The series revolves around The Greens, The Braxtons, and The Reynolds. Each family and character has a unique background along with secrets. The characters interact with each other leading to romance, fighting, and backstabbing.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
I think the cover does play a role in the buying process. The first thing a customer sees is the cover and it helps them get an idea of what the book’s about and if this is something they would enjoy reading.
How do you market your books?
I market my books anyway I can. I promote them on Twitter and Facebook. I also sign up for book reviews, interviews, guest posts, and book tours. Anything to get my name out there I do it.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I think it does help, I know I can’t resist a free book. If somebody reads the book and likes it then they’ll be interested in your other works and they’ll recommend the novels to their friends.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I do read a lot, sometimes 2 or 3 books at a time. I don’t have a favorite author; I just read books that catch my attention.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I read both, but with ebooks I prefer romance and with paper/hard back I like nonfiction.
What book/s are you reading at present?
Currently, I’m reading Past Lives of the Rich and Famous by Sylvia Browne. I also started a second book called Save My Soul by Kristie Haigwood.
Thank you for answering these questions, Carol. Where Can readers learn more about your work or connect with you?